"What's in a name?" one of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers asked. When it comes to the identity of the greatest writer in the English language, a great deal. That mantle has long been bestowed on a glover's son from Stratford-Upon-Avon. But since the 19th century, there have been doubts over William Shakespeare's identity as the writer of the works attributed to the playwright. Was the Bard from Stratford a front for another writer? Was he just one participant in a collective group of writers? Or was he a she?
The Stratfordian position
William Shakespear wrote the plays that bear his name. Any claims otherwise are Much Ado About Nothing.
Shakespeare was a common man from Warwickshire
By reading the plays, it is clear the author was clearly not a wealthy individual. He is also clearly from Warwickshire.Explore
It is there in black and white
So far, no authorship theory has presented stronger evidence than the name written on the works in black and white.Explore
The anti-Stratfordian position
William Shakespeare did not write the works that bear his name.
Where is the documentation?
Unlike his contemporaries, there is no historical documentation to suggest Shakespeare made a living from writing plays.Explore
There were rumors during Shakespeare's life
His contemporaries at the time appear to have harboured suspicions.Explore
An education gap
The education Shakespeare received would not have encompassed the themes and references visible in his work.Explore
Shakespeare's will makes no mention of any books.Explore
Not all of Shakespeare's plays were published in his lifetime
Around 16 plays were published following his death. As a career writer that published for money, this is highly irregular.Explore
The two Shakespeares
Shakespeare the playwright and Shakespeare the man are vastly different.Explore
The case for Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon wrote the works associated with the Bard.Explore
The case for Christopher Marlowe
The Elizabethan playwright and poet wrote Shakespeare's works.Explore
The case for Edward de Vere
Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, wrote Shakespeare's collected works.Explore