Conclusion sonnets 116

In between, he married and had three children, went to London and became a successful actor and theatrical shareholder, bought the second-largest house in Stratford as well as other property, and wrote the greatest body of plays and poetry in the English language.

Conclusion sonnets 116

In between, he married and had three children, went to London and became a successful actor and theatrical shareholder, bought the second-largest house in Stratford as well as other property, and wrote the greatest body of plays and poetry in the English language.

For the last years or so, a steady stream of writers, many of them quite intelligent but generally without training in Elizabethan literary history, have Conclusion sonnets 116 that William Shakespeare of Stratford did not write the plays and poems attributed to him, and that "William Shakespeare" was actually a pseudonym for the real author.

In recent decades, Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, has become the preferred candidate as an alternate Shakespeare, with many Oxfordians arguing their case passionately in books, journals including the Elizabethan Reviewand most recently on the Internet.

Despite their passion and Conclusion sonnets 116, Oxfordians and their theories have generally been ignored by the mainstream Shakespeare establishment.

When orthodox Shakespeare scholars have responded to Oxfordians, they have often done so in a dismissive and condescending way, leading to accusations that these scholars are afraid to face up to the "real issues" involved. Many Oxfordians believe that such a reaction is motivated by self-interest, and that only the formidable vested interests of the Shakespeare industry prevent Oxford's authorship from being universally recognized.

In this article I will try to explain some of the major reasons why mainstream Shakespeare scholars do not take Oxfordians seriously. I will not attempt to deal with every assertion which has been made by Oxfordians, because that would require at least a book-length treatment; many of the most popular issues are addressed on the Shakespeare Authorship Page on the World Wide Web ShakespeareAuthorship.

Instead, I will focus on Charlton Ogburn's book The Mysterious William Shakespeare, using it both as a springboard for discussing larger issues and as a case study in Oxfordian methodologies.

Obviously Ogburn does not speak for all Oxfordians on every issue, as he would be the first to admit; nevertheless, his book is generally accepted as the most thorough and scholarly exposition of the Oxfordian position, and every serious Oxfordian is familiar with it.

First of all, it may be useful to give a summary of the reasons for the traditional attribution.

SparkNotes: Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Sonnet

All the external evidence says the plays and poems were written by William Shakespeare. A man named William Shakespeare, from Stratford, was a member of the acting company which put on the plays.

Heminges and Condell in the First Folio explicitly say that their "friend and fellow" Shakespeare was the author of the plays, and a monument to his memory was built in the Stratford church.

There was no other William Shakespeare living in London at the time. There is no evidence that anyone else, including Oxford, was ever known as "William Shakespeare.

There were abundant resources in Elizabethan London for such a man to absorb the knowledge displayed in the plays, despite Oxfordian attempts to claim otherwise; furthermore, there is no documentary evidence to connect the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford with any of Shakespeare's plays or poems, despite the fact that Oxford's life is quite well documented.

All this is perfectly standard evidence of the type used by literary historians; indeed, the evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays and poems published under his name is abundant compared to that for many of his fellow writers. Oxfordians, however, see such external evidence as an annoyance to be rationalized away; they have built up a picture of who the author must have been from reading the plays themselves, and that picture does not look like William Shakespeare of Stratford.

A large part of the "evidence" used by Oxfordians is internal to the works themselves: Literary scholars have always treated such internal evidence with the utmost caution, especially when dealing with works written years ago; interpretations are notoriously subjective, and whenever possible should be backed with external evidence.

Indeed, such a great literary figure as T. Eliot recognized the unreliability of such reconstructions when he wrote the following: Eliot, Surely such testimony, especially coming from a great literary figure who lived to see voluminous criticism of his works, should make us cautious of relying too much on internal reconstructions of an author's life and opinions.

For Charlton Ogburn, though, such internal "evidence" is primary, and if the documentary record does not support it, that is simply evidence that the documentary record has been tampered with. Ogburn is not a humble man; he is absolutely certain that his interpretations of Shakespeare are correct, and sometimes he seems genuinely baffled that any honest person could disagree with him.

When he attempts to justify these interpretations using evidence and arguments, though, he invokes an enormous double standard -- actually a series of double standards -- in which completely different standards of proof apply to Ogburn and his opponents, and which renders his thesis essentially unfalsifiable.

Everything about William Shakespeare of Stratford is put under a microscope and interpreted in the most unfavorable way possible; everything about Oxford is interpreted as favorably as possible. Ogburn throws out documentary evidence and ridicules even the most reasonable inferences made by Shakespeare's biographers if they do not accord with his preconceived notion that "Shaksper" was a greedy, illiterate boor; on the other hand, he freely engages in far more fanciful speculation about Oxford in the absence of any documentary evidence.

Ogburn expresses strong disagreement with the opinions and interpretations of past Shakespeare scholars, which he has every right to do; but then he presents his own opinions as obvious truths which only a fool could disagree with. All in all, the relentless double standard pervading Ogburn's book makes it difficult to take anything he writes at face value.

For example, Ogburn relentlessly criticizes orthodox Shakespeare scholars for uncritically accepting what their predecessors have written, but he is even more guilty of uncritically accepting what previous antistratfordians have written; he seems unwilling to apply any except the most trivial critical standards to Oxfordian arguments.

The result is a disturbing tendency to confidently, even arrogantly, insist on the truth of statements which can be easily shown to be false, simply because they have been a part of antistratfordian dogma for so many years.

For example, in discussing the Quarto of the Sonnets, Ogburn asserts that the title "Shake-speares Sonnets," with the writer's name first, is "a plain indication that the author was dead" He cites Greenes Groatsworth of Wit as an example and even invokes the orthodox scholar Sidney Lee in support of his claim.

But a quick check of the Short Title Catalogue reveals that this claim is completely groundless.Cross Cultural Poetics. hosted by Leonard Schwartz. Image credit: Carlos David. Cross Cultural Poetics is produced in the studios of KAOS-FM at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Although in former times this sonnet was almost universally read as a paean to ideal and eternal love, with which all readers could easily identify, adding their own dream of perfection to what they found within it, modern criticism makes it possible to look beneath the idealism and to see some hints of a world which is perhaps slightly more disturbed than the poet pretends.

Although in former times this sonnet was almost universally read as a paean to ideal and eternal love, with which all readers could easily identify, adding their own dream of perfection to what they found within it, modern criticism makes it possible to look beneath the idealism and to see some hints of a world which is perhaps slightly more disturbed .

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Over traditional favorites to be read and reread. Categorized by theme. Why I Am Not an Oxfordian by David Kathman William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, , and was buried in .

Conclusion sonnets 116

Shakespeare's Sonnet was first published in Its structure and form are a typical example of the Shakespearean sonnet.. The poet begins by stating he should not stand in the way of "the marriage of true minds", and that love cannot be true if it changes for any reason; true love should be constant, through any difficulties.

A Breakdown of Themes of Shakespeare's Sonnets