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"Was Shakespeare a Fraud?"
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Anonymous, is a film that implies that William Shakespeare was not the man portrayed in the history books. He did not write the plays attributed to him. Edward de Vere is a wealthy man with ties to royalty. He is an accomplished writer who has produced poetry and plays but he cannot publish them because of their political overtones. If they are made public under his name, it will be obvious to all that he is plotting against Queen Elizabeth and her inner circle.

The Shakespeare portrayed in Anonymous is a drunk actor who has never written a legible word in his life. In him, De Vere finds a tool that will solve his dilemma and enable him to publicize his works without the Queen and court having any hint who the actual author is. De Vere makes a deal with Shakespeare using the man's ego to full measure. Once the plays are performed under his name, Shakespeare becomes an instant celebrity. This creates a problem for De Vere as William is not satisfied with the original deal and blackmails the nobleman for even more fame.

The culmination of the story occurs when De Vere writes Richard III and has the play presented under Shakespeare's name. The play is a ploy to incite a revolt led by co-conspirators, one of which is De Vere's son. The plan is not successful as Elizabeth gets wind of it before it can take full form. She discovers that De Vere is in fact the author of Richard III and in fact all of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. In order to save his son's life, Edward De Vere agrees to never divulge the fact that he is indeed the author of the plays.

The cast includes Vanessa Redgrave, Rhys Ifans, Sebastian Armesto and Rafe Spall and the film is directed by Roland Emmerich.

| 2011 | 2 hr 10 min | 6.9/10 | 50/100
Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall
Studio Babelsberg, Centropolis Entertainment
Roland Emmerich
Produced By
Roland Emmerich, Larry J. Franco, Robert Leger

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