Is Something Rotten in the Bard's Works?

Debate over who really wrote Shakespeare's plays rages on
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2008 12:37 PM CDT
British actor Patrick Stewart, as Macbeth, is shown during a rehearsal for a production of Shakespeare's Macbeth at the Gielgud Theatre in London, in this Sept. 25, 2007 file photo.    (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
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(Newser) – Did William Shakespeare really write the plays attributed to him? The question remains the subject of an intense academic debate, NPR reports. Those who doubt the “man from Stratford” penned his plays point to a lame rhyming epitaph on the supposed bard’s headstone, and to lack of documents tying him to his works—or even suggesting he was a writer.

All documents, says one premier Shakespeare doubter, “speak to the activity of a man who is principally a businessman. … We don't have anyone attesting to him as a playwright, as a poet. And he's the only presumed writer of his time for whom there is no contemporary evidence of a writing career. Many of us find that rather astonishing."