Amph The Shakespeare Discussion Thread: "Anonymous"

Discussion in 'Community' started by JediNemesis, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Even if you don't like what Olivier's doing (which constituted a radical physical change to his own vocal chords - quite remarkable, actually), it's hard to deny that Frank Finlay makes for a superb (and subtle) Iago.
  2. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Frank Finlay as Iago? Migod, that's perfect. I'm not a huge fan of Othello's Shakespearean films, but it sounds like I'll need to track this one down.

    It's odd, this tradition of white actors donning blackface to play Othello; Branagh realized the truth: Iago is the part to play. As good as Finlay sounds, I bet Olivier would have been a very good Iago. If he played him in the vein of Crassus from Spartacus.
  3. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    I read somewhere that Finlay played Iago as 'a little Cockney snake-in-the-grass'.
  4. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
  5. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    Seems a little contradictory in a way. Read Shakespeare to find grammatical mistakes?
  6. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    I think you read Shakespeare to see how he changed nouns into verbs.
  7. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    Well it definitely shows the evolution of the English language. I think the benefits of reading Shakespeare come from it's vocabulary and the musicality of it's language.
  8. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "Anonymous" Review

    Beware! A revolting stupid theory movie is coming your way.

    This movie doesn't even abide by its own nonsensical premise, as Rhys Ifans couldn't possibly play an aristocratic earl, because, you know, he wasn't *born* one. (His parents were grade school teachers in Wales). So, of course, he doesn't have the wherewithal to play the Earl of Oxford. I mean, how could he? Intelligence and imagination mean nothing, folks, nothing. Only aristocrats are creative geniuses, we all know that. If you are the son of a glover, forgedditaboutit.

    Roland Emmerich wouldn't know genius if it hit him in the eye.
  9. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    The Shakespeare Company near me is holding a debate about the film before screenings. I doubt this debate will ever really die and frankly it kind of isn't all that relevant to the works themselves. The fact is that if Shakespeare probably collaborated to a certain extent on the majority of his works.
  10. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Oh, so a 9 year old wrote Midsummer Night's Dream? Yes, that's totally more plausible than that Shakespeare himself wrote it. I thought the whole argument was that Oxford was more educated, more worldly, more experienced, etc. So, how was he more worldly and experienced at 9 years old? Woo; MAKES TOTAL SENSE! 8-}

    Even Harold Bloom said that anyone who tries to prove that someone other than Shakespeare wrote the plays is essentially spitballing and doesn't have an actual leg to stand on. The reviewer on Fresh Air said it pretty well today: "It's implausible that anyone wrote these plays. But someone did." And it was probably Shakespeare (though, yeah, he may have had collaborators); he was an actor, for God's sake - of course he knew how the world worked, how people behaved and how to craft a great play. They say Shakespeare couldn't have understood human nature; Lord, who better than an actor?

    EDIT: Great article by Ron Rosenbaum, great author/journalist who's written a book or two on Shakespeare.
  11. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I don't think the guy wrote all that stuff by himself (or at all), but that's just me, and I've held that opinion for a long time now. John Paul Stevens said it best in last week's issue of Time.
  12. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
  13. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    There is record Shakespeare lived but insufficient proof he could have written his plays. On this point scholars agree: It is out of the question that all those works could have been written by one person, unless, of course, it was a person with the genius of Shakespeare.


    -Joseph Heller, Picture This
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Shakespeare Authorship Great website for skeptics; more or less dismantles the entire thesis of "antistratford" sentiment from the top all the way down to the bottom. Shakespeare wrote the plays; it requires a disregard for logic and history equivalent to the birther movement to believe otherwise, in my opinion. In order to even posit any other theory, you have to leap through so many hoops, it's absurd. The bottom, base-line theory has to be that the credited author wrote the plays; the burden of proof rests with those who are trying to go against four hundred years of established thought and knowledge (dating all the way back to Shakespeare's day, when he was in fact known and respected as a great author) and so far all any "antistratford" group will give is generalizations at best and outright distortions of historical fact at worst. Shakespeare was a well-educated, well-read artist who people of the time knew as both an actor and an author; he wrote the plays (again, probably with collaborative help, as a lot of artists have or had). And there is no hard evidence linking anyone other than Shakespeare to any of the plays. Stephen Greenblatt said that the Oxfordian theory in particular is equivalent to "intelligent design." Ron Rosenbaum said, in response, that such an analogy was insulting to the "intelligent designers."

    EDIT: How is there insufficient proof that he could have written the plays? There's proof that he was educated to a degree none of us are; there's proof that the plays were published under his name, which generally only happens when you've written something; there's proof that other playwrights and critics of the day believed he'd written them; there's proof that upon his death his hometown erected a statue dedicated to him as a writer of those plays. How is that insufficient proof? And what's this about scholars agreeing that they couldn't have been written by one man? The vast, vast majority of scholars agree that Shakespeare did write all of his plays, with various collaborators. This is what I mean when I talk about the outright distortions of fact that underpin the antistratfordian arguments.

