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I am not taking others' word for this. I have read both the Stratfordian cases' elements and the arguments attaching to them as well as the refutations presented by, e. When that is done, then so is my responsibility to answer these points to others here who make repeated recourse to them--except as this exercise is useful or interesting as an exposition of the absurdity of the Strafordian case's elememts. And that is sometimes the case.

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Readers not acquainted with the faults of the Stratfordian case could find such rehearsals interesting enough to lead them to do the primary reading on their own which they may not have done. That's an outcome that of course I would welcome as useful.

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You continue to ignore this challenge and that suggests to me that you have no satisfactory excuse for mischaracterizing Looney's position. I intend to remind you of this lapse and your failure to address it in every reply I post to your comments. I hope this is in the spirit of friendly argument " I hope this is in the spirit of friendly argument " I see it that way.

More about the people cited above later. With the exceptions of Rosenberg and Owen which ones? Thus, Blake, Dickens and Keats had literary knowledge which was consistent and commensurate with their writings. In certain cases this knowledge was obtained outside of formal schooling. But that does not indicate that they skipped the time and efforts required to gain that acquaintance. Blake and Dickens served their apprenticeships--Dickens, for pity's sake had twenty years' experience as an editor.

We have neither the evidence of nor the temporal space for such a formative grounding in the case of Shaksper of Stratford. If we had such, then of course the entire picture would be fundamentally altered and there would be good reasons to argue that Shaksper had in his experience the chops to have produced work of the calibre we have--from one educated as Oxford had been.

Edited: Feb 23, , pm. There was a time in which I thought that I was prolix and often still am. I was clearly a rank amateur. Here is a brief and coherent definition of Kripkean dogmatism : Refusal to engage arguments or evidence inconsistent with one's preferred position. This often goes hand-in-hand with confirmation bias. Speaking of evidence, here are some fun facts that might be amusing: 1: The will of Augustine Phillips, a member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men which later became the King's Men includes a 30 shilling bequest to his fellow William Shakespeare.

Phillips passed away in My understanding is that money for mourning rings was a common practice. Burbage was the lead dramatic actor in the King's men. Heminges and Condell were also members of that company and published Shakespeare's First Folio. Shakespeare's executors may have been expected to know who the three men were since the will didn't included that information. The same hand has on the same page transcribed the verses from Shakespeare's monument "Stay passenger why go'st thou by so fast" and his grave "Good friend for Jesus' sake forbear" , so he is obviously referring to William Shakespeare of Stratford.

Apparently, somebody went to Stratford and transcribed the poems off the monument and the tombstone, then transcribed them into a copy of the First Folio along with another epitaph. This writer seems not only to have believed that the man buried in Stratford was the author of the First Folio, but that he was "the wittiest poet in the world. They and much more are still out there and very much intact. Feb 23, , am. I have the following at second or third hand, so take it with a grain of salt. Perhaps someone can verify it. Some people have deduced information about T.

Eliot 's life from his poetry. However, since you have boiled the issue down to one item You wrote without the screaming : "First, please cite, if you can, where Looney as you imply 2C "attempts to claim certainty about the author from the contents of the sonnets," or, if you prefer, explain why your comment does not imply that or, if you prefer, retract that implication in your next reply if any. If fact, I didn't have Looney in mind when I wrote that. See my post about T. Eliot above. I wonder if I am right to mention either, I was thinking more of more humble roots You've not touched on Caedmon?

Excuse me for maybe being ill informed of the Looney argument - but what evidence do we have, at all, that there is no evidence of such development in Shakespeare? I can think of none at all. And he had plenty of years to do this. Some evidence suggests he was well educated enough to teach.

(DOC) The Secret Love Story in Shakespeare's Sonnets | Helen H Gordon -

I tend to think that someone of such achievement may have talent on the scale of a Mozart - they are just good at this thing, always have been, it is something we find inexplicable even in the best known. He then seems to get into the theatre business - what better place to learn of drama.

I think of Elizabethan and Jacobean poetry then as a hotbed of talent and exploration. No modern diversions - plenty of time to think, to talk with others - time was experienced differently. Perhaps he also knew how to use his well, the plays suggest so. Maybe he was wise enough to be able to use wise things he heard from others.

He is knowing enough to steer a safe path even as he tackles difficult things. I see nothing that indicates this is not possible. Isn't there a true story of a man in the nineteenth century in India who read one maths book and derived much of maths theory. Such people seem to exist. He also was part of a company which may have afforded a range of experience and insight and opportunity to mentor him.

Perhaps he had enough nouse to seek out what he sought. You snidely imply that I left the bases of my objections less than completely clear-- What else is this supposed to mean? Are you really so dense as this? Do you seriously expect us to belive that by the time you come to write this, " If fact, I didn't have Looney in mind with I wrote that.

Then you could make a frank retraction of clearly implying that Looney had ever claimed "certainty," your words falsely attributing to him a position he never asserted rather than what you do. Instead, you end by telling us that you And I call your lame attempt at a rationalization "weasel words.

