There are very few people who would argue that William Shakespeare is the most celebrated and perhaps the best writer the English literature has ever had. His writings were like the elixir of life that have made him living to this day.
Through his creations he has conquered the hearts of millions through centuries. Even today, it is hard for the general people and even the scholars to find a writer who had described and made people feel about life, love, suffering, death, ambition and human-nature altogether better than him.
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The legendary writer wrote four poems, thirty-seven plays and a hundred and fifty-four sonnets- which are the most treasured literary work in English language. Glorifying, no doubt about that.
But if somebody tells you that none of his legendary works we give him credit for, are actually his own! Yes- that’s right; there is a theory, which is according to some a ‘conspiracy theory’ which says all the creations of Shakespeare actually belong to someone else, and he was nothing more than a front face.
In the late 19th century, doubts arose about whether the literary works of William Shakespeare were really written by him or not. The idea of Shakespeare not being the real author of his works was influenced by the concept that how a simple glove maker’s son from a small town who hadn’t received higher education and never got the chance to travel much outside the area of his living could create the greatest nosegay of literary works of the English language’s history?
The people who claim that Shakespeare was only a front face (known as the “Anti-Stratfordians”), came with some evidence or ideas which they believed will be enough to prove their point.
One of the evidence they presented that there is actually nothing ‘solid’ which links Shakespeare with the literary works attributed to him. The Stratfordians, the group of people who are in favor of Shakespeare being the real author of his creation, said that the name of Shakespeare was printed on the front pages of almost all of his plays that were published while he was alive. However, on the contrary, the Anti-Stratfordians pointed out the fact that there is no one who actually knows that the way Shakespeare’s name was printed on the front pages of the plays is how he really spelled it. The only examples of the writer’s handwriting that still surviving are six untidy signatures spelled in a few different ways.
Another evidence the Anti-Stratfordians presented that some of the contemporary writers of Shakespeare’s time mentioned him in their writings as an actor, but never as a writer.
The Anti-Stratfordians also say that there are some notable dissimilarities between the life he wrote about and the life he lived himself. It is their claim that the way Shakespeare wrote his plays, takes a strong grasp of language and literature, noble lifestyle and a lot of traveling- and as it appears, Shakespeare was apparently not familiar with these kind of things as he was a simple small-town actor with no university education. They said that the scholars don’t have any knowledge whatsoever about how this small-town actor managed to acquire the comprehensiveness and depth of knowledge his works display. And there begins the most controversial part, some scholars started to refer to the writers and patricians like Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and the seventeenth Earl of Oxford- Edward de Vere- as the actual writers of the literary works of Shakespeare! However, amongst the others, the theory about Sir Francis Bacon being the real creator of Shakespeare’s works is the most discussed and controversial one; and it’s called the “Baconian Theory.”
Sir Francis Bacon was many things; one thing is never enough to describe what he was. This English genius was altogether a scientist, philosopher, orator, solon and, of course, an author. His versatile works made him one of the most influential characters of the age; and so it is no wonder that he is considered the strongest candidate for being the real author of the works of William Shakespeare. The people are in favor of the theory say that being a high official and a member of the high society did not allow Sir Bacon to be credited for his writing, as the plays were written for the public stage; so he had to find a face to receive the credits for his outstanding works; and thus came William Shakespeare, the one celebrated as one of the greatest authors of all time. However, according to the Baconian theory he was simply a front face shielding Bacon’s identity.
The controversial theory was first brought forward in the middle of the nineteenth century, and it was based on the idea that the philosophical concepts of Sir Bacon’s and William Shakespeare’s wok were quite corresponding to each other. Later, the theory got buttressed as the supporters of Baconian Theory claimed that they have found autobiographical and legal allusions cryptological codes and ciphers in Shakespeare’s writings. They suggest that somewhere inside the codes of the writings, Sir. Bacon’s name is hiding.
There is another theory in this regard that on the tombstone of Shakespeare, there are some spelling mistakes. And rumor has it, the letters that had been mistakenly put there, was not a mistake at all. They were placed there on a very significant purpose! It’s the claim of some Baconian supporters that if the letters are properly analyzed, it will be traced back to none other than Sir. Francis Bacon!
However, none of these theories have been proved; and except a very few academic scholars, all of the experts reject the argument regarding the matter. And now that you have come to know of it, it is your choice which side you pick.