Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Anonymous" debate continues

In defense of Shakespeare, the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company has been putting out a protest in the city against the movie Anonymous, for according to Mr. Dan Decker, director of the LV Shakespeare Co, "Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare"
Read the full story on this conspiracy theory courtesy of Dan Decker, and with full permission to be posted on this blog.

Information courtesy of Dan Decker, Director of Las Vegas Shakespeare Company

The Las Vegas Shakespeare Company led a protest march against the film “Anonymous” today at the Brenden Theatres in the Palms Casino, near the theatre company’s offices. “Anonymous” is a feature film that presents a conspiracy theory that the works of Shakespeare were secretly written by an earl named Edward de Vere who wished to remain anonymous for his own reasons and brought in some guy named Shakespeare to sign his name to the plays as author. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave.

So what’s next from these filmmakers, a hard-hitting exposé on who is actually buried in Grant’s Tomb? Get a clue: It’s Grant! Duh!

The thing about conspiracy theories is that they only work when there is no evidence. Unfortunately for the conspiracy theory upon which “Anonymous” is based, there actually is some evidence: Edward de Vere wrote poetry and signed his own name to it (no apparent need for remaining Anonymous) and it survives today. If you read de Vere’s actual poetry (see below*) and can still accept that this person wrote the works of Shakespeare, then you have one more big question to answer: who wrote the works of de Vere? Any fool can plainly see that de Vere and Shakespeare were not written by the same person.

More silliness about the “Anonymous” theory:
There was no authorship requirement in those days, so no author was actually needed to sign the works, hence no need to make an arrangement with a fake author.
Plays were not published in those days the way we publish plays today, only literary forms of the plays published in book “quarto” form, so again no need of authorship claims.
If de Vere wanted to have his plays produced, there was no need for a claim of authorship at all.
If de Vere was wealthy there was no need to publish the quartos, and no need of authorship.
All the early works of Shakespeare were in fact anonymous until his company found that Shakespeare’s popularity could sell books if he was on the title page as author.
De Vere was, in fact, signing his own work an showed no desire of anonymity, quite the opposite.
De Vere also had his own theatre company that he sponsored and would have been quite able to produce his own works without Shakespeare. He rented a theatre space from Shakespeare’s company.

Let’s examine the mythos that spawns the fake controversy. It starts and ends with the following assertion: “Shakespeare never went to college, therefore he could not have written the works of Shakespeare.” We are now, therefore, free to logically posit:

Corollary 1: Everyone who goes to college can write like Shakespeare.
Corollary 2: Lincoln did not go to college so who really wrote the Gettysburg Address?
Corollary 3: Spielberg did not go to college so who really made his movies?
Corollary 4: UFOs fly with their lights on so they can see where they are going.

I’m going to make a shocking suggestion here, that the man who signed his name to the works as the writer, who happens to be the same man to whom all the eulogies were written and appended to the book of collected works, and whose name is clearly William Shakespeare. That no reference to any other author was ever published until the twentieth century augers not in favor of the conspiracy theory but against it. As demonstrated below, de Vere couldn’t write his way out of a paper bag, so the conspiracy theorists should at least get behind someone who could write a bit better. I don’t know which is the greater insult to William Shakespeare – that these movie people question his authorship or that they suggest a clod like de Vere wrote his poetry.

Let’s take a closer look Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford: When he was 17 years old De Vere murdered a man; when he was 27 he paid one William Weekes to murder one William Sankey (Weekes was hanged for the crime); he tried to have Sir Walter Raleigh murdered; one of de Vere’s young pages ran away from de Vere citing sexual abuse. De Vere was a soulless monster, born to privilege and completely without responsibility for any of his actions. There isn’t a single chance that this sack, this miserable excuse for a man, was the towering, millennial genius who wrote Shakespeare’s poetry.

*Now let’s take a closer look at the actual poetry of Edward de Vere:

Sitting alone upon my thought in melancholy mood,
In sight of sea, and at my back an ancient hoary wood,
I saw a fair young lady come, her secret fears to wail,
Clad all in colour of a nun, and covered with a veil;
Yet (for the day was calm and clear) I might discern her face,
As one might see a damask rose hid under crystal glass.

Three times, with her soft hand, full hard on her left side she knocks,
And sigh'd so sore as might have mov'd some pity in the rocks;
From sighs and shedding amber tears into sweet song she brake,
When thus the echo answered her to every word she spake:

Oh heavens ! who was the first that bred in me this fever ?
Who was the first that gave the wound whose fear I wear for ever ?
What tyrant, Cupid, to my harm usurps thy golden quiver ?
What sight first caught this heart and can from bondage it deliver ?

Enough! This monosyllabic, uneven, sing-songy, vocabularily-challenged, self-absorbed doggerel was committed to paper by the man himself, Edward de Vere. How anyone can see the hand of Shakespeare in this is beyond even a monkey to understand. Compare this to any piece of Shakespeare and put an immediate end to the absurd proposition that deVere could have possibly written Shakespeare.

But de Vere is not the only candidate the elitists have suggested over the last century of self-gratifying conjecture. Another alternative authorship theory names Francis Bacon as the anonymous author.
Francis Bacon*
Shakespeare wrote the word “Honorificabilitudinitatibus” in his play “Love’s Labours Lost.” It is the dative and ablative plural of the mediæval Latin word honorificabilitudinitas, which can be translated as "the state of being able to achieve honours". It is mentioned by the character Costard in Act V, Scene I of that play. As it appears only once in Shakespeare's works, it is a hapax legomenon in the Shakespeare canon. It is also the longest word in the English language featuring alternating consonants and vowels.
The word is used after an absurdly pretentious dialogue between the pedantic schoolmaster Holofernes and his friend Sir Nathaniel. The two pedants converse in a mixture of Latin and florid English. When Moth, a witty young servant, enters, Costard says of the pedants,
"O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words. I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon."
Flap-dragon was a game which involved trying to eat hot raisins from a bowl of burning brandy.
The word has been used by adherents of the Baconian theory—who believe Shakespeare's plays were written in steganographic cypher by Francis Bacon—as an anagram for hi ludi, F. Baconis nati, tuiti orbi, Latin for "these plays, F. Bacon's offspring, are preserved for the world." The anagram overlooks the fact that Bacon would have written the genitive of his name as Baconi (from Baconus), never Baconis (which assumes his name was Baco).Parodying this, John Sladek demonstrated in the 1970s that the word could also be anagrammatized as I, B. Ionsonii, uurit [writ] a lift'd batch, thus "proving" that Shakespeare's works were written by Ben Jonson. (The two "u"s, rendered as "v"s in the original literation, are put together to form - literally - "a double u" (w), as was common practice in Shakespeare's day.)
*excerpted from Wikipedia.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. 'Anonymous' isn't the only lunatic film being released. There's one from Mexico which will claim that the Mayan civilisation 3,000 years ago had landing pads for extraterrestrials. Maybe some bright spark should have combined the two - Shakespeare's plays by extraterrestrials ! It's no nuttier than all the other theories.

  3. Thank you Finn for pointing out that shocking news about this new movie. I read your post on De Vere and William's comments on the signatures of which I myself am skeptical. It is sad that the movie industry and the media have such influence on the common people that anything can become truth. One cannot because of two or three doubtful facts lay out theories and claim them to be true, when still in search for more evidence. But the media apparently can.

  4. Create controversy for the almighty dollar its all they know.

    Mercury and the Herd


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