by Brian Fahey, Wilmington Friends School

This WebQuest asks the question: Who really wrote Shakespeare's plays? Was it William Shakespeare or someone else? You will conduct research and then produce a brochure, a persuasive essay, a video/movie, or a PowerPoint presentation that explains your thinking.


For ever and a day...But love is blind...He hath eaten me out of house and home...What 's done is done...I have not slept one wink

Have you ever heard any of the phrases above? Well, if you have, you can thank William Shakespeare because all of those phrases came straight out of plays by him. But wait a minute. What if Shakespeare did not really write them? What if someone else wrote those plays and just used Shakespeare's name? There are many people who believe just that. When people can not agree on who wrote something, it is called an "authorship" debate.

In this project you will be investigating whether or not William Shakespeare was the author of the plays and sonnets that readers all over the world have read and loved for hundreds of years. There are people who believe, for a variety of reasons, that Shakespeare was not the author of all of these works. Then there are those who believe that Shakespeare was indeed the author of such well-known works as Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.

As you will discover, there is a lot of evidence to support both sides of this argument. You may also find that people have very strong feelings about Shakespeare, and that this has been true throughout history. Once you have completed your research you will need to join one or the other side of the argument.