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Donna N. Murphy
Why it Probably Wasn't the Earl of Oxford


Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford (1550-1604), is a popular candidate for authorship of the Shakespeare works these days, with one version of his case put forth in the 2012 movie Anonymous. He was far better educated than William Shakspere, and he traveled in Europe, as we would expect of the author of the plays. He was himself a member of the upper class, a class so capably depicted in Shakespeare’s works. Marlovians have, however, poked major holes in the Oxfordian theory.
 
1. I have claimed that the main author of the Shakespeare works was an adept. The canon of Shakespeare reflects core ethical values, and provides people with opportunities to reflect upon what they have seen, heard and read, and improve themselves. The plays have the power to aid self-transformation, and as such, are precious gifts to humanity.
 
The Earl of Oxford was a self-centered, unethical, vindictive, and materialistic individual. He lacked the moral make-up to write the Shakespeare plays.  While I admire much of the work that Oxfordians have done, in my mind, the appalling way that Edward de Vere treated others absolutely disqualifies him as a candidate for the authorship of Shakespeare. For details, see my “Could the Earl of Oxford Have Written the Works of Shakespeare?” at http://marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.kr/2009/11/could-earl-of-oxford-have-written-works.html.
 
Moreover, as an authorship attribution specialist, I have performed extensive analysis documenting uncommon linguistic similarities between Marlowe, Nashe, and Shakespeare. I am not able to find such uncommon linguistic similarities between de Vere and Shakespeare. Oxford’s supporters claim that Oxford’s existing poems probably date from when he was a teenager, after which his writing matured, but Oxford’s letters dating from the 1590s are also lacking in the uncommon linguistic connections, display of keen insights, or abundance of original metaphors and similes that would cause me to believe he wrote Shakespeare. Oxford’s known letters and poems may be read online at http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com/index.html.
 
2. Oxfordians do not doubt that the Earl of Oxford died in 1604, and propose that Shakespeare plays supposedly written between then and 1613 were written earlier, then released after his death. Yet Shakespeare’s increased use of open or enjambed verse (wording that flows smoothly from one line to the next) as well as feminine endings (verse with eleven syllables as opposed to ten) over time, a trend that continued upward after 1604, makes this a highly tenuous argument. See Peter Farey’s articles: “Oxfordians and the 1604 Question” at http://marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.kr/2009/09/oxfordians-and-1604-question-by-peter.html, and “Questions All Oxfordians Must Answer” at http://marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.kr/2009/09/questions-all-oxfordians-must-answer-by.html.
 
3. Historic events within the Hapsburg dynasty upon which The Tempest was apparently based occurred after 1604, while a Spanish source for The Winter’s Tale was published in 1609. See Isabel Gortázar’s “Not Oxford Either” at http://marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.kr/2009/10/nor-oxford-either-by-isabel-gortazar.html.
 
4. Sam Blumenfeld discusses his disqualification of Oxford as Shakespeare at http://marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.kr/2008/12/on-de-vere-question-for-samuel.html.

5. Daryl Pinksen discusses why the case for Oxford is weak at http://marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.kr/2008/12/on-de-vere-question-for-daryl-pinksen.html.





Marlowe, Queen Elizabeth, and the Archbishop of Canterbury
Did Marlowe go to Scotland after his "Death"?
Clue from Edmund Spenser?
Clue from Thomas Nashe?
Marlowe, Shakespeare and Religion
How Shakespeare Thought Like Marlowe
The Nature of Genius
Shakespeare's Knowledge of Italy
Shakespeare Was an Adept
Why it Probably Wasn't the Earl of Oxford
Why it Probably Wasn't Sir Francis Bacon
Why Marlowe's Death is Dubious
The Wise Man's Paradox
Christopher Marlowe's Writing
Marlowe-Shakespeare Similarities
Methodology
Copyright 2017 by Donna N. Murphy