One of the principal arguments of a l l the theorists is that the Shakespearean plays could have been written only by a very learned man, and that Shakspere the actor was not a learned m a n ; therefore Shakspere the actor could not have written them. T h e reply the orthodox Stratfordians make to this contention is that the plays are far less learned and the actor more learned than the theorists suppose, and therefore there need be no question about the authorship on these grounds. O u r purpose i n this chapter is to examine the evidence for both these views, and to determine as far as possible which is correct.