Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Shakespeare the Hackney Man? Updated

Shakespeare is certainly a man of mystery and in-case some of you haven't yet caught on William Shakespeare is a mythical character engineered to change the very fabric of the English language among other deeds. So what the Hackney connection i hear you ask. Where does Stafford upon Avon fit into all this? Put quite simply, it doesn't, the main stage of play was indeed Hackney. At this point i should mention that we're not fully clear on whether tis was the mythical Shakespeare that lived here or the man purporting to be Shakespeare. Nonetheless history states that he lived in the borough and many of his early works such as Romeo and Juliet were performed at the so named Theatre circa 1590's in Shoreditch (hackney). Wood and materials from the Theatre were later reused to build the world famous Globe  on Bankside. Shakespeare was said to have lived on the border between the City of London and Hackney. The words Romeo Wherefore Art Thou? were first muttered in the hollow walls of the Theatre. 

What do others say about the man of intrigue?

Was the man we know as Shakespeare really the author of the "Shakespearean Works"? We know little about the man called Shakespeare, Did he really write the plays, or is he just a man that  got confused within history? (Sobran 44) There is not even a correct spelling of this mans name, Some of the spellings include Shakspere, Shakespeare, And Shaxpere. Shakespeare, Is it the man, Or  is it another? (Hayes 1D)

Shakespeare is both fact and fiction, he was no concern until nearly two hundred years after he perished, and there is still no  definite or probably will there ever be a conclusion to this mystery. (Sobran 44) There is another man that can be attributed with  the works of "Shakespeare", His name is Edward DeVere, the 17th Earl  of Oxford. (Bethell 47)           

The man known as Shakespeare does not fit perfectly into the necessary criteria to determine the author of these works. Thomas  Looney invented a series of criteria that had to be filled, in order  to be a possible candidate for the authorship of the Shakespearean  works. To have all the knowledge that is portrayed in the works, the  author must have accomplished many things. These including a superior  education, from what we know of "Shakespeare", this was not a possibility.(Bethell 46) We do not even know if Shakespeare has ever written anything in his life, Nor do we know that he was paid for  writing these works. The man Shakespeare does not even make a claim  that he is the author.(Bethell 50) He may not have been able to write  the simplest thing of all, His own name.(Hayes 1D)

Its not how little we know about Shakespeare that causes  confusion and difficulty, Its the things that we do know about this  man that cause the confusion and difficulty. We know Shakespears  father, a glover, could not write. When he signed documents, he simply  made an "X", This is why it is beleived that Shakespeare could not  write also, Because he probably did not attend school therefore his  education was passed down from his father. (Bethell 48)          

We do know much more about the man Edward DeVere. We know that because deVere was a nobleman, he could not have his name written upon  his writings because he would be considered of a lower class. The  plays contain a sense of hate towards some of the noblemen of that  time period, which also point the authorship towards DeVere.  (Hayes  1D) When DeVere was a young man, he spent a lot of time in Italy and  Europe, This could explain the great detail used in the Shakespearean  plays of Venice, and other European locations.(Sobran 45) The sonnets  have never been able to fit into Shakespears life, On the other hand  they fit into DeVere's life well. (Sobran 45)

There are facts that lean both ways in this age old mystery of authorship, Though the Strafordian man does not fit into the story  very well, He may have some advantages that the Oxfordian man may not.  DeVere on the other hand, has mostly every fact pointing towards him  as the valid author for the "Shakespearean" works, From his education,  to his experiences, to his travel. The Oxfordian seems to come out on  top. Shakespeare: Stratforidan, or DeVere?

Anonymous (Movie)

The theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her.


  1. I encourage you to take up Contested Will, you may find that some of your conclusions regarding DeVere are not actual possibilities. Moreover, you may discover some interesting facts regarding spelling in early modern England, education, the plays' portrayal of foreign countries, as well as interesting tidbits about historical bias surrounding the question you raise. One should want to be informed on both sides of any issue when one is publishing items in a public forum, so I encourage you to enlighten yourself. I love the idea of connecting the plays at Shoreditch to the other sacred sites, it seems just right--and the Theatre certainly played a role in the formation of Shakespeare's plays.

  2. Hi Anonymous!

    Thanks for your pointers in terms of Contested Will though your use of the term enlighten is a tad harsh. It should also be noted that i personally dont agree with every quote i post, my position as a blogger is to get information out there and encourage folks to research for themselves. Afterall is the inability to research for ourselves that got us into the mess we're in today...Thanks ever so much for you input...

    PS: Do you think that spells and spelling have anything in common?