Shakespeare Authorship Question

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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"The Authorship Question" The question of whether William Shakespeare of Stratford actually wrote the multitude of plays credited to him is important to many because of the nature of these works. Shakespeare's plays have had an enormous effect on people from the time they were first performed to today. Shakespeare's manipulation of the English language is nothing short of magnificent, projecting universal themes to people with such dramatic fervor and intellectual prowess that his skill as a writer is unsurpassed even today. This is why thousands have devoted their lives to the study of Shakespeare's plays, to those people, the true identity of Shakespeare is an integral part of understanding how the plays were written. Several scholarly groups including Oxfordians believe that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was the man behind the "pen" name of William Shakespeare. The evidence in existence is generally vague and ambiguous on both sides of this debate and an opinion is difficult to formulate on the subject due to the lack of hard proof.

The most widely accepted author is Shakespeare himself, who undeniably, is the man whose name appears on most manuscripts of the plays. Any opposition to this is backed by a belief that the publications were pseudonymous. The mere mention of pseudonyms serves not to accredit a singular author but opens up the possibilities of various authors contributing to "Shakespeare's" body of work. The De Vere Society, a group in support of Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford being the author, states that they accept that there may be evidence that the Stratford man did write the plays but that it is unlikely to be found. This illustrates the inherent problem in endorsing a particular author. Since the authorship in question happens to involve individuals who have...

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