September is now upon us and, as promised, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has released 60 Minutes With Shakespeare, which should stand up as the definitive resource for smacking down the Authorship debate once and for all. 60 questions, 60 Shakespearean scholars from around the world. Amazing amount of work went into this. Heck, they even got Roland Emmerich himself – the director of the movie Anonymous which seems to be the driving point behind this recent push – to answer a question.
Having said all that, here’s my thoughts. I appreciate that there are people who question authorship, and thus the Stratford position needs to be defended, especially by the people who are caretakers of history. It just doesn’t interest me, as a debate. Of course the Stratford folks get together and answer 60 questions that “prove” Shakespeare wrote his works. But you know what? I completely believe that an Oxfordian group could get together and create this exact same site, and pull out 60 of their own experts (using that term loosely) to answer 60 questions that claim to prove that Oxford did it. I’m not taking sides – I’m simply pointing out what appears obvious, that if you are clearly on either side, then no amount of proof that you offer can ever be seen as anything but completely biased.
Make up your own mind. Go listen. Pick out the questions you’re most interested in, or hunt down the experts you most want to hear from. I’m going to end up listening to all of them, I’m sure. But if I’m going into it as secure in the knowledge that Shakespeare wrote his works as I am that the sun is going to rise in the morning, I’m just not quite sure what I’m supposed to get out of it.