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Did Shakespeare Actually Write His Plays?

New Film ‘Anonymous’ Suggests Edward De Vere Wrote The Plays Credited To Shakespeare

Rhys Ifan stars as Edward de Vere in

Credit: Sony Pictures

Above: Rhys Ifan stars as Edward de Vere in "Anonymous," Roland Emmerich's new film suggesting that Shakespeare did not write his plays.

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For centuries, people have been debating whether William Shakespeare actually wrote the plays credited to him. The new film "Anonymous" (opened October 28 throughout San Diego) suggests that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, an Elizabethan courtier and patron of the arts wrote the plays. Here to debate this and to provide their reactions to the films are a pair of members from the San Diego Shakespeare Society.

Conspiracy theorists complain that the plays reveal too much detail about distant places and affairs of the court and too sophisticated a style to have been written by someone of Shakespeare's education and social standing. So there has been considerable speculation as to which Elizabethan might have actually been the author of Shakespeare's plays, perhaps Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, or Francis Bacon. The new film "Anonymous" suggests that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, an Elizabethan courtier and patron of the arts wrote the plays.

Here is the trailer to the film that is currently playing in theaters.

The Shakespeare Society is currently gearing up for their Nov 9th Musicale "Shakespeare and All That Jazz" which features the 1957 Ellington suite "Such Sweet Thunder" starring Delfeayo Marsalis, nationally acclaimed jazz trombonist.


Dr. Kim Keeline, Ph.D. in English literature from USC with a specialty in plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Publicity Director for the San Diego Shakespeare Society.

Vanessa Dinning originally from UK, acted in many Shakespeare plays professionally. Former Artistic director of San Diego Shakespeare Society. Leads workshops on Shakespeare (the plays themselves as well as playhouse practice and theatre going in Shakespeare's London) in conjunction with Shakespeare's Globe in London. Now a San Diego resident, works for San Diego Opera.


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