Shakespeare’s Signature?

Nearly 400 years after his death, mystery continues to surround William Shakespeare. What did he look like? What religion did he practice? And did he really write all those plays? So many questions, so few answers.

Is this the signature of Shakespeare?

Is this the signature of Shakespeare?
Attribution: Title page of William Lambarte’s Archaionomia (1568)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Mysterious Shakespeare Signature?

Recently, scholars at The Lazarus Project discovered a bit of writing in an old legal text that just might be the signature of Shakespeare. It’s difficult to say for sure, at least for the moment. However, if the signature is ever proved genuine, it will undoubtedly raise even more questions about the famous bard. Why did he own this legal text? Did he work as an attorney prior to writing plays? If so, how did that influence his creative work? Here’s more on the mysterious Shakespeare signature from Ars Technica:

A professor and his students have identified a probable new Shakespeare signature in a 16th century legal text. Using a 50-megapixel multispectral digital imaging system, members of The Lazarus Project have tweaked the status of the autograph from “who knows” to “possible.”

…The signature in the book had been identified as possibly being in Shakespeare’s hand in 1942, though some suspected it to be a forgery.

Like an archaeologist, Heyworth takes pains to state in no uncertain terms that it may never be possible to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is by Shakespeare. However, if the spectral fingerprinting they did on this signature is consistent across other known signatures, it would come very close to definitive proof. If, however, it is consistent with known forgeries, that too would be a near-definitive judgment…

(See Ars Technica for more on Shakespeare’s signature)

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