Periodically, people question Shakespeare’s authenticity. There are claims that Shakespeare didn’t really exist, and that all the works credited to him are actually the work of numerous authors. Other claims state that Shakespeare did exist, but was the front man for other authors, or that he only authored a small number of the plays credited to him.
Anonymous is in theaters now, and is a movie dedicated to exploring this very premise. It’s getting mixed reviews. Some people feel it’s explored the various theories well, and others believe it fell short.
Shakespeare died almost 400 years ago, but questions about him still abound. I don’t know if they’re ever going to be answered at this point. If scholars haven’t found the answers in 400 years, I find it hard to believe that this question will ever be fully answered. What is it about Shakespeare that continues to make this question interesting?
I suppose part of it is that Shakespeare was such a prolific author, with general appeal. Shakespeare’s works have been staples of high school and college literature classes, and the inspiration for a number of books and movies. Many ask how one man could have written so many different things with such general appeal.
Is it so hard to believe that he was just that talented? I don’t discount that he had help. In my experience, most authors bounce ideas off others or take stories from things they’ve heard or seen.
In any case, the movie Anonymous should be interesting. But I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD.