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Averon 2011
06-09-2011, 02:58 PM
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entropic island
06-09-2011, 06:14 PM
Looks like a great movie, but I don't think it is plausible. Just something to be watched and enjoyed.

(Not that all of his credited work is his.)

Medievalist
06-09-2011, 08:44 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many people reckon it's plausible?

Not that Edward De Vere was Shakespeare but that Shakespeare was a Pseudonym used by an author who doesn't want his identity to be known - could have been anyone; they already have four candidates that we know of and probably lots more candidates that we don't know of.

This is a daft, daft, daft, idea.

The man known as Shakespeare was in fact Shakespeare, and wrote the plays and poems of Shakespeare.

mscelina
06-09-2011, 08:50 PM
William Shakespeare has a public record that's very easy to trace and follow. He was a real person--an actor, playwright and theatrical manager, with a wife and children. The concept of the movie sounds like fun, but it's purely fiction. There is nothing to indicate that Shakespeare's plays were written by anyone other than himself.

childeroland
06-10-2011, 02:52 AM
What mscelina said. Though I'm sure Anonymous will be as historical as 10,000 BC.

DavidZahir
06-10-2011, 07:07 AM
I agree.

Medievalist
06-10-2011, 07:55 AM
William Shakespeare has a public record that's very easy to trace and follow. He was a real person--an actor, playwright and theatrical manager, with a wife and children. The concept of the movie sounds like fun, but it's purely fiction. There is nothing to indicate that Shakespeare's plays were written by anyone other than himself.

Well, there are the bits that were first written by other playwrights, and the plays that he collaborated on, but yeah, absolutely.

This "The man known as Shakespeare" is ultimately nothing more than an elitist argument.

Medievalist
06-10-2011, 11:29 AM
Not elitist, just curious.

No; the basic argument that Shakespeare isn't Shakespeare is, at heart, elitist.

"He wasn't an aristocrat."

"He had 'small Latin and less Greek."

"His father was a merchant."


We remember King James coz he was "a bit gay" and we remember Jame's son coz parliament decided to execute him.

Seriously? I think I'm just going to move on. My eyeballs are itching.


He did give us half the vocab of modern English

No, dude, really, this is just bullshit. Shakespeare popularized a lot, and yes, is the first attested source for many words and idioms, but not even 20% of the pre-17th and post 16th new vocabulary is attributable to Shakespeare.

Medievalist
06-10-2011, 07:28 PM
You're not answering my question that was the point of my post

Oh dear, my humble apologies. How terribly inconsiderate of me.


I'm not a historian so I can forgive myself for the inaccuracies that you saw in my post

I'm not a historian either. I'm a literature and language specialist.


My question was - why are we so obsessed with Elizabethan England specifically as compared with other eras?

Because we've got lots of literature and other primary sources from the era.

Because Early Modern English (Elizabethan English) doesn't require a great deal of expertise to read for the sake of reading.

Because it is the era where England became a truly International and independent nation and a mostly unified nation.

Because it is the age of the printing press, and of Sidney, Spenser, early Donne, and Marlowe, among others.

Because Elizabeth I was an intelligent, attractive, flamboyant and vibrant leader of a sort that is rare in any nations' history.

robeiae
06-10-2011, 08:06 PM
And because that's when "smoking jackets" were invented...

Manuel Royal
06-10-2011, 08:23 PM
Shakespeare was Shakespeare. (The most idiotic point I've heard in "debates" about this is: "Women characters in the plays have such depth, Shakespeare could only have been a woman!" Sexist nonsense. The male characters have extraordinary depth too, so I guess Shakespeare must have been a hermaphrodite.)

What's really bugging me is that this was directed by Roland Emmerich, who (judging from his previous movies) seems to live for cliche, characters that barely strive for even two dimensions, and dimwitted, formulaic action-driven plots in place of what we'd call a "good story". Why is he doing a movie about Shakespeare?

Medievalist
06-10-2011, 08:34 PM
And because that's when "smoking jackets" were invented...

