The question may be met with chagrin by traditionalists, but the identity of the Bard is not definitely decided. During the 20th century, Edward de Vere, the most flamboyant of the courtier poets, a man of the theater and literary patron, became the leading candidate for an alternative Shakespeare. This text presents the controversial argument for de Vere's authorship of the plays and poems attributed to Shakespeare, offering the available historical evidence and moreover the literary evidence to be found within the works. Divided into sections on the comedies and romances, the histories and the tragedies and poems, this fresh study closely analyzes each of the 39 plays and the sonnets in light of the Oxfordian authorship theory. The vagaries surrounding Shakespeare, including the lack of information about him during his lifetime, especially relating to the "e;lost years"e; of 1585-1592, are also analyzed, to further the question of Shakespeare's true identity and the theory of de Vere as the real Bard.