That should be worth a bare pass at the very least. Edited: Feb 24, , am. After all the blather, those are the kinds of things that matter the most. Do we know enough about him and his life to say that his writings present something like the anomaly of that between the Stratford guy and "Shakespeare" 's writings? I formally retract that here. Are you suggesting that I ought to go and study Caedmon in order to confirm or refute the named you present as real or potential evidence that genius needs no other supports in order to produce literary masterpieces?

Before I do that, I'd appreciate your comments in reply to the following. This reasoning of yours amounts to supposing that, since "Shakespeare's" works are widely accepted as the work if a literary genius, it follows that whomever one might care to designate as that author is and must be, ipso facto , a genius.

But, as I hope you notice, it doesn't follow. That's fine except for one detail: you take it for granted that the Stratford guy is in fact our rightful author. Thus, again, this is to beg the question at issue. No one is denying that the work of "Shakespeare" is the product of genius. We're disputing where the credit for that genius properly belongs. That seems to me to be the fault which can rightly be called "arguing backwards"-- starting with a result and then presupposing its undemonstrated cause in the person of your favorite candidate.

Oxfordians don't do this. Instead, they ask: whose known biography best reflects the kind of genius which "Shakespeare's" work evidences? Restated, it asks, "Why do we suppose that there is no evidence of such development in Shakespeare? Aren't you simply assuming that he wrote "Shakespeare's" works and therefore he "must've been" adept and interested? That is circular reasoning--another way to say that it begs the question. Well, as I've already asked you--which years specifically were these?

In which years did the Stratford guy write the earliest sonnets? Did he actually learn Greek, Latin and French or merely sow some of these or evidence of a knowledge of them in his poems, plays and sonnets? If the former, then where, when and how and how did he learn these languages? The question is rather, why are such speculations note your italicized comments the most likely, the most probable of all the things which are merely possible?

The questions are: is there, and if so, where, the evidence to support these speculations and why should we assume them in the absence of that evidence? Literary genius is a gift in a different sense from math and musical prodigies. While some are actually born with amazing gifts for math and music which appear as soon as they are first introduced to numbers and to music, no one is born with a gift of writing masterpieces. Writing talents are part of natural gifts but what can be done with those gifts is completely dependent on the resources which such a gifted person acquires from experience and the chance-given possibilities for being exposed to models of the best literature.

In these cases, the genius is going to take those resources, those opportunities and use them in his or her own creative way. But there is implied in all that a basic opportunity to be exposed to the literature itself in the first place. I cannot doubt that there have been many people over the course of human history who were born with a potential for literary genius and yet never achieved it due to the simple lack of opportunities for the early exposure to literature, to reading and to a chance to practice and exercise their genius on these resources.

And, yes, that is a very great shame. There is a great deal of study on the matter of "the neurobiology of giftedness". I'm sure that some of it is rather poor or bogus but I think that it contains a core of truth in its basic findings. I won't engage in further comments with you. They and much more are still out there and very much intact," --the point is you can't tell : those "facts," like all the others, have been answered and debunked in Looney's work and in Ogburn's.

There is nothing left standing of the Stratfordian edifice. I commented on this thread as it was about the author of The Sonnets, not to get into an argument on the author question. I'd suggest we all take a pause. I'd also find it helpful if you'd review what I wrote and consider whether your interpretation of what I said is wholly accurate, whether other interpretations are possible. I'll consider my meaning too. Then having responded I'm out of any consideration of this.

You may and if so, then please, by all means feel free to pause and return or not as it may suit you to do. For me, this is a marathon, not a sprint. I have every good reason to look forward serenely since Oxford's place as the most reasonable candidate for title to authorship of "Shakespeare's" work is so far quite secure.

My purposes and interests here are with those who have an open-minded interest in the matter. I grant that this is not the most important thing in the world; but it is a very important thing to the literary world and especially to the world of English literature. RE: "I'd also find it helpful if you'd review what I wrote and consider whether your interpretation of what I said is wholly accurate, whether other interpretations are possible. I think that on reflection my characterization of your position was unfair in this inaccurate respect: you do not consider unalloyed genius as always--or perhaps as ever--sufficient in itself to account for artistic masterworks.

I formally retract that here and I shall append this part of this post to the earlier one-- so that my retraction of an improper characterization is noted in the same post where the offence occurred. In case it may be that you had not only that but also something else in mind as deserving of correction: If so, I have overlooked it--not deliberately but because I do not recognize another similarly serious misrepresentation.

For that, I'd need your pointer. Here, a general note on the issue of nature's gifts. It is no part of the Oxfordian view to argue or suppose that nature favors any one social class over another in the haphazard distribution of intelligence-genius or other. There are about the same number of geniuses among equal numbers of "commoners" and "nobility. As comments here have shown already, some people find a certain satisfaction in the belief that a commoner of Elizabethan England, the Stratford Shaksper, or some other gifted commoner, was or might have been "Shake-speare.