I shall emend my lecture notes directly.

whacko
06-10-2011, 08:46 PM
I like how Romeo and Juliet ends with ... Juliet and Romeo, the only time that the lovers were presented as such. So fairly obvious that the Earl of Oxford, eo, was appending his signature for all eternity.

Medievalist
06-10-2011, 09:04 PM
I like how Romeo and Juliet ends with ... Juliet and Romeo, the only time that the lovers were presented as such. So fairly obvious that the Earl of Oxford, eo, was appending his signature for all eternity.

The Earl of Oxford doesn't even use the same vocabulary, never mind syntax. He is, moreover, an idiot.

The people who make these arguments are people who haven't read nearly enough of the primary sources.

gothicangel
09-02-2011, 02:08 PM
I saw an piece on this on BBC Breakfast this morning, and did a bit of research [yes, I have an English Lit degree and never heard of the guy.]

Having checked out the website of the De Vere Society, all I can say is that is heavily weighted towards their bias, full of conjecture and absolutely no attempt at weighing up academic evidence.

I particularly enjoyed how they cited actors as supporters. Actors aren't academics. ;)

I only wish they had asked my Renaissance Literature lecturer and tutor - Dr John Drakakis, top Shakespeare academic - she wouldn't have got a word in edge ways and left looking like she'd just had ten rounds with Ali. :D

Zoombie
09-02-2011, 02:13 PM
All this makes me think of is the bit from the Thursday Next novels where there are door to door Baconites that try to sell people on the idea that Shakespear's plays were written by Sir Francis Bacon.

Shakesbear
09-02-2011, 03:45 PM
The Earl of Oxford doesn't even use the same vocabulary, never mind syntax. He is, moreover, an idiot.

The people who make these arguments are people who haven't read nearly enough of the primary sources.

I agree about the Earl of Oxford. Not just an idiot but an almighty snob! He died in Brook(e?) House, Hackney in 1604, before King Lear, MacBeth, Anthony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, Pericles, Cymnbeline, Winters' Tale, The Tempest and Henry VIII were written. I wonder if he had a ghost writer.

JimmyB27
09-02-2011, 04:02 PM
I wonder if he had a ghost writer.
Maybe he *was* a ghost writer! :tongue

gothicangel
09-02-2011, 04:30 PM
I don't actually find the Elizabethan period that interesting. Maybe it is because I studied Donne, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser etc to death. I find the Mystery plays and Morality plays much more intriguing. My favourite essay I've written was a comparison on a medieval play called Everyman and Marlowe's Dr Faustus.

Probably why I'm chosing to do my MA on Ovid. I like periods shrouded in mystery. :)

areteus
09-02-2011, 04:41 PM
Having checked out the website of the De Vere Society, all I can say is that is heavily weighted towards their bias, full of conjecture and absolutely no attempt at weighing up academic evidence.

I particularly enjoyed how they cited actors as supporters. Actors aren't academics. ;)



Bias? Unreliable sources? On the internet? My god, I am so surprised... :)

I'm with Medievalist on this one - the evidence is strong in favour of Sahkespeare being the author of Shakespeare's works.

It does however seem to be a common theme - the mystery behind why Shakespeare was such a genius despite being less well educated as some. Neil Gaiman put it down to a deal with Morpheus (to be an outlet for the 'great stories' in exchange for 3 commissioned plays - A Midsummer's Night's Dream, The Tempest and one which was never published), others have put it down as a deal with the devil and some (in particular the film Shakespeare in Love, which is also, I suspect, as historical as this film will be) claim that he got some of his inspiration from unacknowledged others like Kit Marlowe simply from being in the same social circle as they were. Even St Trinians had him being a woman in disguise (apologies if I have inadvertantly given away spoilers for the great movie masterpiece that is St Trinians 2 :) ).

