Who is the real Shakespeare?
One of the largest mysteries of current time is the debate over who the author of the plays commonly attributed to William Shakespeare really is. Commonly termed as the “authorship problem,” many skeptics believe that the William Shaksper of Stratford (the spelling of his name originally) could not have been the true composer of the plays he is traditionally attributed with. Although the thought of someone besides Shakespeare composing the plays is not popular with the American and European world, there are excessive theories concerning the truth behind the possibility of the works being authentically his.
Doubts about the true composer of Shakespeare’s works generally arise from the fact that there is no logical match between the working-class William Shaksper of Stratford and the work, and the absence of proper documentation that connect him to any of the works. According to Volker Multhopp in his essay “Why I am not a Stratfordian,” “This man achieved the absolute pinnacle of English literature in an era when class was paramount, yet his own origin was absolutely ordinary– middle class” (1). According to the Oxford Society in the “Shakespeare Authorship FAQ,” “Nothing about the Stratford man rings true: his character, his background, his education, his family, his friends, his behavior towards his debtors and his neighbors, his recorded conversation and his attitude to money and property” (1). With all of the evidence pointed against the Stratford man as being the author of the world’s greatest literature, Stratfordians claim that the consequential details of his life pointing against him merely make him an unmitigated genius.
Doubts about the…
…st literature of all times. It is possible that the Stratford man could have befriended aristocrats and gained the favor of Elizabeth herself, even having guidance from other aristocrats. On the other hand, because there is no evidence that the Stratford man was the author of the works, it is hard to accept the common man as the William Shakespeare that the plays were accredited to.
Perhaps the reason that Shakespeare’s works have not been attributed to any other man would attest to the fact that scholars are not willing to accept the implications that the man celebrated to be the world’s most ingenious literary figure is not, in fact, who he was thought to be. However, the search for evidence leading to the true author will continue out of the ethical implications that credit must be given to the true author of the world’s greatest literature.