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William Shamspeare
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William Shamspeare
"Frailty, ..... thy name is ..... SHAMSPEARE!"

William Shamspeare is a fancily-dressed man who, despite his appearance, is actually a criminal. He is first seen having a dispute with a mysterious man near the flats owned by the Garridebs, and he becomes heavily involved in an incident the day after.

Time in Prison[]

William Shamspeare was sent to Manchester Prison for fraud. During his time, he looked after one of his fellow inmates named Selden, who was to be executed but had an illness. Wanting to reward his loyalty, Selden told Shamspeare that he had hidden a treasure in his old flat on the second floor of John Garrideb's complex and gave him the key to the treasure. When Shamspeare was released from prison, he went to the complex but found that the flat was already occupied by Duncan Ross. Shamspeare, desperate to obtain the treasure, settled in the flat on the first floor.

His flat

While living in the flat, Shamspeare developed a way to cheat money on gas. He would carve a two centimeter diameter depression in a bar of soap, pour a liquid in it, and set it by the window to freeze. He then placed the frozen discs, which were the same size and shape as a three pence coin, into the meter to get gas. Once the heat from the meter melted the disc, the liquid would spill out through a hole in the coin compartment. He also hid the key Selden gave him in a small tin box under the floorboard along with newspapers about him.

Shamspeare plotted to scare Ross into leaving his flat by blowing into the gas pipe in his room, which would put out the fire in Ross's gas stove and start a gas leak. Unfortunately, Ross died of gasoline-induced asphyxiation instead, leading people to believe the flat was cursed and that Ross's death was an accident. Shamspeare could not enter the flat, however, because of the investigation of Ross's death. Garrideb would not let him move into Ross's flat either, for he, being unemployed, was behind on his rent by about three months. By the time the investigation was done, Soseki Natsume had moved into the flat. Shamspeare then became acquainted with Natsume, frequently debating with him on topics such as Shakespeare.

A Fiancée's Revenge[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro

Ross's fiancée, Olive Green, became depressed after his death. She grew to suspect Shamspeare of killing Ross after hearing Natsume was also experiencing gas leaks and after remembering a conversation between two gas company employees. Seeking revenge, Green bought strychnine off the black market and sent a letter to Shamspeare to meet her at a nearby pub, The Slug and Salad, in order to lure him out of his bedroom. He followed the instructions, which allowed Green to sneak into his room and put the strychnine on the gas lamp line. She also took the key from his tin box despite not knowing what it was for. Not long after, she was accidentally stabbed by Joan Garrideb, and Shamspeare met with no one at the pub. An investigation commenced, with Natsume being the prime suspect, and the police barred Shamspeare from entering Natsume's flat. Since Herlock Sholmes also took time to read Natsume's books in his flat, Shamspeare had no reason to fiddle with the gas pipes.

The mysterious arguing men.

During the investigation of Green's stabbing, Shamspeare gets into an argument with Adron B. Metermann, who was sent by his boss's wife, Mrs. Altamont, regarding Shamspeare's gas payments. Shamspeare simply dismisses him calling him Horatio. When Ryunosuke Naruhodo and Susato Mikotoba come to introduce themselves, Metermann leaves but says to Shamspeare that this dispute isn't over. After revealing to the two that he is Natsume's neighbor, Shamspeare goes back to his flat.

The Truth of the Poisoning[]

Did he eat soap?

Main article: The Memoirs of the Clouded Kokoro

William Shamspeare was using the same trick that had accidentally caused Ross's death on Natsume. When Natsume appeared in his own flat the night he got acquitted, he brought black tea for them to have, but Shamspeare ended up using it to make fake coins to put in his gas meter. The two then had a jujutsu battle with Shamspeare dressed as Romeo and Natsume dressed as Juliet, which Natsume won. After Natsume returned to his flat, Shamspeare went to blow on the gas pipe and fell victim to the poison planted by Green.

Shamspeare survives and briefly regains consciousness when Naruhodo and Susato are investigating his flat. He quotes a line from Macbeth and poses, but suddenly he doesn't remember the whole line. Tobias Gregson finishes it for him, then Shamspeare faints and is taken to St. Bartholomew Hospital.

