Sunday, July 10, 2011

Famous William Shakespeare of Stratford - 1

Another claim is that William Shakespeare was famous as a poet in his hometown of Stratford. For instance, there’s this evidence:

In 1630 an anonymous volume was published, entitled A Banquet of Jeasts or Change of Cheare. Jest no. 259 in this volume is as follows:
One travelling through Stratford upon Avon, a Towne most remarkeable for the birth of famous William Shakespeare, and walking in the Church to doe his devotion, espyed a thing there worthy observation, which was a tombestone laid more that three hundred years agoe, on which was ingraven an Epitaph to this purpose, I Thomas such a one, and Elizabeth my wife here under lye buried, and know Reader I. R. C. and I. Chrystoph. Q. are alive at this houre to witnesse it.

This jest implies that the writer had been in the Stratford church, and that he believed that the William Shakespeare born there was "famous"; indeed, not yet 15 years after Shakespeare's death, he was apparently the town's main claim to fame. True, the writer does not explicitly say that Shakespeare was famous as a poet, but it is difficult to see why a grain dealer would bring such fame to his home town.

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Of course, the non-critical thinker would never consider that the above scenario could be explained in another way. Someone who had  a copy of the first folio with the name of William Shakespeare on it. He finds in the town of Stratford a  monument that seems to show William Shakespeare as the great poet/playwright. And is oblivious to the possibility that someone else who wanted to hide his authorship behind the name and identity of William Shakespeare of Stratford was the true author. And he and/or his friends, or some who believed that William was the true author and who created the strangely worded monument, had it erected in the Stratford church. So if William really was famous as the poet/playwright Shakespeare then we might expect some evidence of this fact among the writings of some people we could expect to have known of him and his life and reputation.

I’m turning to an Oxfordian researcher now with some interesting contrary evidence.

Shakespeare in Stratford and London: Ten Eyewitnesses Who Saw Nothing  -  Part 1
by Ramon L. Jiménez

It is well-known that the first references in print that seemed to connect William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon to the playwright William Shakespeare appeared in the first collection of his plays—the First Folio, seven years after his death. On the other hand, we can identify at least ten people who personally knew the William Shakespeare of this Warwickshire town, or met his daughter, Susanna. At least six of them, and possibly all of them, were aware of plays and poems published under the name of one of the country’s leading playwrights, William Shakespeare. All ten left us published books, poems, letters, notebooks, or diaries, some of which referred directly to events or people in Stratford. Yet none of these nine men and one woman—it is fair to call them eyewitnesses—left any hint that they connected the playwright with the person of the same name in Stratford-upon-Avon.

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