The Shakespeare Authorship Conspiracy Essay
William Shakespeare was one of the most popular playwrights in history. With 38 plays, 154 sonnets and many other poems, Shakespeare’s work has been performed around the world more often than any other playwright. One gentleman, Hank Whittemore, created a blog that is strictly related to the notion that William Shakespeare was a pen-name of Edward De Vere who was the Earl of Oxford from 1550 to 1604. To many, this is an outlandish claim and is considered a conspiracy theory. His monthly blog continues to be filled with a narrow history lesson lined with an unpopular opinion.
Interesting But Not Creditable
Whittemore states, “It’s true that for twenty-three years I’ve been studying the life of Edward de Vere 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604) as the author of the “Shakespeare” works, but I never considered myself a “conspiracy nut” in any way. First of all I notice that it’s an opinion apparently held by a lot of otherwise rational, fair individuals. “Hey, you don’t think Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare? You must be one of those conspiracy minded whackos!” I’ve seen this opinion expressed so often in so many books and blogs and it’s been repeated so often that it must be true, right? No, I speak here for myself”. (H. Whittemore, 2012)
His blog is very extensive going back to November of 2008 and he appears to have followers according to the comments left at the bottom of the blogs. Analyzing the validity of the data used by Whittmore, it appears that he is very knowledgeable and could be considered an expert on the history of this time period. As much content as Whittmore blogs on his site, it still appears one-dimensional and has a “fake” feel to it. His credibility comes into question because he doesn’t even place a biography on his site. There is no mention of what he does for a living or where he studied. For all we know, it is fiction.
Endorsed By the Prince of Wales
Another website that has large amounts of contributors and many opinions on the subject of Shakespeare’s authorship validity, is www.60-minutes.bloggingshakespeare.com. This site has amazing amount of information from many creditable sources including MacDonald Jackson, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Auckland and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and Martin Wiggins, who is a Senior Lecturer and Fellow at The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham.
There are 60 contributors on this site and is promoted by The Prince of Wales who is President of The Royal Shakespeare Company. A.J. Leon, a senior digital advisor to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, states, “What I cannot understand is the way people who say he didn’t write the work have to ignore all the evidence that shows he did. We are not talking about a belief that can be interpreted differently depending on our point of view. The evidence for William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon is not circumstantial. It is factual and multi-faceted” (Leon, 2012).
On October of 2011 a new movie has been released called, “Anonymous”, a film based on the theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare’s plays. As much as Mr. Whittemore blogs about a Shakespeare conspiracy, this film must be considered a fiction. On his site, his logical fallacy is that he states many facts about the time period and the relationship between Edward De Vere and Queen Elizabeth I, but he never backs up his opinions with evidence. Although very informative from a historical point of view, Whittemore’s lack of resources and an overabundance of opinion damage his reliability and credibility.