The answer to the Shakespeare Authorship Question is not an illiterate townsman from Stratford. That’s silly, really. There are much better candidates.
Originally published 2006
Shakespeare’s plays and poems are works of majesty and beauty. However, the question of who actually wrote them is a mystery that has lasted for centuries! There are many good candidates — so many, in fact, that I suspect a multiple-author hypothesis is the only one that can possibly be viable. But of all the candidates, the man from Stratford is the least — and the worst.
Let me put it this way: If writing was a crime, we would be outraged that the man from Stratford was charged with it, much less convicted of it. And that’s just writing. Any kind of writing. Never mind authoring works of such great beauty! Before long, I expect that you will come to understand and agree.If writing was a crime, we would be outraged that Stratford was CHARGED, much less convicted. Click To Tweet
NO ONE who has INVESTIGATED Shakespeare's authorship has come away with their belief intact. Click To Tweet
It is quite understandable if you believe that the man from Stratford was the author because you have been told so. After all, you’ve heard that from many different sources for most of your life. It is less understandable if, when it is your business to know such things, you refuse to investigate the matter after it has been called into question — as it has been by so many intellectual luminaries, as covered in Part I. That refusal is simple obstinacy. But to believe it after investigating the matter is, in a very literal sense of the word, absolute idiocy. Because no one who has ever given the matter an unbiased, critical look has ever come away with their belief intact.
That fact is that we have historical evidence for every single writer of the period. All of them! Except one. We have zero evidence that the supposed author of the works in the English language could even write! That’s right. Zero evidence. There is not so much as a grocery list written by the man from Stratford, nor even a letter, much less a manuscript. There are no letters to him, or letters about him, either.
Of course, we have no historical evidence that Mark Twain was a writer, either, other than his name on the title page of published works — which, by the way, is the only evidence there is for “Shakespeare”. But we know that “Mark Twain” was a pseudonym. And we know that Samuel Clemens was the author (for whom there is a plethora of historical evidence). Get the picture? In the face of such realities, only a congenital idiot can continue to believe (after an unbiased examination) that Stratford is the author — or worse, that there is no question in the matter.
In short, the notion that the Stratfordian money-lender wrote the Shakespeare canon is patently absurd. Multiple authors, singly or in combination, make the best candidates. It is there that we need to look for an answer to the Shakespeare Authorship Question.
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