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, November 3, 2017

Shakespeare Derangement Syndrome

Some people have doubts about Shakespeare, about whether the man from Stratford was the real author of the plays and poems.

Brittanica Shakespeare Death-Mask
Wikimedia Commons

I have no problem with that. Doubt is good, healthy even.

But some people are so convinced that Shakespeare was not Shakespeare, that they go to great lengths to prove that the man from Stratford was a fake.

This is beginning to look a lot like some sort of Shakespeare Derangement Syndrome.

I just read about how Alexander Waugh now claims that he has deciphered some kind of secret code, of “funny dots” inside the 1609 edition of the Sonnets.

He argues that this code — of “hidden geometries” and “grid patterns” — proves that Shakespeare’s remains are actually buried in Westminster Abbey (not in Stratford’s Trinity Church) and that the real Shakespeare is actually Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford.

Mr. Waugh presented his evidence at the Globe in London. He was accompanied by the eminent actors Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance, both long-time supporters of the theory that Oxford is the true Shakespeare.

Stratford’s Trinity Church and Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust have taken issue with these claims, which they find to be a “fantasy.”

With all due respect to Waugh, Jacobi and Rylance — such theories are deranged.

They are doing great harm to the name and legacy of Shakespeare.

I beg them to stop.

If they have any love for the words in the poems and the plays, the characters and the plots, the high drama and the low comedy, they should just stop. They should spend more time reading and learning about who the real Shakespeare was.

To present alternative theories as somehow factual, or to lend their names to legitimize claims like this, is to undermine the entire foundation that is Shakespeare.

They are diminishing the importance and significance of his work.

They are killing Shakespeare.

I don’t usually bother writing about Edward de Vere, and the theory that he is the true Shakespeare. 

I am not sure I can persuade people that the true Shakespeare was Shakespeare. I have even considered writing a series of blog posts, or even a book to prove it. But some people are going to believe what they want to believe, no matter what, and no matter how deranged it is. 

I don’t think that such blog posts and/or books would be persuasive enough. 

Also, I don’t consider myself a scholar, but more of a storyteller. I don’t want to spend my time criticizing other peoples’ theories about Shakespeare. Instead of criticizing, I chose to learn and to create.

First, I chose to spend my time researching everything I could about Shakespeare himself, and the period in general — all in order to tell his story of the true Shakespeare, the man from Stratford.

I didn’t just want an overview of the period. I wanted a granular understanding of the people and the ideas of the Elizabethan era.

There is so much I have learned, and so much that I have discovered, hiding in plain sight on the internet, and in books.

I did not study about just Shakespeare. I read about his contemporaries, like the Earl of Leicester, the Earl of Essex, King Philip of Spain, and many others.

Why was King Philip of Spain significant to Shakespeare?
Wikimedia Commons

Over the years, during my research, I even came to appreciate the Earl of Oxford. I think he is a very misunderstood man. I am actually quite sympathetic to the man that Oxford was.

But the scant evidence that Oxford is the real Shakespeare pales in comparison to the overwhelming direct and circumstantial evidence that the real Shakespeare was the man from Stratford.

The mistake that many people make, in studying Shakespeare, is not paying enough attention to the other people and events in his life. Another huge mistake is that people don’t read the books Shakespeare was reading, like Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Virgil’s Aeneid, and so many more.

Why was Ovid so important to Shakespeare?
Wikimedia Commons

Over the last 400 years, there are so many false assumptions we have made about Shakespeare. There is also some scholarship that is wrong or misleading.

But the worst thing that has happened to Shakespeare is this pernicious authorship question. 

Whoever thinks that Shakespeare is not Shakespeare, and that the true author was Southampton, or Oxford, is being fooled and misled. 

They are being deceived by what should be considered Shakespearean “fake news.”

I have a theory about people who believe in Oxford as the real Shakespeare. I think they just don’t know Shakespeare well enough. 

They make convoluted theories and try to decipher dots on a page of the Sonnets.

They cut up Shakespeare into pieces, and reassemble something that is not really Shakespeare. It’s like verbal photo-shopping, done with the intention of ultimately erasing the real Shakespeare from the picture.

They take quotes from the plays and poems out of context. They  twist and contort their meaning.

They want to tell you who Shakespeare is, based on their limited knowledge and personal bias against him, in order to falsely represent him.

In this way, they are using whatever lack of knowledge you have of Shakespeare against you. They consider themselves the elite, and think that their elitist views are somehow superior to whatever you might think about Shakespeare.

This is like judging a man guilty on hearsay evidence, gossip, rumors, libel, or slander — after he is dead and can’t take the stand to defend himself!

They want you to lose your faith in Shakespeare. They want to discredit him, disgrace him, and taint him in your eyes.

Shakespeare loved plays with scenes with courtroom climaxes. Here is one from Merchant of Venice:

Court scene from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"
by Aleksander Gierymski
Wikimedia Commons

At the end of this courtroom scene, Shylock's suit is dismissed on an artificial technicality introduced by someone pretending to be a lawyer.

By the end of the play, Shylock is a ruined man, and has almost nothing but his name.

What the Oxfordians and others are doing is dismissing Shakespeare, by pretending to be authorities on his work, and introducing evidence they have manufactured.

They would have Shakespeare ruined, without even allowing him the benefit of his own name.

This makes me upset, since I know that Shakespeare was not only a good and decent man, but he was a great man, and a man of unusual courage and uncommon talent.

I feel like the Shakespeare I know is accused of being a cowardly and ungifted thief.

Those who claim that Shakespeare has stolen Oxford’s legacy are bearing false witness, and perverting justice.

So, in order to prove that they are wrong, I will soon release my first novel. I have planned many more, to create whole series of novels.

This first novel is about how a young man from Stratford, the son of a glove-maker, came to London and began his career — all set against the looming Spanish Armada, and the power politics in the Queen’s royal court.

You won’t just have to take my word for it, that I solved Shakespeare.

You will see it with your own eyes, as you walk in the world that Shakespeare knew. 

I will not cut up Shakespeare into pieces, and tell his story out of context. My novels put you in his shoes, and in his original historical context.

I will not photo-shop him out of the picture. I put him back, front and center.

I don’t want you to judge him by the words or gossip that other people say. I want you to see him for yourself. I want you to hear what he has to say, in his own words.

I want him to take the stand, and testify for himself.

I don’t want to re-present him. I want to present him to you as honestly and as comprehensively as possible.

That is almost entirely possible to do as a scholar, with a book of scholarship. But with a novel, it is much easier for you to travel inside Shakespeare’s mind, and transport yourself back to his world.

I am taking a page from Shakespeare’s book. He did not write works of scholarship, or create chronicles about history. He wrote lines of dialogue and created characters, sometimes about real historical figures, for our minds to interpret and behold for ourselves.

You might say my forthcoming novels are Shakespearean stories about Shakespeare himself.

I can prove that Shakespeare was the real Shakespeare. I have the more than enough evidence to prove him as the real author.

But it will take time for me to write and publish my novels, and lay out my case, for you to judge for yourselves.

Within a chapter or two, I am confident that you will be agree that the Shakespeare I am presenting is the real one.

I have every confidence that no such series of novels could ever be created for the sake of the Earl of Oxford, or anyone else for that matter.

I hope you will join me on this journey. I know that it will not only show you the real Shakespeare, but it will prove that he was not some fraud, and that he was not just lucky.

I hope to restore your faith in Shakespeare.

Shakespeare was and always will be Shakespeare


David B. Schajer

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