ADVANTAGES

But Shakespeare advocates dismiss this as snobbery, saying that even a basic education at the time would have been enough for Will to write his plays. And, if you emphasize — as Stratfordians do — that most of Shakespeare's plays were adapted from older works, what he lacked in experience he could have made up for in imagination. "The problem is that argument presupposes that plays from the period consisted of this hidden autobiography," says leading Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate. "That's a modern image of the writer as someone who puts his own experiences into his plays, a very romantic idea of writing. But it's just not how plays were written back then."

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