As many of you are probably aware, I have been terribly harsh to Shakespeare deniers, er, I mean independent Shak-spear scholars. The very first post on this blog dealt with the Shakespeare authorship controversey. In particular, I have been quite mean and snarky about Roland Emmerich’s film Anonymous, as well as the
propaganda educational materials released in association with the film. I have even been known to suggest that the title is a silly misnomer: if Edward de Vere produced plays under the name William Shakespeare, then those plays were by definition pseudonymous rather than anonymous.
I now realize that my support of the hidebound traditional theory was based on trivial reasons, such as the mountain of evidence that suggests that the works attributed to William Shakespeare were written primarily by William Shakespeare, actor and son of a Stratford glover, and the paucity of evidence that anyone else was the main author. I can now admit how closed minded I have been (or “close minded” as the more open minded often say). I have been a pawn of Big Shakespeare; I just wish I had been one of its better paid shills.
Yes, that’s right–the conspiracy theory is true. All Is True. But it goes so much deeper than anyone realizes. Shakespeare
deniers skeptics often ask how Shakespeare could have had the knowledge to write all those nifty plays and poems. But, my golly gosh, how could any mere mortal? And how was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, able to continue to write plays after he died?
Is it possible that the Earl of Oxford was a time-traveling alien? Could he have written not just the works of Shakespeare, but many other literary classics as well? Why the hell not?
I have a “theory:”* as a member of the nobility, Oxford was, of course, a reptilian alien. I believe that’s actually requirement. “Blue blood” isn’t meant figuratively, you know. Unlike many of his little alien friends, he wasn’t really into piling up big rocks into pyramids or putting them in circles. He liked words–not alien words, which tend to involve a lot of z’s and k’s. No, bless him, he liked English in all its forms, so he traveled through time, scattering classics around like the others scattered big rocks.
What, you want evidence? Fine, here’s some evidence: the Ellesmere Manuscript is one of the most important copies of The Canterbury Tales (along with the Hengwrt Manuscript by the same scribe).
Who was one of the early owners of the Ellesmere MS? John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford, (not quite direct) ancestor of our friend the 17th Earl. Coincidence? I think not.
Clearly Oxford lived in the 14th and 15th centuries disguised as his predecessor. He wrote great poetry and used the flunky Geoffrey Chaucer as a front. I mean, how could Chaucer, the son of a vintner, have known Latin, French and Italian? How could he have had knowledge of the astrolabe? Hell, the guy couldn’t even spell his own name–he spelled “Geoffrey” “Galfridum”!
But wait, there’s more! The 17th earl was briefly a pupil of Lawrence Nowell. And who the hell was Lawrence Nowell, you ask? Well, there were actually two cousins, both named Lawrence Nowell. One was a churchman, and the other was an antiquarian who at one time owned and added his name to the Nowell Codex.
The Nowell Codex is the Beowulf Manuscript proper (at some point it was bound together with a later MS, the Southwick Codex; the combined text is called British Library MS Cotton Vitellius A xv). How did the Beowulf MS get into Nowell’s possession? Oh, I don’t know, maybe he had a time-traveling alien pupil who gave it to him. Hmmmm? I mean, how could Anonymous, the son of a ??, have written Beowulf? Not only could he not spell his name, he didn’t even have a name! How could he have written the poem when we don’t even know if he could write?
It’s all making sense now, isn’t it? Well it would, if you’d just open your mind. I find that a chainsaw helps.
*”Theory”: Wild speculation or insane declaration, proclaimed loudly and drunkenly. Not to be confused with anything known to scientists or scholars as a theory.
Quick question for ya.
You say there is a mountain of evidence for the fact that the guy from Stratford wrote the plays. Is there a place where you or someone else has summarized this info for those of us who don’t have the time or patience to look into everything?
I ask because most of the time I see folks talk about this they spend their time tearing apart the arguments made by the Roland Emmerich’s of the world and not presenting the positive evidence for Shakespeare and I’d really love to see that somewhere.
Well, the best place to find evidence for Shakespeare’s authorship is in a good edition of the Complete Works, such as the Riverside Shakespeare or the Norton Shakespeare. They don’t directly argue for Shakespeare’s authorship (they generally take that as a given), but in the supplemental material, they include documents relating to Shakespeare’s career: references to him and his works (and to him as author of his works).
James Shapiro’s Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? is an excellent resource, as is Stanley Well’s Shakespeare & Co.: Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher, and the Other Players in His Story.
