Did someone named William Shakespeare really write all of those plays and sonnets or did someone else take quill to hand and do it? This weekend, my wife and I went to the Roland Emmerich movie, “Anonymous” in which the theory, that the Earl of Oxford was the true author of the Shakespearean literary efforts, comes front and center. Sir Frances Bacon was never mentioned (not surprising) and William Shakespeare was cast as a drink loving washout of an actor who couldn’t write his name if his life depended on it. Which of the many theories that exist, with respect to the authorship of the works of Shakespeare, is historically correct is something that I will leave to the literary experts. I’m certainly not one of those folks :-). Maybe that is why I could sit back and enjoy this costume piece that featured a bit of incest, some body surfing in the audience of London’s Globe Theatre, a sword fight or two, some point blank shooting in a sally port and a beheading.
Who historically did what to whom is still anyone’s guess so a rebuttal piece from the supporters of Sir Francis Bacon as author or from the camp of William Shakespeare as illiterate son of a glove maker is more than likely the outcome of the airing of “Anonymous”. If “Annonymous” is commercially successful enough to spawn something akin to a sequel, let the literary on-screen debates continue. Fun to watch but don’t count on this film to get anyone better marks on their next English Lit. exam especially if the professor is from one of the other who-done-it camps :-).
About the stamp: One of a British four stamp collection issued in 1964 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of English bard William Shakespeare. Some, forced as children to memorize some memorable words, might prefer to say celebrate as in Et tu brute. Feste the clown from Twelfth Night enjoys centre stage for this stamp.