“I do not  dismiss the serious examination of the Oxford question for a moment. … I’ll say something else, which will doubtless bring more trouble on my head: serious Oxfordians do things rather well. You’ve a relish for historical investigation, an acceptance of biographical and topical relevance, an open-mindedness about inter-disciplinary studies, and a curiosity about documents, records, artefacts, cryptology, and all manifestations of Elizabethan culture and politics. Shakespeare’s tragedy is that some–by no means all, but too many–of his academic supporters disdain such matters as irrelevant, presumptuous, old-fashioned, grunt work or, worse, done and dusted, conclusively resolved many years ago.” Mark Griffiths, Ph.D., Country Life comments, 24 May 2015; author of the forthcoming The Fourth Man
5 Points to Ponder:
- The man traditionally believed to be Shakespeare never claimed to be a poet or playwright during his lifetime, not did any of his heirs or descendants long after he was dead.
- No evidence exists supporting the idea that he was a poet or playwright during his lifetime.
- His children seem to have been illiterate; his daughter Susanna learned to write her name after she married Dr. John Hall, but in one instance she failed to recognize her husband’s handwriting.
- That same Dr. Hall wrote of luminaries of the town, but did not include his own father-in-law, Stratford-upon-Avon’s most famous son, even though they had been the primary beneficiaries of his will.
- That will, one of the most studied documents in history, leaves no plays, poems, books, letters, manuscripts or any other item connecting him with the life of a writer. This is not so of any other writer of the time-period. Only a suspect interlineation connects him with some persons of the Globe in London. The surname of the signature, one of the famous six, is the most legible of all the surviving examples, but the forename William is written by an amanuensis.
Have you read his will?
Like Shakespeare’s sonnets, Shakespeare’s last will & testament is a reflection of his personal self.
Compare his writing about debt in, say, Hamlet: “…neither a borrower nor a lender be…” to how he dispenses his own debt issues in his own words, in his will: “household stuffe whatsoever, after my dettes and Legasies paied and my funeral expences dischardged, I give devise and bequeath…”
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