By Professor Carol Rutter, English and Comparative Literary Studies, and Professor Stanley Wells CBE, Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Exploring the theory that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, wrote the plays that we attribute to Shakespeare, Roland Emmerich's new film Anonymous has re-opened the Shakespeare authorship debate. In this video, two distinguished Shakespearian scholars discuss their reactions to the film and address some of the claims made by it.
If you want to find out more you can read Peter Kirwan's review of Anonymous and watch an earlier Knowledge Centre video below on the Shakespeare authorship debate called Searching For Shakespeare. In it, Prof Carol Rutter talks to Prof James Shapiro about his book Contested Will.
Carol Rutter is Professor of English and Director of the CAPITAL Centre at Warwick. Her main teaching and research areas lie in Shakespeare and performance studies. An historian of the early modern playhouse, she recovers the day-to-day working life of Philip Henslowe’s Rose (the playhouse featured in John Madden’s 1998 film Shakespeare in Love) in Documents of the Rose Playhouse (1984, revised 1999). She contributes to the RSC’s Artists’ Development programme, is a consultant to Northern Broadsides and patron to 1623 theatre company, and she’s a regular contributor to BBC radio arts programmes.
Stanley Wells is one of the world's foremost Shakespearians. He is a Life Trustee and Former Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (1991-2011), Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, of which he was for many years Vice-Chairman. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick.