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TOPIC: Conspiracy theory about Shakespeare

Conspiracy theory about Shakespeare 7 years 9 months ago #2450

  • doyle3255
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Hi everyone, I recently read about this theory that Shakespeare actually never existed. It was suggested that a group of writers might have been behind his works, or a bunch of different women. I thought that was completely ridiculous and now I wanted to hear your opinion on the matter. I don't remember exactly where I read it but the article did mention some pieces of evidence, not very solid however. I wanted to know whether any of you had ever read something like that and what you think... :roll:
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Re: Conspiracy theory about Shakespeare 5 years 1 month ago #5516

  • Sally Johnson
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There's a lot of evidence that points to him existing, but not having written the work. A popular candidate as author is the Earl of Oxford, here are some facts about him:


1920 - J. T. Looney, a Gateshead schoolmaster proposes Oxford as the author behind Shakespeare in his book Shakespeare Identified. His followers have modified the theory to put Oxford at the head of a group of brilliant courtiers who produced the plays as a committee.

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Oxford's biography also fitted the bill, according to Looney. As a courtier he had the necessary intimate knowledge of the monarchy and nobility. His extensive travels had caused him to be mocked as an 'Italianate Englishman'. In 1598, Francis Meres named Oxford as 'The best for Comedy among us', which Looney asserted was evidence for Oxford having written plays - none of which exist under his name, perhaps because they were known under Shakespeare's name?
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Re: Conspiracy theory about Shakespeare 5 years 1 month ago #5517

  • Sally Johnson
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However, Marlowe is also a strong contender for being the real author:


Marlowe is the most recent candidate to be linked to the authorship of Shakespeare - Calvin Hoffman suggested him as the author in 1955.
Since he was already a well-known playwright his need for a pseudonym was different to those associated with his noble counterparts.
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Just as numerous parallels were drawn between the works of Bacon and Shakespeare, Hoffman saw similarities between the acknowledged works of Marlowe and those of Shakespeare, which caused him to deduce that Marlowe was Shakespeare.

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Before his ‘death’, Marlowe had been called before the Privy Council and charged with publishing atheist and inflammatory texts – this may refer to the publication of the posting of the ‘Dutch Church Libel’, an anonymous doggerel handbill, which called for the violent expulsion of the ‘strangers’ from England and was signed ‘per Tamberlaine’ in reference to Marlowe’s famously bloodthirsty character. Marlowe’s roommate Thomas Kyd seems to have been brought in and tortured over the Libel. Weeks later, Marlowe had apparently been killed.
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Hoffman argued that Marlowe had a homosexual relationship with his powerful patron Sir Thomas Walsingham. Believing his lover’s life was in danger, Walsingham paid three ‘ruffians’ to go to London and murder a foreign sailor. They were then to allow themselves to be arrested, state that their victim was Marlowe and claim that they had acted in self-defence. Walsingham would bribe the coroner to accept their plea and the fact that the body was Marlowe.

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Marlowe, still alive, was then apparently smuggled out of the country and settled somewhere on the continent – Northern Italy. From there Marlowe continued to write – this is how the plays of Shakespeare gained their Italian influence / knowledge – the manuscripts were sent to Walsingham. The steady, unimaginative Shakespeare was seen, by Walsingham, as a suitable cover to be employed, so that his lover’s plays could find their rightful home on the English stage.
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