Danny kelchner and Grant heinekin
1. What is the Shakespeare authorship problem?
• The Shakespeare authorship problem is an argument
that Shakespeare may not have wrote all the plays and poems he is credited for
writing. There aren’t any documentation that Shakespeare ever wrote anything in
his life, and his will mentions nothing of his “literacy legacy”. It is
believed that there could have been other authors that have written the plays, it
may be more than one.
2. What literary, cultural, and political figures doubt
that Shakespeare was the sole author of the work?
• Some figures that doubt that he was the sole author
of Shakespeare are Katherine Duncan-Jones, Sigmund Freud, Orson Wells, and Sir
3. Make a chronological history of the doubts that
surround the authorship of the Shakespearean canon.
1728 – The Publication of Goulding's Essay Against Too
Much Reading. In this he explains that Shakespeare would have needed a helper
or acquaintance to help him the tremendous history and structure of the plays
he had written
1769 - Publication of The Life and Adventures of Common
Sense, an anonymous allegory which describes a profligate Shakespeare casting
"his Eye upon a common place Book, in which was contained, an Infinite
Variety of Modes and Forms, to express all the different Sentiments of the
human Mind, together with Rules for their Combinations and Connections upon
every Subject or Occasion that might Occur in Dramatic Writing..."
1785 - Rev. James Wilmot, D.D. gives credit of
Shakespearean authorship to Sir Francis Bacon.
1852 - August issue of Chambers' Edinburgh Journal
contained an anonymous article, where the author suggests that Shakespeare
"kept a poet."
1856 - Bacon is shown as a possible author of
Shakespeare's plays in Putnam's Monthly which contained "Shakespeare and
His Plays: An Inquiry Concerning Them" by Delia Bacon, an American bearing
no family relationship to Francis Bacon.
1857 - The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare
Unfolded, a book by Delia Bacon in which she considers the possibility of
several different authors.
1891/92 - James Greenstreet, a British archivist, tries
to prove that William Stanley was author of the Shakespeare plays.
4. Now do the same for the doubts surrounding the
There is no reference during Shakespeare’s life that
speaks of the author of the Shakespearean works as having come from
Stratford. The author of Shakespeare's works had to have gotten a very
good education in order to be able to write all of this stuff.
5. Consider the logic/illogic of each position and
evaluate the effectiveness of each argument.
When it comes to the authorship problem I would have to
say that it must be Shakespeare because there isn’t anything that reliable that
says otherwords. For the Strafordian attribution I think that they have a
good argument because his name is the author and we cant go back in time and
really see who it was.
6. Make a list of the six contenders for the authorship
question. Then add to each as much significant evidence that is presented.
1. Christopher Marlowe
2. De Vere
3. William Stanley
4. Earl of Derby
5. Ben Johnson