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Topic: Famous Folk talk Shakespeare Authorship (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 12 June 2024 at 3:23pm | IP Logged | 1  

The Marlowe in exile story with an empty ossuary, a faked murder in a pub room, and all of that entertains me the most... which could mean it should be classed as fiction. It's going to be one of those we won't know 100% in this lifetime deals. Just look at all the confusion over Stan & Jack and Stan & Steve then multiply by hundreds of years.

The song I hear is Ghosts Of Princes In Towers.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 12 June 2024 at 3:24pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 June 2024 at 3:33pm | IP Logged | 2  

The strongest argument for Oxford lies in the fact that no conspiracy is needed. Just Elizabethan business as usual.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 12 June 2024 at 4:20pm | IP Logged | 3  

It is really no big deal to suggest that the name Shakespeare might’ve been
a pseudonym. It does not overturn any significant history. It does not
contradict anything, we know. It simply would mean that an enormous
amount of conjecture and speculation that has built up over the years was
mistaken. It would indicate that an effort was made to protect the identity of
the real author and to shift the blame in another direction.

This was an era when writers used pseudonyms regularly. The fact is,
Stratfordians agree that a large body of work from hidden playwrites was
printed under the name Shakespeare, including the most popular play of the
era— MUCEDORUS.

“Shakespeare” as a pen name makes far more sense of the actual evidence
than the fairy tale of the Stratford genius who gets a law degree from thin
air, reads manuscripts he can’t access, faces no consequence for
lampooning the Queen and her court, learns Greek and French with no
tutors, becomes fascinated by the local customs of an Italy he’s never seen,
and does all this in a couple years while trading illegal wool and providing
for his large penniless family.

Edited by Mark Haslett on 12 June 2024 at 4:23pm
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Steven Brake
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Posted: 12 June 2024 at 5:02pm | IP Logged | 4  

JB wrote: Who said anything about prohibition? 

SB replied: I thought one of the cornerstones of the Oxfordian argument was that as a member of the nobility, he would be obliged, or expected, to conceal his true identity as the real author.

Is that not correct? Or has the position changed?

JB wrote: At the same time he produced enough plays to be praised for them in his lifetime and to be lauded as “the best for comedy.”

SB replied: Correct, in Francis Meres' Palladis Tamia, which also praises Shakespeare in excelling at comedy and tragedy (the latter being plays that are now classed as histories). 

JB wrote: The strongest argument for Oxford lies in the fact that no conspiracy is needed. Just Elizabethan business as usual.

SB replied: What about the umpteen collaborators that would have worked on the plays? Did none of them know, or suspect, the supposed supposed truth? Were they sworn to secrecy or threatened into complicity? If so, by whom?
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Steven Brake
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Posted: 12 June 2024 at 5:27pm | IP Logged | 5  

Mark Haslett wrote: It is really no big deal to suggest that the name Shakespeare might’ve been a pseudonym. It does not overturn any significant history. It does not contradict anything, we know. 

SB replied: I couldn't disagree more. If we found out that "Shakespeare" was actually the pseudonym of a member of the nobility, a devout Catholic, a Frenchmen, a woman, etc it's impossible, or very difficult, to see how that wouldn't affect our interpretation of the plays.

Mark Haslett wrote: “Shakespeare” as a pen name makes far more sense of the actual evidence than the fairy tale of the Stratford genius who gets a law degree from thin air,

SB replied: Who claims this? There's an unfounded, or unproven, belief that Shakespeare may have worked as a lawyer's clerk, but I don't know of anyone claiming that he had a degree, or studied at university. He seems to have had a good understanding of law, but that would have been fairly commonplace for many Elizabethans/Jacobeans.

Mark Haslett:..reads manuscripts he can’t access,

SB wrote: By common consent, the two sources most commonly used in Shakespeare's plays - or "the plays", if you'd prefer - are Holinshed's Chronicles, published in English, and Plutarch's Parallel Lives, translated into English. He also used other plays as sources, which, again, would have been written in English.

Mark Haslett wrote:..faces no consequence for lampooning the Queen and her court, 

SB replied: I'm not sure what you mean by this?

It's true that there don't appear to have been any repercussions for Shakespeare's, or The Lord Chamberlain's Men, when Essex paid them to perform Richard II on the eve of his disastrous rebellion, and its been suggested that she may have requested a performance of it herself once the rebellion had been quashed.

