For years as a kid, I was always under the impression William Shakespeare was Canadian. What? With Stratford, Ontario, the Avon River, the annual Shakespearean festival, come on now, why wouldn't I think that?
You could imagine my surprise when I heard Shakespeare wasn't Canadian and not even a real person. That's right, you heard correctly, Shakespeare was not a real living person. A Shakespeare conspiracy theory.
Apparently, since the middle of the 19th century, studies have shown that William Shakespeare to be a pseudonym name of another author of the same era. Then there are others that claim William Shakespeare was not only a person but many persons, all writing under the same name. Understandably, the amount and quality of work is just to great for one man to accomplish in a life time and raises doubts. I understand that, I'm having trouble writing this blog. I'm not that keen on Shakespeare anyway, as you can tell.
There are those rare geniuses that do miraculous things. Was William one of them? We know he must have been, by his history he wasn't highly educated, the average Joe just cannot write like that.
So, if William Shakespeare wasn't a real person who was William Shakespeare?
Francis Bacon, he had the means and possessed the knowledge, which is exhibited in Shakespeare's work plus, he was often seen hob-nobbing with the upper class, even mingling with royalty. Another guy who could claim the name of William Shakespeare could be Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. His life has an uncanny resemblance to many of Shakepeare's works. Then, it could also be Shakespeare's rival, Christopher Marlowe, they both used a certain kind of line when writing poetry called iambic pentameter (rhythm of a line).
Today, we all (most of us) believe William Shakespeare to be who he says he was, William Shakespeare, but the controversy still endures. The Calvin Hoffman Prize, worth over 2 million dollars will be awarded to anyone who can prove William Shakespeare did not write any of the great works we attribute to him. Was William Shakespeare the person we believed him to be?
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