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The Bard debate: Did Shakespeare really write the plays? - Brunel University London
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright who is considered one of the greatest writers to ever use the English language. He is also the most famous playwright in the world, with his plays being translated in over 50 languages and performed across the globe for audiences of all ages. Known colloquially as "The Bard" or "The Bard of Avon," Shakespeare was also an actor and the creator of the Globe Theatre, a historical theatre, and company that is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. His works span tragedy, comedy, and historical works, both in poetry and prose. And although the man is the most-recognized playwright in the world, very little of his life is actually known. No known autobiographical letters or diaries have survived to modern day, and with no surviving descendants, Shakespeare is a figure both of magnificent genius and mystery. This has led to many interpretations of his life and works, creating a legend out of the commoner from Stratford-upon-Avon who rose to prominence and in the process wrote many of the seminal works that provide the foundation for the current English language.
The question of how many plays William Shakespeare wrote is one of some dispute among scholars. There are of course the various factions that believe he did not write any of the works attributed to him. The majority of Shakespearean scholars agree that he wrote 38 plays: 12 histories, 14 comedies, and 12 tragedies. But several theories persist that question that total. It's hard to say when, or if, it will be universally recognized among Shakespeare's other plays. Then, there are the numerous theories which rest on the assumption that Shakespeare, for whatever reason, could not or did not write all or any of the plays that bear his name.
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Yes, at age 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, a woman 8 years his senior. We know it was in but our only record at this time was of his baptism at the Holy Trinity Church on April the 26th. Shakespeare would have been 25 at the time. This play is believed to have been performed at The Rose Theatre in London. With 37 plays under his belt, it is hard to place some plays above others. Many academics considered it unlikely that Shakespeare wanted many of his deeply personal poems to be revealed to the outside world. The list is extensive.