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William Shakespeare Authored a Play Titled "King Lear".
There is certainly a great deal of evidence to support this assertion. Indeed, all you need do is pick up any printed copy of King Lear to see the attribution. Until 1989, I did not consider it an open question. However, after watching the 1989 Frontline documentary, The Shakespeare Mystery, I'm no longer certain.
The authorship question first surfaced in the mid 19th century, and has been debated with increasing ferocity ever since. Looking back, I'm surprised that I failed to hear of it before 1989. Rather than do it injustice by attempting to summarize it here, I encourage you to explore it for yourself.
Here are some good places to begin.
- A Historic Whodunit: If Shakespeare Didn't, Who Did? (The New York Times, February 10, 2002, free registration required for access)
- Mystery Man (Salon, March 2, 2002)
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original web posting: Monday, May 20, 2002
last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2003