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19 April, 2004

Shakespeare did not write his plays?

Tonight's ABC programme showed Much Ado About Something, it was really interesting. I wish I can report or add more of my opinions. But I know nothing about Shakespeare and Marlowe.

I have to know something before I can post here. Talking something I don't know what I was talking about? Not me.

ABC (Australia)'s program summary on Much Ado About Something:

Alas poor William, we knew him well... or did we? Was the work of William Shakespeare the biggest and most successful fraud ever practised? So asks Much Ado About Something, screening 8.30pm, Sunday April 18 on ABC TV.

Could a man who had trouble signing his own name, who left no books, and whose daughters were illiterate, be the greatest writer of all time? For over 150 years, a growing number of voices have been asking uncomfortable questions. Given the above, did Shakespeare really write Shakespeare, or is it just too silly, too irrelevant, or even too upsetting to ask?

Australian documentary-maker Mike Rubbo not only questions whether Shakespeare is credible, he brings in another writer as a possible hidden hand, someone working from beyond the grave.

Rubbo's initial catalyst for the documentary was a rare, out of print book 'The Murder of the Man who was Shakespeare' by an American, Calvin Hoffman. Did it expose the biggest cover up in literary history?

The doubts about Shakespeare's authorship stem primarily from his lack of formal education. Although his poems and plays are packed with book learning, there are no clues as to where he got the level of education the works reveal. But then, if not William, who?

In his book, Calvin Hoffman puts forth the theory that Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare's great rival, was not in fact murdered in 1593, but instead fled to Italy to live in hiding. There, says Hoffman, he continued to write plays that were released in England under William Shakespeare's name.

Armed with plenty of research and a mini DV camera, Rubbo travelled to England to see what the Shakespearean establishment thought of this theory. Rubbo interviews those on both sides of the literary fence - the Stratfordians and Marlovians and discovers almost everyone has a passionate view about literature's most famous playwright. But who has truth on their side?

Updated 7th October 2005:
follow up: Sir Henry Neville, the author Shakespeare's Plays?

Posted by Antony on 19 April 2004 12:17 PM | newstalk

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comments
koo
Posted by steven on 20 October 2004 5:46 AM.
This blog post seems like it is made up of many theories with no real facts to back it up. These are all serious accusations against a great playwrite with no evidence, with no real reason to even rise suspition. Formal education doesn't make a great man, or even a intelligent man. Albert Einstein was a secretary, Steve Jobs started Apple before completing his education, and even though these men had no proper education they were both great men in the eyes of society and we have not questioned whether or not their works were done by another. Why should we treat shakespeare any other way? This posting simply discredits a man who has no way to defend himself against these accusations and no proof to support what it claims.
Posted by Patrick on 17 January 2005 10:51 AM.
That's right, just because Shakespeare didn't have a proper education like Marlow doesn't mean he didn't write his works. It's a great theory, but also no proof that Marlow did what he did. Either of them could have written it or none of the two and we wouldn't know it. I think that just because there's not proper education doesn't mean any ability to write such plays. And if Marlow did write the plays in the first place, how would Shakespeare get his hands on them, and why didnít Marlow say anything to the public? The real writer would have had it-patented right? If Shakespeare didnít write it and he was an ďuneducatedĒ lower class man, I think he would of known better then to steal anotherís works to call his own. He could of lost everything he had. Letís just say we donít know, and the only one who does, well, itís too late for them to speak now anywaysÖ thatís if Shakespeare didnít write it. why didnít they speak in the first place?..
Posted by Mina on 17 February 2005 3:27 AM.
that was the shitniz
Posted by darcy on 18 March 2005 3:34 AM.
I am alive......and i confess, i didn't write my plaaaays. I am going to haunt you... watch out!
Posted by William Shakespeare on 2 June 2005 12:39 AM.
I shake it like jello make the boys say hello cause i know i am rocking the beat!Say what??? holla
Posted by Marissa on 2 June 2005 12:41 AM.
I believe that William shakespear did not write his plays. He is a lier. There are a lot of facts that he didn't write them! So lya...lya...lya!!!!!!!
Posted by Alexa Clark on 2 June 2005 12:44 AM.
William Shakespeare needs a hair transplant.
Posted by ananymous on 2 June 2005 12:54 AM.
I am in love with Shakespeare!! He is soooo hott and sexy i mean totally! MARRY ME!!!!
UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Monica Tola on 2 June 2005 6:54 AM.
thats right just because he is white doesn't mean he is asain
Posted by Twizza on 2 June 2005 1:48 PM.
i think shakespeare wrote his own stuff!!!! LHS roxs!class of 09
Posted by jessika on 20 October 2005 5:03 AM.
we think Jimmy Pop and Evil Jared wrote all shakespeares stuff to Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo
Posted by jessika shelby and haley on 20 October 2005 5:05 AM.
fuCKYou
Posted by jessika shelby on 20 October 2005 5:06 AM.
we just kiddin'....oh i think they like me...yeah
Posted by jessika and shelby on 20 October 2005 5:08 AM.
Happy birthday Haley!!!~We hope Shakespeare comes to
Posted by jessika and shelby on 20 October 2005 5:10 AM.
i am doing an english oral on this shit and i hate it rock on shakespeare
Posted by pooie on 27 October 2005 9:39 PM.
i am doing an english oral on this shit and i hate it rock on shakespeare
Posted by pooie on 27 October 2005 9:39 PM.
yo im doin sum fucked HW on this shit too... bummer!
Posted by raleigh on 3 November 2005 10:54 AM.
i know have this fat bitch teacher and i have to decide if that old fucking shakespeare wrote his own shit. i dont care who wrote it. IT ALL SUCKS!!!!!!!!
Posted by derek on 11 November 2005 6:15 AM.
If you want any more information on why he did'nt write his plays go on :www.shakespeare-oxford.com/shakdead.htm or look on the box below I'll copy and past.
Posted by Pete on 27 November 2005 1:11 AM.

