Mapping the world's opinions

"What's in a name?" one of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers asked. When it comes to the identity of the greatest writer in the English language, a great deal. That mantle has long been bestowed on a glover's son from Stratford-Upon-Avon. But since the 19th century, there have been doubts over William Shakespeare's identity as the writer of the works attributed to the playwright. Was the Bard from Stratford a front for another writer? Was he just one participant in a collective group of writers? Or was he a she?

The Stratfordian position

The celebrated son of Stratford wrote the plays that bear his name. Any claims otherwise are Much Ado About Nothing.

It is there in black and white

So far, no authorship theory has presented stronger evidence than the name written on the works in black and white. Explore

Shakespeare was a common man from Warwickshire

By reading the plays, it is clear the author was clearly not a wealthy individual. He is also clearly from Warwickshire. Explore

The anti-Stratfordian position

William Shakespeare did not write the works that bear his name.

Where is the documentation?

Unlike his contemporaries, there is no historical documentation to suggest Shakespeare made a living from writing plays. Explore

There were rumors during his life

His contemporaries at the time appear to have harboured suspicions. Explore

An education gap

The education Shakespeare received would not have encompassed the themes and references visible in his work. Explore

Shakespeare's will

Shakespeare's will makes no mention of any books. Explore

Not all of his plays were published in his lifetime

Around 16 plays were published following his death. As a career writer that published for money, this is highly irregular. Explore

The two Shakespeares

Shakespeare the playwright and Shakespeare the man are vastly different. Explore

The case for Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon wrote the works associated with the Bard. Explore

The case for Christopher Marlowe

The Elizabethan playwright and poet wrote Shakespeare's works. Explore

The case for Edward de Vere

Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, wrote Shakespeare's collected works. Explore

The case for Walter Raleigh

Raleigh wrote the famous plays. Explore

'He' was a 'she'

Shakespeare was a woman.

The feminization of Shakespeare

Shakespeare feminizes source material. Explore

There is sufficient motive

A female writer would have a clear need for a pseudonym like William Shakespeare. Explore

An 'excellent gentlewoman'

A well-known Elizabethan literary critic was raving about an anonymous woman writing around the time. Explore

A hidden code

Shakespeare's use of feminine endings reveals a female author trying to include subtle hints at her gender. Explore

The case for Emilia Bassano

A case has been built promoting Emilia Bassano as the author of Shakespeare's works. Explore

Part of a collective

Shakespeare may have contributed to the works but did not write them single-handedly.

Several of his plays are clearly collaborative efforts

We know several of his plays were collaborative efforts. It is possible many more were. Explore
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 7 Aug 2019 at 14:06 UTC