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William Shakespeare

(1564-1616)

English Author
The most extraordinary expression of humanism and literary genius in the English Literature

Inevitably, the reader of Shakespeare will try to discover the man behind such an exceptional talent and extended knowledge.


Unfortunately, a certain number of facts are uncertain in the life of Shakespeare, starting from his education to the attribution of some of his works, an example of which being "Sir Thomas Moore". In those days, the playwrights' names were not always mentioned in their works, which is of course a source of discussion a few centuries later. But eventually the names of the playwrights were mentioned in the stationer's register, a sort of copyright office of these times.


Consequently, this literary genius has been claimed and attributed to various persons over the centuries.


But the most significant actors of the cohort of pretenders are the "Oxfordians", partisans of Edward de Veere, 17th Earl of Oxford, a contemporary of Shakespeare, as opposed to the regular troops of "the Stratfordians" - defending the name of Gulielmus Shackspere.

One of the main arguments of the Oxfordians is the similarity between the life of Edward de Veere and the story of Hamlet.


The controversy of the Oxfordians, however, was brought up in 1920, after Shakespeare had been buried since 3 centuries.


Iin 1728, more than one century after Shakespeare's death, Captain Goulding, in his Essay Against Too Much Reading had launched the quarrel.


In 1785, the authorship of the work of Shakespeare was attributed to Sir Francis Bacon.


What we know for shure...

Shakespeare left Stratford-on-Avon in 1587, and settled in London, where he started being a writer and an actor, appearing in Ben Jonson's plays.

His first publication was a tale, Aebes And Adonis. Then followed the Rape of Lucrece, and, in 1594, he performed at the Court of Queen Elizabeth.

In 1598, Francis Meres, a French writer, published Palladis Tamia, translated as A Wit's Treasury, and listing William Shakespeare as a playwright, together with twelve of his plays.

Born from an illiterate father and mother - and so were his wife and daughters -Shakespeare's vocabulary , with more than 17,000 words, is considered as one of the richest, and he brought a good number of new words into the English language.

This is of course a source for the Oxfordians to argue that without any literary apprenticeship, it is hard to conceive that a man could produce writings of the quality of Shakespeare's. Indeed, although Stratford had one of the most famous grammar schools of the Kingdom, there is no evidence that the young William attended that school.

None the less, we know many famous autodidactic writers:

The young Charles Dickens was put to hard work at Warren's Blacking factory to refund his father's debts and is far from having a brilliant curriculum as a pupil or a student.

Jack London was stealing oysters in the bay of San Francisco while his contemporary schoolmates were attending their lessons.

At the age of seventeen, Joseph Conrad went to Marseilles, where he served in French merchant vessels, before he became a famous novelist.

William Faulkner left the school at the age when London came back to it , and ended up as a laureate of the Nobel Prize in 1949.

Similarly, Shakespeare wrote 10 plays taking place in Italy, such as Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice. With an incredible accuracy, he described the manners, customs and habits of the Italian ruling families of his time. Unlike Chaucer, who spoke Italian fluently too, Shakespeare never went to Italy and didn't understand a word of Italian, at times where translations were not existing, and this is, of course, an argument raised up by the Oxfordians.

On the other hand, if the literature's canon was only consisting of autobiographies of authors, we wouldn't have much to read.

Though public records, specific theatre documents, and related texts of his contemporaries, it has been possible to reconstruct a reliable framework of the life of Shakespeare, and it is very natural that controversy arises when genius reaches the very uncommon level of Shakespeare's.

portrait of Shakespeare  
If you wish further information about this author, please enter

English Authors:  Anonymous Austen Bronte Chaucer Christie
 Claxton Collins Conrad Darwin Defoe
 Dickens Doyle Bronte Eliot Forster
 Gaskell Hardy James Jerome Kipling
 Lawrence Malory Meredith Milton Scott
 Shakespeare Shelley Smith Somerset Maugham Thackeray
 Walpole Wells Wilde

Other Authors of Theatre genre:
Chekhov Shaw Wilde

But who was really "Shackspere" ?
The play and sonnets that form the Shakespearean work are the most extraordinary expression of humanism and literary genius in the English Literature.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare