Originally Created By:
Ralph A. Bucci of Charles W. Flanagan High School

Recreated By:

Dan Dupois
Vanessa Velino
Kathleen Smith
Norman Reynolds

We are current students studying to be prestigious educators at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts....
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An Internet WebQuest on the Shakespearean Authorship Question



In this WebQuest you will be divided into three groups. Each group will be assigned a role for a debate in which they must research and prove that their assigned author is the person responsible for the works of Shakespeare.

You'll begin with everyone in your group getting some background before dividing into roles where people on your team become experts on one part of the topic.

Phase 1 - Background Information

Use the Internet information linked below or any other credible source to answer the basic questions of who? what? where? when? why? and how? Be creative in exploring the information so that you answer these questions as fully and insightful as you can.

1. What is the Shakespeare authorship problem?

2. What literary, cultural, and political figures doubt that Shakespeare was the sole author of the work?

3. Make a chronological history of the doubts that surround the authorship of the Shakespearean canon.

4. Now do the same for the doubts surrounding the Stratfordian attribution.

Phase 2 - Roles


1. Before Phase 2 you will be assigned a specific author who you, along with your group must research and prove is the true owner of the works of Shakespeare..

2. Read through the files linked to your group. If you print out the files, underline the passages that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse across the passage and copying / pasting it into a word processor or other writing software.

3. Note: Remember to write down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so you can quickly go back to it if you need to to prove your point.

4. Be prepared to focus what you've learned into one main opinion that answers the Big Quest(ion) or Task based on what you have learned from the links for your role.

Group one:
Use the Internet information linked above to answer these questions specifically related to MARLOWE WROTE SHAKESPEARE:

1. What association to Shakespeare is presented by the Marlowe Society that leads one to believe that Christopher Marlowe's death is associated with Shakespeare's writings?

2. What role did the British government play in Marlowe's death?

3. Was Marlowe really a heretic?

4. What similarities exist between Marlowe's writing and Shakespeare's writing?

Group Two:
Use the Internet information linked above to answer these questions specifically related to DEVERE WROTE SHAKESPEARE:

1. Many authorities have made claims that De Vere more than anyone is most closely related to being the author of the Shakespearean collection. Why?

2. What are some of the coincidental connections between the Earl of Oxford and Shakespeare?

3. What problems exist between the authorship of the Shakespearean poems and plays?

4. What is the real story behind SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE?

Group Three:
Use the Internet information linked above to answer these questions specifically related to SHAKESPEARE WROTE SHAKESPEARE:

1. How is the spelling and pronunciation of Shakespeare's name important to investigate?

2. What are the Oxfordian claims that Shakespeare is responsible for everything he produced?

3. Why is it important to preserve the authorship status of William Shakespeare?

4. What is the most convincing evidence that leads us to believe that Shakespeare, did in fact, wrote Shakespeare?

Phase 3 - Reaching Consensus

After you and your group have researched your claim, make an outline that will be used in the debate. The group must agree on the points they want to prove. The debate will take place between those who must prove that Christopher Marlowe was the writer of Shakespeare, those who must prove that Edward De Vere was the writer of Shakespeare and those who must prove that Shakespeare was the writer of Shakespeare. You can learn all about debating at Debate Central

Using the information accumulated for your debate, each group member is to write their own 3-5 page paper on the authorship of Shakespeare and who they believe is the true owner of these works. Remember, it doesn’t have to be who you researched; it can be ANYONE you can prove with some evidence is a possibility to be the true owner. Don’t forget to include a bibliography of anything you use to research it.
Or visit this link or this one