Ever since 2005, when I read a long article that listed hundreds of similarities between the biographical details of the life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and details of characters and plots in the plays of Shakespeare, I have been intrigued by the authorship question.
Based purely on the uncanny similarities of numerous events and people between the life of Edward de Vere and plots and characters that appear in many of the plays, especially Hamlet, I have been leaning toward the belief that Edward de Vere, along with about four other people, wrote much of the text of the plays, while William Shakespeare was the theater director, like a movie director today.
Many people in the Stratford and Oxford camps favor an either-or theory, adamantly insisting that only one of them wrote all the plays, and dismissing the other as a fraud, whereas I favor a collaborationist theory, that William and Edward worked together to write and produce the plays. I favor the view that Edward de Vere wrote most of the pentameter verse of the plays while someone, quite possibly Shakespeare himself, wrote most of the prose.
I am flexible in my beliefs, eager and willing to review all evidence supporting either William Shakespeare or Edward de Vere as the author of the plays, because I always base my beliefs on facts and evidence, and not ideology.
Thus I was intrigued by this article that appeared recently titled "How ‘Sherlock of the library’ cracked the case of Shakespeare’s identity" and read it with excitement, expecting clear evidence that supports Shakespeare as the author.
However, this article is filled with lots of snark and bluster that Shakespeare was the author while presenting no evidence at all. The only passage in this entire article that seems to actually present the purported evidence is this paragraph:
"It’s at this point in the story that Wolfe discovered “the smoking gun”. In the Brooke-Dethick feud, it becomes clear that “Shakespeare, Gent. from Stratford” and “Shakespeare the Player” are the same man. In other words, “the man from Stratford” is indeed the playwright."
There is no "smoking gun" here. In spite of the aggressive assertion that “There is such a wealth of evidence out there that he’s the playwright” this is not any evidence at all.
When I look clearly at quotes from the documents they present, I see only the phrases "Shakespeare, Gent. from Stratford" and "Shakespeare the Player". Everyone discussed in this article is making the assumption that "Shakespeare the Player" means that he is the playwright when the original document itself nowhere uses the actual word "playwright".
No, it does not follow that "the man from Stratford" is the playwright. It does prove that as "the player" he was involved in the theater, and supports my theory that he was the director while Oxford was the playwright.
I have been waiting over 10 years for someone to explain why William Shakespeare, son of a glover from a small town, would write more than 30 plays which are without question thinly disguised biographies of another person entirely, namely Edward de Vere.
Every play has numerous people and events that match the life of Edward de Vere and not William Shakespeare. Instead of wondering why William would write biographical plays about Edward, I find it more logical to conclude that Edward wrote autobiographical plays about his own life while William directed the plays on stage.
Until someone can clearly convince me otherwise, I will continue to favor my current theory that William Shakespeare was the theater director while Edward de Vere was the principle writer, much like the situation in movie production today where the director and the writer of a film are quite often different people.
I remain believing in a collaborationist theory about the authorship question while maintaining an open mind about all evidence.