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.

Read also  Opening Scenes of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

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).

Conclusion

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.

More Essays

  • Sonnet 18

    The poem Sonnet 18 was written by William Shakespeare. A poet from the 17th century who was a renowned writer for his works on theater and poems. Sonnet 18 describes the power of love and immortality of the poem and himself as long as men walk the earth. He gives a message of eternal beauty and love through...

  • William Shakespeare—sonnets

    The first 17 poems of Shakespeare's sonnets are addressed to a young man urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it to the next generation. The subsequent sonnets (18 to 126) express the speaker's love for a young man; brood upon loneliness, death, and the...

  • Analysis of Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

    In "Sonnet 18" by William Shakespeare and "Death" by John Donne, both poems describe how death is escaped. Both writers suggest that we shouldn't fear death, because with death comes life. The use of imagery, metaphors, and personification are used to develop these themes of the sonnets. However, each...

  • William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129

    William Shakespeare's Sonnet 129 is a classic Shakespearian Sonnet from his distinguished collection published in 1609. The Shakespearean Sonnet is unquestionably the most intellectual and dramatic of poetic forms and, when written well, is a masterpiece not only of poetic talent but intellectual talent as...

  • Edward De Vere = William Shakespeare

    Everyone knows of William Shakespeare, the author of thirty-seven full length plays and 154 sonnets. Romeo and Juliet is one of the most popular stories as it is read in most high school English classes. There is not a theatre goer anywhere who has not heard of, or seen, Hamlet. Anyone involved in the...

  • Sonnet 116 Theme Analysis

    "Sonnet 116", William Shakespeare's most famous sonnet, describes the trials true love faces, but also how no matter what, love is an ever present hope. Love is constantly being tested through outside forces, and time's unavoidable influence upon it. For love to work and be strong, the couple must "[a]dmit...

  • Comparative Analysis Literary Works

    Did you know that many books, poems, and other literary works, sometime share some similarities or same point of views on a topic? Well, these similarities can be anything from the same setting, same characters, etc, and sometime they may have similarities in their conflicts. Like in the play, A Midsummer...

  • William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Browning

    William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Browning each wrote a series of sonnets; Shakespeare's work, using his variation of the sonnet and Browning's, using the Petrarchan style. In particular, "Sonnet 18" and Sonnet 43," (both of which are about how much the speakers love their partners) use great language and...

  • Love and Disguise in the Twelfth Night

    The art of love suggests that this complex emotion cannot be easily defined; it must instead be conceptualized within the confines of language and images.  One writer that mastered this presentation of love is William Shakespeare. Through his sonnets and plays, he immortalized the concept of love for...

  • Are Shakespeare’s Sonnets Autobiographical_

    Are the Sonnets, wholly or in part, autobiographical, or are they merely "poetical exercises" dealing with imaginary persons and experiences? This is the question to which all others relating to the poems are secondary and subordinate. For myself, I firmly believe that the great majority of the Sonnets, to...

Read also  Disguise in Twelfth Night