Unlike popular understanding, science is based more on a process of probability than pure evidence. History is not really any different. While no one knows for absolute certainty, the general thought is Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. But when you bring in the process of probability instead of evidence or fact (Shaksper = Shakespeare), the authorship question tilts as far away from Shakespeare as it can get.
Based on probability, I find it very difficult to believe an uneducated man who could barely sign his own name, never traveled outside England, and never came into contact with the royal court, could have written plays with such poetic precision about the royal court both within England and in faraway lands.
The plays are one thing; the sonnets are an entirely different animal. When you know about Edward Devere’s life, once again the probability of him writing these little poems is pretty easy to see. Shaksper-on-Avon? The probability isn’t even close.
These poems of love are a testiment to the author’s against-all-odds struggle for a relationship with whomever they were written for. And it is this unknowable — the person they are directed to — that keeps the authorship debate going.
I am not even going to try to list the pros and cons about the entire debate. That is entirely beyond the scope of this post. But the debate is quite dramatic, which fits well with the works of the author. De Vere lived quite the dramatic life. Shakesper, to an extent yes, but not so much.
I am an Oxfordian (one who believes De Vere is the true author), and quite a fan of William Shakespeare. I have not read very many sonnets. Quite a few, actually. But they are quite the collection of Valentines. Somebody was definitely loved by a man very capable of loving. And writing. To the recipient of such feelings, whoever they may be, Happy Valentine’s Day!