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Dan Kelchner English......Mr Krucli
Shakespear web quest
all quiet on the western front
julius caeser
Literature Assignments
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Danny kelchner and Grant heinekin

Shakespeare Questions

Phase 1


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 John Geilgud.


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 Stratfordian attribution.

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

6.      Francis Bacon 

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