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Do you think Shakespeare existed?

Topic #290:

Do you think Shakespeare existed? Or are there just to many plays and sonnets credited to him to be the work of one person?

The new film Anonymous questions his prolificity and his existence.

If you think these claims against history are a waste of time, why do you think they are periodically raised by so many people?

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  1. Ha! Do you think Newton existed? Could all that great achievement come from one man? Was the alchemy stuff really by the same person? Yes, Shakespeare existed, we even have a portrait of him, the question is whether he wrote the plays, and no-one seriously disputes that quoting evidence that will stand up.

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  2. He’s real or real enough. A fiction film by the director of Independence Day is not going to sway me into thinking otherwise. Until someone can prove it was just a pen name, I’m going to keep right on thinking Shakespeare was brilliant and prolific.

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  3. Simply, yes. I don’t think there are not to, nor too many plays. Imagine if Steve Jobs was a playwright, instead of a computer whiz. Don’t you think he could have done it? Shakespeare was a genius, as smart as any 21st-century man or woman — why not?

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  4. As to why so many people raise this question, they only wish they could have done what \Shakespeare did, instead of needing a committee of the lowest common denominator to get anything done, as our current society does.

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  5. Yes, I believe Shakespeare did exist.

    Why do I think they are periodically raised by so many people? it’s because, they are plain unbelievers or they just wanted to prove it otherwise. Some may be valid (very rare I guess, lol), but I do believe Shakespeare existed.

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  6. The notion is ridiculous.

    Almost totally ridiculed by just about every serious scholar of English Lit.

    For example: the Earl of Oxford DIED before some of Shakespeare’s work had been written. (I assume you know what I’m talking about, having watched the film).

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    1. The wrong theories of post-dated plays was disproven over fifty years ago. Almost all the works of “Shakespeare” have gone through redating several times, each time growing older, as more aristocrats have died and donated their libraries to universities.
      DeVere definitely was alive when they were written.

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  7. From personal research in ancient books, as a retired teacher and a writer of literature texts, I believe a man named “William Shakespere” did exist, but he was only an actor, a barely literate street person.
    A man named Edward DeVere, 17th Earl of Oxford, child prodigy and bankrupted aristocrat, was the author of all the famous works attributed to WS. He wrote under WS’s name to disguise the fact that he was sullying his hands in the theatre. He had sisters and a mom to protect, but like so many writers, couldn’t NOT write. He was friends with Ben Jonson, who said, “He should have been stopped,”* and “There was ever more in him to be praised than to be pardoned.”** He traveled abroad, was raised in the church, was familiar in aristocratic homes and at aristocratic games, knew the Greek and Hebrew necessary to translate, etc., providing the background necessary to write as “WS” did. Many of the portraits of “WS” bear uncanny resemblances and connections to DeVere, even one that portrays “WS” bearing DeVere’s crest, and two, from royal collections that when x-rayed and viewed under infrared light, reveal DeVere as the underlying portrait. All portraits of both DeVere and Shakespeare portray identical, extremely long-fingered hands, however much the facial portrayals have been altered. One official portrait of Shakespeare includes the blade of a ceremonial sword blacked out, for some reason. Most of the portraits of “WS” originate from the homes of aristocracy with whom DeVere was intimate, or even into whose families he married.
    In the end, with such an enigma, we are forced to believe what we will believe, and I must, with Emerson, say of the Strattford-man theory, “I cannot marry this man’s life to his verse.”
    * To the Memory of My Beloved Friend, William Shakespeare”
    ** Timber: “De Shakespeare Nostratt”

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    1. P.S. I don’t watch TV. So I am unfamiliar with the new movie we might think I was discussing. There is so much more I left unsaid and I would be happy to continue with anyone, privately, who is interested, but have said enough, here. Most decent encyclopedias will reveal the bare bones of this argument.

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      1. Seems to me that if I wanted to believe in another ancient character, oh, say, Jesus, I would not worry about whose words were written, but rather that they were attributed to the man who lived that life. To assume that WS had to be an aristocrat, couldn’t have been an actor, seems unfair and elitist. I believe William Shakespeare was real, and I think the argument has no validity, as each person believes what they want.

