Who Was Shakespeare?
WARD ELLIOTT
TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 1993 12:15 p.m.

For more than a century, writers like Freud, Whitman, and
Twain have doubted that William Shakspeare of Stratford
could have written the poems and plays of William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare's works are the work of a learned person, someone
who knew law, history, Latin, Greek, and French, and had a
vocabulary twice the size of Milton's. Shakspeare (who never
spelled his name Shakespeare) seems provincial, obscure, and
barely literate. Apparently, neither his parents nor children
could write. He left no manuscripts, no literary records, no
letters, only a will leaving his second-best bed to his wife.

CMC professor of government Ward Elliott, along with CMC
math professor Robert Valenza, formed the Shakespeare Clinic to
study who might have been the "true authors" of Shakespeare's
work. With the use of computers, they compared Shakespeare's
poems to the works of 58 other literary figures from the period,
such as Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Queen
Elizabeth I. After comparing such things as often-used words,
punctuation, and spelling in scores of texts, most of the 58
possible authors have been eliminated.

Professor Elliott received his A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. from
Harvard University and an LL.B. from the University of
Virginia, At CMC, he teaches the constitutional law and politics
section of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major.

Lunch is served at 11:45; Professor Elliott speaks at 12:15.