It may also be a source of class or social pride to suppose that "Shakespeare" is "one of our own. The sonnets speak of a writer who addresses nobles as one of their own class and one of very high rank. His terms toward these peers are the most intimate imaginable. Those today who suppose it to have been natural for just anyone to publicly address any noble man or woman as we see Shakespeare doing in the sonnets or the dedication of Venus and Adonis and Lucrece are indulging in a fantasy view of Elizabethan society.

There was nothing egalitarian about it except death. There was nothing of what we know of as a free press. The means to purchase a press was by no means sufficient to acquire and to operate one. Presses were licensed--as were the texts they printed. A book, a pamphlet, a play or a poem could not be published and openly sold unless it had the imprimatur of the registrar of the Stationer's office.

The idea that any talented person could, merely by persistence and clever wits, breach the social barriers that separated the classes is alien to Elizabethan social reality except in extremely rare cases.

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Noble men and women who committed serious enough offenses were not spared trial--by privy council--convictions, and sentence of death. Even once very high ranking and admired noblemen ended their lives by placing their necks on the executioner's block: Sir Walter Raleigh was one; Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and a close friend of Edward Oxford, was another.

Henry Wriothesley, the Third Earl of Southampton, was also tried for high treason and his life hung upon the decision of the Privy council and those commissioned to serve as jurors. Among them was Edward Oxford. Southampton was convicted but his sentence was commuted and his life spared. He spent the remainder of Elizabeth's reign imprisoned in the Tower of London, only released and his status restored when James succeeded to the throne upon the death of Elizabeth in I'm going to reply now as I doubt I will be able to do so again until the weekend.

Thanks for that correction. My argument may be a little teleological - in that at times I look at the effect and then seek to think about the cause of it. I think I mainly seek to think about William Shakespeare in so far as to see if I can see any reasons why he may not be the author of these plays and I can see no evidence of that. By the way I think you'd do your tone and argument no end of good by respecting him with his name.

The de facto position has through history been that William Shakespeare wrote these plays and this was not doubted for a considerable amount of time, as far as we know. Therefore I do not think it is unfair to challenge those who feel Oxford wrote these plays to show how it was not W.

My points are not made to demonstrate a fact but instead to show the possibility that the assumption he could not have written this is not proved. Incidentally, and possibly in reference to a theme in a deleted post - but this can seem like incredible elitism to decry William Shakespeare as someone necessarily unable to write these plays and poems. I think my argument and I acknowledge your correction is not simply that he was a genius. Whoever wrote these plays and poems I think we can say that. Perhaps I may show some of my thinking and I am far from an expert in this subject - I am putting to you that he had an education.

I do not think it matters how good his Latin, Greek or French were - anyone who is not a gifted linguist will tell you that there may be ways to compensate, we know he lived in London where there were undoubtedly many who may have supported him with this. Is it too early for dictionaries, perhaps?

It is possible that he knew how to solve issues with this, without being a gifted linguist. This is possible - it is not an assertion of fact, it is a response to your doubt over this - I do not see being poor at foreign languages to preclude such writing. He left school - if he were someone adept in these matters then perhaps that was painful. Perhaps it could have motivated him to maintain study in some way.

We do not know, it is possible. His father had been an alderman or held another town office - he therefore was in contact with some of the best off in Stratford I'd guess. It is possible he had access to the libraries of others. He had access to conversation with others. There are years that are not accounted for. He may have taught. He may have been involved in theatre.

This I do not think you should neglect - he may have learned of drama through such work, in fact what better apprenticeship might there be? Further, in being part of a theatre company or companies he may have learned much from others experienced in theatre - and possibly far beyond theatre. Have you ever heard of people that feel mature from a very early age? Perhaps he felt that.

Again - not a fact, a possibility. I'd have to check if that were the case in Shakespeare's time. Also they did not have our medical treatments nor knowledge of good diet etc - people may have begun to feel old much sooner. They may also have led a much less cossetted life than many now - a very hard paper round.

The Sonnets, by one interpretation may refer to an intimate relationship to someone of high birth. If he spent time amongst such company he may have benefitted from their patronage to access books, and from their conversation. I am not saying he needed this. I am pointing out that you limit his horizons in ways they need not have been. I wonder sometimes if he saw himself not as an artist but as a craftsman - a way of being so rare now.

I also think that perhaps he practiced writing and as far as i know that is the best apprenticeship along with reading for any writer. He seems to have worked amongst experts in theatre. I think it is elitist to assume that William Shakespeare could not have refined a talent. There is no proof. I direct you to the writings that summarise facts that suggest William Shakespeare authored the plays attributed to him that Podras pointed you to.

If it were that Oxford wrote these plays and poems I would respect that, but we do not know that. I accept some likenesses in style - but much may account for that. We have no evidence that other playwrights doubted this matter - and I think how jealous other writers can be is well attested, never mind actors. To the contrary, they went out of their way to attribute the plays to Shakespeare. I hope I have answered why I have written to say 'he may' or 'perhaps' for example - I am showing that the case is not proved and that it is possible Shakespeare could develop in this way.

