Biographies of the Greats / Innovative Literary Analysis / Literary Reimaginings / William the Great

The Ten Most Likely Candidates To Have REALLY Written Shakespeare’s Works

We all know that William Shakespeare was a fraud. The idea that somebody from a relatively poorer background than many other poets of the era could have created some of the greatest literary works in human history is preposterous. As such, several alternatives have been put forward on the REAL Shakespeare. Here are the ten likeliest candidates to have REALLY written Shakespeare’s works.

#1 Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford


Dose lips tho

Edward De Vere was rich. In fact, he was so rich that people called him the Earl of Oxford even though that is insane gibberish that means nothing. Edward De Vere was also a poet, because all aristocrats in the 1500s were poets in the same way that all young men who work in modern day coffee shops are ‘in a band.’ Basically, he wrote some unmemorable poetry that nobody really reads anymore.
So, to recap he was (a) rich, (b) a kind of competent poet and (c) rich. If all of those traits don’t make a Shakespeare then I just don’t know what will.

#2 Christopher Marlowe, after he got stabbed in the eye


An artistic representation of how Marlowe looked after said eye-stabbing

Christopher Marlowe was a totally rad playwright. In fact, he was so rad that he was reportedly the only man Shakespeare feared. Perhaps this is because he was Shakespeare? But only after he got stabbed in the eye. Let me explain.
In 1593 Marlowe was stabbed in the eye when he got into an altercation about paying his bill. Most people thought he died. But what if, instead of dying, he became Shakespeare? Maybe he was tired of writing Marlowe plays, and now he could devote his time to being a monocular genius. Convincing, no!?

#3 William Stanley, Earl of Derby


Potential Shakespeare, and winner of ‘pointiest chin’ forty times in a row

Kind of like Edward De Vere, William Stanley was very wealthy and owned land. He also wrote plays! Not a single one has survived to the present day, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that they were Shakespeare plays and he is Shakespeare. The very lack of evidence makes this a mostly sure thing.

#4 Jane Krakowski


Actress, comedian and frequent Tina Fey collaborator could have written Shakespeare’s works. She’s versatile. An actress of film, television and stage, why not add writing Shakespeare’s works into that? There’s no proof she didn’t. No, you shut up.

#5 Francis Bacon, Earl of Bacon



I bet you thought there’d be a cheap bacon visual? Well no, there isn’t. SHAME!

Everybody loves bacon according to really annoying internet memes, and Francis Bacon brought us bacon, which means that he also wrote Shakespeare’s plays, because why would you invent something like bacon and then not go on to write some of the greatest words ever written? It makes less sense for him not to have written it.


#6 I really think we should consider Jane Krakowski


Sure, she wasn’t a contemporary of Shakespeare, but how can we know that a recipient of a Laurence Olivier award doesn’t know how to date her work to make it seem old or something? Really, I think she might have done it.

#7 This guy


This guy seems like a more likely candidate than Shakespeare. He has a hat, albeit one he isn’t wearing in this picture.

#8 No dice on Jane Krakowski? Come on!


Yes, I know she was in The Flintstones, Viva Rock Vegas, but that was early in her career and a bunch of good actors were in that train wreck. That doesn’t mean that she didn’t write Shakespeare’s work.

#9 I’m not leaving until you at least consider Jane Krakowski


She was in Ally McBeal, 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Which iconic shows have you been in? OH RIGHT, NONE!

#10 I fear I may have lost it a bit on the Jane Krakowski thing, so let’s nominate somebody else, somebody like, oh, I don’t know, JANE KRAKOWSKI

2009 Lucille Lortel Awards

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