The Shakespeare Controversy

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The True Identity of William Shakespeare

For over 400 years, scholars have been arguing that someone other than William Shakespeare wrote the plays and poems published under his name. Through analytical research, data proves that Stratford Shakespeare is not the same person as the Author Shakespeare. The true author of the Shakespearean works is Sir Francis Bacon, who wrote in secret to avoid being an enemy of the Government. When comparing Stratford Shakespeare and Bacon, Bacon seems to fit more the character of the Author Shakespeare than that of the Stratford Shakespeare, a man which we know little about. For example, Bacon received an extensive education, visited many of the places mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays, and already publishing works at an early age. Shakespeare, on the other hand, appeared to have little education and left no trace of literary evidence. Bacon fits as the Author than the Stratford Shakespeare.

Little is known about Shakespeare. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 23, 1564 and died in Stratford-upon-Avon and died April 23, 1616 (History 1). His birth and his death are on the same day is only a coincidence. Records for the school at Stratford are lost, meaning experts are not sure he had any education and only suspect he went to the free grammar school in Stratford (History 1). He married Anne Hathaway, who was 26, when he was 18, in 1582 (History 1). They had three children: Susannah, born in 1583, and Hamnet and Judith, twins, born in 1585. This is all the confirmed evidence of Shakespeare (History 1). Shakespeare is a mystery to scholars because he left so little was left behind. Any author with fame and dignity could not have died off unnoticed to the public.

Shakespeare’s education was very limited. The writer of Shakespeare’s works needed to have some sort of wide-ranging education (Doyle B2). Shakespeare most likely attended the free grammar school in Stratford which only went up to sixth grade (Kathman 6). A grammar school education is not enough to give Shakespeare the aptitude to become a writer. His parents were illiterate and couldn’t have taught their son themselves. “Since William Shakespeare did not have much formal education, he must have been a voracious reader on many subjects. Where could Shakespeare have gotten the books he would have had to read?” (Kathman 6). Shakespeare was in no well position where literature was abundant and plentiful. There are no other records that show Shakespeare any other kind education. Shakespeare did not have the potential required to become an author.

Bacon’s education outmatched Shakespeare’s education. Bacon studied a great deal during his time in school. Bacon attended and graduated form Cambridge and studied law as a profession, although he worked in different fields such as psychology, politics, and literature (Palmgren 7). All these fields can contribute greatly to the works of Shakespeare. At age 22, Bacon was already writing books. “Bacon is not to be regarded solely as a man but rather as the focal point between an invisible institution and a world which was never able to distinguish between the messenger and the message which he promulgated.” (Palmgren 7). The reason he stopped writing with his own name was because of the restrictions on literature, outlawed by Queen Elizabeth. Bacon wrote in secrecy to conceal his identity to the world giving only clues left behind in his works.

Francis Bacon and the Author Shakespeare shared the same degree of skill and vocabulary. The average of words they share is ninety-seven percent without repetition, and ninety-eight and a half percent with repetition (Sinclair 2). This similarity is more striking when comparing Bacon’s average word with other poets and play-writers. “The plays introduce over five hundred new words, most derived from Latin. Bacon wrote in Latin, and shares 98.5% of Shakespeare’s vocabulary – too much to be coincidence, and the two writers did not know each other.” (Sinclair 2). There are also 100 common expression and phrases found in both their writings. “A great number of these entries are reproduced in the ‘Shakespeare’ plays.” (Sinclair 2) In Promus, Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3, Sc. 4, 1 Henry IV Act 2, Sc. 2, The Taming of the Shrew Act 1, Sc. 1,  and The Winter’s Tale Act 1, Sc. 2 all use the phrase “Happy man be his dole.”. These statistics give evidence that the two are closely related when comparing writing.

The author Shakespeare knew plenty about Italy, Egypt, and Greece (Kathman 6). The grammar school that the Stratford Shakespeare attended most likely did not teach the of the outside world, rather than the basic of life. There is no evidence of record that shows that the Stratford Shakespeare has ever been outside of England. This evidence proves the Stratford Shakespeare knew nothing of other places beyond England and that his knowledge of the outside world couldn’t have been guessed by the little knowledge he possessed.  Record shows that bacon has been outside of England and may have been to many of the places mentioned in the Shakespearean plays.

Bacon graduated from Cambridge as a lawyer. He possessed an intimate knowledge of parliamentary law. With the combined knowledge of foreign culture and law, he could use that knowledge in his plays (Palmgren 7). He knew of human laws and the balance of nature. In <u>Romeo and Juliet</u> the Prince forbids the houses of anymore fighting or they will be executed. He balances out the natural law of human by using consequence, a psychological theory in law.

Elizabethan England was anything but a free society. Authorities encouraged spies to root out any heretic, political radical, or illegal writing (Sinclair 2). Since Bacon was part of the inner circle of Queen Elizabeth’s most trusted officials, his writing would be outlawed and he would have been executed. To avoid execution, he wrote in private. Many writers during that age used a hyphen to alert their readers that the author’s name was only a pen name. In one of Shakespeare’s plays, his signature reads “Shake-speare” which shows that Shakespeare was a pen name and that “Bacon is behind curtain pulling the strings of his puppet” (Smith 3).

