Monday, February 11, 2019

Theories Abound about the Real Shakespeare

The former CEO of insurance provider Royal Administration Services, Inc., William Deyesso currently enjoys retirement in his New Hampshire community. In addition to his support of a wide variety of organizations, William Deyesso remains an avid fan of movies and theater, with a particular fondness for the plays of William Shakespeare.

While few serious scholars doubt that Shakespeare was a real person, the fact that relatively few written records exist to attest to the events of his life presents amateur sleuths with fascinating avenues for speculation, which has largely been based on coincidence.

One now-classic but never-proven theory holds that philosopher, statesman, and essayist Sir Francis Bacon was the actual author of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. The originator of this highly speculative position believed that other Elizabethan writers such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spenser, poet and author of The Faerie Queene, may have collaborated with Bacon on the works.

Another theory credits the Elizabethan stage’s other towering playwright, Christopher Marlowe, as the real author of the Shakespearean canon. The fact that Marlowe has been discovered to have spied for the government has fed this theory. Having died before he was 30, Marlowe would have indeed needed to be prolific to have written both his own monumental plays and those of Shakespeare.

Among the many lesser-known theories is that William Stanley, the 6th Earl of Derby and a theater company owner, was the real Shakespeare. Although the initials are the same, little of substance supports this theory.