To be, or not to be
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Who was Shakespeare?
When Hamlet went on and on, on the question of existence, he started his soliloquy with the famous "To be, or not to be--that is the question" phrase. I can use the same pattern and ask of Shakespeare: "Was he, or wasn't he? That is the question"
The existence of Shakespeare has been debated since the creation of his plays.
The controversy begins with unbelievers claiming that a wheat trader, with average education, could not have been the best English writer in the whole history of humanity (So far).
They claim (whoever "they" are) that the plays and poems have too much detail about noble life, geography, history, etc., etc.
Little is known of the actual life of William Shakespeare--the Shakespeare from Avon of Stratford, they claim, cannot be the same William Shakespeare of our history.
If not William, then who?
Some say it was Francis Bacon
, a scholar and nobleman of the 17th century. He entered Trinity College Cambridge at age 12, and later became a philosopher, a writer, and closeted poet.
A very probable option, if you read some of the crazy stuff on the site--there are also rumors suggesting that Bacon also wrote Don Quijote de la Mancha
(Which is attributed to the Spaniard Miguel De Cervantes).
There are "real" books about the controversy as well, so the matter is of scholarly interest. If it is true that Bacon penned all these books, he probably never slept, and should probably be considered super-human.
Another good candidate to be the real Shakespeare is Christopher Marlowe
. He was a playwright, a writer, and an English spy--a very interesting old chap.
Why would anyone doubt?
It's extremely hard to pint point the real identity of Bill, as there are few records to corroborate anything, and all Shakespeare's writings that have survived are re-writes from the originals (originals long gone) and copies of published books.
I find the whole debate quite interesting, to say the least--it's the biggest case of stolen/lost/mistaken identity.
I couldn't imagine such a thing happening now a days: we keep track of absolutely everything. I have 120 GB of available space to store everything I've done my whole life. I have less than 1 GB of real data, and the rest is just fluf that I haven't created myself: programs, pictures, etc., etc. Of course, I have no plays, nor poems to my name, so I have nothing really important to loose. Dumb little programs
, on the other hand...
2B V ¬2B = ? ? Francis Bacon