join the discussion

Join the debate...who was Shakespeare?


I researched this question for an assignment but as I started to read different articles and opinions it became apparent that many do not know whom the real Shakespeare is. This is ironic given that he is the greatest writer of English literature; we still practice his literature today in 2006 and he wrote his plays over 500 years ago (if I am calculating correctly). I did not even know until know that his identity was a mystery and as I read this documentary real tears came to my eyes because it tells a story of an incomplete man. He put his heart into his work and yet he was suffering at the same time. I do not have evidence to say Oxford was Shakespeare but I do have common sense enough to see that he is Shakespeare. It is sad to see that he is not recognized fully for his work and someone else took credit for his passion, and is worshiped for it. Like Oxford said only one judgment count, GOD.

Meme Hill
Antioch, CA


I am dismayed that you are ignorant of, &/or ignore the work of John Michell, and his excelent book," Who Wrote Shakespeare",1996,Thames and Hudson Ltd.

By far the most objective author on the subject.

Please place this book on your reading list.

Stephen Wilmoth
Pebble Beach, Ca.


The vocabulary used in the plays and poems of W. Shakespeare is in the range of 33,000 words. Where did he aquire this huge knowledge?

arthur simpson
cobourg, ontario, canada,K9A4R8


I enjoyed your spirited presentation concerning Shakespeare and Marlowe. Also enjoyed the various letters posted on the web.

I have one suggestion to all involved in this discussion. Ask an experienced actor who has had to labor through a rehearsal period and present a Marlow character and a Shakespeare character before an audience to give an opinion concerning the authorship. I would wager that the actor would say that the author of Dr. Faustus, Tamburlaine, Jew of Malta, etc. could not have authored Hamlet, Midsummer, the Henry IV's. Presenting/acting the prior is a Herculian task, the latter a thing of beauty and a joy....

Costa Mesa, CA

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

The writer is referring to FRONTLINE's broadcast "Much Ado About Something" - a report which attempts to unravel the theory that Christopher Marlowe was the author of Shakespeare's works. Please explore this related in-depth web site on Marlowe.


I just finished reading "Alias Shakespeare" by Joseph Sobran. He makes an irrefutable case for the Earl of Oxford. Case closed.

Richard De Prospero
Miami Lakes, Florida


I've been convinced for years that de Vere authored to plays. For some astounding revelations read appendix V in _Future Memory_ by P.M.H. Atwater....

Stan Curtis
Sharon, WI


Very intriguing. Both Oxford and Marlowe have some credibility in the debate.

Kaye Nelson Hoyle
Vermillion, SD

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

The writer is referring to FRONTLINE's other report on the authorship question: "Much Ado About Something" which offers the arguments of those who believe Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare.


Is it not that shakespeare has become an icon and the real flavour of his writings is yet to be discovered? Can Edward De Vere really take claim on one of the most influential poets of our time?

Emma Dempster
Winchester, Hampshire, England


It's odd that so many people will refuse to beleive someone is extremely talented simply because they are not of noble birth.

But that is beside the point. The point is--whose life is reflected in Shakespeare's works; A common man, or a rich man.

Both! Obviously.

Nicholas Hall
Merced, California


I'm thrilled to know our greatest poet was a well-educated man of nobility, a world-wide traveler, and a crafty little sneak!

Yae for Edward for masking his identity, for whatever reasons.

Marcia Camino
Cleveland, Ohio