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Shakespeare's Private Life
Shakespeare- Real or Fake?
Edited by: MyungGi Cho
The Flower Portrait
Proof 1 that Shakespeare did not Write Shakespeare
On one point everybody agrees: The works of William Shakespeare are the greatest works ever written in the history of the English language. They are so great, in fact, that they shaped the language itself. Before Shakespeare, English was spoken in hundreds of dialects often not mutually intelligible. Because of Shakespeare, the writing system became uniform.
However, a controversy which has existed and apparently even existed in his lifetime was: Who wrote Shakespeare?
Some, mainly Americans, believe that there was no such person. A woman from New England named Delia Bacon who taught Shakespeare in school went to England in 1853 to try to dig him up to prove that there was no body in his grave, just a bag of rocks.
She went to his grave at night with shovel in hand, but the British authorities, in furtherance of the scheme or conspiracy to hide the fact that there was no Shakespeare, stopped her from digging him up.
One reason why she felt so strongly that there were no bones in the grave was that, by all accounts, Shakespeare only went to a few years of grammar school. As a school teacher herself, she felt that school was important and that it was impossible that the greatest writer in the history of the English language almost never went to school.
An additional factor was that the tombstone of Shakespeare specifically states that under no circumstances should this grave be dug up. His tombstone reads: "Good frend for Jesus sake forebeare, To digg the dust enclosed heare. Blese be ye man that spares the stones, And curst be he that moves my bones."
Why would a gravestone possibly contain such an injunction? The answer must be that, in reality, there are no bones in that grave.
Further evidence that Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare: The exact date of his birth is unknown. Few documents or verifiable sources of Shakespeare's life exist, much fewer than would be expected of such a prominent figure. Originals of none of his manuscripts have survived. Not one document exists giving evidence of anyone ever seeing him. Not even his own family ever referred to him as a famous playwright.
Finally, there was a good reason for the real author of the works of Shakespeare to keep his identity a secret. The plays of Shakespeare are highly political. Many of them are veiled attacks on the monarchy and the king. Had King James known who the author was, he would have lost his head.
Indeed, one person who is thought of as having possibly been the author of Shakespeare�s works is Sir Walter Raleigh, who died that way.
Scholars in England do not claim that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. Rather, what they say is: What difference does it make? The works exist. Somebody must have written them. The important thing is that we have them today and can read and enjoy them. Still, there is the question: If Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare, who did? I have a thought on this. Although this question has been hotly debated for more than 200 years, all of the proposed authors of Shakespeare have been men. About 80 candidates, all men, have been suggested, and one by one they have each been eliminated.
I believe that the true author of Shakespeare was a woman. In general, women make better writers than men. This is a proven generic fact. It arises because communication is much more important for the survival of a woman than it is for a man. There are many known historical cases of famous authors whose works were actually written by their wives or daughters.
One reason why most male candidates for being the author of Shakespeare can be eliminated is that they either died too soon or died too late. However, if we consider women, there are an almost unlimited number of possible candidates, because in those times so little was known about them, and so many lived a life span which would have given them time to write all of Shakespeare.
A good place to start would be Elizabeth Vere. It so happens that she was the daughter of Edward de Vere (17th Earl of Oxford), who is considered to be a possible author of Shakespeare, and she was also the wife of William Stanley (Sixth Earl of Derby), who is another leading candidate for being the author of Shakespeare. Why has not Elizabeth Vere herself been considered as the possible author of all of Shakespeare?
Proof 2 that Shakespeare is not Shakespeare
Marlowe was definitely a writer and a spy. His fans believe he also faked his death and wrote many of the plays now credited to the Bard of Avon.
This looks like being Christopher Marlowe's year. Films are being made about his life; books are being written; Joseph Fiennes is about to open in his play Edward II; and Jude Law wants to star as Dr Faustus. Meanwhile, conspiracy theories proliferate about the writer and spy.
Little is known for sure about Marlowe, and the more people think they know, the more they disagree. What is generally accepted is that he was born in 1564 - the same year as Shakespeare - and educated at Cambridge. He was only granted his degree after the government intervened (a sure sign that he was involved in official work) and wrote his plays, including The Tragical History of Dr Faustus, Tamburlaine the Great, and The Jew of Malta, in just six years.
