It’s not a subject particularly close to my heart, but I’ve tended to be a de Vere man myself. Here’s some thoughts from someone who has given the matter considerably more thought:
The theater, and even public writing in general, was discouraged amongst Noblemen and Gentlemen within Her Majesty’s service – the Globe Theater was viewed as slumming. Pseudonyms were common, and references to brilliant men suppressing or hiding their works to avoid retribution are common amongst observers of the time. With Oxford, I believe it was well known within the inner circle of the court who and what he was; but for the public at large his authorship required a mask….
Oxford was praised in a written speech during one court appearance with the interesting metaphor “thy countenance shakes spears. . . ” and his crest features a roaring lion brandishing a spear. In Sonnet 76, the author notes “That every word doth almost tell my name, Showing their birth, and where they did proceed.” I think it’s time that the words are married to the man.
I think identifying the correct authorship matters too, because it’s very clear to almost everyone who knows an author how their personality and experiences often shine through their words. Big Chilly has told me that he finds it very hard to read my novels – he’s the only person on the planet who has read THE WRATH OF ANGELS as of this moment – because his recognition of certain events and characters tends to throw him out of the story from time to time.
Writers in general, and Shakespeare in particular, love to hide things within the text. My name is an example of that, and in fact, there is a subtextual political commentary lying underneath the text of my next novel. The fact that Oxford’s crest features a shaking spear is, to me, a dead giveaway of William Shakespeare’s true identity.