Anti-Stratfordians be damned. There are many worthy points of contention regarding the life of the author of Hamlet, et al. However, his identity is not one of them. Speculative theories surrounding Shakespeare abound. But they are tantamount to vampire hunting. The modestly formidable Oxfordians stake their claim for authorship–driving it through dear William’s heart–on the dubious shoulders of one Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Well, honestly, I’ve seen his picture, and, believe me, he doesn’t look like he could pen a decent Hallmark card, let alone the oeuvre of The Bard.
Then there are those who would have you believe Francis Bacon to be the “real” Shakespeare. Now, that’s just ludicrous and implausible. Nay, impossible. Since he died a mere twenty years ago this coming Saturday, undue suspension of reason is required for serious (nay, comic) consideration (of this notorious twentieth century artist) as the author of over a hundred and fifty sublime Elizabethan (Shakespearian) sonnets. Famous for his “Screaming Popes,” among other tortured works of smeared genius, this London maverick could not have written anything–let alone Macbeth–centuries before his time.
William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby, while sharing Shakespeare’s given name, seems otherwise unlikely as a candidate for authorship. After researching the 6th Earl with the same dedication (looking at pictures) employed in the service of elucidating literary truths, as was the case in my investigation of the 17th Earl, my resolve was little diminished.
Finally, for our (my) purposes, anyway: Christopher Marlowe. Finally, a real contender. Hero and Leander, et al. ”Hum,” methinks. And then…”Nah,” thinks me again. Too many pub brawls.
William Shakespeare was William Shakespeare was William Shakespeare was William Shakespeare.