It is not meant to be a proof, but it is meant to challenge an assumption you seem to make that he could not that is not based on facts about Shakespeare but is instead based on the possibility Oxford write these texts. Finally, you write: "On the comparison of giftedness in music and mathematics, I think these are special cases which are not comparable to some of the other kinds of genius. However, I think you are quite wrong to separate a linguistic gift from that in maths or music.

Both maths and music are languages. William Shakespeare may have had plenty of time to live, read, think, converse, act and to write - and with people that may have liked him and that he liked and that stimulated him and whom he stimulated. Think for a moment about Stonehenge and all the theories that have applied to it - many torn up now. And yet, for all the theory we do EDIT - we do NOT know the individual experience of anyone that went there, which may have been more diverse than we will ever know.

The rest will have to wait. Yes, math and music are languages. But they're so symbolic that they aren't like and aren't comparable to the written and spoken languages we refer to here. Edited: Feb 24, , pm. In this and the other Shakespeare authorship thread , I've noted that Shakespeare's education is treated as if it is a mystery. Like much of the information about Shakespeare and his time, more is known than is generally appreciated. Anti-Shakespeareans in general disparage it as part of the campaign to discredit him, apparently without knowing anything about it, because as long as the glover's son from Stratford is in the picture, cooking up loony ideas about some other preferred candidate--there are over 80 that have been proposed so far and the numbers keep growing--is an utter waste of time.

I think that a major reason for the authorship question to have arisen in the first place was that people forgot how good Tudor grammar schools were. If one is to understand Shakespeare, it is important IMHO to know something of the kind of education he received. After Henry VIII closed the monasteries, replacements were established to provide the essential literate population needed to undergird basic civic functions, support trade, etc.

Edward VI accelerated the process by adding many more schools, as did Elizabeth I. Some of its masters were known for their high quality. John Brownswerd in particular stood out, and not just for the quality of his teaching for which he was honored. Francis Meres cites him in Palladis Tamia --where his name is spelled 'Brunswerd'--for excellence in Latin poetry. John Bretchgirdle was vicar in Stratford in Shakespeare's day and as such, had a say in the hiring of masters.

The William Shakespeare

Earlier in life when he was school master himself at Witten in Cheshire, he wrote, "I will the children learn the Catechism and then the Accidence and Grammar set out by Henry VIII, or some other, if any can be better, to induce children more speedily to Latin speech; and then Institutum Christiani Hominis , that learned Erasmus made; and then Copia of the same Erasmus, Colloquia Erasmi , Ovidius Metamorphoses , Terence, Mantuan, Tully, Horace, Salust, Virgil, and such other as shall be thought convenient.

The overall focus of a grammar school education was the trivium ; an amalgam of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; with grammar coming first after basic language skills. Erasmus' de Copia , a rhetoric text book, was famous for teaching a wide variety of ways to express ones self in writing.

Erasmus' Colloquies were valuable to further advance writing skills, but to also familiarize pupils with a wide range of topics. Analyses of Shakespeare's writing shows the kind of logical structure taught in Tudor grammar schools. Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" speech, for one example, displays an exploration of an issue, beginning with a question Is it to be this, or is it to be that? Shakespeare frequently mined Ovid 's Metamorphoses for ideas as he did many many other sources , and the book itself is a prop in Titus Andronicus and Cymbeline. Terence was a Roman comic dramatist with a comedic style and plotting that was very similar to Shakespeare's own, especially in his early plays.

Terence is credited with creating the five act structure. Much of a Tudor grammar school education can be characterized as taking text written by others, rewording it, and adopting it for other purposes. That is a good characterization of what Shakespeare did in a majority of his writing. The principles of drama taught in the universities came from the 2, year old models in Aristotle's Poetics. Shakespeare departed greatly from those models and was criticized for doing so.

It is possible that had Shakespeare gone to university, he may have been educated away from being the kind of writer he was. There are many sources of information about Shakespeare's education. The most thorough--the gold standard--is T. It can be read online here.

Anti-Shakespearean John Churton Collins claimed that "Shakespeare" had to have gone to university because of his extensive knowledge of the classics. Baldwin's response is that 'I know of no evidence to justify the conviction of Collins that Shakespeare's "knowledge of the classics of both Greece and Rome was remarkably extensive. Stratford grammar school will furnish all that he requires. I have read a little on this and seen numerous documentaries that make this point. I'll look forward to following up with more reading and from the sources you suggest.

I'd also note that there can now be a difference in awareness of past traditions of education due to difference in experience of education. Feb 24, , pm. Some anti-Shakespeareans argue that Shakespeare the glover's son could not have been educated, given that his name doesn't appear on lists of students, neglecting to point out that such lists before about are no longer extant if they were ever made. Universities and the Windsor grammar school are, I understand, exceptions. One person, when confronted with that information, explained to me that that was proof that there were no schools back then.

