It’s been the subject of speculation amongst scholars for years, and over the last few it’s seeped into the general public, with the conspiracy theories of Dan Brown and most notably the book The Shakespeare Secret by J. L. Carrell.
On walking through London Town I’ve seen many posters for the film Anonymous which I assumed was a conspiracy film, based on the current mask wearers situated outside St Paul’s Cathedral.
On seeing a trailer, I was surprised to see the idea of Shakespeare as a fraud was the basis of the film. The film certainly has a stellar cast and looks like it will contribute to the debate about what Shakespeare did or did not write. (I for one wish he hadn’t written Hamlet!) So it looks like the debate will become public domain for a few months, which will be interesting. I’ll try to catch the film as it looks like my kind of film, and I’ll comment here on what I think.
I’m intrigued in how the Bard himself has become a “fictional” character, with Shakespeare in Love, and now this film, we’re fascinated not just by his work, but by the man himself (of which scant is known). I’m sure some purists and tutors will not be happy with this portrayal, but if it gets people interested in Shakespeare I can’t see it being a bad thing.
The best biography I’ve read on Shakespeare is 1599 by James Shapiro, I found myself engrossed in the story, and time that he brings to life. I also like the idea of focusing on that one year. If you’ve not read it, I recommend it to you.