No! Not the Earl of Oxford?!

I’ll admit, I’ve had a soft spot for the theory that Edward De Vere is secretly Shakespeare ever since I read a book in grad school that purported to show how the Earl left all kinds of clues in the text, such as writing his name over and over and over again in some kind of secret code throughout the plays.

And I’m a little in love with the theory that Shakespeare is actually Cervantes or visa versa.

But this may be my new favorite theory: Shakespeare as proto-feminist girl poet.

(h/t The Poetry Hut)

5 thoughts on “No! Not the Earl of Oxford?!

  1. NO! William Shakespeare was the author and I don’t care how many elitist Oxonians say otherwise. The De Vereists and Baconites and the rest of the WS deniers just cannot accept that literary genius could be born in the lower classes.

    Now as for the theories about Shakespeare being a Marrano Jew, that I can kind of see.

  2. So, if we put all the proofs together, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was actually a crypto-Jewish woman writing in English. And that explains a lot.

  3. Akshully, Kat, people looking at what is known about the life of the historical William Shakespeare are pretty convinced that he was a crypto-Catholic. At least, a large number of his close relatives were and he was educated by others. I admit that looking at the facts of his life is so much weaker than combing his writing for mystic clues, but there it is.

  4. I say he was a good actor/manager and a good listener with a very smart and talented company who helped develop all the roles and ideas.

    Note how the clowns change from dummies to smartypantses as the actor playing them changes.

    So he was the conduit for many people and many voices. That’s always made the most sense to me.

    Frankly the notion the notion of hiding your identity but leaving clues in the text–while romantic– is a little over the top.

    Did you know you can tell the future with the Bible?!?

  5. I’m fond of the Shakespeare-is-a-woman theory too, but then I’m saddened by Virginia Woolf’s account of what probably would have happened to a woman determined to write plays and see them onstage. It’s up at Shakesville. There were tons of woman poets in this period – of a certain class, at least – but if you dared to go public, you opened yourself up to an attack that not many family names could defend.
    I just spent several minutes trying to find a document on the web about this hilarious poetic showdown between a particular lady poet and a male critic (many references to oysters are made as an allusion to ladyparts), but their names escape me – and do you know that Wikipedia’s page on English poetry does not mention a single poetess before the 18th century? Ridiculous.

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