I don't really have time to research this, but it's a fascinating topic. I had two literature professors at University who weighed in on the debate about whether Shakespeare was actually the author of the plays.

One is skeptical about Shakespeare's authorship.

The other took great pains to explain to us why, given the kind of education boys of Shakespeare's generation would have had, there was no reason why he could not have written the plays.

I also recall seeing a documentary on the English Language on television and hearing the argument that the iambic pentameter of Shakespeare's plays scans better if they're recited with a Warwickshire accent.

Does anyone have any views or insights on whether Shakespeare actually authored the plays?

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This is an interesting topic, and I have seen documentaries, books, and websites about it. I will try to track the major website down when I can and post it here. Some of the arguments are quite convincing.
I can't remember quotes at the moment but a lot of editors agree that a lot of plant names mentioned are local Wshire, and that there's also a personal knowledge of sheep and wool trading, Dad Shakespeares second trade. That brought home the Bacon. (Sorry, couldn't help it)
Not one of my profs said anything other than "no serious academic gives any credence to the authorship question." That was enough for me.

I just wrote a post about this in another forum, but along with atheism (and skepticism/freethinking in general), I've had to give up my fondness for conspiracy theories.
Years ago I worked in a used bookstore which had an article posted on the wall in our Shakespeare section. I don't now recall who or where the article was written, but I do know it was a scholarly piece, not just some flimflam in a newspaper editorial or something.

Anyway, the article detailed that several grad students developed a program to analyze the full text of Shakespeare's works as compared to the prominent "alternative" authors of the time suspected of using Shakespeare as a nom de plume. The program crunched word frequency, recurring phrases, word usage, etc. and found that the most likely author of Shakespeare's plays was.... Shakespeare! His writing style and word usage does not match that of any other known author samples from the time (that includes Queen Elisabeth. And yes, I've heard that theory too!), but it does match his own writing style. So even if "William Shakespeare" was a pseudonym for some other author it was a) ONE other author, and b) NOT someone who was famous under any other name of the time.

Sorry I don't have more actual info about the article, and of course the bookstore has since closed down so I can't even go back to find out more about it. Maybe some of you more google-savvy folks can find the article somewhere.

For what it's worth, after reading the article and how the program was made, it pretty much confirmed for me that The Bard indeed wrote his own works.




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