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message 1: by Tim (last edited Jul 28, 2016 03:43AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Okay, so who really wrote the works attributed to Shakespeare?

It is known Shakespeare was a very average actor who would have been employed on plays written by Christopher Marlowe. Marlowe is thought to have been born in the same year as Shakespeare and is thought to have been 29 when he died. He was stabbed to death supposedly for blasphemy - a manuscript said to be written by Marlowe apparently contained heretical concepts.

So to the theory Marlowe actually wrote Shakespeare: Marlowe wrote works in a very similar style to Shakespeare and we need to remember he was only 29 when he 'apparently' died. I say apparently, because let us suppose he didn't die, but was helped by his supporters to flee to Europe. Very possibly he could have fled to Denmark (Hamlet is set there). Then across Europe to Italy (the setting of Romeo & Juliet).

So you may ask, why would Marlowe send his manuscripts back to William Shakespeare to publish? Well, I would suggest, Marlowe and Shakespeare were lovers. Homosexuality was not allowed and they'd need to be very discreet. Shakespeare marries an older woman who is more of a motherly figure, Anne Hathaway, who is complicit in the shame marriage because it affords her security. There are verses in the sonnets that read like love letters between gay men... Without going back and reading them, I recall something about "resting my cheek against your purple head..." Anyway, I think Marlowe wrote the plays in Italy and sent them back to his lover to publish. Shakespeare in return sent Marlowe the money he'd need to live on.

Anyway, this theory explains how Shakespeare could possibly have written works set in Denmark and Italy. Also, Marlowe was educated in Cambridge where he had access to libraries on British history, thus he would have been able to read about Henry the 5th, Richard the 3rd etc... I won't bore you with the lists. However, it is very unlikely Shakespeare would have had access to this information....

Many argue that Marlowe's work was simply not as good as Shakespeare's. but we as writers know how we improve the more we write, and life experience definitely improves our writing, and if this theory is correct, Marlowe would have had a richer life experience...

Anyway, it is but a theory I have fun exploring. Others claim Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare, but personally I think the Marlowe theory works much better, especially if you include the homosexual theory (which I hadn't heard about until I thought of it). But if Shakespeare and Marlowe were in fact gay, then they could well have been lovers as they would most likely have worked on the same stage productions...


message 2: by Tim (last edited Jul 28, 2016 04:31AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments On the "Definition of good writing" thread, Mehreen said that maybe Marlowe made Shakespeare.

I answered: In what way do you mean made? We do know Shakespeare was a real person, so I don't think Marlowe would have falsified his death and then created the Shakespeare character as a disguise? Although, it could have been Shakespeare who was really killed mistakenly for Marlowe... ?

But my answer wouldn't explain Shakespeare's plays set in foreign countries - Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think William Shakespeare ever travelled abroad.

In particular Shakespeare appears to have lived in Italy as Romeo & Juliet is drawn so precisely on culture and Italian atmosphere, most notably, feuding families...


message 3: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Tim wrote: "On the "Definition of good writing" thread, Mehreen said that maybe Marlowe made Shakespeare.

I answered: In what way do you mean made? We do know Shakespeare was a real person, so I don't think M..."


Marlowe and Shakespeare were good friends. They regularly met in restaurants and Marlowe gave Shakespeare new ideas. Shakespeare worked on Marlowe's ideas. Marlowe was brilliant until he was killed one day in a brutal attack in the same tavern that they frequented. Shakespeare was grief-stricken but then he already had Marlowe's teachings in his head. He continued to build on that. That's my theory anyway.


message 4: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Thank you, Mehreen. That it is known they not only worked closely together, but socialised together is new information for me - I can see the Francis Bacon supporters running for cover now :D

But it still doesn't explain Shakespeare's in-depth knowledge of Kings of England, Wales and Scotland - knowledge Marlowe had access to but Shakespeare didn't, and the accuracy of plays such as Romeo & Juliet. That Marlowe fled and lived in Italy, is for me, more convincing...


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I love the layers of these possibilities! History truly lives in these discussions.

I am inclined to disbelieve the Marlowe theory because:
1. Marlowe infamously was inclined to pedophilia and not just homophosexuality. He preferred his partners to be very youthful and prepubescent - feminine, almost. Even if we could believe Shakespeare fit this description at one point this period of a male's life is quite fleeting. Has there been an infatuation it would have been brief.
2. Marlowe was already quite dissipated. Assuming he was self-exiled I tend to believe his frustration, anger and evidenced self-destructive behavior would have certainly spiralled in another country. I can't imagine him going to Italy, cleaning up his act and settling down to the writing life.
3. There is not enough venom towards church and state to have been Marlowe's voice.
3. I'm not certain Shakespeare could not have accessed history. First of all great men and men who have known something of lore are always willing to tell their tales to any rapt listener in a pub, tavern or dining hall. Also, if Shakespeare was homosexual he most certainly would have had powerful lovers with access to people and places he could only dream of - he dined with royalty.
4. As for Anne, marriage was viewed much differently then. True there were romantic unions and a beautiful face and figure were beguiling to either sex but the ignomy of marrying an older or less attractive woman is rather contemporary.


message 6: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Tim wrote: "Thank you, Mehreen. That it is known they not only worked closely together, but socialised together is new information for me - I can see the Francis Bacon supporters running for cover now :D

But ..."


Oh Look Tim, people have tried to solve this puzzle for ages now. But no one has conclusively proven anything. Maybe Shakespeare was Marlowe himself write in pen name. We can write thesis on this if you like. But the fact is I love Shakespeare but I also liked Dr. Faustus very much indeed - very poetic and prophetic at the same time. However, I must admit that I found Francis Bacon bit too dry and rational for my taste, although I memorised his words, 'Brevity is the soul of wit' and try to follow it to the letter.


message 7: by Tim (last edited Jul 28, 2016 11:38AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments @Mehreen, Yet it is a wonderful puzzle to play with for fun. I completely agree with you reference Francis Bacon. I don't believe he could have written the plays associated with Shakespeare.

@Tara, You make good points. In his youth, it seems he was somewhat rebellious. I also admire him because he was an atheist at a time when atheism was considered a crime, declaring him an enemy of god and thus the state. But would he have had to tone down his own views, realising they had caused him to live in exile? If Shakespeare were indeed his lover, he would not want to cause his death and if he kept banging the controversial dum and his lover is publishing his works in his name, Shakespeare would be in danger of arrest. And for your other point: most people I speak to agree that William Shakespeare the actor would not have had access to the information so detailed in the plays. I am also unsure of where you came by the Paedophilia claim? I haven't read that. But I remain firmly rooted in the Marlowe camp (camp being an unfortunate term to use... :)


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