Who wrote Shakespeare?
The life of the English language’s most famous poet doesn’t often appear in his work. Could that be because William Shakespeare never wrote a single decent verse? In 2002, Gavin McNett, writing in Salon, investigated the claim that the playwright, translator and spy, Christopher Marlowe was in fact the man behind one of the greatest ever bodies of literary work.
“There are six extant Shakespeare signatures from banal documents, all crabbed and variant, as though he had difficulty writing his name. There’s no record of his having attended the village school, or of his having donated a penny to it in his wealthy middle age, although, as the film shows, he lived literally across the street. His daughters were, it seems, illiterate, in sharp contrast to the practice among educated Elizabethans (and in the ethics on display in the Shakespearean plays). We do know that William Shakespeare composed the oft-quoted inscription on his tombstone:
Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To digg the dust encloased heare: Blese be ye man yt spares thes stones, And curst be he yt moves my bones.
It really kind of stinks.”
Listen to the full piece here: