How Do I Love Thee, William? Let Me Count the Ways, Or, Seventeen Answers to the Shakespeare Deniers

Posted By on March 12, 2011

Portrait of the author upon learning that there are Shakespeare deniers.

Hank Whittemore has embarked on the ambitious quest of listing 100 Top Reasons why he thinks Oxford wrote the Shakespearean canon.

Since none of the internet Stratfordians has contradicted Whittemore in public, I thought it would be useful to do so in my own blog.

We all know that Shakespeare, if not written by Shakespeare, was written by somebody else named Shakespeare. Or, as Touchstone puts it with figurative grace (to the country clown William, no doubt a caricature of an Oxfordian):

to have, is to have; for it
is a figure in rhetoric that drink, being poured out
of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty
the other; for all your writers do consent that ipse
is he: now, you are not ipse, for I am he.

See? The Earl of Oxford is not, pace Mr. Whittemore’s delusions, ipse — for “I am he.”

What could be more obvious than that?

But in higher education, epistemology reigns, so if we want to have any impact in the academy,  we should ask (and answer) the question of why we know with such certainty that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. Fortunately this is not difficult, since the most significant reasons are already so well known.  Let us Count 17 answers to the Shakespeare deniers:

1) He named his son “Hamnet,” which sounds like Hamlet;

2) He became very wealthy, and since we don’t have any other explanation, he must have done it by writing plays;

3) Droeshout drew a lovely pic of him in the first folio and we’re supposed to look at it all the time instead of reading the plays, just like Gullio in Pilgrimage to Parnassus;

4) He spelled his own name in many creative ways, a sure sign of his versatile imagination;

5) When asked to write, he was in so much pain that it explains the genesis of Hamlet and also some scenes from Titus Andronicus;

6) He was an actor; the author was also an actor;

7) He  must have  probably might have studied Law during the lost years;

8) The Stratford grammar school was truly amazing. Those boys learned more Latin in a year than modern students learn in four years of graduate studies in Classics (Showerman, 2010). Well, almost;

9) He says right here in the Sonnets, “whoever hath her wish, thou has thy ‘Will’ [i am Shakespeare].” WTF is wrong with those Oxfordians?

10) No one questioned his authorship at all during his own lifetime (out, out, damned spot!…Labeo, Cuddie, Meres, Spenser, Nashe, Harvey,  and all you other loudmouths, get thee a nunnery post haste post hoc);

11) His copious use of Warwickshire dialect has never been debated. He uses rare dialectical variants like like “crink” (Apple), “gleek” (abuse), and “sprag” (active), doubtless never spoken outside the Midlands, except of course in His plays;

12) He said so in public to the Earl of Southampton (‘first heir of my invention” & etc.) and there is no ZERO evidence that Southampton blushed;

13) Famed playwright Ben Jonson, nicknamed “Honest Ben,” was his great friend, and they had many wit combats, not only at the Mermaid Tavern, but in their own plays;

14) He gave Ben Jonson Latin spoons that scholars still can’t translate;

15) Only a genius like him would dare to ridicule the Lord Treasurer by offing him with a line like “dead for a ducat.”

16) The Earl of Oxford was a nasty no-good piece of work (Nelson, 2003).

17) I give up. That was way too much work….

NB: Additional citations available on request.

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12 Responses to “How Do I Love Thee, William? Let Me Count the Ways, Or, Seventeen Answers to the Shakespeare Deniers”

  1. knitwitted says:

    “14) He gave Ben Jonson Latin spoons…”

    Good grief! What is up with those scholars? They were Latte spoons.

  2. Roger Stritmatter says:

    You must be reading a corrupt derivative transcription. My text plainly reads it ‘Latten,’ e.g. ‘Latin,’ and not ‘Latte.’ Latte spoons were only used among the aristocracy in those days.

  3. Claribel of Tunis says:

    Song on the Authorship Controversy

    Although I never cared to show it,
    I love a poet – at writing starred –
    A man who writes as well as he, sir,
    Must be a Caesar to be a Bard –
    He’s a master-spy or a secret priest,
    Or the king’s Lord Chancellor at least,
    He may be an earl – or a countess bloomy –
    Or the reigning queen with a nom de plumy –

    But along came Will – who’s not the type at all –
    He hasn’t a degree or noble pedigree –
    No signature
    Imprimatur,
    No genuflect that you
    Could offer a statue,
    No college brains –
    No blue blood in his veins,
    That bald allure,
    We know him – because he’s – I don’t know –
    He’s just our Will.

    He’s just our Will – extraordinary guy –
    The Warwick countryside he poached inspired him.
    Thus, Arden’s wood,
    Titania’s ’hood,
    Aleppo’s famed quayside,
    Bohemia’s seaside,
    Our hearts are warmed
    To see them all transformed
    By one man’s skill,
    We know him: Because he’s – poetry –
    And just our Will.

    (music: Jerome Kern)

  4. knitwitted says:

    Ah ha! Well then that proves it! There can be no Shakespork deniers. “Latte spoons were only used among the aristocracy in those days.” clearly suggests an Earl pretending to be a commoner hath given said Jonson those forked-tongue spoons. And, if I am not mistaken, the past tense for Latte is Latten.

  5. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Welcome,

    Claribel, I hope you visit often and continue to share your muse.

  6. knitwitted says:

    I see in the comments on Mr. Whittemore’s post “Reason No. 5″ where you say there is no significance to the number seventeen of your “Seventeen Answers”. Hmm… Wasn’t Ed. de Vere, the “17th” Earl of Oxford? Or is that just another grand cosmically 400+ year-old coincidence?

  7. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Of course it’s a coincidence. Are you accusing me of *numerology*? Real scholars know that there is no such thing.

  8. knitwitted says:

    Wot?! Me accuse you?? So if I make a collect call, will you accept the charges?

    You just wait ’til that movie “Anonymous” comes out. Then you’ll learn what reel scholars know.

  9. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Don’t mess with my belief system. As Winston Churchill said, when asked about Shakespeare, “I don’t like to have my myths tampered with.” Especially when I’ve been paid great sums of money to switch teams.

  10. knitwitted says:

    Oh yeah… As Commissioner Dennis Thomas of the MEAC said, when asked about Winston-Salem, “I can’t comment on any of the cities at this time, but I can say that Winston is a great city.”

  11. [...] How Do I Love Thee, William? Let Me Count the Ways, Or, Seventeen Answers to the Shakespeare Deniers Posted By Tom Weedy on March 12, 2011 [...]

  12. [...] Answers to the Shakespeare Deniers Posted on April 1, 2011 by Tom Weedy My first post on “Seventeen Reasons Shakespeare was Shakespeare”  received a veritable avalanche of emails, some from Shakespearean biographers and scholars [...]

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