102 Reasons

There's better evidence for fairies at the bottom of your garden than for De Vere's authorship of Will's plays.

Their manifesto

Hidebound academia

The authorative work on Oxford and his contemporaries at the court of Elizabeth is The Elizabethan Courtier Poets by Professor Steven May, one of the very few people qualified to call himself an expert in the field.

His verdict underlines the difference between those who write about Oxford searching for the truth with respect for the evidence, and those who write about Oxford without the slightest respect for the evidence in order to make a name for themselves.

Hardly ever sick at sea

What never? Hardly Ever?

On such a full sea are we now afloat; 
And we must take the current when it serves, 
Or lose our ventures

Shakespeare's seamanship provides a classic example of Oxfordians both having their cake and eating it. There are plenty of shipwrecks. Dozens offstage, two in Pericles, one in Twelfth Night but those are not portrayed with the intensity of detail in which Shakespeare revels in the opening scenes of The Tempest.

Oxford went to sea. There's no evidence that Will did.

Canopies and litters

cortegeSonnet 125, reproduced in its entirety below, begins 'Were 't aught to me I bore the canopy,'.

Naturally, Oxfordians claim that Oxford, as an aristocrat, bore the canopy and therefore this sonnet identifies him as the author. 

My personal theory is that many of the sonnets were written in reply to conversations between the author and an acquaintance and relate back to something that was said, maybe earlier in the day. However, without taking that an inch further, you have to question whether the Oxfordian interpretation stands up to even elementary practical criticism.

The Writer Who Wasn't There

 Nobody Claimed Oxford Wrote The Canon (until about the 20th century at least).

This is probably the single most important piece of evidence against the Oxfordian view. Oxfordians attack the orthodox view of Shakespeare of Stratford as the author on the grounds that there is very little evidence to link him to the plays, with few contemporary references to Shakespeare of Stratford as a playwright and there is very little evidence that Shakespeare of Stratford attended Grammar School.

Ministering propaganda

propagandaSome Oxfordian enthusiasts, after discovering that he wrote Shakespeare's work, are not content to leave it at that. Tying Oxford to Shakespeare using Oxford's own, undisputed work is an impossible task. Crediting him with other work by Elizabethan writers, therefore, can potentially reduce the gulf in quality between the two men's writing. And authorship debating is a bit like murder, the first attribution is the hardest. Once you get a taste for it, once you are down the rabbit hole and into Oxfordland, reality can be stretched in all directions.

Greene with envy

GreeneRobert Greene was one of the first professional writers in England. A grammar school boy, of course, (no enrolment records, of course), six years Shakespeare's senior but with many more years professional experience. His ambition was to be thought a great lyrical poet but as a professional writer he had to go where the money was. Like Marlowe, he went to university, Unlike Oxford, he graduated with a BA in 1580 and after more years of study, received an MA in 1583.

The Golding Variations

The myth of Oxford as a child prodigy and polymath is utterly unfounded. The film has him writing A Midsummer Night's Dream at about age ten, at a time when the real Lord Bolbec (as he then was) was probably still wetting his bed of state and setting fire to cats. Other theorists ascribe to the infant Apollo his Uncle Golding's translation of the Metamorphoses, and Beowulf. 

Dealing with bereavement

For people to do things, in the real world, they have to be alive to do them. That may seem like too simple a platitude for a complex argument but Oxfordians can't be counselled out of their grief for a few inconvenient deaths. Some of their arguments depend on resurrecting departed characters, bringing them back on stage to make a crucial contribution to their case.

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