The Man Who Wrote Shakespeare

The title of this very short blog is the title of a poem on the Web by Michael J. Farrand at:

(It’s on the Blogroll here.)

It has lots of stanzas, beginning with this one:

First let us expose this whole Stratford ruse
The man christened as William Shaksper
He emerged from skullduggery to choose
An unknown illiterate impostor
For Queen Elizabeth to make appear
As the man who wrote “William Shakespeare”.

There you go, there’s the gist of it, and I guarantee you that one day students will look back at all the “biographies” of Shakespeare — all filled with fiction to fill in the blanks — and wonder how it took us so long to raise our hands and shout that the Emperor has no clothes.

Well, the Shakespeare myth has been a kind of religious belief.  It certainly can’t be based on the evidence — unless you want to keep telling us that the name “William Shakespeare” is listed as the author of Hamlet, so the case for William Shakspere of Stratford is proved.  Anyway, yes, a religious belief; and therefore disagreeing with it can make us feel guilty.  Saying that the Bard was “someone else” is tantamount to saying God doesn’t exist — and here comes the lightning bolt!

Holding onto the myth has been a tradition, which means it’s been a habit, and with time it becomes increasingly difficult to stop.  But I tell you, the students of the future — perhaps the near future — will look back at us and laugh their heads off.

But hey, we’re all victims of rigid thinking, no matter how liberated any of us may feel.  We have ingrained, deeply held points of view, and when one of them is challenged we, too, can be all too ready to defend it regardless of its merit.  I have often found myself saying, “Well, the Stratfordians have no corner on narrow-mindedness.  The Oxfordians are no different!”

Ha!  This will not warm the hearts of my friends in the Oxfordian movement building the case for Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford as the man who used “Shakespeare” as a pen name.  But I’m serious — we, too, can be just as rigid and narrow-minded as anyone else.   And I include myself!  In the end it’s up to each of us to make an honest inward assessment of the degree to which we’re willing to look for, and find, and embrace, the truth.

Cheers from Hank

Published in: Uncategorized on February 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love the site and will check on it regularly! I think you should have a more clear “Contact” link…I really had to look for it! Your work is painstaking and altogether genius….but who am I to say?!

    • Hey Eva – Thanks! Come visit any time!

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