We’ve written a lot about Shakespeare on this blog. I’m not sure if there is one post that summarizes the positive evidence for Shakespeare’s authorship. I’ll rummage around a bit and see what I can find.
Hilarious! however you forgot the most obvious example. Homer! After all all how could a almost completely unknown, blind and possibly illiterate Greek singer of epics possibly have composed the Iliad and Odyssey. Only a blue blooded time traveling reptillian Edward de Vere could have done it. As for proof well Edward when he wrote as William Shakespeare wrote Trolius and Cresida based on a incident in the Trojan War so of course if he wrote that he must have wrote the Iliad and Odyssey! After all no mere human, not esspecially a uncultured possibly illiterate mere Greek singer could have done it!!
A time travelling, immortal reptillian simply makes more sense!!
You make a compelling argument. Plus, Chaucer (or should I say “Chaucer”) wrote Troilus and Criseyde, Shakespeare’s primary source for the play, so–obviously–there’s a connection between Homer, Chaucer and Shakespeare.
He liked words–not alien words, which tend to involve a lot of z’s and k’s.
Interesting, because nowadays they involve a lot of glottal stops, e.g. “T’Pau” or “R’lyeh” or “N’t’n’h’n’y”. I wonder if something like Grimm’s Law is involved; we would need a larger corpus of alien manuscripts from the fifteenth and twentieth centuries to check.
Re the time-traveling alien, do you suppose it also wrote the Voynich Manuscript? We can’t read it so it
mightmust be in an alien language. That would mean the alien was Roger Bacon, which makes sense since it also later impersonated Francis Bacon in order to write the “Shakespeare” plays.
Oh my heavens… It’s all so clear now… PIGS… IN… SPACE…!
That would be G’Rimm’s Law. Of course, the G’Rimms were not a reptilian species; indeed some people claim that G’Rimms’ Tales are actually anti-reptilian.
I think it’s obvious that the Voynich MS must be alien. Funny thing about conspirators–they’re mind-bogglingly clever and insanely inept at the same time. They fit in so well, but then leave a crazy manuscript full of alien writing lying around. It could have been his notebook, with rough drafts (“Friends, Romans, assorted peasants”). I’m a little worried that we now have two aliens (Oxford and Francis Bacon) writing Shakespeare. Perhaps it was a collaboration. But what I want to know is, who wrote Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay?
How can you come so close and not see see the Truth? SHAKESPEARE WAS THE DOCTOR!
And do you really think that someone named Gallifridum wasn’t from Gallifry?
Don’t be ridiculous. Shakespeare and the Doctor met, in that episode where the Globe was actually a portal designed to free a race of witches from their imprisonment in another dimension. If they were the same people wouldn’t one of them have said something?
I sort of stopped paying attention after Tom Baker–in any case the real draw of the show was Richard Dawkins’ wife.
In a related note, I miss Douglas Adams.
Maybe the Doctor was using Shakespeare because he couldn’t have produced the plays as “the Doctor.” After all, several times the Doctor said something that Shakespeare hadn’t yet written. Oh sure, they make it seem as if the Doctor was familiar with the lines because he’s a time traveler and had already read them, but how do we know he didn’t actually write them? Indeed, Shakespeare didn’t think up the lines. They didn’t originate from him–he heard them first from the Doctor. Perhaps the Doctor wrote the plays, but in such a way that Shakespeare actually believed he was the author.
I still think the real author was a reptilian, though. Look at all the references to serpents in Beowulf. Clearly the poet identified with the dragon and the sea serpents, or perhaps he viewed them as competitors. Or something. By the time he wrote Chaucer, he’d figured out how to “play human” a little better.
In the latest issue of Skeptical Inquirer there was a letter from some guy who actually said that only some with a aristocratic back ground could possibly have written Shakespeare’s plays and that since Shakespeare was “middle class” and had only a Grammar School education he could not have written the plays. Such idiot snobbery is compulsively funny.
Of course this could only be uttered from some one whoose knowledge of Elizabethian anf Jacobean theatre is minimal.
Just how does he explain Marlowe, Jonson, Fletcher and a whole slew of annonymous writing plays? Obviously he has not because he doesn’t hav e a clue about how plays were written and produced.
I note that it is easy to argue that since Shakespeare’s plays show considerable detailed knowledge of the stage and theate bussiness etc., that only someone who was an actor and/or a member and stockholder in a theatre company could possibly have had such intimate knowledge of the theatre. Since Shakespeare was an actor, member of a theatre company and a stockholder he obviously had such knowlwdge.
Isn’t it easy to turn it around against the snobs.
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