The Real Author Of William Shakespeare

1436 Words 6 Pages
Since the eighteenth century, scholars have debated whether William Shakespeare, high school dropout and glove maker’s son from the backwoods town of Stratfordupon-Avon, would have had the education, sophistication and literary skill to have written plays that are considered the most important works of literature in English. In the course of this debate, scholars have put forward many contenders as the “real author” of the plays, Queen Elizabeth I, Francis Bacon, and Christopher Marlowe.
The most recent candidate for the “real author” title is Edward de Vere, seventeenth
Earl of Oxford. Oxfordian scholars, as they are called, believe that de Vere had the education, political connections and literary skill to write the plays commonly attributed to the
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Alternately, by eliminating other candidates for Shakespeare’s plays, we can lay aside the social class driven assertion that an under-educated child from a disenfranchised, rural family can rise to be English’s greatest playwright.
Annotated Bibliography (MLA Format)
Nelson, Alan H. Monstrous Adversary: The Life of Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2003. Print.
This book is a biography of the earl of Oxford. In part, the biography addresses the authorship controversy as the Oxfordians construct it. It also relies on documentary evidence of the life of Edward de Vere. Nelson gives us a portrait of an aristocrat atypical of the Elizabethan period. De Vere’s life was filled with violence, foreign adventure, piracy, sexual intrigue (homo and hetero), deceit, betrayal so prevalent in
Shakespeare plays.
I think this is an exceptionally useful source for its reliance on primary documents.
Seventeenth-century documents are hard to access and Nelson’s detailed presentation of them will allow me to draw some of my own conclusions based on the history

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