However, all of these are definitely fiction with a greater or lesser extent of 'taking the piss' with subtle or not so subtle digs at various theories. They do not claim to portray some great hidden truth for real (any more than Futurama's recent episode claiming that Da Vinci was an alien). This film, on the other hand, seems to be trying to add some serious credence to the theory and that makes it controversial and also dangerous because many will beleive a film based purely on the fact that it is a film and not the evidence...

gothicangel
09-02-2011, 05:07 PM
Bias? Unreliable sources? On the internet? My god, I am so surprised... :)


Unfortunately, the BBC managed to lend credence to her assertion. The person from Stratford missed a great opportunity to rip her theories to shreds with some good academic analysis.

Shakesbear
09-02-2011, 05:15 PM
LOL! I've seen the St Trinians film areteus! Silly though, as the building called Shakespeare's Globe is not on the same ground that the original was on - which makes the end really daft!

Genius does not just touch the well educated or well born. Sir Derek Jacobi, one of the signatories of the declaration of reasonable doubt is an example of just how fickle genius is. He is from a working class background, his mother was a secretary and his father ran a sweet shop in Walthamstow, London. Yet despite his background he won a scholarship to Cambridge University, England and he is now a Knight. He is, according to some, a great actor. Yet if he doubts that Shakespeare could have written the plays, sonnets and poems because of his (Shakespeare) background then maybe Jacobi should consider his own rise to fame.

Shakesbear
09-02-2011, 05:17 PM
Maybe he *was* a ghost writer! :tongue


Jimmy we may have to try and strike a happy medium over this!

kuwisdelu
09-02-2011, 05:18 PM
With modern machine learning techniques, if Shakespeare was not Shakespeare, we would know it. The easiest of algorithms to implement, like Naive Bayes, are ridiculously good at classifying authors based on their texts, and the more advanced algorithms are even better.

There is material that isn't his that's been snuck into his works over the ages. A few scenes from MacBeth come to mind. But what's attributed to him is overwhelmingly his.

Toothpaste
09-02-2011, 05:40 PM
Come on guys! You're all missing the best bit! Forget the what ifs. This movie sounds like an SNL parody except it's real!!

"So how about we do a digital short that's a trailer for a movie . . ."
"Okay . . ."
"And the film is this historical look into the true identity of Shakespeare. . ."
"Uh huh. . ."
"And here's the punchline . . . it's directed by Roland Emmerich!"
"2012? Day After Tomorrow? Independence Day?"
"Yeah, that guy!"
"A movie about the true origins of Shakespeare as directed by Roland Emmerich?"
"Yes!"
"I love it! Do it!"


(now I know, Emmerich did do THE PATRIOT so he's done this kind of violent historical thing before, but isn't it still kind of hilarious??)

Bookewyrme
09-02-2011, 05:41 PM
When I was in high-school I had to write a senior thesis for my English class, and just for the heck of it I wrote a paper on this subject, exploring the arguments for the various primary candidates. I'm too lazy to go dig up my copy of the thesis, but I believe my conclusion was "Shakespeare was Shakespeare, duh" because I never believed otherwise, but it was fun to explore all the other theories. Some of them are relatively compelling, but none of them quite stretched far enough to convince even a very fledgling researcher like 17-year-old me. And I'm gullible. That being said, the man was certainly a shameless idea-thief (I had no idea how much of one until I read my grandmother's college Complete Works with all the notes about where the original stories came from!) so that probably muddies the waters considerably.

That being said, I think I would like to see the movie. Even if it's complete fiction, it still looks like entertaining fiction. Plus, it has Sir Derek Jacobi as the narrator, and I adore him. :)

areteus
09-02-2011, 05:51 PM
Come on guys! You're all missing the best bit! Forget the what ifs. This movie sounds like an SNL parody except it's real!!

"So how about we do a digital short that's a trailer for a movie . . ."
"Okay . . ."
"And the film is this historical look into the true identity of Shakespeare. . ."
"Uh huh. . ."
"And here's the punchline . . . it's directed by Roland Emmerich!"
"2012? Day After Tomorrow? Independence Day?"
"Yeah, that guy!"
"A movie about the true origins of Shakespeare as directed by Roland Emmerich?"
"Yes!"
"I love it! Do it!"


