Shakespeare Solved ®

Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Edward de Vere!

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was born on 12 April 1550.

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

He was one of the most well known courtiers in the Elizabethan era.

He was a patron of the arts, and his poetry and plays were well known in his own time.

For many years, there has been an attempt to give credit to someone other than Shakespeare for the authorship of the Shakespeare plays.

Edward de Vere has been the leading candidate.

Currently, there is a heated debate between  those who believe that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford wrote the plays, and those who believe that William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays -- the Oxfordians versus the Stratfordians. 

There has even been a movie, called Anonymous, which depicts how Oxford could have written the plays. 

I will freely admit that many years ago I was so intrigued by the Oxfordian argument that I bought and read Thomas Looney’s two-volume book in defense of Oxford. I found it persuasive, and for some time I considered the case open, as far as who was the real author of the plays.

As far as I was concerned, it could have been someone else who wrote the plays.

But then I had the great discovery regarding The Merchant of Venice. I watched the film version and like a bolt of lightning I figured out what was wrong with our understanding of the play, and how to fix it.

I began to read as much as possible about Shakespeare, his times, and his plays. In order to back up my case for my new version of Merchant I needed to learn as much as possible.

Merchant has been the most problematic of Shakespeare’s problem plays. My version solved the problems.

I wrote a new version of Merchant, then a new version of Richard III and then a new version of Hamlet. I am currently writing a new version of Othello.

During all of this time, as far as the authorship question was concerned, it was never my intention to create a case against Oxford and for Shakespeare.

But as I did my homework and as I wrote these new versions, I came to the conclusion that Oxford did not write the Shakespeare plays.

Shakespeare wrote the Shakespeare plays.

Now, after having written my versions of the plays, I consider the authorship case closed.

For those of you who think that Oxford is the author of the plays, there is probably nothing I can write that will change your mind.

For example, Oxford died in 1604. The plays of Shakespeare are known to have been written until about 1613.

King James had made William Shakespeare and his company his own personal royal company of actors, the King’s Men.

How could King James have been watching new plays from William Shakespeare in late 1604, 1605, 1606 and so on? 

In the film Anonymous, we are supposed to think that Oxford had a shelf full of plays that were just waiting to be performed. 

Again, no matter what I write, there are people who will think that Oxford wrote the plays.

That's all right. My purpose is not to argue the case. My purpose is to write and present to you my versions of the plays which solve the mysteries surrounding them.

For those of you who are not familiar about the case for Oxford as the author, you can find a lot on the internet and in books about the issue. I encourage you to learn as much about the matter as possible. You should make up your own mind.

For me, in telling my versions of the plays, and learning what I know about William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon, I can not think that anyone else wrote the plays.

In fact, there is every reason to think that Shakespeare knew Oxford. Oxford was one of many patrons of the arts, like Shakespeare’s patrons the Earls of Essex and Southampton.

Oxford even had his own company of actors, Oxford’s Men, which are believed to have been active until 1602.

There is every reason to think that Oxford would see a Shakespeare play, in order to see what the competition was up to.

When I wrote my version of Merchant, the more I learned about Oxford the more I became convinced that he was the inspiration for the Merchant, named Antonio.

What made it more interesting is that Shakespeare makes fun of Antonio, much in the same way I am sure that Shakespeare would have made fun of Oxford, who had a rival company of actors.

I mean Oxford no disrespect. I think he is one of the most fascinating men of the period. 

I just think that it is unfortunate that he has become a weapon against the legacy and memory of William Shakespeare.


David B. Schajer

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Derek Jacobi, Mark Rylance, Roland Emmerich and Shakespeare

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