The author of this article at Online Opinion seems to think so. And it’s a vaguely intriguing idea too; after all, lots of creative people live and experience reality rather closer to the edge than most of the rest of us. But there’s an almost complete absence of evidence for the claim, as author Cireena Simcox concedes in passing, although the concession doesn’t stop her from making the claim anyway.
Simcox argues that the sudden disappearance of Shakespeare’s father John from Stratford public life might be explained by the onset of mental illness (inherited by William), and that William’s seemingly bizarre bequeathing of their “second-best bed” to his wife Anne provides further evidence. But the most commonly accepted explanation for Shakepeare’s bequest is this:
Shakespeare’s will, still in existence, bequeathed most of his property to Susanna and her daughter. He left small mementos to friends. He mentioned his wife only once, leaving her his “second best bed” with its furnishings.
Much has been written about this odd bequest. There is little reason to think it was a slight. Indeed, it may have been a special mark of affection. The “second best bed” was probably the one they used. The best bed was reserved for guests. At any rate, his wife was entitled by law to one third of her husband’s goods and real estate and to the use of their home for life.