Sir Max Beerbohm and Master William Shakespeare, gent.





This caricature of Shakespeare as complicit plagiarist is the work of English satirist and cartoonist Max Beerbohm (1872-1956). Entitled William Shakespeare, His Method of Work, it is the artist's wry comment on the idea (we won't call it a theory) that Francis Bacon was the true author of the works attributed to Shakespeare. 

Our own 'theory' is that the author of the plays - whose identity we have not yet established - used an Irishman by the name of O'Ricky as a conduit between himself and the theatre company. It is self-evident to us that this is the case since the author clearly immortalised O'Ricky in the skull of Yorick, an anagram on his name. 

We can see O'Ricky arriving at the playhouse and handing over the author's latest manuscript to Richard Burbage, perhaps with the words: "Begad, will ye look what I have here, now? 'Tis only the new play by himself, or my name's not Paddy O'Ricky, an' dat's a fact, now".

We recognise that our theory needs further research, but are convinced that in time it will be as incredulous as any other.

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