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Who was Shakespeare Was he a simple illiterate bard Or was he an earl born of sophistication and eloquence It has been an argument that has spanned lifetimes To some people it doesnt matter at all He was just some random guy who wrote a bunch of good plays To others it means everything They are those who consider Shakespeares works to be Western mans highest achievement in literature I am haunted by the conviction that the divine William Shakespeare was the biggest and most successful fraud ever practiced upon a patient world Henry James In Shakespeares time no one disputed that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and sonnets credited to him They were published Mr William Shakespeares Comedies Histories and Tragedies and Shake-speares Sonnets William Shakespeare of Stratford never protested that he didnt write them Not one person claimed instead to be their author All contemporary evidence correlates with William Shakespeare being their author There is not one bit of evidence of anyone else being their author instead Despite this since the 19th Century there are those who have believed that someone else must have written them instead Not that theres any evidence but that of course the man from Stratford couldnt have so therefore someone else must have The candidates for alternative authorship are many and varied and most have been disqualified perhaps indicative of the desire to find someone The most popular candidate as alternative author is Edward de Vere the 17th Earl of Oxford 1550-1604 whose case is best presented If there is someone other than William Shakespeare responsible for these magnificent literary works then it is only right that they are properly credited Equally if William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the works attributed to him then he should have that credit rather than it be transferred to someone not worthy of that accrediation But if you scrutinize the Oxford case objectively you end up with very serious problems
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