AureliaeLacrimae

Shakespeare Controversy?

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Did he or did he not exist, that is the question.

Well, considering that it was the 400th anniversary this April, I'd done some reading about Shakespeare and some of the articles really intrigued me. I'd read an interesting one at The Guardian where it was mentioned that people usually didn't describe him. One of the few descriptions is from Ben Jonson. Then there are those missing years... Can it be that one man had written so much but had completely disappeared from the scene for a time? Anything is possible.

What I really found interesting is that a lot of his plays have that "Place of Nowhere" which can't be traced but important action takes place there. Hamlet is on the sea somewhere when he changes drastically. Then there's the Arden forest in As You Like It, which may be a real place, but it may also not be, considering that there is a reference to a cave where lions live... Then in The Tempest, there's the enchanted island which is... well, somewhere in the Mediterranean, considering that the ship was bound from Italy to Tunisia, if I remember correctly, but where exactly? No one knows. So, what really is the significance of this mysterious place which changes people but can't be located? 

 

Anyway, let's brainstorm about Shakespeare a little. Who knows, maybe it gets quite interesting.

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There are many controversies regarding Shakespeare.

Did he actually exist?

Did he actually write those works?

Is Shakespeare person and dramaturge Shakespeare the same person?

If we doubt something, the discussion will never end. Thus, I believe Shakespeare was real, he wrote those dramas.

 

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There actually was a Shakespeare. His biography is known in the roughest sketch. He married Anne Hathaway when she was pregnant. He had three children including a son named Hamnet who died young. He moved to London and made a name for himself in the theater and at the age of 50 returned to Stratford where he died two years later. 

The major controversy surrounding Shakespeare is whether he wrote those plays in the first place. There is a conspiracy theory that claims that Shakespeare was merely a front for a noble who didn't want to be associated with the works and the theater. The theory probably got a lot more traction after the 1950s blacklisting where several Hollywood screenwriters (most notably Dalton Trumbo) kept working and used other people to pose for them. In other words, if Dalton Trumbo could write Roman Holiday and other screenplays and watch other screenwriters accept his awards, then some noble (Bacon, the earl of Oxford, etc.) could do the same thing in the 16th century and use Shakespeare as his front.

However, there's an underlying class snobbery in this theory. Shakespeare is respected now but in his time he was a playwright who was trying to work and make plays that he could act in. He gained popularity but most people thought that the theater was low class which is exactly what a community college Catholic from a small town could succeed in at the time. 

Later on, both Shakespeare and theater became high class so the class snobs want to claim him. 

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I've also read that theory about the plays being written by nobleman who wanted to keep his identity secret because the political reform he sought could probably land him in hot soup. Since we may never know whether the Shakespeare the actor actually was the Playwright we could just make the assumption that he was.

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Hi,

Thank you for discussion such interesting topic.

I' ve also read a lot about Shakespeare life, biography, whether he really lived or he was another person just using such name not to be unknown. But I think the existence of Shakespeare genealogy proved his life and truth of his biography. 

Anyway, I consider him as one of the most outstanding man for the time of all human history. I'm fond of his ideas on life expressed in his quotes and works.

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