Shakespeare film is pretty anonymous

Copy: The National, 06/11/11

>> So, Shakespeare didn’t write some of the greatest plays ever committed to paper. Well, that’s the conclusion of Roland Emmerich’s new film Anonymous – and it’s caused a right fuss in The Bard’s home of Stratford Upon Avon. Shakespeare supporters have draped his statue in a sheet, Shakespeare pubs have covered up their names and tape was daubed over roadsigns.

All to try and show what the world might have been like if Shakespeare hadn’t written the likes of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I wonder why they bothered giving Anonymous the oxygen of publicity, because it’s impossible to take the film seriously even if the history was watertight.

James Shapiro (who I mention in my piece and wrote the definitive book on such matters, Contested Will) nailed Emmerich’s favourite conspiracy theory in a piece published over the weekend, but I have a look here at the film and the wider authorship questions surrounding Shakespeare. By the way, I’m in the Stratfordian camp…

“Essentially, all this really proves is that we really like a conspiracy theory.”


Click here to read the full story of Anonymous and Shakespeare authorship theories in The National. 

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