    EDIT 2: I apologize if I'm coming on too strong; I'm aware that Jabba's quote is from a novel, not a serious critical work, but I still think I can use it as an example of the kind of distortions present in most antistratfordian arguments. I also realize I'm being very passionate and I don't mean to be either rude or condescending. This issue, however, is one I feel very strongly about for various reasons and it is difficult for me to be cool and detached discussing the issue (which is one reason I have kind of dreaded the release of Anonymous, which will engender, I'm sure, many discussions in which I will ultimately lose my cool and call Oxfordians an offensive name or two). :p Don't be insulted by my . . . passionate speeches; I just care about this issue and feel strongly about it.
  15. corran2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    The reviews for "Anonymous" seem terrible, that is the only reason I'm not interested. But it could be intriguing, in a "JFK" type of way. And at least this is something a little unique, instead of Saw VII or Paranormal Activity V.
  16. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    You could definitely make a great movie out of the Oxfordian conspiracy theory. I wouldn't necessarily mind seeing said movie, actually; like you say, it is different. But the reviews do seem to indicate that the movie has a lot of problems and the Oxfordian theory is the least of them. I think Emmerich was probably not the best pick for this movie if it was going to be as good as it could be.
  17. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    People just love conspiracy theories (I feel the same way about "JFK"--it's drek), and yeah, Shakespeare *did* collaborate--some of the plays are attributed directly to Shakespeare and some others; but you can usually tell what's his and what isn't. But they certainly were written by Shakespeare and not the Earl of Oxford, Francis Bacon, or (cf. Dwight MacDonald) Walt Disney.
  18. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Also not Christopher Marlowe or Ben Jonson. They're stuff survives and it's good, but not Shakespearean quality.
  19. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    Derek Jacobi is a noted person who doesn't believe Shakespeare wrote the plays. I think there is something about the legend of Shakespeare that makes this question particularly controversial. People like to believe in this mythical super genius.
  20. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Shakespeare may not have written his plays, but he did bring down the Twin Towers.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Not only was the Heller quote from a novel... it was meant to be funny. What it says is "no one but Shakespeare could have written his plays."
  22. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    In the tradition of Havac's post, here's a post from the discussion of the magazine articles pro and ante (in this case antiOxford):

    Phil Ryder says:
    28/10/2011 at 12:21 am

    "Ah, well, I think ? therefore I am. This famous statement,of course coined by The Earl of Afford (or should that be AffENford?) in his lost play Miss Marple III, for long wrongly attributed to Agatha Christie ? a rather transparent nom de plume for Aphra (contraction of Agatha) Behn (contraction of beneficent = good = Christ = Christie ? geddit?). Old Aphra was supposedly born in 1640, but of course she lived much earlier, and had an affair with Sir Affenfrancis-Bacon Marlowe ? who, because he was (A) a respectable, intellectual courtier, (B) a varsity man, and (C) knew he would be dead by 1594, wrote 39 plays in the preceeding 10 years and arranged for the Pembrokes to release em at the rate of one or two a year, under the name of OXENFORD, right through to 1623, then publish the lot in one go; said Oxenford being also a courtier, and incurably POSH, was ashamed to be thought of as a great poet and playwright (WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????), & insisted said plays be attributed to one Shagsberd, horse-minder and well-known Tosspot ? (referred to by Oxbacolowe in the closing song of Twelfth Nit = Tosspots still have drunken heads innit).
    I know there?s no evidence for any of the above, but that don?t matter, do it? I agree, it wouldn?t stand up in court, any more than EVERYTHING averred in various blogs above by Messers Ray & Rowe.
    More seriously, what?s happening here is that various guys of a FAIRLY educated bourgeoise persuasion just can?t see how someone as ordinary and boring and, well, bourgeoise as themselves, could have written all that wonderful stuff; so it musta bin a CELEB, with more than a smidge of blue blood: not only are such folk educated and andsome, they av an innate superiority, like Brad and Angelina etc. due to said blue-ish blood, breeding, taste etc. Only such a chinless wonder his Earlship Eddy Izzenford, with all his innate wit, travel experience, time spent hob-nobbing with other big nobs etc., could have written so tellingly about royalty, big nobs etc. Once U accept such a self-evident truth, then mere facts & dates can just go out the window. Bit disappointed old D. Jacobi have taken up ye olde cudgel on behalf uv milord Oxiclean, probably he?s turning into Cadfael innit, finding things out that no-one else could! Derek bein an actor should know these fantastick plays uv their deep, acute, idiosyncratic characterizations and manifestations of superb dramatic and theatrical skill, couldna bin written by anyone other than a professional stage manager and player, who had a broad experience of life and society at ALL levels ? ever actually acted in a Shakepeare play, Will ol? chap? Jeff ol? boy? (yeah, I said SHAKESPEARE).
    Final point. The realistic portrayal of ordinary ?mean and base? people, as in the Henry IV plays, Henry V, Measure for Measure, Richard THE THIRD, As You Like It, Macbeth, etc. etc. ? especially in the matter of their vernacular language, could only have bin writ by some guy who in the course of his day to day life, spent lotsa time with such folk ? yeah, I know what comes next ? ?Ah, well, Oxford must have done what Prince Hal did: hung out in disguise uv low-life folk sew he could see how they tick/understand um/write about um!!?
    Yeah right."

    [face_laugh]
  23. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    i don't understand how this is a controversy ... authorship is such a modern obsession. somebody wrote the stuff and many people have and continue to enjoy it.

    what's next, homer didn't write the iliad? :eek:
  24. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I think the Homeric version of this argument has to do with Homer being a woman. Seriously.
  25. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    I'll be seeing Anonymous. But like any narrative film, I'll treat any relation to actual facts as total hokum. The film itself looks to be amusing and handsomely staged.

    JFK is a superb, exceptionally made film. That doesn't mean I believe an ounce of what it suggests.