Shaken Up

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Technically, Shakespeare would still have written a few plays under this theory, since a few plays were released after De Vere's death.

Also, the main argument isn't that Shakespeare was too illiterate to write the plays, but that Shakespeare's plays carry on the traditions of and borrow heavily from quite a few Greek and Roman playwrites that someone who never went to University (Shakespeare) would likely know nothing about.

Except that the printing press, having been around for almost 200 years by this point, changed all that & did so much faster & more profoundly than many people seem to think. The idea of "high" & "low" cultures existing as completely separate entities until the 20th century is a concept that has been debunked by cultural historians & is only really propagated today by cultural snobs who resent the idea of engaging with those they view as beneath them socially.

Also, several of Shakespeare's plays are set in Italy. Shakespeare never went to Italy, but De Vere lived there for a few years.

I've never been to Australia, but could still set a play in Sydney. To pick on that is to miss entirely the point of why plays get set in locations other than the playwrights back yard. Italy is often used in Shakespeare's plays as an alternative to setting the play in the past because at the time Sedition could get your head cut off, so using the various feuding city states & families of Italy as allegory for figures & events in England was a way to dodge the axe.

It's also worth noting that Shakespeare's plays don't appear out of a vacuum. He was clearly influenced by the works of others &, indeed, can be seen to have not been a consistently brilliant playwright when his plays are viewed chronologically. One only has to look at how simplistic & flawed early plays like Two Gents of Verona appears when compared to his later masterpieces to see he wasn't born with a golden quill. Equally, it is clear Shakespeare was not above drawing heavily from other sources when writing his plays. Romeo & Juliet, for example, is effectively a dramatization of a poem written by Arther Brooke.

I'm not saying the Oxfordian Theory is true, just that it shouldn't be dismissed so quickly.

Brave enough to ask questions, right?

Buzz Killington:

I do think certain posts in this thread ignore the idea that Shakespeare could have and likely did collaborate with other people

Oh, he did, absolutely. It's more definite in his later career--he wrote Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen with John Fletcher--but there's a pretty convincing case to be made (by a hundred-odd years of stylometry studies) that he either collaborated with or revised earlier pieces by contemporaries of his towards the beginning of his career. The first act of Titus Andronicus pretty much screams George Peele, for instance.

it's fairly certain he did base many of his texts off other works

Unquestionable, really. There are only a few plays where Shakespeare's direct sources can't be identified and he's thought to have come up with the story on his own (e.g., A Midsummer Night's Dream), but for the most part, he reworked stories from other authors. For instance, most of his history plays were based on Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles, which was first published in 1577. Another source of his is a 1579 translation of Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans Compared Together, and the borrowing is especially evident in one passage of Antony and Cleopatra where one character describes Cleopatra on her river barge:

I trust the facts, I'm just hesitant to claim them in a public forum without being able to justify them with adequate knowledge of the historical evidence. Thank you for doing it for me. : )

Art is by its nature aristocratic; and critics and historians are notoriously unable to separate the artist from the art, which is why the myth that 'high' art is produced only by 'high' people continues to endure. There is an extra level of irony in Anonymous being directed by Roland Emmerich, as critics are finding themselves in a position where they must grudgingly admit that a peddler of populist entertainment might actually have made a semi-intelligent film.

There is an extra level of irony in Anonymous being directed by Roland Emmerich, as critics are finding themselves in a position where they must grudgingly admit that a peddler of populist entertainment might actually have made a semi-intelligent film.

Michael Bay is the exception here, he has never made anything remotely semi-intelligent.

So they are making movies based off he said/she said conspiracies? You have to give them points for originality there I guess. Still, there are far "meatier" conspiracies out there more worthy of attention.

Didn't nobles of the time, or anytime for that matter, like to take credit for things that weren't theirs? To clarify, in the way some mothers take all the credit for their daughter's achievements. In this case some noble commissions a play, its the greatest thing since sliced bread and suddenly the noble is all "That's my play, I'm responsible that!" and voila, his social standing (and that of his family) suddenly goes up a few notches.

A conspiracy theory yeah, but it has about as much truth or substance to the one this movie is based upon.

It's too bad that the movie that praises Shakespeare's work doesn't actually credit Shakespeare as the one who did it.
Seriously, though, at this point, no amount of conspiracy theorization is ever going to make everyone believe that Shakespeare didn't write what he wrote, so we might as well just let the legend live on.

But does this film actually try to back up the conspiracy theory or is it just using it as a "what if" premise to write a fictional story from? I can't really work it out from the trailers. To me it sounds more like the latter. I hope that's true.

More than anything else, I believe it is the first one, but it's not super in-your-face Aesop about it.

Fuck this stupid, elitist piece of shit. The whole Oxford conspiracy theory only stems from the horribly offensive assumption that the son of a glover could not possibly be a great artist. There's absolutely no evidence to back it up and it's an absolutely absurd thing to base a film upon. By the way, it's made by Roland Emmerich and that means something.

Bob, you disappoint me regularly and this article was no exception. How could you possibly miss the terribly elitist theme of this film that should insult anyone bellow the current social elite. This article is almost as stupid as the time you claimed that the one-up deus ex machina in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World would become a trope of movies as common as the establishment shot or the breaking of two sides of a phone conversation with a diagonal line.

What a silly concept for a movie... Sounds so boring and just rage-bait. Who even cares if he wrote it or not? Its great pieces of art any way.

So it's kind of like what the History Channel's "ancient aliens" shows are like. If you actually care about the material itself you'll hate it. If you just want a fun fluff piece set in an era that you find intriguing, then you might like it - as long as you don't mind being lied to.

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