Shakespeare Author Controversy Still Rages

Here’s a LINK to a story blog post in the Washington Post defending Shakespeare as the author of the plays we normally ascribe to him. It’s notable for many reasons, especially the heated debate that follows in the comment section.

As a longtime reader of the Post (I did my grad work in Annapolis, not far from DC), I couldn’t help but notice a radically different feel to the article blog – perhaps because I haven’t paid much attention in awhile. (Or because it’s a blog…hello!)  The story cited few facts, but rather conveniently referenced a work available for Kindle devices (the Post is currently owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com).

I will refrain from further fanning the flames of controversy by claiming a conspiracy theory within a conspiracy theory.  But the Shakespeare authorial question itself is too persistent to ignore, least of all on a blog like mine devoting itself  to the man and “his” works.  Over the course of the year I plan to revisit the wider arguments for and against, particularly  as information bubbles up to reach public consciousness in the form of our popular media.

Lately, for what it’s worth, I have been swayed more by the Stratfordians than the Oxfordians (those who believe the Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, is the man behind the Shakespeare front).  But as I have shown with Richard III, I remain open to a persuasive argument either for or against.  I hope to set aside time to look deeper into the Oxfordian side of the story, especially in light of a new angle mentioned in the comments that I had never heard before.

This has to do with what is known as the “Shakespeare Apocrypha,” plays of dubious quality allegedly written by Shakespeare that were credited to him during his lifetime.  I’m new to this concept so don’t hold me to anything until I figure out how this whole thing works.  But the gist of it seems to be that the Stratfordians can’t have it both ways.  Either Shakespeare wrote the genius plays AND the crap OR the authenticity of Shakespearean attributions is all screwed up.

Like I said, there are wheels within wheels here in what amounts to a heated debate both pro and con.  All you need to do is click on the link above and sample some of the discussion, which we shall delve deeper into as the Year of Shakespeare unfolds.

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