"Is Shakespeare Dead?"
By Mark Twain "For the instruction of the ignorant I will make a list, now, of those details of Shakespeare's history which are FACTS - verified facts, established facts, undisputed facts .... He was born on the 23d of April, 1564. Of good farmer-class parents who could not read, could not write, could not sign their names. At Stratford, a small back settlement which in that day was shabby and unclean, and densely illiterate. Of the nineteen important men charged with the government of the town, thirteen had to "make their mark" in attesting important documents, because they could not write their names. Of the first eighteen years of his life NOTHING is known. They are a blank. On the 27th of November (1582) William Shakespeare took out a license to marry Anne Whateley. Next day William Shakespeare took out a license to marry Anne Hathaway. She was eight years his senior. William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. In a hurry. By grace of a reluctantly granted dispensation there was but one publication of the banns. Within six months the first child was born. About two (blank) years followed, during which period NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENED TO SHAKESPEARE, so far as anybody knows. Then came twins - 1585. February. Two blank years follow. Then - 1587 - he makes a ten-year visit to London, leaving the family behind. Five blank years follow. During this period NOTHING HAPPENED TO HIM, as far as anybody actually knows. Then - 1592 - there is mention of him as an actor. Next year - 1593 - his name appears in the official list of players. Next year - 1594 - he played before the queen. A detail of no consequence: other obscurities did it every year of the forty-five of her reign. And remained obscure. Three pretty full years follow. Full of play-acting. Then in 1597 he bought New Place, Stratford. Thirteen or fourteen busy years follow; years in which he accumulated money, and also reputation as actor and manager. Meantime his name, liberally and variously spelt, had become associated with a number of great plays and poems, as (ostensibly) author of the same. Some of these, in these years and later, were pirated, but he made no protest. Then - 1610-11 - he returned to Stratford and settled down for good and all, and busied himself in lending money, trading in tithes, trading in land and houses; shirking a debt for forty-one shillings, borrowed by his wife during his long desertion of his family; suing debtors for shillings and coppers; being sued himself for shillings and coppers; and acting as confederate to a neighbor who tried to rob the town of its rights in a certain common, and did not succeed. He lived five or six years - till 1616 - in the joy of these elevated pursuits. Then he made a will, and signed each of its three pages with his name. A thoroughgoing business man's will. It named in minute detail every item of property he owned in the world - houses, lands, sword, silver-gilt bowl, and so on - all the way down to his "second-best bed" and its furniture. It carefully and calculatingly distributed his riches among the members of his family, overlooking no individual of it. Not even his wife: the wife he had been enabled to marry in a hurry by urgent grace of a special dispensation before he was nineteen; the wife whom he left husbandless so many years; the wife who had had to borrow forty-one shillings in her need, and which the lender was never able to collect of the prosperous husband, but died at last with the money still lacking. No, even this wife was remembered in Shakespeare's will. He left her that "second-best bed." And NOT ANOTHER THING; not even a penny to bless her lucky widowhood with. It was eminently and conspicuously a business man's will, not a poet's. It mentioned NOT A SINGLE BOOK. Books were much more precious than swords and silver-gilt bowls and second-best beds in those days, and when a departing person owned one he gave it a high place in his will. The will mentioned NOT A PLAY, NOT A POEM, NOT AN UNFINISHED LITERARY WORK, NOT A SCRAP OF MANUSCRIPT OF ANY KIND. Many poets die poor, but this is the only one in history that has died THIS poor; the others all left literary remains behind. Also a book. Maybe two. If Shakespeare had owned a dog - but we need not go into that: we know he would have mentioned it in his will. If a good dog, Susanna would have got it; if an inferior one his wife would have got a dower interest in it. I wish he had had a dog, just so we could see how painstakingly he would have divided that dog among the family, in his careful business way. He signed the will in three places. In earlier years he signed two other official documents. These five signatures still exist. There are NO OTHER SPECIMENS OF HIS PENMANSHIP IN EXISTENCE. Was he prejudiced against the art? His granddaughter, whom he loved, was eight years old when he died, yet she had had no teaching, he left no provision for her education, although he was rich, and in her mature womanhood she couldn't write and couldn't tell her husband's manuscript from anyone else's - she thought it was Shakespeare's. When Shakespeare died in Stratford it was not an event. It made no more stir in England than the death of any other forgotten theater-actor would have made. Nobody came down from London; there were no lamenting poems, no eulogies, no national tears - there was merely silence, and nothing more. A striking contrast with what happened when Ben Jonson, and Francis Bacon, and Spenser, and Raleigh, and the other literary folk of Shakespeare's time passed from life! No praiseful voice was lifted for the lost Bard of Avon; even Ben Jonson waited seven years before he lifted his. SO FAR AS ANYBODY KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon never wrote a play in his life. SO FAR AS ANYBODY KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, he never wrote a letter in his life. SO FAR AS ANY ONE KNOWS, HE RECEIVED ONLY ONE LETTER DURING HIS LIFE. SO FAR AS ANY ONE KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, SHAKESPEARE OF STRATFORD WROTE ONLY ONE POEM DURING HIS LIFE. This one is authentic. He did write that one - a fact which stands undisputed; he wrote the whole of it; he wrote the whole of it out of his own head. He commanded that his work of art be engraved upon his tomb, and he was obeyed. There it abides to this day. This is it: Good friend of Iesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare:
Blest be ye man yt spares thes stones
And curst be he yt moves my bones. Am I trying to convince anybody that Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare's Works? Ah, now, what do you take me for? Would I be so soft as that, after having known the human race familiarly for nearly seventy-four years? It would grieve me to know that any one could think so injuriously of me, so uncomplimentarily, so unadmiringly of me. No, no, I am aware that when even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. We always get second hand our notions about systems of government; and high tariff and low tariff; and prohibition and anti-prohibition; and the holiness of peace and the glories of war; and codes of honor and codes of morals; and approval of the duel and disapproval of it; and our beliefs concerning the nature of cats; and our ideas as to whether the murder of helpless wild animals is base or is heroic; and our preferences in the matter of religious and political parties; and our acceptance or rejection of the Shakespeares.... We are the reasoning race, and when we find a vague file of chipmunk-tracks stringing through the dust of Stratford village, we know by our reasoning powers that Hercules has been along there. I feel that our fetish is safe for three centuries yet. The bust, too - there in the Stratford Church. The precious bust, the priceless bust, the calm bust, the serene bust, the emotionless bust, with the dandy mustache, and the putty face, unseamed of care - that face which has looked passionlessly down upon the awed pilgrim for a hundred and fifty years and will still look down upon the awed pilgrim three hundred more, with the deep, deep, deep, subtle, subtle, subtle, expression of a bladder.... [Shakespeare] HASN'T ANY HISTORY TO RECORD. There is no way of getting around that deadly fact. And no sane way has yet been discovered to getting around its formidable significance. Its quite plain significance... is, that Shakespeare had no prominence while he lived, and none until he had been dead two or three generations. The Plays enjoyed high fame from the beginning; and if he wrote them it seems a pity the world did not find it out. He ought to have explained that he was the author, and not merely a nom de plume for another man to hide behind. If he had been less intemperately solicitous about his bones, and more solicitous about his Works, it would have been better for his good name, and a kindness to us. The bones were not important. They will moulder away, they will turn to dust, but the Works will endure until the last sun goes down."
Posted by pete on 27 November 2005 1:12 AM.
I hate shakespeare and believe we should burn it all. We should at least have to read something that you can understand.
Posted by Who's Your Daddy on 30 November 2005 3:53 AM.
to bad shakespeares dead
Posted by on 8 March 2006 11:58 PM.
hell naw i think shake o got help writin his snits!
Posted by anus on 2 April 2006 4:05 PM.
lexi our comments are all gone:(
Posted by on 14 April 2006 12:45 AM.
why is shakespeare so sexy?
Posted by holly dozier on 27 April 2006 12:42 AM.
i have to do homwork on this aswel, and whoever said he was sexy is .... not very bright...no ofence
Posted by sara on 8 May 2006 5:54 PM.
im in love with the best guy in da world haha rnt u jelouse