(now I know, Emmerich did do THE PATRIOT so he's done this kind of violent historical thing before, but isn't it still kind of hilarious??)

Could have been worse... what if it had been Michael Bay? :)

I heard the debate on radio 4 this morning and even slightly sleepy I worked out the bias... they did lend it credence and that's the trouble with this sort of thing.

Anne Lyle
09-02-2011, 06:33 PM
I'm glad I didn't see the BBC discussion - the idea that de Vere wrote Shakespeare's works is just laughable.

As for why we're obsessed with the Elizabethan era - in my case, because it's the most dramatic flowering of English language, culture and identity in our history. Other periods had one of these factors, but everything seemed to come together in a "perfect storm" in the later part of the 16th century.

gothicangel
09-02-2011, 06:45 PM
Could have been worse... what if it had been Michael Bay? :)


There was a hysterical comment by Mark Kermode [UK film critic] in the Guardian last Sunday lampooning Michael Bay and his ilk. :)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/28/mark-kermode-multiplex-blockbuster?INTCMP=SRCH

Manuel Royal
09-03-2011, 03:17 AM
I saw a "making of featurette" about the movie. Roland Emmerich says, "Many people are afraid to touch this subject." Dickhead.

scarletpeaches
09-03-2011, 01:06 PM
If you're gonna use a pseudonym, better not use the name of someone who, you know...actually exists.

Theo81
09-03-2011, 01:56 PM
I think whacko was being sarcastic. Anyway, we are part of the lay public, it's not our job to read primary sources. We can happily enjoy a good spin just for the fun of it. Although, if someone had made a film/written a book denying the existence of the holocaust, that would be a different issue. That HURTS lots of people & lots of memories.

It is if you want to have a sensible discussion about it and if you don't want to have Medievalist's head explode over everything.


As far as reality goes on this, I think the argument that Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare is about as accurate as Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper.
That doesn't mean it won't make a good film. You can't actually extract blood from mosquitoes in amber and make dinosaurs, but I still enjoyed Jurrasic Park.

scarletpeaches
09-03-2011, 01:59 PM
Whoa; I just noticed that. NOT OUR JOB?

Uh...yeah. So we just leave the thinking and theorising to our elders and betters, do we? Doff our caps and be on our way?

mirandashell
09-03-2011, 02:03 PM
Scarlet, I think it's more that they want their opinion to have as much credence as, say, Medievalist, without actually doing any of the work......

scarletpeaches
09-03-2011, 02:04 PM
I read it as 'not our job' = shouldn't even try.

mirandashell
09-03-2011, 02:07 PM
Could be. Or it could be: not my job = doesn't really matter if I'm talking out of my arse.

Manuel Royal
09-03-2011, 07:12 PM
I'm hoping one good thing might come out of this: more people reading Shakespeare. (Like with Shakespeare in Love; stupid movie, and definitely shouldn't have won Best Picture, but at least it renewed interest in his work.)

Anybody calling himself a fiction writer (in English, anyway), needs to have read at least some Chaucer, some Swift ... and absolutely, some Shakespeare.

scarletpeaches
09-03-2011, 08:04 PM
I've never read any Chaucer or Swift. Quite what relevance they would have to a 21st century erotica writer, I don't know.

Yes, yes, foundation, blah, standing on the shoulders, etc, giants, etc.

I'm reading Pride and Prejudice at the moment, and not for the first time either. To help me become a better writer? No. Because I feel like it. But I bet there are plenty of writers in English today who have never read a word of Austen. Or Dickens. Or Bronte.

AVS
09-03-2011, 08:26 PM
Roland Emmerich... Shakespeare?

Will Shakespeare be a duplicitous plagiarist who explodes in the final scene, and oh horrors, turns out to be a robot run by tiny aliens all along?

"In a world where a virgin is queen, and people eat rats, Spain is a superpower and poo floods the street can one struggling playwright save Engerland from alien robot authors?"

