Court out

Oxford was an aristocrat - a proper, belted Earl. Not the highest rank in society, as some claim, but close. Oxfordians cite this as one of the main reasons that he should be preferred to Shakespeare, given the plays have so much court detail.

Nonsuch PalaceYet the late Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights, almost without exception, were commoners, writing for a paying audience, for their own profit and a share of the profit of the producers. An aristocrat who had made himself penniless as Oxford did, could not have continually refused his rightful earnings from the most profitable artisanal activity of the day.

Oxfordians can't give examples of detail that is too accurate for any commoner or much different from how court life is portrayed in the rest of Elizabethan drama.

The most obvious reason for this is that there is none.

In fact,  court life is is portrayed very much as a commoner would imagine it, with no hierarchy of service, no right of access to the sovreign, no concept of audience and crucially, no Privy Council.

Not until Henry VIII, one of Will's last plays (and a collaboration with an exclusively Jacobean dramatist Oxford could not have known) do we see a relatively accurate portrayal of presence chambers and ante-rooms and the delicate stratification of the top of the English court society of the time.

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