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Who Shakespeare Really Was? 8 Amazing Theories Behind Bard’s True Identity


William Shakespeare, the bard, the poet, the playwright ­ the symbol of English Renaissance. According to many, the greatest writer who ever lived, whose intricate works of art span the most difficult and vital subjects of human existence. His astounding literary work, as well as his tireless efforts in modernizing the theater and making it accessible to masses, is without precedent in history.

But, as it is with huge historical figures of any kind, there are controversies surrounding his name. Controversies that even question his authorship of such books like “King Lear”, “Hamlet”, “Merchant of Venice” and “Macbeth”, to name a few. Even today, there are people wondering and posing the question: “Who was really William Shakespeare?”

What you are about to read should be taken with both open mind and a grain of salt. It is difficult to believe that one of the most recognized and celebrated writers in history of literature was in fact someone else, but conspiracy theories have always been something people were attracted to.

And in some cases, they turned out to be right. So, until we have some definite scientific confirmation on whether Shakespeare really was Shakespeare, here are 8 most likely candidates that could have been using the noble name of William Shakespeare to publish remarkable master works.

1. Edward de Vere

One of the most widespread theories on who was really behind the famed name of William Shakespeare traces back to the early XX century. According to some theorists, it could have easily been 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere. This nobleman was a huge patron of arts, poetry and theater and a celebrated poet himself, within his circle of acquaintances.

Being a sponsor of many writers and artist at the time (during the period when British art scene was thriving), we know that his connections with Shakespeare were many. Perhaps even too many ­de Vere may have been The Bard.

The theory suggests that de Vere was keen on keeping his identity secret whenever he got a chance to publish something that was out of the ordinary for him as a poet. He had strong connections with the London theater and access to earls and dukes who are known to have been Shakespeare’s personal patrons. But what is most important, as certain literary theorists note, is that many events from de Vere’s life are eerily similar to events and facts in Shakespeare’s plays.

For instance, it has been found that facts on Court life presented in Shakespeare’s books was almost exactly the same to knowledge de Vere himself had about it. Also, almost all locations which de Vere visited during his voyages to Italy and France were mentioned in some of the most well known Shakespeare’s plays.

Finally and most convincingly, it has been found that de Vere’s use of idioms and language is almost identical to Shakespeare’s. To top it off, it was discovered that de Vere marked passages in the Bible that appear in some scenes in Shakespeare’s plays.

All of this seemed to have really convinced a large quantity of intellectual elite in England, but it has later been found that some of the evidence may have been false. Soon after the theory of de Vere’s authorship plummeted in popularity, another one rise ­ the theory of Christopher Marlowe.

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