Thinking Natsume responsible for his poisoning by way of his tea, while also plotting to get the treasure in his room, Shamspeare accuses Natsume of attempted murder. When he is invited by Barok van Zieks to stand as a witness to the trial, he makes a dramatic entrance, quoting the same Macbeth quote from the day before. He and Adron B. Metermann testify about the night, and although the jury originally like him, Shamspeare is eventually exposed of his gas stealing crimes. Later that day, he stumbles into Olive Green's hospital ward by mistake. He comments on her painting and short plumpness; when his comments upset her, he asks for forgiveness, since he was poisoned, but to no avail. When he sees Naruhodo, he admits he is actually impressed by his defense today, but then says that may not be the same tomorrow and leaves.

The next day, the jury turns on him for being a gas thief, but Shamspeare says the court should really punish Soseki Natsume for trying to poison him. He says Natsume only put poison in his teacup, not his own. He left with his kettle without drinking any tea due to the debate, and Shamspeare used that to make the fake coins, which is why no traces of poison were found in them. Naruhodo, however, notes a ring around Shamspeare's teacup and not on Natsume's, meaning he drank it in one gulp. Van Zieks says Shamspeare used the tea in the kettle and what he said was simply a mistake. Shamspeare tells the jury to give their judgement and they actually agreed to vote guilty.

During the second closing argument, Juror No. 3 mentions an incident where an Altamont gas inspector blew into the gas pipe to make sure it's their gas instead of from the connecting pipe from another company. With the handprints on the wall and Natsume's experiences in mind, Naruhodo accuses Shamspeare of trying to kill Natsume.

When Olive Green takes the stand, Shamspeare has to testify on where he was the night she was stabbed; he is unaware of who Green is. Van Zieks notes that it's odd that a poor man like Shamspeare would go to an expensive restaurant like the The Slug and Salad. Shamspeare is incensed when Green's attempted murder comes to light, and he notices the key from Selden around Green's neck and screams desperately for it.

Shamspeare's confession

When Naruhodo says that Shamspeare killed Duncan Ross in an attempt to get Selden's treasure, he starts to go nuts. He says the treasure belongs to him and demands time to look for it. He refuses to admit to killing Ross, says there is no proof of the treasure's hiding place. It was there that Naruhodo decides to find the treasure himself, and Herlock Sholmes comes to his aid. Sholmes invented a testing fluid that can identify where a person has touched using something else they've touched; they can use Selden's key to determine where in Selden's old flat the treasure is located.

In the end, William Shamspeare is taken back to prison with the charges of murdering Duncan Ross and attempting to kill Soseki Natsume. The treasure Selden stole turns out to be the dog collar of Klint van Zieks' dog. It was a gift from the Baskerville family upon his marriage to one of the noblewomen.


William Shamspeare
Out, out, brief candle! Life is but a walking shadow... A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage... and then is heard no more.


William Shamspeare wears flashy pink clothing that look remarkably out of place when compared to those around him. Being a fan of William Shakespeare, he seems to have a very high sense of self and frequently references the playwright in his speech, as evinced by his calling others "Horatio" and reciting the "sound and fury" soliloquy after being awakened from his poisoning. Underneath his polite exterior is a mad man of a criminal, however. Shamspeare acts very belligerently towards people, including Metermann, Natsume, and Green. Although he never intended to kill anyone, he was willing to go with his same original plan with Duncan Ross to get rid of Natsume despite knowing what happened the first time.

His favorite foods are simple soups and salads, and he calls them dishes of nature. He usually eats only one meal a day.


  • The names of Shamspeare and Adron B. Metermann are not given during The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures. However, the title of "Mysterious Man A" is given to Shamspeare in the game's artbook, while Metermann is referred to as "Mysterious Man B".[1]
  • His Japanese surname comes from a Japanese word meaning "crook" (ペテン師), which hints at his criminal background.
  • "William" is a reference to William Shakespeare, whom he often quotes.
  • His English localized surname is play on Shakespeare and the word "sham", which means "false", hinting at his background.


  • William was the first character to have their animations created via motion capture, and his movements were meant to be reminiscent of avant-garde choreography such as in The Rite of Spring ballet.[2]
  • William's concept and design are based on Birdly from the Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney crossover.[2]
  • He and Olive Green are the first and second culprits who debut in a game prior to the one in which they are caught.


  1. riku7se. "So I just got the DGS artbook in today" "Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Liveblog and Info" tumblr. Retrieved on 2016-12-08.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ash (2020-02-08). Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2 - A Romantic Adventure Of Reminiscence With The Development Staff Vol. 3 (2017). Retrieved on 2020-08-07.