And at the age of 29, before Shakespeare had produced any of his greatest works, such as Hamlet, King Lear or Macbeth, Marlowe was stabbed to death in a tavern brawl. Unless, that is, you believe that he faked his death and resurfaced as the Bard of Avon.
Marlowe was sceptical about religion ("I count religion but a childish toy") and unafraid to deal with homosexuality - either his own or others'. No wonder he's so appealing to the 21st-century mind. "He's a fascinating, complex character who led such a colourful life," says Robert Jones, who is working on a film based on Anthony Burgess's Dead Man in Deptford. "He's very attractive and really rather modern."
That view seems to have inspired Rupert Everett's performance in the film Shakespeare in Love. His Marlowe was not only handsome and suave, but far more exciting than Joseph Fiennes's Shakespeare.
"He had a very sharp mind," says Lisa Hopkins, author of Christopher Marlowe: A Literary Life. "He wasn't sentimental, like Shakespeare, or pious, and he kept you on your toes."
"He also has very much a young man's viewpoint," says David Grimm, an American writer whose play Kit Marlowe was performed at New York's recent Shakespeare festival. "Marlowe's attitude was, 'I can do whatever I want and never pay for it.' "
But while all these Marlowe projects may bring in younger fans, he has his share of older devotees. Many would rather concentrate on his talents than on his private life - such as the members of the Marlowe Society, dedicated to presenting the writer "in his true light as a great poet and dramatist". Burgess's book is described by one member as "vile" (too much sodomy), while another is un happy at Marlowe being described as a spy. "He was a patriot," says Peter Barker, the society's treasurer. "When people say 'spy', they tend to think of Burgess and Philby. Marlowe was an intelligence agent."
The society's 10 executive members are hoping to get Marlowe his due, with a campaign to commemorate him in Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner. Colin Niven, headmaster of Alleyn's School (named after Marlowe's leading man and original Dr Faustus, Edward Alleyn) is leading the crusade. "It is absurd that there is no Christopher Marlowe in what is a shrine to the great poets of Britain," says Niven. Why does he think that is? "His private life," he says with certainty. "But that's an irrelevance. Poet's Corner is stuffed full of homosexuals."
The problem with any cam paign to raise Marlowe's profile is the so-called Marlovians. Not only do they believe the playwright was as great as Shakespeare; they insist he was Shakespeare, writing under a pseudonym after faking his death in 1593.
The Marlowe Society as a group no longer makes this claim for lack of historical evidence. But many of its members still hold fast to their beliefs, much to Niven's discomfort as he attempt to persuade "world-class intellects" to back his Poet's Corner campaign.
"With this campaign, we cannot make any claims for Marlowe being anyone other than Marlowe," he says. "We've got great intellects supporting this campaign, and they don't want to be associated with that. Whether or not he went on to write the works of Shakespeare, the known works of Marlowe are so great that it is absolutely extraordinary he isn't in Poet's Corner."
That's not to say the Marlovians' unspeakable idea is being ignored. The other film now in production is rumoured to suggest that Shakespeare stole Marlowe's works and passed them off as his own. Johnny Depp is reported to be playing Marlowe to Jude Law's Shakespeare, but Natural Nylon, the film company run by Law and Ewan McGregor, among others, is reluctant to give anything away.
The Marlowe Society is especially excited by a documentary from Emmy-winning Australian film-maker Mike Rubbo. He has just finishing making Much Ado About Something, which looks at the Marlowe-Shakespeare link. "It's a literary road movie," says Rubbo, "and Marlowe proves satisfying and adequate for the role of hidden genius." But the director had problems getting the film financed and found there was "general nervousness" about the project.
That nervousness leads Marlowe Society member Frieda Barker to imagine all kinds of plots to stop the truth coming out. "No academic would allow you to say that Marlowe was the true Shakespeare," she declares. "But the evidence is there. There are hundreds of parallels between Shakespeare's and Marlowe's plays, and nothing was ever published by Shakespeare until after Marlowe is said to have been killed. I believe they're the same person and I want to prove it."
Crime writer MJ Trow, author of the Inspector Lestrade novels, is the latest writer to be attracted by the circumstances of Marlowe's death. His new book, to be published in June, is Who Killed Kit Marlowe? A Contract To Murder in Elizabethan England. In it Trow writes of contract killers and cover-ups stretching right to the top of the Tudor hierarchy. It's certainly true that the man reported to have killed Marlowe was pardoned by the queen 28 days later.
