The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, hometown of William Shakespeare, has today launched a one day protest coinciding with the premier of “Anonymous” at the London Film Festival. The protest consists of:-
- Taping over nine road signs to blank out Shakespeare’s name – Instead of reading “Welcome to Warwickshire Shakespeare’s County” they read “Welcome to Warwickshire County”.
- Covering the sign on “The Shakespeare” pub in Welford, where the Bard was said to have had his last drink.
- Covering Shakespeare’s monument with a sheet
Why such action?
Because they feel that the film “Anonymous”, which puts forward the theory that Shakespeare’s work was actually that of the Earl of Oxford, is an attempt “to rewrite English culture and history”. In a BBC News report, Dr Paul Edmondson, head of knowledge and research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said:
“This film flies in the face of a mass of historical fact, but there is a risk that people who have never questioned the authorship of Shakespeare’s works could be hoodwinked. Shakespeare is at the core of England’s cultural and historical DNA, and he is certainly our most famous export. Today’s activity barely scratches the surface, but we hope it will remind people of the enormous legacy we owe to William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon.”
As someone who grew up near Stratford-upon-Avon and who is a real Shakespeare buff I fully support this action. I have read many of the theories regarding Shakespeare’s work – Oxford, Bacon, Marlowe etc. – and none have them have made any sense to me. What do you think?
- Shakespeare signs covered in protest of Anonymous film, BBC News report