We all know that it’s coming – Anonymous, the “Shakespeare didn’t write his plays” movie. I’m getting inundated by articles and events both pro and con, on a daily basis.
I’m torn about what to do. On the one hand, as one of the bigger places where we talk about events in the Shakespeare-related community I feel somewhat obliged to do something more than ignore it.
However, I also think that we’re making it a bigger deal than it needs to be. I saw somebody the other day saying that this movie is poised to significantly alter people’s perceptions of Shakespeare’s authorship for generations to come. Are you kidding me? It’s just a movie, by a guy known primarily for disaster flicks. I am expecting people to care as much about the authorship question after this movie as they do before it – some people will have an opinion, which will not change, and some people will continue to not care. I feel pretty safe in thinking that if somebody was actually convinced to believe the Oxford theory based solely on this movie? That any Stratfordian would not find that a difficult debate to win. Shakespeare in Love came out, what, 10+ years ago? And I’ve yet to meet someone who thinks that Shakespeare’s life was anything like that.
So, I’m putting it open to discussion. Do you want to hear about every (well, most) bit of goings-on regarding this event? Do you think we should be making a more active effort to shoot it down before it catches on, like the folks at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust are doing with their “60 Minutes” project? I fear that if we actually take up the trolls on this one, we’ll have to spend all of our time dealing with questions of whether Shakespeare was a gay atheist, too.