After over twenty years of meticulous research, an elite team of academics have posited the identity of one of William Shakespeare’s primary co-writers. Chances are, you would never guess in a thousand years, because it’s basically like hearing Bill Gates co-created the Iphone.
So who is it? None other than Christopher Marlowe. That’s right. Rival dramatist and preeminent playwright of the 15th century, Christopher Marlowe, is said to have contributed significantly to some of Shakespeare’s most famous works. Starting soon, all three volumes of Henry VI will bear a writing credit to his name.
Featured image courtesy of Rickrozoff
Some fans will likely be outraged by this revelation, but the theory that Shakespeare did not write every word in his canon has been in the air since he burst on to the English literary scene. Some say he had collaborators. Some say he didn’t write a single word. Some say he didn’t exist!
Image courtesy of CNN
Shakespeare’s identity and authorship has been widely disputed in popular culture. You’d be hard pressed to name a writer who inspires more suspicion and incredulity. But is it any wonder? Read five pages of any of his major sonnets or plays, and you’re bound to find at least one colloquialism you’d taken for granted. Even if he only wrote half of his published work, he’d still have innovated the English language more than any other writer. In fact, here’s a list of phrases you probably use weekly, that you didn’t know were Shakespeare originals.
Skeptics of the new theory claim that it is very unlikely Shakespeare would have collaborated directly with Marlowe, as that was uncommon for the age. One professor Carol Rutter, argues:
Yes, Shakespeare collaborated. But it’s much more likely that he started his career working for a company where he was already an actor, and collaborated not with another playwright but with the actors – who will have had Marlowe very much in their heads, on the stage, in their voices
Since the news just broke, we are likely to hear from armies of dissenting scholars and academics in the coming weeks, who doubt the validity of the claim.
What do you guys think? Are we making a mountain out of a molehill? Does the identity of an author matter? Does this affect your view of Shakespeare? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image courtesy of Biography