Eclipse of the Sun: A Play in Two Acts
Eclipse of the Sun encapsulates the theory that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the plays attributed to actor William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon. The action focuses on events of the earl's life which parallel incidents in the plays. Oxford's first wife, like Juliet, was 14 when they married. Oxford was wounded in a street fight similar to the conflicts between the Montagues and Capulets. Like Othello, Oxford became estranged from his wife because of unfounded gossip. There were Elizabethan court incidents involving masquerade and mistaken identities as portrayed in As You Like It. Like the comic Falstaff, Oxford was known to overindulge with alcohol and entertain his comrades with his antics. Similar to King Lear, Oxford had three daughters, and at a low point in his life, verged upon insanity. Queen Elizabeth forced Oxford to keep his authorship of the plays secret because it was considered inappropriate in that era for noblemen to engage in any form of labor. Also, since many characters in the plays were based upon figures at court, revealing the author's identity would have led to excessive speculation over which characters could be identified with real people.
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