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  8. Well, yes Shakespeare existed. I have still not watched the movie, that you mentioned. It is transcendental for me to read his poems, sonnets and poetical my favorite lines, plays and much is his existence. As a reader of history, I can not conflict his existence with his work. May it not be his, which perhaps the movie suggest. They suggest it for the lack of confidence in the chronicles of the history. Or perhaps, they provoke the zeros beyond their budget of the script by provoking the readers of history to entering the cinema hall. That sounds so cheesy. Really.
    To me, Shakespeare existed.

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  9. I’m going to say no, just because it seems to drive people nuts. I also answer no when people ask me if I vote or if I believe the U.S. of A. really landed on the moon.

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    1. That’s only because he was one of them 😉
      I am surprised that no one has mentioned the actual truth of the matter. He was the secretary to John Dee who channeled the plays from Crowley who plagiarized them from a notebook Aiwass accidentally left behind when he and Crowley met for coffee (see yesterday’s daily post for more info on meeting for coffee.)

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  10. “Do you think Shakespeare existed?”

    That’s not the question you meant to ask. We *know* he EXISTED. There are RECORDS. There’s a body buried under a church in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    You meant to ask if he actually wrote all of his plays. I think he did, but I also think it doesn’t matter; we have them, that’s the important thing. And we can’t really PROVE it one way or another without a time machine. So just enjoy them, and give it up. As for why the question keeps being raised: I think people are intimidated by genius and try to discredit it to make themselves feel better.

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  11. What matters is the fact that the poems, plays and histories attributed to a man named William Shakespeare exist so that the world is left with a deeper understanding of humanity, love, courage, sacrifice, greed, deceit. These works of art also hold those of us who wish to write to a higher standard in the use of language to tell our own tales.

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  12. If the Internet existed when Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and others lived, any plagiarism would have been spotted back then.”After drug addiction sapped (Coleridge’s) strength and will, he often adapted (or simply adopted) passages from other writers, with little or no acknowledgement, and sometimes in a context that seems designed to reveal that he relies on sources that he does not credit,” The Norton Anthology English Literature, 8th edition, vol. 2).
    Knowing this, it doesn’t take a significant leap for many to doubt whether Shakespeare was guilty of borrowing from his contemporaries. Again, Norton’s Anthology English Literature (8th edition, vol. 1) says that “Shakespeare rarely invented the plots of his dramas, preferring to work; often quite closely, with stories he found ready-made in histories, novellas, narrative poems, or other plays.”
    So I believe Shakespeare existed. But it remains a mystery whether he did, indeed, write the body of work he was credited for.
    Whoever the author, bravo. I have enjoyed his works.

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  13. Shakespeare was current as a pseudonym from 1593 to 1604. Plays under that name were released after 1604, five of them, but their content showed they had been written before 1604. Twenty plays were released in 1623. None of these had topical or celestial mentions that dated after 1604. Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, died in 1604. He employed the pseudonym. When the First Folio was published and the Stratford Shakespeare Monument was altered to honor an unknown Stratford ‘literary’ figure, a name switch was successfuly achieved by deceit to transfer authorship from the true author and his pseudonym to the Stratford figure with the similar name. Stratford Shakspere became eternal Shakespeare. This ruse became tradition. Tradition became ‘truth’, customary truth. This is the standard being used to confusedly attribute the great works of Shakespeare to an illliterate money-lender and knave.

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  14. William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet, recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. Hundreds of editions of his plays have been published, including translations in all major languages. Scholars have written thousands of books and articles about his plots, characters, themes, and language. He is the most widely quoted author in history, and his plays have probably been performed more times than those of any other dramatist.

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  15. My first post was about this very question. People in the 16th century and today question Shakespeare as a writer because of his educational background. He did not go to college like many other literary figures and there was actually a large part of his life where nothing was documented about him. It was almost as if he disappeared. These observations raise a lot of questions, however I personally believe that Shakespeare wrote all of his plays.

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  16. I am sure Shakespeare existed. Where did the Sonnets came from? Plagiarized from a fellow blogger’s website? Or Macbeth or A Midsummer night’s Dream -researched and retyped to escape copyscape? It may have been a pen name but hypothetical? Too skeptical !!

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