For centuries, William Shakespeare has been regarded as one of the most brilliant writers in the history of the English language, but apparently Mr. Globe Theatre wasn’t as good as we’ve all been led to believe. In fact, it turns out that he was so much less talented than we all thought that he actually had help writing the three parts of Henry VI, essentially making him a worthless hack who couldn’t write his way out of the Elizabethan-equivalent of a paper bag. That’s according to the Oxford University Press, at least, which has decided that its new editions of Shakespeare’s works will credit fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe as the co-author on the three parts of Henry VI.
As reported by The Associated Press, the Oxford University Press came to this decision after assembling a superstar team of scholars to analyze all of Shakespeare’s work and filter it through computer software that could “reveal patterns, trends, and associations.” They combined that with intense scrutiny of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and then put it all together to try and determine “in an empirical way” what differentiates Shakespeare from other writers. This process made it clear to the scholars that Marlowe had a hand in Henry VI, and thus, he deserves a co-author credit.
In the end, though, all that really matters is that this will give Shakespeare nerds more things to argue about. The people who always believed this co-authorship stuff to be the case can gloat about being right, while the people who disagree with these results can poke holes in the process and ignore them as they see fit.