the only ’suspect’ we are investigating to have lived throughout the entire lifetime of William Shakespeare . Works by Francis Bacon we use for comparison to Shakespeare’s plays include, The Great Instaura- tion, Preparative toward a Natural and Experimental History, and New Atlantis .
We used the same character distribution test as with Marlowe. The results are given in Figure with the
2 test displayed in Table. A quick look confirms gives us the same conclusion as with Marlowe. Bacon seems to use longer words (ie fewer spaces) than Shakespeare as well as significantly more useages of the letters ”t”, ”i”, and ”e”.
It’s not surprising that the P-value = 0 for the test given the di erences illustrated by Figure. That means based on this one test, it’s unlikely the works attributed to Bacon and Shakespeare came from the same source. However this result also su ers from the same flaw as in the previous section. Marlow did not have many published works so our character probabities are only based on the three we could find. 2
Word Length Analysis
The comparison of word length distribution between Shakespeare and Bacon produced significantly dif- ferent results compared to the Marlowe comparison. The graph of the word length distributions can be found in Figure.
P-value from our
independence an extremely
low P-value and leads us to conclude length distribution is significantly di
that the word erent between
Shakespeare and Bacon. From this result, and ers in our project, we decided that it is unlikely
Proportion of Unique Words
Analyzing Bacon’s unique word usage compared to- tal word usage yielded very similar results to that of the Marlowe analysis as shown in Table. Bacon’s average ratio was 0.2044 with a slightly greater value of 0.0012. However, these values are still significantly far away from Shakespeare’s 0.16 average ratio with a variance of 0.0002.
Edward de Vere 17th Earl of Oxford
The final Shakespeare candidate we investigate is Ed- ward de Vere. Edward de Vere was born in 1550 to the Earl of Oxford, John de Vere. Edward was edu- cated at Queen’s College Cambridge and also studied law at Gray’s Inn. At a young age, de Vere trav- eled around Europe, visiting France, Germany, and Italy . Oxfordians, those who believe Edward de Vere wrote Shakespeare’s plays, point to these trav- els as evidence of de Vere’s potential for writing plays which show worldly education, as well as an accute interest in things Italian. Other evidence often at- tested to is the amount of literary praise given to de Vere, despite only a few number of his poems surviv- ing . It is these poems that we compare to William Shakespeare’s poems.
Our test for character distribution is identical to that used in the previous sections. There is a di erence though in our corpus of data: Edward de Vere was a noble man and thus it is conjectured that he did not publish plays (such an act was not considered sightly for a man of his status). Thus the only readly available works we could find were 25 attributed short poems for a total of around 600 lines. Because po- etry tends to have a di erent structure and style then prose (ie plays), we did not deem it fair to compare de Vere’s poems with Shakespeares plays. The in- put to our character distribution test is then a col-
lection of Shakespeare’s poems and around 1100 lines. The results are
with Figure[5 plotting the relative
sonnets totaling presented below probabilites and
There are significant di erence in the character us- age between the two poets. Shakespeare tends to uses fewer spaces (and thus longer words) than does de Vere, and seems to use a lot more punctuation.
ems attributed to de Vere and Shakespeare came from
test. But this test su ers the most in size. We only had some 600 lines of Vere; compare that to the 9000 lines
terms of corpus poetry from de of prose (which
tends to and you
be longer) which we see the heart of the
surviving works from de Vere surface, there’s nothing we can do to improve accuracy.