The Shakespeare Conspiracy
How careful analysis of vital clues leads us to who really wrote all those plays and poems
As everyone with even a passing acquaintance with English literature knows, every couple of decades we’re treated to yet another book or weighty magazine article proclaiming that Shakespeare couldn’t possibly have written all his plays and poetry. The author then goes on to nominate their favorite candidate for the job. The mass media, always eager for something with which to grab for a few seconds the eyeballs of the public, then promotes this story for a short while before returning to the more reliable fare of sex scandals, accidents, and whatever the fear story du jour happens to be.
A few years have passed since the last such effort to convince the world that Shakespeare could never have produced his output, and thus I feel confident that now is the time to reveal the terrible truth: Shakespeare could never have produced his output!
Using the form of reasoning traditionally employed under such circumstances I will now, with your indulgence, proceed to show why my argument is watertight, irrefutable, and utterly compelling. Take a seat, fortify yourself with your favorite alcoholic beverage, and prepare to be amazed, astonished, astounded, and finally appraised of the wondrous truth.
Let’s begin with the evidence — something that contemporary supporters of the US Republican Party will be loathe to do, but let’s remember that evidence is whatever you want it to be — for evidence is the firm rock upon which my case will rest.
What were the topics of Shakespeare’s plays? Consider Titus Andronicus, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, Anthony & Cleopatra: they are all physically located far to the south of London in the eternal city of Rome and they are all about events that occurred more than a thousand years before Shakespeare was born! How could a mere London-based playwright in the late 1500s possibly have written such plays? The subject-matter was completely outside his realm of experience. And it is well attested that Shakespeare spoke little Latin. Ergo (a useful Latin word) it is quite impossible that the minor London dramatist wrote these plays.
But the evidence does not cease there. We now consider some of his other plays: King Lear, Henry IV parts One and Two, Henry V, and Henry VI. The events featured in these works all occurred many years before Shakespeare was born and thus he could have had no knowledge of them. Even more revealing is The Merry Wives of Windsor. Shakespeare was not a nobleman and thus had little access to the Royal Court; how could such a man have written a play so redolent of intimate knowledge regarding a place that he knew so little? As for his poetry, such as the much-analyzed Sonnet 20, how could a man of modest birth possibly have aspired to intimacy with the Earl of Southampton, regardless of how the nobleman was prick’d out?
Continuing with our revelations, we can note that The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, and so many other plays are all set beyond the confines of England’s cloudy little island. Shakespeare never left the damp and dreary land of his birth. How could he possibly have written about events taking place in sunny parts of the world in which he never once set foot?
And the final damning piece of evidence: The Tempest. The modest dramatist of The Globe was not a magician capable of summoning sprites and commanding monsters!
From this argument it is clear we have an irrefutable case: the London writer known as Shakespeare could not possibly have written the works we so mistakenly attribute to him.
This leads us to the most important question of all: as it is abundantly clear that Shakespeare did not write all those plays and poems, then who did?
Fortunately (assuming you’ve read thus far and not lapsed into a catatonic trance) the very evidence that shows us the impossibility of Shakespeare having written the works also reveals to us the necessity of who did:
A long-lived space alien.
Think about it: what else explains the range of time and space separating Titus Andronicus from The Tempest? Furthermore, we have abundant additional proof to contemplate. Where in Shakespeare are plays about the building of the pyramids, or about life in Inca and Aztec societies? Where are the plays about Chinese Emperors or African princes? If Shakespeare was truly just a London-based dramatist using his imagination, why wouldn’t he have written about these topics also? Especially as they’d be far more interesting than a seemingly-endless play about the dreary ineffectual Henry VI!
These plays about pyramids and Aztecs and Chinese Emperors were never written because they would have revealed our space alien all too clearly. Remember: operating undercover requires a certain amount of stealth and guile. Even FBI agents eventually realize that introducing oneself to gang members by saying, “Hi, I’m Special Agent Fred Flathead and I’m here to infiltrate your group” doesn’t generally end well. So our alien was cunning, hiding the clues that would have revealed him to all and sundry.
I know what you’re thinking: where’s the proof? As every conspiracy theorist who’s ever lived (and some who’ve only purported to have lived…) knows, there is no proof because there’s been a giant cover-up. And if there’s been a giant cover-up, that proves what we’re saying is true! Because if it hadn’t happened, there would be no need to cover it up!
But even the most careful space alien inevitably leaves clues. Sure, he let a few centuries pass before letting a few more crumbs drop on the trail, but drop they did. Oscar Wilde is supposed to have written clever books and funny plays. But books and plays about what? The English aristocracy! How could a poor boy from Ireland have known anything about the upper echelons of English high society? Impossible! Once again, our space alien leaves us a small but vital hint to his shadowy existence. Years later he did the same thing again, this time ascribing comic works about the English aristocracy to an obscure hack called P.G. Wodehouse. But how could such an obscure hack have possibly known about the life of minor aristos like Bertie Wooster and his chums at the Drones Club?
The strongest evidence, however, comes from within living memory. Supposedly a writer called Janet K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter stories. But this is absurd. First of all, she’s not a boy. Secondly, her name isn’t Harry. And, the most damning piece of evidence of all: she’s not a wizard! It is obvious that our space alien is at work once again.
But where is the alien?
By carefully piecing together the clues we can work out where to find him. Remember the suspicious absence of any Shakespeare plays about building the pyramids? What about Oscar Wilde’s notorious omission of any mention of people living on the dark side of the moon? And what are we to make of J.K. Rowling’s silence on the all-important topic of Elvis Presley?
When we take these three indisputable pieces of evidence the conclusion is inescapable: our space alien is living in a pyramid on the dark side of the moon, with Elvis.
In fact, he’s given us an intentional clue. Concerned about the destruction of civilization that’s happening because of the rise of mindless populism everywhere, the space alien is sending us a signal telling us what to save from the wreckage. Janet K Rowling is actually an anagram for Save Burger King. No doubt Elvis has, over the years since his supposed death but in reality his relocation to the lunar pyramid, explained to the space alien the supreme importance of this marvel of Earthling cuisine.
And so, by following the iron chain of facts and logic to its ultimate conclusion, we’ve learned not only who has been responsible for so many works of English literature but also where he is today.
I leave you now, gentle reader, to marvel upon the majesty of the human brain and of the infallibility of the deductive process.
Just remember to save a burger or two on your way out.