Sobran seems to be unaware that lists of parallels such as he provides have long been looked at very skeptically in attribution studies, since writers in any era consciously or unconsciously influence each other and draw on common sources. This is especially true of Elizabethan poetry, where writers freely borrowed from each other and drew upon a large stock of common themes and images; and among Elizabethan poets, it is particularly easy to find parallels in Shakespeare, simply because his canon is so enormous and varied. Sobran acknowledges that one can find parallels between any two authors, but wildly underestimates the number, and he has apparently made no effort to compare any other writers with Shakespeare. Instead, he arbitrarily decides (on the basis of no evidence) that we could expect to find "a dozen or so" parallels between Oxford and Shakespeare, with an upper limit of "three dozen," and when he finds more than this arbitrary limit plucked out of thin air, he considers it "evidence," even "proof." But the huge majority of the parallels Sobran lists are Elizabethan commonplaces, and given his generous standards as to what constitutes a "parallel," a similar list could be compiled for any Elizabethan poet with a canon the size of Oxford's.
As an illustration, I chose one of Oxford's fellow court poets, Sir Edward Dyer, picked one of his poems from the edition in Stephen May's 1991 book, Elizabethan Courtier Poets, and started looking for parallels (of the type listed by Sobran) using a Shakespeare concordance. The poem in question is 80 lines long, but I stopped after 12 lines because I was finding so many parallels. Below are the first 12 lines of Dyer's poem, followed by more than a dozen parallels to the work of Shakespeare. (Line numbers are from the Riverside edition.) This list only includes parallels which share at least one word; if I had more time (and patience), I could undoubtedly add to the list with less exact correspondences.
He that his mirthe hathe lost, whose comfort is dismayed, Whose hope is vayne, whose faith is skornd, whose trust is all betrayed, Yf he have held them dear and can not ceasse to moan, Com let him take his place by me, he shall not rew alone. But yf the smallest sweete be mixt with all his sower, Yf in the day, the monethe, the year he feele one lighning hower, Then rest he with himself, he is no mate for me, Whose feare is fallen, whose succor voyd, whose help his death must be. Yet not the wished deathe which hath no playnt nor lacke, Which making free the better part is only nature's wracke; Oh noe! that were to well, my death is of the mynd, Which alwayes yeldes extremest pangues but keepes the worst behind.
I hold my life as dear as you do yours (R3 3.2.78)
I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear (LLL 4.3.272)
Madame, he swore that he did hold me dear (LLL 5.2.444)
My ring I hold dear as my finger (Cym. 1.4.133)
Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour (R2 1.3.236)
(plus many more juxtapositions of "sweet" and "sour")
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack (Son. 126.5)
Sobran finds great significance in similarities which are yawningly commonplace to anyone with a passing familarity with Elizabethan poetry. For example, he writes that "[a] notable habit Oxford and Shakespeare share is the use of 'contraries': paradox, antithesis, contrast for effect." But such use of contrasts was one of the most common devices in English poetry, and can be found in the work of any poet. Just to take the Dyer poem quoted above, line 5 contrasts "sweet" and "sour," and later in the same poem Dyer contrasts "best" and "worst" (31), "sweet" and "accurst" (32), "yea" and "noe" (34), "man" and "woman" (47-8), "prince" and "poore" (52), "young" and "old" (52), "farre" and "neere" (56), "trothe" and "ficklenes" (58).
Elsewhere, Sobran finds it significant that "Shakespeare often refers to Cupid; so does Oxford, and in the same terms." Well, of course he does -- they were both writing love poems, and reference to Cupid was almost obligatory in such poems, with the standard accompanying imagery and cliches. (Actually, Cupid is only mentioned twice in Oxford's sixteen undisputed poems, plus twice more in the four poems possibly by Oxford.) Sobran finds it remarkable that both Oxford and Shakespeare employ such commonplace images as the morning sun melting the dew, the lark as herald of the morning, worms feeding on the dead, eyes "feeding" on beauty, the wounded deer, the fleeing hare, and many more, images which can be found in the work of any Elizabethan poet with a sufficient body of work. Sobran is also impressed by "the classical myths both Oxford and Shakespeare refer to in similar phrases," seemingly unaware that these classical myths were intimately familiar to any educated Elizabethan, and that conventions and cliches abounded for referring to these myths in poetry. And so on and so forth.
