Director Roland Emmerich’s movie Anonymous is described as a political thriller and costume drama, yet at its core it is the visual representation of a single hypothesis: that Shakespeare was a fraud // Why Shakespeare was a fraud / Director Roland Emmerich gives ten reasons he believes Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare
How and why someone else would or could write the greatest body of work in the English language, and who that person might have been, are questions that all revolve around the acceptance that that person wasn’t Shakespeare.
Rafe Spall as William Shakespeare in Anonymous
Emmerich discusses his theory in great detail in the video above, but here is the gist of it:
1. Not a single manuscript has been found in William Shakespeare’s handwriting. Not even notes or correspondence.
2. Shakespeare was born to illiterate parents, and both of his children were also illiterate.
3. Shakespeare was not a member of the upper class, but wrote extensively about them with great insight.
4. The only examples of Shakespeare’s handwriting are six very shaky signatures.
5. Not one of Shakespeare’s poems or plays reflects an actual event in his life, including the death of his son.
6. There is no record of Shakespeare receiving any schooling, yet his level of knowledge of science and humanities is extensive.
7. Once he retired to Stratford-upon-Avon in his late forties, Shakespeare never wrote again.
8. Despite no indication that Shakespeare left England, his work exhibits an intimate knowledge of Italy.
9. The Stratford monument used to celebrate Shakespeare with a sack of grain rather than a quill.
10. Will’s will makes no mention of his literary works, but does leave his second best bed as a legacy.
So what do you think? Are you convinced by Roland’s rant? Or is he just telling publicity-seeking porkies?