Who was the Bard

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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There is some controversy about who wrote the plays attributed to William Shakespeare. Two names that come up often with skeptics are Edward de Vere and Francis Bacon. During the mid 19th century, Bacon was the most popular candidate. Now it is Edward de Vere. Was William Shakespeare the author of those masterpieces of the English language? It is impossible for Shakespeare to be the author, with his low background and little education. The two best candidates for authorship are Edward de Vere and Francis Bacon. There are verbal and content parallels between the writings and Oxford's life and poetry. Certain text in the plays and sonnets can be deciphered into messages that point to Bacon being the author. Shakespeare was from a shabby, highly illiterate back settlement where thirteen out of nineteen politicians couldn't sign their own names(Twain, Chpt 3). His parents were both farmer class and illiterate.

His early schooling cannot be proven, and it is known that he did not attend a university. A popular candidate for authorship is de Vere, Earl of Oxford. There are many verbal parallels between the plays and letters written by Oxford. William Plumer Fowler gave numerous examples in his book, Shakespeare Revealed in Oxford's Poetry. The plays also reflect Oxford's background and events in his life. The plays include political intrigue, and Oxford served in an Elizabethan court. And Hamlet is a reflection of events related to Oxford's life. His predecessor as candidate for authorship is Francis Bacon. In Penn Leary's book, Are There Ciphers in Shakespeare? He shows that text in plays or poems arranged to attract attention can be ciphered into many different spellings that are phonically pronounced "Bacon". Bacon was a cryptographer, and his brother a cryptanalyst(Leary, Ciphers). Besides, if the publication of the plays and...