But some feel that this obsession with conspiracies has detracted from Marlowe's talents. "He's a magnificent playwright," says Lisa Hopkins. "It's clear that Shakespeare read Marlowe and was influenced by him, for example with the Merchant of Venice. But even without that Marlowe's work stands on its own. It's just that he also had this wonderful, exciting life."
Proof 3(linked) that Shakespeare did not Write Shakespeare
Article of Newyork Times
Proof 3(Video) that Shakespeare did not Write Shakespeare
Proof 4(linked) that Shakespeare did not Write Shakespeare
<DISCUSSION: So... is he surreal?>
That sort of copying was very common back then, since playwrights often went with the idea that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So if someone wrote a good play, then other playwrights would take bits of that play and adapt the story and change a few characters and twiddle around with a few of the themes and voila, a new play. Quite a few of Shakespeare's plays owe their inception to other sources:
King Lear is based on another play by almost the same name, King Leir.
Macbeth comes from a popular history of the time, Holinshed's Chronicles. The story contains most of the same characters in most of the same roles as the Shakespeare play, with pretty much the same plot.
Romeo and Juliet comes from a tragic poem, the History of Romeus and Juliet, which itself can be traced back through many other stories to the 4th Century.
<2>we've been discussing the fact,
and It's quite sure he existed, but there are disagreements to wether it was wiliam himself who wrote
a valid argument that W. shakespeare indeed wrote them, is the fact there are errors in his plays
like "they could hear the bells in rome" --> there no bells yet in rome in the roman time
mistakes about venice etc..
so it proves that the writer did not have all too great knowledge of those things.
believe me or don't, I think he indeed existed and that it was himself who wrote them
but ofcourse, we'll never be sure
How many times have I told my fellow peoples that there was NO such thing as William Shakespeare?? Ever heard of
?? NOOOOOO?? Well read on my friends…humor me! He basically wrote the bible many people have in their homes. And apparently him and his buddies wrote many many books, that we were all taught were written by this man named William Shakespeare.
THE FOLLOWING IS FROM ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT MINDS ON EARTH,
Even his portrait is surreal??
"We now think the portrait dates back to around 1818 to 1840, exactly the time when there was a resurgence of interest in Shakespeare's plays," she added.
The image bears a strong resemblance to the Droeshout Engraving, which accompanied the first folio of Shakespeare's works.
RSC curator David Howells said the portrait gave "great insight" into the rebirth of interest in Shakespeare in the 19th century.
"Now we know the truth we can put the image in its proper context in the history of Shakespearean portraiture, alongside the other fascinating pieces in our collection in Stratford," he said.
The portrait was lent to the RSC after it came to public notice in 1892.
When the man who was lending out the portrait died, the local Flower family purchased it and donated it to the RSC.
Searching for Shakespeare will commemorate the National Portrait Gallery's 150th anniversary.
Evidence from youtube:
The mystery surrounding a famous portrait of William Shakespeare has been solved, say experts.
Historians have disagreed about the origins of The Flower Portrait, which bears the inscription 1609.
Not everyone has been convinced that the portrait, owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), was painted during the playwright's lifetime.
Now National Portrait Gallery experts in London confirm it is a fake which dates back to the early 19th century.
BBC Two's The Culture Show was given unique access to an investigation by the National Portait Gallery and revealed their findings on Thursday.
Scientific analysis shows that pigment embedded deep into the painting comes from that period.
The image, which is painted on top of a 16th century portrait of Madonna and child, was named after owner Sir Desmond Flower, who donated it to the RSC.
Some said it was painted in a later style while others strongly believed it was a lifetime portrait
Dr Tarnya Cooper
It is one of three paintings being examined ahead of next year's Searching for Shakespeare exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
The Chandos Portrait and the Grafton Portrait, the other two most well-known images of Shakespeare, are also being studied.
The Flower Portrait was analysed for four months using a combination of x-rays, ultraviolet examination, paint sampling and microphotography.
The gallery's 16th century curator Dr Tarnya Cooper said the image could be found on the cover of a number of Shakespeare editions found in book shops.
She said: "It achieved notoriety over the years.
"Some said it was painted in a later style while others strongly believed it was a lifetime portrait."
Chrome yellow paint, dating from around 1814, had been found embedded in the portrait.
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