So in my last post I mostly talked about how there are some that believe that William Shakespeare was not the author of the many poems and plays that he is believed to have written. There are many reasons for this, one of the most compelling is that he very well could have been illiterate and without any education. How could a person of this stature in 16th Century England become the world’s most famous playwright?
Well what if he was a genius and had a remarkable IQ. Let’s look at a man named Srinivasa Ramanujan who was born in India in 1887. Ramanujan grew up in a lower middle class India where he received very little education. Although while in school he did excel in mathematics. By 13 he had mastered problems that a few college students had taught him and one of them left him a Trigonometry book. Soon he was able to master this as well. I have seen that his IQ was somewhere in the range of over 170 – 180, by all accounts he was considered a mathematical genius. Although he never received any formal training and or teaching of these complex subjects.
The point I am trying to make here is that it is possible for someone who has little or no training in a particular field to become one of the leaders in it. I will also say that I think Ramanujan had at least some basic knowledge of mathematics before going on to master some of its most difficult concepts. That just goes to show how important fundamentals are not matter what you are doing.
What if Shakespeare was illiterate? Honestly, I do not think it matters, he could still speak obviously, and he seemed to have one hell of an imagination and his creativity was off the charts. Maybe he just had someone write down his stories for him while he dictated? I think that is very plausible. Perhaps he was a borderline genius and was able to learn things that a person of his ilk in England at the time would never have known, through talking to people as some have suggested.
Whatever the case I think this whole idea is interesting. The fact that Shakespeare and Ramanujan both were able to become the men they were is very fascinating to me. I guess the thing that should also be addressed is what kind of IQ Shakespeare had. I did some quick research and I found that it ranged from 190 – 210, which puts him in the category of some of the smartest people to ever have lived. So when you throw that bit of information into the argument it makes is seem more plausible that he is indeed the author of all the plays and poems he is accused of writing. On the flip side I will say that his IQ score is just an estimate, obviously. If he did indeed have an IQ of 190 that would have been more than capable of creating the clever and complex stories he is said to have written.
I think all of this is fascinating and believe it or not this is all new to me. I had heard of the Ramanujan guy before but never heard about the Shakespeare Authorship Question. While looking up IQ’s and what not I came across some of the smartest and most intelligent people to have walked the earth. I am just blown away how much your IQ can help you through just about anything. From writing some of the most famous plays of all time or major breakthroughs in number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions (Wikipedia), it is truly mind boggling how the brain works. In a roundabout way I guess that comes down to the genetics, and that is totally a post for another day.