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Just throwing it out there in the wild, Shakespeare's romance, love, longing and emotions is hard to ascribe it to an average male, potentially more so in that era, for some reason, just a personal consideration. I'm curious to read more about why you think it's definitely Edward and why a female is rarely considered to ascribe to such talent and mastery in poetry in the academic debate. Michael I PM you on your facebook, let me know if you think there's any validity to it, it actually got me quite depressed initially it seemed so futile.

Almost everybody of any stature in the Elizabethan era has been suggested as the "real Shakespeare" at one time or another. This includes some women. But the case for most of these "authorship candidates" is weak to nonexistent.

Oxford (Edward de Vere) is a strong candidate because the plays often mirror and comment on events in his life. Some of these references are extremely specific. Even the Thomas North theory acknowledges this, suggesting that North was making fun of Oxford with these references. (Maybe. But mocking a powerful earl was not necessarily good for one's health.) Oxford also was known as an important literary patron, a European traveler, an amateur poet and lyricist, and a highly eccentric character apparently prone to violent emotional upheavals. On the other hand, he died in 1604, when arguably some Shakespeare plays were not yet written (dating the plays is hard), and some see him as too much of a silly fop to be the Bard.

I’m not 100% sold on Oxford — or North, or Sackville, or Derby, or ... The only thing I’m sure of is that Will Shaksper of Stratford did not have the erudition, life experience, or court connections to originate the works, though he may well have acquired them for popular performance and publication, and he may have made (or supervised) changes in the manuscripts. This would account for the so-called "bad quartos" that sometimes differ markedly from the First Folio versions (presumably based on the original, uncut manuscripts wherever possible).

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