2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
The movie takes some serious liberties with the facts for dramatic effect but one fact remains: the Shakespeare works could not have been written by a middle-class businessman. Class matters; it matters in England TODAY. It mattered so much more in Elizabethan society. There is a reason so many actors believe Oxford wrote the Shakespeare works: actors understand motivation, class, accent, and character. Their craft is all about getting these things right. Many actors have tried unsuccessfully to imagine Will Shakespere, the businessman, as the author. They just could not do it. An example from today: try to imagine J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, as an American. One need only read a few pages of her writing to know it is simply impossible. No research, no visits to England, no internet, nothing could have prepared an American woman to write what Rowling did. An American would have gotten it wrong. Shakespeare wrote about court life in intimate detail and got it right, even to the point of knowing regional differences in Italian accents. Oxford learned Italian and visited Italy; Will Shakespere never left England. Another example: The middle-class Margaret Thatcher, according to those who know, imitated an upper-class accent. Naturally, she did not get it quite right. She was as widely reviled for trying as she was for getting it wrong. Class matters. The Shakespearean Sonnets were addressed to the Earl of Southampton with an intimate familiarity difficult to imagine even today, let alone in Elizabethan times. That is, it is difficult to imagine if they were written by a middle-class businessman. If they were written by Oxford then everything fits perfectly.
Why is there so much anger over 400 year old literary history? Who gets angry over, say, the persecution of Catholics and Protestants in those years? Yes, it happened, but it is HISTORY. My suggestion: elitism is out of fashion. We middle-class citizens like to believe anyone can grow up to be President or Prime Minister or whatever else. For better or worse, we are right about politics. But not about Shakespeare. No. No matter how hard we middle-class working stiffs might study, we cannot be upper-class. No matter how many years Will Shakespere might have attended the local grammar school, and there is no evidence that he did, he could not have written about court life the way Oxford did. Political correctness runs amok in academic circles. It is bad enough that Shakespeare is undeniably a dead white European man. It is simply intolerable that he was an aristocrat and could not have been anything else. For the rest of us, it makes perfect sense.
From the movie (Henry V):
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
I suppose one could try very hard and force oneself to imagine Will Shakespere writing those words. Be honest; how much better do they sound knowing Oxford wrote them? "...be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition..." Now THAT is an Elizabethan aristocrat!
5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2011
The only authorship controversy surrounding the plays of William Shakespeare is why anyone could think someone other than William Shakespeare wrote them. The evidence is overwhelming, hundreds of historical and legal documents, and contemporary reviews attest to this. No document exists linking any other person to the plays, the Globe theater, or the Kings Men. In order to assert an author other than William Shakespeare, one has to disregard all the extant and overwhelming evidence and then fabricate a narrative supporting someone else. I have counted over 90 different names thrown out as the author of the plays. The list it includes just about anyone who was alive and residing in or around London in the latter part of the 16th century, including Elizabeth I, Francis Bacon, and Christopher Marlowe, and the list goes on and on and on. This book is nothing more than a fabricated narrative without a single historical document supporting its assertion. Its not even interesting Historical fiction. But it will appeal to conspiracy addicts.