The Power Of Authorship In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

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“To be or not to be” wrote William Shakespeare in his play Hamlet. Or did he? For years intellectuals have debated whether Shakespeare really wrote his 154 sonnets and 37 plays (Pruitt). Despite the present-day lack of evidence to prove Shakespeare’s authorship and the myriad theories to the contrary, the balance tips toward concluding that Shakespeare is the one true author of his impactful collection of works. When people start to question the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays they immediately turn to his education and lower class lifestyle. How could a poor man from Stratford write such insightful and politically complex plays? (Pruitt). With regards to the argument that Shakespeare wasn’t educated enough to know about politics, have an …show more content…
These great minds carry some credibility, but a lot of theories against Shakespeare are ridiculous. In fact, Patrick Cheney, Ph.D., claims that any question about Shakespeare 's authorship is lunacy (Stevenson). With regards to Hamlet, the line “The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables” creates the anagram “FR. BACONI NATI” and, in unusual Latin, suggests that Francis Bacon wrote the plays (Wheeler). In addition, many people believe that the name William Shakespeare was a political coverup for people like Queen Elizabeth or Sir Walter Raleigh so they could denounce the government. So, Hamlet’s dying wish “tell my story” implies that Horatio is the false Shakespeare and Hamlet is the real one (Wheeler). In addition, when describing Claudius as “Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!” one could conclude that Raleigh was criticizing the king, whom he hated. Another theory is that a group of about twenty writers, including Raleigh and Marlowe, met for dinner once a month to write at an inn where William Shakespeare worked and used his name as a practical joke (Wheeler). These are just a few of the many half-baked theories against …show more content…
Many names have been thrown around such as Queen Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe and Francis Bacon, but by far the most common name used to replace Shakespeare is Edward de Vere the Earl of Oxford. Oxfordians believe he was the real writer because he was highly educated and visited places mentioned in some of Shakespeare’s plays (Pruitt). De Vere, however, died in 1604, while some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, The Tempest, Macbeth and King Lear, to name a few, were published after 1604 (Pruitt). De Vere, a common choice for non-believers, was also mentioned based on the evidence presented by Ben Johnson, who argued that Shakespeare died not in 1616 (as widely accepted), but rather in 1605, one year after the death of the Earl of Oxford (Fowler). In support of this, most notable Elizabethan scholars and writers never remarked upon Shakespeare’s death, which is strange considering his prominence (Stevenson). Dr.Cheney pointed out that the leaders of the modern English literature movement were mostly from the working class. Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Edmund Spenser all were sons of middle class men, and if only aristocrats like the Earl of Oxford can produce greats works of literature, then someone should tell that to Marlowe, Spenser and Jonson, who were amazing (albeit poor) authors of that time

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