Not all deniers are so Quite apart from his subsequent history and achievement, someone with his social background would normally move into the literate world and certainly surpass the educational level of his father. It applies to the authorship question in so many ways besides the difference in understanding of the term "grammar school" now vs. Today, it is hard to conceive of Shakespeare not being thought of as the greatest writer in the English language, but in his own time, though a popular writer, he was just another member of a disreputable profession.

One of many. The idea that plays were literature was a foreign concept with Jonson being the only proponent. He was criticized for publishing his own plays in folio format. Sir Thomas Bodley of the Bodleian Library instructed that plays, along with other some other items, were never to be catalogued there. It is amazing how time changes things. The claim that Shakespeare's works had to have been written by an aristocrat, like many made by anti-Shakespeareans, is a 19 th century invention.

The argument has multiple facets to it, but focusing on just one, the idea that his works contained knowledge about court matters and manners that only an aristocrat could have has been contradicted by people living much nearer to Shakespeare's time. John Dryden, for one, criticized Shakespeare for his lack of court knowledge. The writing team of Beaumont and Fletcher was much better at it, he wrote in In , Dryden wrote: "I cannot find that any of them [the Elizabethan dramatists] had been conversant in courts, except Ben Jonson; and his genius lay not so much that way as to make an improvement by it.

An important point is that Shakespeare's writing betrays his common origin and Warwickshire roots far more than otherwise. The fact is the exact opposite of that fatuous claim. Numerous questions posed I've posed already remain ignored by you "two"? For I am shamed by that which I bring forth, And so should you, to love things nothing worth. Why with the time do I not glance aside To new-found methods and to compounds strange?

Why write I still all one, ever the same, And keep invention in a noted weed, That every word doth almost tell my name, Showing their birth and where they did proceed? O, know, sweet love, I always write of you, And you and love are still my argument; So all my best is dressing old words new, Spending again what is already spent: For as the sun is daily new and old, So is my love still telling what is told.

You in me can nothing worthy prove"!? What, pray, tell, does this Stratford guy have to be ashamed of? To hear you two? Nothing about their fluid use and inclusion seems strained or forced --unless we alter the picture given and replace this wunderkind with a realistic person. And, then , seriously? We're to understand, then, that this fellow who came from such modest roots-- who wrote so beautifully about the life and trials of royalty and courtiers--that his products shout out his humble origins, is that about it?

Oh, and he is mortally ashamed of something s he has done which have ruined his good name--things so terrible they aren't specified there in the sonnets. What does the Stratford man have to do with this picture? As I say, Stratfordians would explain all this if they could, perhaps explain why these sonnets--obviously written for and addressed and sent to one or more particular people-- are not to be taken seriously as factually based --why they're fictive entertainments.

That, I guess, is one of the preposterous fall-back positions of Stratfordians participating here -- though, historically, not even Stratfordians seriously doubted the factual basis of the sonnets' depictions. They were taken to reflect their author's own actual feelings, problems, hopes, desires, doubts and convictions. If it had been mere fictional stuff, they'd never have so captured and held so many people's hearts and minds. Go on, please! Explain away these dilemmas of the Stratfordian view those of this simple, humble man who came from nothing, rose by his own genius and catch-as-catch-can education--he read and learned texts which hadn't even been translated into English in his day!

And then, for some reason, he dropped it all and returned to Stratford and lived out his life there--writing no more for a decade. This, as Looney explains, is a series of miraculous metamorphoses in three unbelievable stages: first, early rural cultural deprivation; second, a miraculous and unexplained transformation in urban London, into a poet and playwright and, finally, third, an strange abandonment of all that by so literary a mind to return to the sleepy world of rural Stratford--to and from which no record of correspondence between his years and his dear friends in London has come down to us--not a letter, not a "post-card"!

All dropped, without a word. Leaving no record at all from those years. What honest, disinterested, mature and world-experienced person can believe such stuff?! We're still waiting for a sane, credible explanation. But, then, most of them have probably read Looney or Ogburn or both while you, I gather, have read neither of them completely. It occurs to me that the reason you can "see no evidence of that" might be that you haven't read all of Looney or Ogburn. In fact, no. That everyone had always assumed "William Shakespeare" was the author of the plays is not true. It's more accurate to say that from their earliest appearance on stage, most people neither knew nor cared to wonder about who was the author of the plays.

Later, among the first printed renderings of the name, it was given as "Shake-speare"--the then as now commonly used way to indicate a pseudonym. Then, within only a few years of "Shakespeare" being given as the real name of the actual author, this idea was indeed doubted and challenged. The onus is now on Stratfordians to answer the case made by Looney and Ogburn rather than--as seems to be the case here--to ignore them and pretend that it is they who owe an explanation. Where is the actual evidence that Shaksper of Stratford ever attended any school?