Posted by on 14 May 2006 1:42 PM.
Wow. If you spend your time writing completly unnecessary comments on a shakespeare blog you need to get a life.
Posted by Anne on 2 June 2006 11:47 AM.
You are just mad that you went to school and can still not do anything that good
Posted by Mark on 16 June 2006 1:12 AM.
it was pretty good but i still think that shakespere was not a fraud
Posted by on 26 October 2006 12:03 PM.
%$&, so many ppl put so much #@%$ in this #$%@&^ web.
P.S Hi im SHAKEspear, and it was my dog that wrote all the plays. I wuz jus a plaeya.
Posted by SHAKEspear on 26 November 2006 2:36 PM.
g
Posted by bob on 5 December 2006 12:40 AM.
I am shakespear and im very queer
Posted by bob the builder on 20 December 2006 11:57 PM.
I am shakespear and im very queer
Posted by bob the builder on 20 December 2006 11:57 PM.
I am the man behind shakespeare, literally. He indeed is Very Queer, in a good way.
Posted by bill the builder on 21 December 2006 12:02 AM.
Shakespeare is nothing but a dirty tramp, a whore!
Posted by will the ex-builder on 21 December 2006 12:06 AM.
hes a fukin lya
Posted by hygh on 23 January 2007 4:49 AM.
OMG.
I NEED MY HOMEWORK TO BE DONE.
AND THIS IS THE BEST EFFIN SITE IVE FOUND.
LORD ALL MIGHTY.
ARRRRRRRRRRRRR.
OMG.
OMG.
I NEED TO DO MY HOMEWORK FOR MY ASSESMENT .
GRRRRRR,
ANYWAY.
WHATTTTEVVERRR.
PROOPPPER CHAV.
BARE MATE BARE.
BRAAAAAAAAAP.
GGGGGGGHETTO.
FROM THE B E T TO THE H A N.
T
TR
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TR
T
YAY MEEEE! YOU A SILLY DOG.
NOTICE MY COMMENT.
YAY.

