1.1. Shakspere versus Shakespeare

a) Arguments for Will Shakspere = William Shakespeare

-  A third of documents between 1595 and 1616 use the spelling “William Shakespeare” for the man “William Shakspere”, born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon .

-  In the preface of the First Folio (1623), Ben Jonson speaks of the “Sweet Swan of Avon”.

-  The grave and bust in Stratford-upon-Avon (circa 1623) testify to William Shakspere being the creator of the Shakespearian body of work.


b) Arguments against Will Shakspere = William Shakespeare

-  Shakspere's socio-historical and mental profile, as conveyed to us in both court and national records, in no way resembles the profile of a writer, let alone a genius.

-  During his lifetime, Shakspere (Shackspere, Shaksper, Shaxpere, Shexpere) was not addressed as a writer by any of his contemporaries. The writer was called Shakespeare or Shake-speare  - indicating that the author of the works used the pseudonym in reference to the spear shaker Pallas Athena, goddess of knowledge and art.

-  Shakspere did not posses the educational markings of Shakespeare, who drew on untranslated Latin, French, Italian and Spanish sources.

-  Both the signatures and the certificate obtained by Beeston Jr, the son of one of Shakspere's theatre colleagues, point to the actor and moneylender being a poor writer (“and if invited to writ, he was in paine”).

-  Contemporaneous remarks in reference to the author Shakespeare, including that made by John Davies of Hereford, are directed at a member of the nobility: “I knew a Man, unworthy as I am, And yet too worthie for a counterfeit, Made once a king; who though it were in game, Yet was it there where Lords and Ladyes met; Who honor'd him, as hee had been the same.” During the period between 1605 and 1614, when  Will Shakspere was still alive, Thomas Smith (1605), William Barksted (1607), Thomas Thorpe (1609), John Davies of Hereford (1611) and Christopher Brooke (1614) talk about William Shakespeare as someone who was deceased.

-  Will Shakspere had never been to Italy. The works of William Shakespeare, however, testify to a detailed knowledge of the geography of Italy, its history and features particular to the Italian language.

-  The spelling “Shakespeare” in relation to the actor stems from court and judicial documents and not from Shakspere himself. The spelling first appears in 1595, after Shakespeare’s epic poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece had raised furore and the name SHAKESPEARE was made public. One of of the “Shakespeare”  documents belonging to the actor and moneylender is signed by himself with the birth name Shakspere.

-  Jonson's label “Sweet Swan of Avon” is deliberately ambiguous. It could also refer to the river Avon, on which Wilton House is located.

-  The expense of the tomb (which is not mentioned in the will), the naive headstone inscription, the ugly bust and the empty grave point towards a cover-up.