Manuel Royal
09-04-2011, 08:11 AM
I've never read any Chaucer or Swift. Quite what relevance they would have to a 21st century erotica writer, I don't know.

Yes, yes, foundation, blah, standing on the shoulders, etc, giants, etc.Well, yes, you've asked and answered the question.

scarletpeaches
09-04-2011, 01:43 PM
No, I was playing devil's advocate. It doesn't mean I agree with the answer.

Clearly never having read Chaucer or Swift (or a bunch of other so-called essentials) doesn't stop one being published.

Anne Lyle
09-04-2011, 02:15 PM
Anybody calling himself a fiction writer (in English, anyway), needs to have read at least some Chaucer, some Swift ... and absolutely, some Shakespeare.

I'm not sure why. I mean, I've read all of those, but I write historical fantasy set in Shakespeare's time, so it would be a bit odd if I was ignorant of pre-modern English literature. I think any writer should at least be aware of the famous authors' work - Shakespeare in particular pervades our culture (how many people have never heard of Romeo and Juliet? Not many, I think) - but beyond that I don't think you can point to any one author and say "you have to have read this person or you can't call yourself a writer".

On the other hand if you've never read anything outside your favourite genre, you're doing yourself a disservice as a writer. Read as widely as you can bear to, is my recommendation. There are some genres I don't like (e.g. horror) and some "classic" authors (Thomas Hardy, for example - had enough of him in school!), but otherwise I read anything that takes my fancy.

Shakesbear
09-04-2011, 02:29 PM
I had to read Chaucer for A Level. Read it in the original and had to translate it into everyday English. It did not help me as I hated doing the translations and the Coghill version made me ill! Shakespeare I loved as the first play we studied we were taken to see a live performance of. Has the experience made me a better writer? No idea as I cannot say what my writing would be like if I had not had the experience. I am reading the Tenant of Wildlfell Hall by Anne Bronte because I have never read it before and have always wanted to.

BenPanced
09-06-2011, 08:36 AM
peepl who claim their shaksper r just jelose loosers

robeiae
06-28-2012, 10:40 PM
Saw the movie the other night on cable.

It sucked, to put it gently. I'm okay with conspiracy theory movies, if they're well done. This wasn't. Put it on your "no reason to see" list.

Medievalist
06-28-2012, 10:47 PM
I had to read Chaucer for A Level. Read it in the original and had to translate it into everyday English. It did not help me as I hated doing the translations and the Coghill version made me ill!

I'm so sorry. Please blame your teacher and not Chaucer.

If you listen to Chaucer, it makes much more sense than reading the Middle English alone makes.

And Nevill Coghill's version is at best a bastardization.

SirOtter
06-29-2012, 06:20 AM
This is a daft, daft, daft, idea.

The man known as Shakespeare was in fact Shakespeare, and wrote the plays and poems of Shakespeare.

Yep. The whole notion that somebody else wrote his stuff was pretty thoroughly discredited back in the 1950s. He was who he was, he did what he did, and all that is interesting enough without adding fantasy to the mix.

Lady Ice
11-20-2012, 11:49 PM
Yep. The whole notion that somebody else wrote his stuff was pretty thoroughly discredited back in the 1950s. He was who he was, he did what he did, and all that is interesting enough without adding fantasy to the mix.

Exactly. I mean, if it had been speculative fantasy and was done well, it might have been quite interesting but the problem was that they believed the myth. Also the SPOILER incest END SPOILER was ridiculous.

gothicangel
11-21-2012, 04:03 PM
I had to read Chaucer for A Level. Read it in the original and had to translate it into everyday English.

Count yourself lucky. At university my Medieval Lit tutor had us translating The Romance of the Rose [Medieval French Allegory] into Medieval English, and then modern English.

fireluxlou
11-21-2012, 04:12 PM
I enjoyed the film for what its worth, and it was really good and interesting. I just like thinking about things like 'What if?'.