Posted by on 5 February 2007 4:39 AM.
I hate shakespeare the guys dead know lets forget about him and move on!!!!! but im sitting in this gay skool called marine city high this place sucks!!!!!!!!!! but anyways I LOVE TYLER LOUIS BALTIERRA!!!!!! HES SOoOoOoOoOoOOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo Hott!!! -gotta go-
love always,
Catelynn

Posted by cate on 24 February 2007 3:00 AM.
I hate shakespeare the guys dead know lets forget about him and move on!!!!! but im sitting in this gay skool called marine city high this place sucks!!!!!!!!!! but anyways I LOVE TYLER LOUIS BALTIERRA!!!!!! HES SOoOoOoOoOoOOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo Hott!!! -gotta go-
love always,
Catelynn

Posted by cate on 24 February 2007 3:01 AM.
PAM NOWAK SUCKS
Posted by NoWak on 21 March 2007 1:05 PM.
A'ite holmes... Shakespeare is the number one gangsta. There were a crap load of 'blank' years... For all we know, Shakespeare got bored of being stupid and started learning how to read and write... IT'S POSSIBLE!!! ... At least, it's more possible than Shakespeare being hot and sexy. Those people in England way back then thought taking too many baths would result in sudden bath, so one thing is for sure... SHAKESPEARE WAS SMELLY!!! - Jae
Posted by Jae on 29 April 2007 11:00 AM.
hey dave
Posted by on 5 June 2007 3:45 AM.
i love shakespere do u think we will have practice today?
Posted by on 5 June 2007 3:47 AM.
BOring.............................................................................................................................................................Work
Posted by on 21 August 2007 2:02 PM.
woooooooozzeeeeeerrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzzz
Posted by laalala on 5 October 2007 7:36 AM.
r4hi3fgh3f3p0l.op.;/.p
Posted by on 5 October 2007 7:37 AM.
Well I think a man with such low intellect couldn't have possibly even thought about writing such marvelous plays, and with trouble writing his name and having illiterate daughters its just simply out of poportion, but yet he was adored by Queen Elizabeth the first. I just dont get it is a great mystery and and there is no way of proving whether he did or didn't, unless i create a time machine egats thats it I will. I am off, Shakespeare here I come!!!
Posted by john davis carter 3 on 1 November 2007 5:30 AM.
you are all dumb to think that some one else wrote the best plays of all time. it was shakespeare that wrote the plays and everyone learn how to spell
Posted by vl;hj on 6 December 2007 3:49 AM.
this is a load of balloon because this dude was a amazing writer and you are just jealous that u did not think of this. you may think his writing amazing and yes you were born in the modern days but it does not mean that you could discourge him. he was a amazing so just live with it
Posted by Alex on 9 January 2008 6:05 AM.
hehe
Posted by alex on 10 January 2008 4:30 AM.
boner
Posted by on 18 January 2012 8:54 AM.
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