The Author Shakespeare writings were influenced by the Renaissance movements (Smith 3). Ideas central to Renaissance humanism are seen through his play <u>Much Ado About Nothing</u>. This play showed an increase emphasis on human potential and beauty, not seen in many plays written at that time (Smith 4). “Only a person with the knowledge of the Renaissance and apart of the movement could have used the ideas to write the plays of Shakespeare.” (Smith 4). Since Bacon traveled to many of the places mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays, it was about the same time the Renaissance was spreading across Europe. In his travels, Bacon could gather the diverse ideas of the Renaissance and therefore used it in his works. He was the prime mover of the Renaissance in England (Yost 6). He had help from a secret group, many of whom he met in law school. They would meet each other in Gray’s Inn. With knowledge of the Renaissance, Bacon could give the Shakespearean works a new kind of style and perspective of writing, curious to the mass readers craving new content.

There is no evidence that shows the Stratford Shakespeare ever owned a library. At that time, writer needed to keep a reference of all their works, ideas, and notes to keep a record and to go back to it if they ever needed something out of it (Palmgren 8). The Stratford Shakespeare could even own a small library if that. A writer who created over 1500 new words and had the amount of knowledge the Author Shakespeare had, he needed somewhere to keep all his ideas and works. Otherwise, he would forget all about them and would have to nothing look back on. Bacon, on the other hand, had a very large library which belonged to Queen Elizabeth. He most likely used those books to study and had a secret place where he kept his own work in secrecy. Bacon left enough literary evidence in his life where as the Stratford Shakespeare left behind nothing (Pott 9).

The Stratford Shakespeare’s will show no mention of any of his works left behind to his family (Palmgren 7). Instead of leaving literature and fortune to his family, he left his second best bed to his wife, and also barred her dower (Fields B1). “Item I give unto my wife my second-best bed with the furniture” exclaimed in his will. Also he exclaims “Item I gyve and bequeath unto my saied Daughter Judyth One Hundred and ffyftie Poundes more if shee or Anie issue of her bodie Lyvinge att thend of three yeares next ensueing the daie of the date of this my will during which tyme my executors to paie her consideracion from my deceas according to the Rate afore saied.”. Shakespeare left money for his Daughter. The little that he had to offer, his big success in the literary world was never passed on to his Family.

Shakespeare’s death was intriguing because he was not noticed by anyone that the great Bard has died. Shakespeare died on April23, 1616 (Alchin 4). Shakespeare had slipped away from the world unnoticed. The society must have not known about any death because the Stratford Shakespeare was not known to the public, only the Author Shakespeare. Shakespeare from Stratford was not the real author because he was not recognized when he died.

The great mystery of Shakespeare is a puzzling obscurity. Only a person with a mind engulfed with knowledge could write the plays. That anonymous person is Francis Bacon. Francis Bacon was an educated man who studied in various fields and became a great writer. Shakespeare, on the other hand, has no evidence of education, works, and notes that he ever left behind to his family. Shakespeare’s works are truly the greatest works ever known to the literary world. With evidence withholding Bacon, it is clear that Bacon solves the Shakespeare Authorship.

Sources

“Birth and death of William Shakespeare celebrated.” 2009. <u>The History Channel website</u>. 14 Jun 2009, 09:07

Sinclair, William “Bucke Proves That Bacon Was Shakespeare.” <u>Ezine Articles.</u> 20 Mar. 2009. EzineArticles.com. 14 Jun 2009

Smith, Nicole. “The Influence of Renaissance on “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare”. <u>Article Myriad</u>. Article Myriad. 2009. 15 May 2009

Alchin, L.K. “The Last Will & Testament of William Shakespeare”. <u>William Shakespeare</u>. William Shakespeare Info. 2008.

Kathman, David and Ross Terry. “The Shakespeare Authorship Page: Dedicated to the Proposition that Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare” <u>The Shakespeare Authorship Page</u>. 2008. 30 May 2009

Yost, Dave. “Sir Francis Bacon”. <u>Yost.com</u>. Dave Yost. 2005. 15 May 2009

Palmgren, Henrik. “Sir Francis Bacon AKA William Shakespeare”. <u>Red Ice Creations</u>. Red Ice Creations. 2005. 1 May 2009

Yost, Dave. “Sir Francis Bacon”. <u>Yost.com</u>. Dave Yost. 2005. 15 May 2009

Pott, Constance. “Some Reasons for the Baconian Theory of the Authorship Of Shakespeare” <u>Did Francis Bacon Write Shakespeare?.</u> Juan Schoch, 2002. 15 May 2009

Fields, Bertram. <u>Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare</u>. New York City, USA: Harper Collins Publisher Inc., 2005. 2-11

Dole, John and Lischner, Ray. <u>Shakespeare for Dummies</u>. IDG Books Worldwide Inc.. Foster City, California. 1999. 10-11

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