The Most Popular anti-Stratfordian Candidate Today, Ranked

Choose the candidate you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 14, 2024 08:00
The debate over the true authorship of Shakespeare's works continues to captivate scholars, historians, and literary enthusiasts alike. By evaluating the prominence of various anti-Stratfordian candidates, we gain insights into the shifting perspectives and new evidence that fuel this centuries-old discussion. This live ranking offers a current snapshot of the prevailing opinions and preferences among those who question Shakespeare's authorship. Cast your vote and contribute to the shaping of this ongoing debate, adding depth and dimension to the community's understanding of literary history.

Who Is the Most Popular anti-Stratfordian Candidate Today?

  1. 1

    Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

    Edward de Vere is the most popular anti-Stratfordian candidate, with proponents arguing his life and experiences closely match themes in Shakespeare's works.
    • Main Argument: Supporters believe de Vere's education, courtly background, and travel experiences make him the true author.
    • Notable Proponents: Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, and Orson Welles
  2. 2

    William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby

    William Stanley is proposed as a candidate due to his well-documented literary interests and connections to the theater.
    • Main Argument: Supporters cite Stanley's extensive travels and cultural knowledge as evidence of his authorship.
    • Notable Proponents:
  3. 3

    Christopher Marlowe

    Christopher Marlowe, a contemporary playwright, is theorized to have faked his death and continued writing under Shakespeare's name.
    • Main Argument: Proponents suggest similarities in style and themes between Marlowe's and Shakespeare's works indicate Marlowe's authorship.
    • Notable Proponents: Calvin Hoffman
  4. 4

    Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland

    Roger Manners is considered a possible author due to his education, travel, and connections within the Elizabethan court.
    • Main Argument: Advocates point to Manners' literary capability and noble status as key indicators of his potential authorship.
    • Notable Proponents:
  5. 5

    Mary Sidney

    Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, is proposed by some as the true author, emphasizing her literary circle and the potential for a female authorship.
    • Main Argument: Advocates argue her leadership of a literary salon and her own writings suggest she could be the playwright.
    • Notable Proponents:
  6. 6

    Henry Neville

    Henry Neville is considered a candidate based on his political career, travel, and imprisonment, which some believe are reflected in Shakespeare's plays.
    • Main Argument: Supporters cite Neville's life experiences and access to the necessary education as evidence.
    • Notable Proponents:
  7. 7

    Queen Elizabeth I

    Queen Elizabeth I is a more unconventional choice, with some theorists suggesting she may have written the plays, possibly as political propaganda.
    • Main Argument: Advocates suggest her education, political insight, and involvement in the arts make her a plausible author.
    • Notable Proponents:
  8. 8

    Sir Francis Bacon

    Sir Francis Bacon, a philosopher and statesman, is another leading candidate, with followers suggesting his literary skill and knowledge are evident in the plays.
    • Main Argument: Advocates argue Bacon's advanced knowledge and the use of ciphers in the texts point to his authorship.
    • Notable Proponents: Delia Bacon (no relation) and Mark Twain
  9. 9

    Sir Walter Raleigh

    Sir Walter Raleigh is suggested by some due to his adventurous life, courtly position, and potential hidden literary talents.
    • Main Argument: Proponents argue Raleigh's diverse experiences and poetic skill make him a viable candidate.
    • Notable Proponents:
  10. 10

    Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke

    Fulke Greville is suggested as a dark horse candidate, with some arguing his poetic talent and courtly position make him a plausible author.
    • Main Argument: Proponents highlight Greville's literary skill and intimate knowledge of Elizabethan politics.
    • Notable Proponents:

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular anti-Stratfordian candidate today. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or candidate is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 144 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each candidate once every 24 hours. The rank of each candidate is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Popular anti-Stratfordian Candidate Today

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
Rank #1 for the most popular anti-Stratfordian candidate today: Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (Source)
The debate over the true authorship of William Shakespeare's works has intrigued scholars and enthusiasts for centuries. Many accept that Shakespeare, a man from Stratford-upon-Avon, wrote the plays and sonnets attributed to him. However, some believe another figure penned these masterpieces. This group, known as anti-Stratfordians, argues that someone else, with a more fitting background, must be the real author.

Anti-Stratfordians question Shakespeare's education and life experiences. They note that the playwright's works show deep knowledge of law, history, and the court. They argue that a man with a modest education and background could not have written such detailed and accurate texts. They believe the true author must have had access to extensive education and high society.

The most popular anti-Stratfordian candidate today has gained attention for fitting this profile. Supporters of this candidate point to their noble birth and education. They argue that this person had the means and opportunity to write the plays. They also note that the candidate moved in circles that would have provided the necessary knowledge and inspiration.

This candidate's supporters highlight similarities between the candidate's life and the themes in Shakespeare's works. They argue that many plays reflect the candidate's personal experiences and interests. They also point to specific lines and passages that seem to reference the candidate's life and writings.

Critics of the anti-Stratfordian view argue that there is no concrete evidence linking this candidate to the works. They point out that Shakespeare's contemporaries recognized him as the author. They also note that many writers of the time had limited formal education. These critics argue that Shakespeare's genius allowed him to overcome any educational shortcomings.

Despite the lack of definitive proof, the debate continues. Anti-Stratfordians search for clues to support their theories. They examine historical records, letters, and other documents. They hope to find evidence that will prove their candidate's authorship.

The debate over Shakespeare's authorship is more than just a literary puzzle. It raises questions about class, education, and genius. It challenges our understanding of history and the creation of art. Whether Shakespeare wrote the plays or not, the discussion keeps his works alive and relevant.

The controversy also shows the enduring power of Shakespeare's works. His plays and sonnets continue to inspire and captivate audiences. They provoke thought and debate, even centuries after they were written. This ongoing interest is a testament to their timeless appeal.

In the end, the question of authorship may never be resolved. But the search for answers keeps the conversation going. It invites us to look closer at the works and their creator. It encourages us to appreciate the mystery and wonder of Shakespeare's legacy.

The debate over who wrote Shakespeare's works will likely continue for years to come. Each new generation will bring fresh perspectives and ideas. As long as people read and perform Shakespeare, the question of authorship will remain a fascinating and lively topic.

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