A dedication in the script of a 1603 Ben Jonson play (Sejanus: His Fall) may have been written by Shakespeare, who appeared in that play as an actor.
“It’s tantalising. There are so many parallels with Shakespeare’s style that it must surely make even the most hardened sceptic pause and think.”
Initially intrigued, he had contacted Dr Martin Wiggins, a leading expert on Renaissance drama, telling him “I’ve got this hunch that it’s written by Shakespeare, but I can’t find anybody who’s ever said it was. Do you know anybody who has? He said: ‘yes, me’.” — Chris Laoutaris, quoted in The Guardian
To the Deserving Author
When I respect thy argument, I see
An image of those times: but when I view
The wit, the workmanship, so rich, so true,
The times themselves do seem retrieved to me.
And as Sejanus, in thy tragedy,
Falleth from Caesar’s grace; even so the crew
Of common playwrights, whom opinion blew
Big with false greatness, are disgraced by thee.
Thus, in one Tragedy, thou makest twain:
And, since fair works of Justice fit the part
Of tragic writers, Muses do ordain
That all Tragedians, Masters of their Art,
Who shall hereafter follow on this tract,
In writing well, thy tragedy shall act.