Falstaff had to be renamed from Sir John Oldcastle when Oldcastle's descendants, the Cobhams, complained about their ancestor being portrayed as a fool onstage.

Mark Haslett wrote:..learns Greek and French with no tutors, 

SB replied: As a young boy, Will would have been able to attend The King's New School. Before anyone says it, no, I know there's no proof that he did! But he could. :) 

What would have prevented Will from learning French? If he lived and worked in London, he would have met all sorts of nationalities.

Mark Haslett wrote:,..becomes fascinated by the local customs of an Italy he’s never seen, 

SB wrote: What's strange about that? Italy held a fascination for many English people, and the mistakes Shakespeare makes - like in Two Gentlemen Of Verona, where characters sail from landlocked Milan to landlocked Verona - show that he'd never visited it.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 June 2024 at 5:15pm | IP Logged | 6  

Mark Haslett wrote: Stratfordian thinking is all clinging to tradition.

SB replied: Not so. Stratfordians have often over-indulged their imagination, and there's a strong case that they've given much ammunition to Alternative Authorship theorists, but there's lots of scholarship too.

***
Hand waving.
“Not so” he said, an argument from the authority of "lots of" unspecified “scholarship”.

But there is no “scholarship” that proves Shaksper of Stratford wrote the works. There is, in fact, hundreds of years of scholarship which struggles and fails to come up with any unambiguous primary source evidence for William Shakspere being a poet/playwright. Still, they say, it is beyond doubt. "Scholarship" that leads by conclusion and protects itself rather than exploring alternatives.


“Who is responsible for the works of Shakespeare” is a question for historians. But few historians have looked at the evidence. I only know of a couple and they both came away convinced the traditional attribution is, at best, doubtful. (One was Pulitzer prize winner, David McCollough. He came away so thoroughly unconvinced by the evidence that he actually wrote a forward for a book on the authorship question. )

The fact is, as you’ve acknowledged, doubts about Shakespeare’s identity date back to at least 1595. Joseph Hall believed Shakespeare was a pen name. He believed it so thoroughly that he went to print with it (at some risk, apparently) in a book which was subsequently banned.

Furthermore, Hall's literary nemesis, John Marston, took the time to argue that Hall was wrong about the value of Shakespeare while, at the same time, affirming Hall’s choice to address Shakespeare as a hidden poet.

So that is two enormously successful poets, of the day, going on the record to say “This Venus & Adonis/Lucrece guy is not really named Shakespeare.”

Your response is to argue that there’s no reason to believe they know anything we don’t.

That is the opposite of a scholarly response: incurious, illogical, defending a conclusion by denying the implications of the evidence. It’s such a shame.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 15 June 2024 at 5:29pm | IP Logged | 7  

Er, I'm still trying to understand why Fardel even has a bear... grunting and sweating in Denmark of all places! Something rotten there...(sorry... I don't get to use this kind of material with my usual company)

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 15 June 2024 at 5:30pm
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Steven Brake
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Posted: 15 June 2024 at 9:22pm | IP Logged | 8  

Mark Haslett wrote: But there is no “scholarship” that proves Shaksper of Stratford wrote the works. 

SB replied: It's the accepted position of virtually every literary and historical scholar, Alternative Authorship theories, of whatever stamp, are usually dismissed because they're simply not convincing.

Mark Haslett wrote: There is, in fact, hundreds of years of scholarship which struggles and fails to come up with any unambiguous primary source evidence for William Shakspere being a poet/playwright. 

SB replied: As earlier posted - in 1603, a patent was issued confirming the formation of The King's Men, formerly The Lord Chamberlain's Men. In the patent is listed one William Shakespeare - with the name spelled exactly that way - and also Richard Burbage, John Heminges and Henry Condell.

The latter three were also named in the will of William Shakespeare who died in Stratford Upon Avon in 1616.

The latter two - Burbage himself dying in 1619 - arrange for the publication of the First Folio in 1623.

That's pretty much as straightforward as it gets. 

Mark Haslett wrote: Still, they say, it is beyond doubt. "Scholarship" that leads by conclusion and protects itself rather than exploring alternatives.

SB replied: As noted above, literary and historical critics tend to discount alternative authorship theories because they simply aren't convincing, and compelling evidence to prove, or even strongly support, an alternative author simply hasn't been provided.

