Author, Author

This Much We Know: There’re No
Questions About the Bard’s Legacy

About William Shakespeare, the man said to have been born in Stratford-upon-Avon, 448 years ago today, very little is known for sure. Starting by his own birthday, since some historians believe that he was born three days ago, on April 23, which is the official date of his death, at 52, in 1616. If you think this is all too confusing, wait till you learn what some think who this person really was.
His official biography, in fact, constantly updated by many different authors and in many different eras, is ridden with words such as ‘probably,’ ‘likely,’ ‘it’s possible,’ and ‘we still don’t know.’ But inconsistencies apart, there was never, and ‘very likely’ there won’t be ever, any questions about the profound quality and transcendence of the works published under this name.
So when it comes to Shakespeare, most agree to disagree about pretty much everything but for the most important thing. So much for the concept of authorship, which at the Elizabethan times when he was supposed to be walking around in England, was not quite accepted as such, or at least, the way that it later developed into ‘copy rights’ and the like.
We’ve written the post below several months ago, when a Hollywood take on this disputed issue was supposed to take the movie box office by storm. It didn’t, which just proves that its headline was not too far off the mark. We’re republishing it today to mark the official celebrations of the Bard’s birthday, and also not to have to repeat ourselves.
By the way, surprise, surprise: according to scholars at Oxford University (which in itself is ironic and you’ll understand why when you read the post), Shakespeare’s play All’s Well That Ends Well may have been a collaboration with a contemporary of his, the playwright Thomas Middleton. They both had already worked together before. Wouldn’t you know it? Enjoy it.

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