William Shakespeare Famous Author Or Famous Deceiver
Introduction• William Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwright of all time. Yet today, 400 years later, controversy still surrounds the question of whether he is the true author of his plays and sonnets. As you investigate the information surrounding this controversy, you will objectively determine whether Shakespeare is innocent or guilty of these charges of plagiarism.
The Task• William Shakespeare lived from 1564 to 1616 during the Elizabethan Age. England was experiencing a renaissance, and many considered it the greatest power in the world. Science and Technology continued to advance as England began to explore North America. Moreover, the language was growing fast, and the arts and literature were more popular than ever before. These new scientific discoveries quickly changed the world and commerce was thriving.• The playwright William Shakespeare reaped the benefits of this prosperous time period. His plays were performed as quickly as he could produce them. Yet, rumors stated that he was not the author of his plays.• Now 400 years later, his reputation is in your hands. You will be asked to collect and analyze information to determine the legitimacy of his authorship in a court of law. Be careful of your decision; it may change all of history.• During the investigation, you will visit several places to collect information so that you can make an educated decision.
The Process• Step 1: Because you will be staying at Shakespeares birth place, Stratford-Upon-Avon, you now must select the building you will occupy during the investigation. Print out the picture of the building you have chosen. It will be turned in with your evidence folder at the end of the investigation. T source may assist you in step 1. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust ( his http://www.shakespeare.org.uk) Information on trust-maintained houses, books, records, museums, and a listing of events, including visitor locations in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Step 2: Take a trip through England Online. Find three Elizabethan/Shakespearian pictures on the internet that appeal to you. Print out those pictures and place them in your investigation folder.
The Process (Part II)Step 3: Elizabethan Times Answer the following questionsProfile of Elizabeth I:• Where was she born?• Who were her parents?• How did she come to be queen?• Who were her advisers?• Did she marry anyone?• What was her relationship with Mary?• How long did she reign?Events of the time:• Who were explorers at that time? What did they do?• What was a famous battle in Elizabethan times?• Describe the conflict in the Church at the time.
The Process (Part III)Step 4: Wow!!! A time machine has just been invented which will transport you back to Shakespeares time. But first you must find a costume to wear in order to conceal your identify to the Elizabethans. Fortunately, the http://www.elizabethancostume.net/ has donated their costumes to your investigation. * Go to the site, select a costume, print up the picture of the costume. * Place the picture in your evidence folder. .Step 5: Find Shakespeares famous Globe Theatre. If a play is playing, buy a ticket to go to a play. If a play is not playing, go on a tour of the theatre. * Use the following addresses as your access passes to the theatre. http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/ http://www.bardweb.net/globe.html * Print out three of your favorite pictures of the theatre * Place in folder.
The Process (Part IV)• Step 6 - Background Information Use the Internet information linked below to answer the basic questions of who? what? where? when? why? and how? Be creative in exploring the information so that you answer these questions as fully and insightfully as you can. 1. What is the Shakespeare authorship problem? 2. What literary, cultural, and political figures doubt that Shakespeare was the sole author of the work? 3. Make a chronological history of the doubts that surround the authorship of the Shakespearean canon. 4. Now do the same for the doubts surrounding the Stratfordian attribution. 5. Make a list of the six contenders for the authorship question. Then add to each as much significant evidence that is presented.• A Beginners Guide to the Shakespeare Authorship Problem• The Shakespeare Fellowship• Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable• The Monument- Shakespeares Sonnets by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford
The Process (Part V)Step 7 W O W H ROT SH E E E AK SP ARE ?:• The Shakespeare Resource Center• Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to WHO WROTE SHAKESPEARE?: 1. Find other candidates not already discovered in the background section and list why they should be considered as contenders. 2. What is the controversy that surrounds Shakespeares bust and its inscription as it applies to Sir Francis Bacon? 3. What did Mark Twain have to say about the debate issue? 4. Why should the Marlowe spy theory be reviewed? 5. How has technology, most notably the computer, made its presence known in this controversy?Step 8M ARL E W OW ROT SH E ARE E AK SPE :• The Marlowe Society• Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to MARLOWE WROTE SHAKESPEARE: 1. What association to Shakespeare is presented by the Marlowe Society that leads one to believe that Christopher Marlowes death is associated with Shakespeares writings? 2. What role did the British government play in Marlowes death? 3. Was Marlowe really a heretic? 4. What similarities exist between Marlowes writing and Shakespeares writing?
The Process (Part VI)Step 9 DE VE W RE ROT SH E E E AK SP ARE:• http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shakespeare/index.html• http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/deverebio.htm• Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to DEVERE WROTE SHAKESPEARE: 1. Many authorities have made claims that De Vere more than anyone is most closely related to being the author of the Shakespearean collection. Why? 2. What are some of the coincidental connections between the Earl of Oxford and Shakespeare? 3. What problems exist between the authorship of the Shakespearean poems and plays? 4. What is the real story behind SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE? Step 10 SH E ARE W AK SPE ROT SH E E E AK SP ARE :• The Shakespeare Authorship Page• Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to SHAKESPEARE WROTE SHAKESPEARE: 1. How is the spelling and pronunciation of Shakespeares name important to investigate? 2. What are the Oxfordian claims that Shakespeare is responsible for everything he produced? 3. Why is it important to preserve the authorship status of William Shakespeare? 4. What is the most convincing evidence that leads us to believe that Shakespeare, did in fact, wrote Shakespeare?
The Process (Part VII)• Step 11: Compile your information and objectively decide whether or not you believe William Shakespeare is the author of his works. Write a three to four page persuasive argument in Modern Language Association format supporting your opinion.
Additional Sources• The Complete Works of William Shakespeare :A discussion area, list of Shakespeare resources, famous quotes and complete works, including comedies, poetry and tragedies.• Shakespeare Oxford Society Home Page This society is involved in the two-century old Shakespeare authorship debate. A list of resources on the great writer.• Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet Collection of Internet resources devoted to Shakespeare. Includes links to a timeline, collected and individual works and teaching tools.• Shakespeare Mystery Ongoing debate of the theory that Shakespeare did not actually author the works attributed to him, including a timeline of the growth of the idea of a conspiracy and selected readings from Shakespearean works.• Shakespeare Magazine Information relating to Shakespeare events worldwide, teaching references, current issues, subscription information, archives and related information and links.• The Works of the Bard In addition to the collected works of Shakespeare, this site features a search engine that supports queries on the text of his plays and poetry. Also, has texts of Shakespeares plays listed in chronological order.• Bacon, Francis - New Advancement of Learning Explores Bacons life and works as well as the time in which he lived. Claims that Bacon was, in fact, Shakespeare.
Grading Rubric (Research)Steps Projects Points1 Accommodations 252 England Online 253 Elizabethan Times 1004 Costume 255 Globe Theater 256 Background Information 507 Who Wrote Shakespeare 508 Marlowe 409 Devere 4010 Shakespeare 4011 Paper (see other rubric) 300Total 720