If we have no evidence of his ever having attended school, then what is "elitist" about questioning or doubting his ability to read or write? But they have no independent evidence to support that claim. Again, they assume that the Stratford guy wrote "Shakespeare" and so they suppose that he must have been able to read and write but the sound evidence for this supposition doesn't exist. Writing an argument without evidence would get my students a low fail. Have you read them? Where is your still-valid counter-evidence?

These are questions. What do you have in answer to them? But as part of no. Oh, I see. By "demolition" of scholarly consensus, you mean, "We have definite answers to certain questions where ordinary scholars say there is insufficient evidence to support a definite answer. For example: To whom are the sonnets addressed?

Anyone who says otherwise is deserving of verbal abuse. But this aggressive certainty fails to acknowledge that the evidence admits more than one interpretation while definitively excluding none. You are also drumming up more controversy here than actually exists. I'm not sure whether they are a majority, but many mainstream scholars do believe that Southampton is the most likely candidate for the "Fair Youth.

After all, Southampton was only two generations removed from commoner status that was little more exalted than Shakespeare's. He may have worn his honors lightly, knowing they were conferred on his grandfather because of the dead-common farrier's son Thomas Cromwell. And this is not special pleading by beleaguered Shakespeareans seeking to avoid a painful truth. It is consistent with the way that experts read sonnets by other Renaissance poets. For example: The Earl of Surrey's "Geraldine," to whom he wrote sonnets, may or may not have been the lady he married: a daughter of the 15th Earl of Oxford, as it happens.

I don't doubt that Surrey and his friends talked endlessly on the subject of Geraldine, but their conversations leave no trace in the historical record. So the responsible course is to make no dogmatic assertions about who Geraldine was or was not. But perhaps you would prefer to tell me that the refusal to acknowledge Geraldine's true identity is yet another sign of the academic conspiracy against the De Vere family. Two more examples: - Sir Philip Sidney's sonnet-writing persona, Astrophil or -phel; his printer's spelling was as inconsistent as Shaxpere's , may have been Sidney himself or he may have been an invented persona.

Sidney and his friends leave us no affidavits on the subject. Only the most simple-minded antiquarians insist that she must have been a person named Anne Goodere. Shakespeare's sonnets are packed with more verisimiiltude than most of these works, and that does suggest that they are based on life experiences and addressed to living, breathing people.

Nevertheless, as long as we lack evidence that definitively states whom Shakespeare had in mind as he wrote, the case for identifying anyone as the "Fair Youth" or the "Dark Lady" has to be admitted as unproven. All this is leading up to a question you commanded me to answer. So pay attention. You asked why I object to "working backward" by interpreting evidence in light of a hypothesis.

Sure, as you say, every researcher does this to an extent. The difference is that responsible researchers regard the hypothesis as something to be tested against evidence. Irresponsible or naive researchers filter evidence, consciously or not, admitting only those facts or assertions that support their hypothesis.

That is what I meant by "working backward" from the desired conclusion. Confirmation bias is an apparently innate tendency all human beings have; we favor evidence that supports our preconceived notions. So it takes self-awareness and rigor to counteract the effects of this bias, and often even the best scholars are not successful. But they do make the effort, and they invite their colleagues to hold them accountable through constructive criticism.

To put it another way: Responsible researchers advance a theory while admitting other possibilities. Naifs and zealots ignore all other possibilities and insist that they have found The Truth. The most obnoxious of them then insist that there is a conspiracy afoot to deny that The Truth is true. I hope this answers your question about how researchers should "reason things out. I'm out of it I think. There are better things in life. I may not have read Looney, however I did read quite a bit of Oxford, a very long time ago, that did not all have the flavour that can be seen as somewhat reminiscent of Shakespeare.

On your point about who could and could not publish, there are many historians in the world that have not drawn your broad cinclusion. Looney etc. Have not shown it was not Shakespeare what they have shown is a possibility it was Oxford.

You may want to read Podrus' post on education. I'm out of here though. Good luck to you and your debating manner. I did not appreciate how you ignored what I said about how to refer to Shakespeare. The afternoon is already well advanced. B Oh, I see. C For example: To whom are the sonnets addressed? I don't know why you choose to begin as above A.

If I was not interested in evidence and facts I never should have reached this place and point. As soon as Stratfordians can produce better evidence, chains of reasoning and argue them I'm quite prepared to adopt their case. I'm by no means an admirer of royalty or of rule by it. I'd be delighted by straight answers and simple statements of how this Stratfordian stuff is the best possible interpretation of the evidence we have.

But no one has offered that so far--no one including you. B That is snide straw-man stuff. Which specific point do you have in mind? Insecure, yes. Diffident, not on your life! I don't see them saying "the evidence is not conclusive. No, the OP says nothing about Stratfordians being timid--least of all intellectually timid. On the contrary they are intellectually reckless. This comment of yours convinces me that we inhabit different universes. You're mistaken in this-- " But as part of no. You've also indulged in a good deal of ad hominem attack against Stratfordians in general and your debate partners in particular.