In fact, I found Sobran's triumphant pronouncements about the amazing parallels between Oxford and Shakespeare eerily familiar, because I had read almost the same words before --- in the writings of those who claim that Francis Bacon or Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare's plays. Among Baconians, Ignatius Donnelly devoted nearly 200 pages of his 1888 work The Great Cryptogram to "Identical Expressions, Metaphors, Opinions, Quotations, Studies, Errors, Unusual Words, Characters, and Styles" between the works of Bacon and Shakespeare. Robert Theobald's 500-page Shakespeare Studies in Baconian Light was largely devoted to listing such parallelisms, and many other Baconian works over the years contributed to such lists. Calvin Hoffman spent years compiling a list of parallels between Marlowe and Shakespeare, and in 1956 he finally published thirty pages of such parallels in his book The Murder of the Man Who Was Shakespeare. Accompanying them are such statements as these: "From the almost unlimited parallelisms that I have drawn from the works of Marlowe and Shakespeare, the verdict must be that the plays and poems of these two authors were written by the same author"; "There is only one reason for this literary twinning. One mind conceived the plays and poems of William Shakespeare and those of Christopher Marlowe."
The wary reader might conclude from the above that unsystematic lists of parallels should only be used with extreme caution in attribution studies, and that wary reader would be right. Samuel Schoenbaum's Internal Evidence and Elizabethan Dramatic Authorship provides an excellent overview of the use and abuse of evidence from parallelisms, which have been used over the last few centuries to "prove" all sorts of contradictory conclusions about the authorship of Elizabethan works. Yet Sobran seems blissfully unaware of such cautionary tales, confidently declaring that "such parallels are the best possible evidence of Oxford's authorship of the Shakespeare works... They are the literary equivalent of fingerprints or DNA evidence which may connect a suspect with a crime beyond any reasonable doubt." This confidence is misplaced, as I have shown above; while verbal parallels are not completely without value if they are used judiciously and with a knowledge of the conventions of Elizabethan writing (qualities generally lacking in Sobran's article), even then their primary value is as a supplement to more systematic and sophisticated methods of investigating authorship.
In fact, whenever scholars have used such systematic methods to compare Oxford's writings to Shakespeare's, they have found no significant similarities but many very significant differences. Ward Elliott and Robert Valenza compared the work of several dozen Elizabethan poets (including Oxford) to Shakespeare, using both conventional poetic tests and a computer-aided method of comparing vocabulary patterns called "modal analysis." Elliot and Valenza found that none of the poets they tested matched Shakespeare very well, and that Oxford was particularly distant, ranking 22nd out of the 26 poets tested by modal analysis. More recently, Donald Foster has gathered a huge database of Elizabethan English texts by dozens of different authors, which can be used to systematically compare the vocabularies of Shakespeare and other writers. Oxford's vocabulary, it turns out, is a distinctly poor match for Shakespeare's when compared with other writers of the era. And finally, Alan Nelson has examined and transcribed all of Oxford's surviving letters and memoranda, and he has found that Oxford's idiosyncrasies of spelling and usage bear no resemblance to the idiosyncrasies which can be tentatively reconstructed from the earliest texts of Shakespeare's works. (In contrast, both the Funeral Elegy and Hand D of Sir Thomas More -- neither of which could have been written by Oxford -- consistently show all of Shakespeare's idiosyncrasies.)
Sobran provocatively writes, "I challenge anyone to find so many close parallels of phrase, image, rhythm, and thought between two poets in all literature." As I have noted above, the types of parallels to Shakespeare which Sobran puts forth can be found in similar quantity for virtually any poet of the time (even such a relatively minor poet as Dyer). But there are some writers who exhibit more similarities to Shakespeare than usual, either because they influenced Shakespeare or were influenced by him. Samuel Daniel has been recognized for the last 200 years as one of the most pervasive influences on Shakespeare's writing, particularly in the Sonnets but extending throughout the canon. Shakespeare repeatedly appropriated Daniel's vocabulary, images, themes (compare Shakespeare's Sonnets 1-18 with sonnets 33-40 of Daniel's Delia), and even unusual grammatical constructions (such as the pattern "so [verb or adjective] as [adverbial modifier]," which is uncommon outside Shakespeare and Daniel). The parallels between Daniel and Shakespeare are much more extensive than those Sobran notes between Oxford and Shakespeare, and extend far deeper than superficial verbal parallels. On the other hand, John Ford is a contemporary poet who borrowed extensively from Shakespeare: Ford's work, especially his nondramatic poetry, contains persistent thematic and verbal echoes of Shakespeare (particularly the Sonnets), much more extensive than those Sobran notes for Oxford.
All in all, Sobran's attempt to use verbal parallels to "prove" that Oxford was Shakespeare is an ill-conceived failure, one which reveals more about Sobran's ignorance of Elizabethan poetry and attribution methods than it does about Oxford or Shakespeare. Sobran's seriously defective methodology could be used to "prove" that virtually any Elizabethan poet wrote Shakespeare's work, and the hubris with which he trumpets his results is embarrassing to anyone with a basic knowledge of the poetry of Shakespeare's contemporaries. Oxfordians in search of evidence to support their claims will have to look somewhere other than Oxford's poetry.