Could Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, have been the true author of the plays attributed to actor William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon?
Eclipse of the Sun focuses on events of the earl's life which parallel incidents in the plays. Oxford's first wife, like Juliet, was 14 when they married. Oxford was wounded in a street fight similar to the conflicts between the Montagues and Capulets. Like Othello, Oxford became estranged from his wife because of unfounded gossip. There were Elizabethan court incidents involving masquerade and mistaken identities as portrayed in "As You Like It." Like the comic Falstaff, Oxford was known to overindulge with alcohol and entertain his comrades with his antics. Similar to King Lear, Oxford had three daughters, and at a low point in his life, verged upon insanity. Queen Elizabeth forced Oxford to keep his authorship of the plays secret because it was considered inappropriate in that era for noblemen to engage in any form of labor. Sex, violence, and intrigue in the court of Elizabeth I conspired to mask a grievous case of identity theft, perpetuating what may be the greatest literary hoax of all time.
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April 25, 2007
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