Your habit of atomizing our arguments into incoherence is also not appreciated. For instance, you just wrote: That is snide straw-man stuff. If you had paused for just one more sentence, you would seen me introduce a specific point. I even preceded it with "For example:", hoping that this would sufficiently demonstrate the continuity of the thought. But no, you chopped off that one sentence and damned me for not introducing a "specific point. I honestly can't tell which. ETA You'd elaborated by writing: " You are also drumming up more controversy here than actually exists.

You point out that it doesn't necessarily follow that the poet who addresses him had to be an earl in order to express fatherly love for the young noble, or for the young noble to return that love. Thus my question: who do you say was the addresee? If your answer is Southampton, then, "why is the Stratford guy the most plausible author?

I'll look for replies tomorrow. Thank you. I have watched and listened to several documentaries on the subject. I've also read overviews of them, sections of them and some responses to them. Your underestimation of the "tenacity" of Strafordians is charming. On the principle issue: "Whose profile best fits what is demonstrated by all that we possess as the generally-accepted Shakespeare canon?

The debate might then focus on other peripheral questions of interest. Your comments here show that. I leave quite disheartened, but maybe not for the reasons you'd ascribe. I shall look again at the arguments, as my reading schedule allows and as I have started to work through all the plays. I'd suggest you give less certainty to what you see in me - or any others.

That I am sure is something that the author of these works was aware of. And consider why it may be that well read, intelligent people may differ and why courtesy in respecting that may be a good thing. Just a suggestion, it may help you get where you want to be. Believe me, I wonder constantly about this and have various provisional ideas by which I try to understand it.

It is a puzzle. Some of the explanation--but not all of it--is in the point Muscogulus made about the pitfalls of confirmation bias being so common. But I think there are other factors at work.

Sonnet 76 - William Shakespeare -

I am ready to deal courteously with anyone who engages here with the habits of an open-mind. Beyond that, I cannot and do not take any responsibility for others' reactions to or their disappointments occasioned by being faced with an unapologetic exposition of the Oxfordian case and its consequences for many people's cherished but mistaken beliefs about the author behind the works which we find published under the name of "Shakespeare.

Moreover, when such people, faced with pertinent but difficult questions steadfastly ingore those questions, they have, at that point shown that they aren't entitled to further benefit of the doubt about their good-faith participation here. And I'm then under no obligation to treat them with the kind of courtesy or respect which others, by their different comportment, do deserve. Like Stratfordians, I used to accept without question the factuality of that myth. Unlike them , when at last I came--by sheer chance--to learn that there was actually a controversy about this matter, through no thanks to the Stratfordians' openness about the existence of this controversy, I was fascinated by the details and the arguments marshalled by, for me, first, Charlton Ogburn Jr.

Thomas Looney rather than disappointed that my former assumptions had been exposed as mistaken and lacking in basic reasonableness. Good, peaceful human interaction depends on this being false Your view is a terribly naive one whereby everyone comes together in a spirit of harmony, good will and good faith--and then advocates treating all alike as if this were actually true.

That rewards and encourages people of bad faith, con men, cheats, liars and scoundrels who are interested only in the next opportunities to take advantage of the politeness they neither practice nor care for except, again, as something to take advantage of in others. Those who would be treated with respect and politeness have only to show by their honest, good-faith treament of others that they deserve that.

It morally wrong to treat bad faith and calculating dishonesty with the patience and politeness which honest, good-faith treament of others deserves. By the way, the real author of "Shakespeare's" works was a moralist, a world away from the commercially obsessed landlord and wool and malt merchant, William Shaksper, of Stratford. He was a paid stand-in and he knew this. It explains so much when that is understood. What thanks are owed him for playing that part were discharged long ago and are no longer incumbent on us.

Our duty is to correct the record and to help see credit given where it is due--rather than lavish unmerited patience and politeness on those who are invested in perpetuating a myth that has no further use or excuse except to a self-interested and self-serving minority. If that does not include or describe you, then you make of yourself an unwitting aid and tool to those who it does include and describe. When authors use a pseudonym, they usually resort to a learned invention like Smectymnuus , an anachronism like Publius , a descriptive phrase such as "Rambler" or "A Citizen of the World" , or simply a set of initials.

In the 16th and 17th centuries "John Smith" and "John Smyth" were two ways of spelling the same name; not until the s did we conceive of the idea that divergent spellings of surnames must indicate divergent identities. For me, the likeliest explanation for the hyphen though this is sheer speculation is to help the type match the width of the decorative woodcut without having to resort to excessive letter spacing or kerning, as typesetters call it. There's no accounting for taste. I am not proposing a hypothesis here that somehow must be defended in order to vindicate the Stratfordian cause.

Just rejecting any presumed need for a conspiracy theory. I hope the distinction is clear. The following is a very partial list of names of real people which were hyphenated on title-pages of printed works between and ; some of these are taken from Irvin Matus's Shakespeare, In Fact pp. Charles Fitzgeoffrey's name was regularly hyphenated on the title pages of his works, published between and as by "Charles Fitz-Geffry," "Charles Fitz-Geffrey," or "Charles Fitz-Geffrie.