Mark Haslett wrote: The fact is, as you’ve acknowledged, doubts about Shakespeare’s identity date back to at least 1595...So that is two enormously successful poets of the day, [edited by SB - these are Joseph Hall and John Marston] going on the record to say “This Venus & Adonis/Lucrece guy is not really named Shakespeare.”

SB replied: Two contemporaries doubt that Shakespeare wrote Venus & Adonis. This doesn't prove that he wasn't. Francis Meres doesn't seem to have doubted that Shakespeare was the author in his Palladis Tamia. Heminges and Condell clearly felt that he was[ the author of the plays they collected and arranged to be printed in the First Folio.  Johnson offered fulsome and yet qualified praise in his commendatory poem in the First Folio, and made harsher comments in private years later - but never denied Shakespeare's authorship, even if he had criticisms about his writing.

Mark Haslett wrote: Your response is to argue that there’s no reason to believe they know anything we don’t.

That is the opposite of a scholarly response: incurious, illogical, defending a conclusion by denying the implications of the evidence. It’s such a shame.

SB wrote: I'm not denying that Hall and Marston were sceptical about Shakespeare's authorship of Venus & Adonis, I'm pointing out that it isn't proof that he didn't.


Edited by Steven Brake on 15 June 2024 at 9:34pm
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 June 2024 at 10:48pm | IP Logged | 9  

SB:That's pretty much as straightforward as it gets.

***
That is (waves hands) the definition of hand waving.

Unambiguous evidence that William Shakespeare was a poet playwright is
straightforward.

You provided none. 300 years of “scholarship” has provided none.

The record proves (and you have confirmed) that on the record doubts of
Shakespeare’s authorship are as old as the works themselves.

Scholarship looks for the best explanation of all the evidence, happy to be
wrong and yearning for truth instead of defending myth. Shakespeare lit
and Jesus studies are two fields where doing that is frowned on.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 16 June 2024 at 12:09am | IP Logged | 10  

SB wrote: I'm not denying that Hall and Marston were sceptical about
Shakespeare's authorship of Venus & Adonis, I'm pointing out that it isn't
proof that he didn't.

**
Typical “scholarship”.

It is evidence that the earliest discussions on the record about the actual
author of the works are explicitly stating that Shakespeare was a pen name.

The first remarks which remotely tie the works to a man from Stratford
come seven years after the man is dead.

This is the actual state of the evidence.
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Steven Brake
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Posted: 16 June 2024 at 8:00am | IP Logged | 11  

Mark Haslett wrote:  Unambiguous evidence that William Shakespeare was a poet playwright is straightforward.

SB replied: And has been provided above. William Shakespeare was a member of The Lord Chamberlain's Men then The King's Men. Richard Burbage, John Heminges and Henry Condell and also members of the troupe.

All three are named in the will of of William Shakespeare who dies in Stratford Upon Avon in 1616.

In 1623, the First Folio is published, Heminges and Condell explain that they arranged for it in an act of commemoration for the man they'd known.

In his commendatory poem, while gently teasing Shakespeare's lack of learning, Jonson extols his writing, calling him the "Swan Of Avon".

William Shakespeare - the latter being, of course, and as was typical for the times, one of the variant spellings used - was the author, or co-author, of the plays attributed to him in the First Folio.

Perfectly straightforward. 
 
Mark Haslett wrote: The record proves (and you have confirmed) that on the record doubts of Shakespeare’s authorship are as old as the works themselves.

SB wrote: Some contemporaries doubted Shakespeare's authorship of Venus & Adonis. Ben Jonson was ambivalent about his learning and art, but never expressed scepticism that he was an author.

Mark Haslett wrote: The first remarks which remotely tie the works to a man from Stratford come seven years after the man is dead.

SB wrote: Francis Meres commended Shakespeare in Palladis Tamia, published in 1598.

The Parnassus Plays (performed around 1598-1602) again mock Shakespeare's lack of education and presumption to write for the stage, but never question that he is an author.

Andrew Wise and William Aspley named Shakespeare as the author of Much Ado About Nothing and Henry IV: Part Two in 1600. Nathaniel Butler and John Busby named Shakespeare as the author of King Lear in 1607.


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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 16 June 2024 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 12  

SB wrote: Some contemporaries doubted Shakespeare's authorship of Venus & Adonis.

**

Why?
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