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.