The name of the Protestant martyr Sir John Oldcastle, the original model for Shakespeare's Falstaff, was often hyphenated as Old-castle. When four of Phillip Henslowe's writers wrote a play about Oldcastle in response to the success of Falstaff, the printed version of the play had the title "The first part of the true and honorable historie, of Sir John Old-Castle, the good Lord Cobham. The printer of Munday's pageant, Edward Allde, was quite fond of hyphens, and in fact he often hyphenated his own name as All-de on the title pages of works he printed e.

It is interesting to note that Waldegrave was the printer of most of the Martin Marprelate pamphlets, which initiated a major controversy in ; "Martin Marprelate" is the one example sometimes cited by Oxfordians of an undisputed Elizabethan pseudonym being hyphenated. It is true that there are a few instances of "Marprelate" being hyphenated for example, on the title page of Rythmes against Martin Marre-prelate , but it was usually not.

In all the Marprelate tracts published by Waldegrave reprinted in facsimile by Scholar Press in , I have been unable to find a single instance of the hyphenated version "Mar-prelate" or its variations , though the name occurs repeatedly. However, the name of Waldegrave himself also occurs repeatedly in the tracts, and it is always hyphenated. If hyphenation was supposed to indicate a pseudonym, it is curious that Waldegrave repeatedly hyphenated his own name while failing to hyphenate an undisputed pseudonym in the same texts.

In fact, the pattern seems to be that a name could be hyphenated according to the whim of the printer if it could be seen as divided into two parts; most often one or both of these parts were English words, though in "Fitz-Geffrey" the "Fitz-" is a Norman French prefix meaning "son of. Contemporary evidence that this was how people thought of the name can be found in William Camden's Remaines, first published in Camden had a long section on the origins of English names, and at one point he says that some men derived their names "from that which they commonly carried, as Palmer, that is, Pilgrime, for that they carried Palme when they returned from Hierusalem, Long-sword, Broad-speare, Fortescu, that is, Strong-shield, and in some such respect, Breake-speare, Shake-Speare, Shotbolt, Wagstaffe.

At least one more tidbit of evidence that the family name had the "spear-shaking" interpretation long before William was born can be found in the records of Richard Shakespeare, William's paternal grandfather. Richard was called "Richard Shakstaff" in a record; some scribe apparently wrote "staff" instead of the semantically similar "spear" as part of the name. In sum, there is no evidence to support the Oxfordian assertion that the occasional hyphenation of the name Shakespeare means that people thought of it as a pseudonym.

Real names were occasionally hyphenated when they could be divided into two parts; the same is true of fictitious names. The best-known pseudonym of the time, Martin Marprelate, was only occasionally hyphenated, while names of several real people such as Charles Fitz-geffrey and Robert Walde-grave were hyphenated with great regularity. Many people would not bother to explain this to you, after your arrogant and superficial dismissal of their world view, but perhaps in the spirit of that world view I will reply.

You said: "There is a great deal of common sense in the practical approach I described. I did not say that where I need to stand up for myself I would not, nor that wrong should be allowed. Instead I would suggest to you that such interaction as I suggest may be tempered by its environment.

But for me it is fundamental that helpful human relationships can be characterised by the theory of Carl Rogers. Some liken aspects of that to that of Buddha - his views have lasted a long time. I put this into practice on a daily basis and it reaps rewards for me and others in countless ways. Not that i am perfect at it - and yes, it can be misunderstood, or unwanted, or I may not be the right person for some.

The value of forgiveness and mercy are incalcuable. Believe me, I have learned it is best not to question these. The harsh mode you suggest of conditional love and the marginalisation and non acceptance of others is one that leads only to separation, hostility, boundaries, non transformation of the situation, lack of growth. It may mean you measure where it is possible to feel able to explore mutuality - most of all in safe, boundaried relationships and personal relationships that have proven their safety.

As this is practiced I think we become better at judging this - but I hope to be able to take such chances upon others, if not what hope is there? If I give up on others in any way I may as well give up on myself - it would be a function of my lack of ability and humanity, and of my fear. In the latter part of you post you start making unsubstantiated claims about Shakespeare - you do not know what he did and did not know. If my slight Muse do please these curious days, The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise — When I, perhaps, compounded am with clay, Do not such much as my poor name rehearse, But let your love even with my life decay — Your name from hence immortal life shall have, Though I, once gone, to all the world must die — The dedication of "Lucrece" to Southampton -- by "Shakespeare" the pen name and so-called rival poet of the sonnets This I do vow, and this shall ever be, I will be true despite thy scythe and thee.

The day is coming sooner than later when students will be given the opportunity to appreciate the greatness of these sonnets. Well, it will be seen! And then there will be new life in the classroom, new excitement in the lecture hall, and a kind of Shakespearean renaissance — as we crawl out of the long dark tunnel of tradition into the bright light of truth. Blog at WordPress. RSS 2.