Shakespeare Did Not Exist

I'm Here To Break It To You: The Existence Of The Famous Literary Genius The Entire World Knows As "Shakespeare" Is A Hoax

Was everything we learned in elementary school a lie?

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The works penned under the name of Shakespeare are probably some of the greatest pieces ever written as they have been found to transcend time and culture, unifying the concept of a human race. These works appeal to human nature and truth, pointing out the heart and mind of every person in each piece. Yet, amongst it all, the authorship question still remains of whether or not the man that the literary world knows as Shakespeare even walked our planet. Records show he existed, but it is impossible for a man of such meek beginnings to create such insightful pieces in the span of 51 years.

Many anti-Stratfordians argue that it is impossible for Shakespeare, a man of humble beginnings and little education, to be able to write such extensive works of art. Instead, it must have been someone with exceptional education with intimate knowledge of the law, royal court and other aristocratic politics. Due to his low-status profile, it is easy to question if there is any evidence if he even received a proper education much less write all the famous works he is known for.

One of the popular candidates is the 19th century philosopher and scientist, Sir Francis Bacon, due to patterns between Shakespeare's plays and Bacon's works such as the large number of legal references in Shakespeare's works in reflection to Bacon's strong legal background. Scholars such as Isaac Hull Platt believe that Bacon left ciphers in Shakespeare's texts such as the obscure Latin word that appears in "Love's Labour's Lost", honorificabilitudinitatibus, thought to be an anagram of Hi ludi F. Baconis nati tuiti orbi, translating to "these plays, the offspring of F. Bacon, are preserved for the world." Time and time again, anti-Stratfordians have found many candidates in place of Shakespeare, including the famous poet, Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. Due to his wide travels in Italy and intimate knowledge of Jacobean politics, he is thought to fit the Shakespearean authorship. There is also Christopher Marlow, whose case is interesting as theorists suggest that he faked death, allowing him to escape trial for being an atheist; he emerged as "Shakespeare" to continue his writings.

There is an abundance of evidence that suggested Shakespeare's existence, and I full-heartedly believe that Shakespeare existed as a person. There are written references to Shakespeare as an actor, playwright and even member in the troupe of the Lord's Chamberlain's Men. Additionally, there are written and signed records of his marriage to Anne Hathaway and the birth of their children do exist proving his existence. These bits and pieces of written records show such a man existed. But while I do believe he made his way up the class ladder, I do not believe he is the author of every single play ever penned under the name of Shakespeare.

In each of Shakespeare's pieces, there are points brought about that are still relevant to this day which is why he may considered one of the most genius writers of all time. In "Henry IV," the old notion of honor—associated with chivalry and blood relations in the Middle Ages—is given a new meaning as the character, Falstaff, questions if it is mere "air" or something tied to taking up one's social responsibilities as Prince Hal comes to accept. In "Merchant of Venice," Shakespeare raises the question on morality—is there a place for compassion and forgiveness in a voracious profit-before-all-else system, as represented by the moneylender Shylock? In "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare brings about the conflicts of whether it is okay to choose individual happiness over group traditions, and whether or not humans choose their own destinies.

How can one person possibly single-handedly question yet entertain the system and get away with it? In fact, these plays were enjoyed by thousands, whether they were paupers or princes. This leads to my conclusion that while Shakespeare may have been a person, his works were written by groups of people, some including him and some not. The composition of 37 plays and 154 sonnets within the span of 51 years is no small feat, especially when his educational origins were almost nothing. Shakespeare was a group of people that included Francis Bacon and Edward de Vere. Together they penned playwrights under one name; the combination of the greatest literary minds made plays that still considered relevant to this day. So while these works may have been conducted by one humble man, it was not without the help of others.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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