Who Really Wrote Shakespeare's Plays Sir Francis Bacon Part 2

About the controversy over who really wrote Shakespeare's plays, arguments for Sir Francis Bacon.



Arguments For: The main gun in the Baconian arsenal is the argument of legal phraseology. Bacon was a lawyer, and the plays attributed to Shakespeare show a profound legal expertise. A person of Shakespeare's known background could not have gained such knowledge. The plays also demonstrate their author's solid classical scholarship, and Bacon had had a fine education--while the Stratford actor's meager schooling could scarcely have provided such depth of learning. Even the knowledge of European geography shown in the plays points to a well-traveled familiarity with the Continent--again a mark of the cosmopolitan Bacon, while no evidence exists that Shakespeare got far beyond Stratford and London.

Another telling piece of evidence is Bacon's private notebook, the Promus, first published in 1883. Inspection reveals that the author of the plays used many of these notebook entries in expanded form. The only reasonable conclusion is that Bacon himself wrote the plays.

Ignatius Donnelly pointed out numerous parallelisms between Baconian and Shakespearean writings, clearly revealing a single authorship--as does Donnelly's discovery of various cryptograms and anagrams within the plays. "Shak'stpur never writ a word of them," Donnelly deciphered from the First Folio. Sir Edwin Durning Lawrence identified, in Love's Labour's Lost, the hidden statement that "These plays, offspring of F. Bacon, are preserved for the world."

Bacon's own interest in drama was keen, as shown by his active student participation in amateur theatrical productions. Documentary clues also exist. Bacon ended one letter one letter to a friend with a postscript requesting a favor: "So desiring you to be good to concealed poets," indicating common knowledge of his hidden authorship within a select circle. Another postscript, in a letter to Bacon from his friend Sir Toby Mathew in 1624, states that "the most prodigious wit that I ever knew, of my nation and this side the sea, is of your lordship's name, though he be known by another"--again a veiled reference to a private knowledge between them.

Bacon had good reasons for hiding his authorship. His secret ambition was to be a man of letters, but it was beneath the prescribed dignity of a nobleman to allow such "entertainments" as poetry and plays to appear under his own name; such avocations could only reduce one's prestige at court. Also, the opinions expressed in historical plays could endanger an author given the shifting favoritisms of government policy makers. To disarm such suspicions, Bacon adopted the name William Shakespeare as a pseudonym. Later, by coincidence, he found a semiliterate actor of that name and rewarded him handsomely for lending his identity as a cover.

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