Who was Shakespeare? The Shakespeare Authorship Mystery

If you click on any of the Ten Essays on the left, you can explore many aspects of this engaging Detective Story, which burst into a fresh bout of modern headlines in the early 1980’s and received another great impulse with the birth of the Internet and www. in the Nineties.

The Mystery lies in the Question – Who wrote just what is attributed to the man from Stratford-Upon-Avon?

Arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ become immersed and engrossed in referring to Shakspere and Shakespeare as though there is no import in interchangeability.

Yet they are very different and the Beginner to this Detective Story should beware: Shakspere and Shakespeare are definitely not interchangeable, on evidence available today.

Yet they could be; they may be. We just do not know. And the viewpoints of dozens, hundreds of literary and historical scholars can be trumpeted in volume, but at the ‘end of the day’ no-one’s viewpoints are accepted as incontrovertible proof.

There is no proof that Shakspere wrote the poems, Sonnets and Plays attributed to “Shakespeare”; and there is no proof that Shakespeare was “Shakspere”, the Stratford Upon Avon man.

If Shakspere was the ‘local’ man who became great, that was the most marvellous leap for someone who might have had a modest Grammar School education, but no University education, yet was self-taught in the highest traditions of literary history.

If Shakspere became competent, as an actor and dramatist (maybe through an early start as an apprentice with a touring Group – though there is no evidence), that would have been a considerable achievement; and then maybe thereafter he assisted and helped, or was assisted and helped by, a truly educated personage of artistic, literary, philosophic and psychologic knowledge, skills and aims.

Or was Shakspere and Shakespeare a mere ‘pen name’ for an aristocrat? Was Shakspere himself a mere shrewd entrepreneur and a very low-grade pseudo-dramatist?

In this magnificent Detective Story and search – which may never be resolved – numerous ‘great names’ of the Elizabethan Era can be mentioned.

So Who Was Shakespeare ?

Was he (maybe she?) one of a dozen ‘Serious Elizabethan Contenders’ for proprietorship of the impressive Canon of ‘Shakespearean’ poems, Sonnets and Plays?

And what about the additional 20 people in Elizabethan court life and burgeoning literature who are imagined involved in a ‘part-author’ conspiracy? “They helped to write Shakespeare”?

By clicking on to the Headings (left) of this Shakespeare Authorship Mystery you will enter a Site which explores many aspects and only in the Summing Up gives you the author’s view of “What might have happened” ?

If Shakspere was the “self-taught” genius, he would deserve, in no small way, the eulogies accorded “Shakespeare”, the dramatist who has ’taken the globe’.

If Shakspere was not Shakespeare, but the in-between, well-paid but masking the identity of an aristocratic genius who needed anonymity, then the Detective Mystery is equally global in stature.

You can explore, take in this site’s author’s viewpoint, but come to your own determination... and search further...

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Now choose which Essay you would like to explore, by clicking on a Heading (left above).


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© Brian Jarvis 2003-2011. All rights reserved


See also She Died Twice
A dramatisation of the story of the death of the Quaker Mary Dyer in 1660


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