[[quoteright:334:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Anonymous_Poster-334x500_5151.jpg]]

''Anonymous'' is a 2011 drama from director Creator/RolandEmmerich.

The story is based on the theory that Creator/WilliamShakespeare did not author his plays, but was given them by the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere.

Not to be confused with [[Tropers/{{Anonymous}} the web vigilante group]].

!! The film invokes the following tropes:

* AnachronicOrder: Kyle Kallgren at ''Webvideo/BrowsHeldHigh'' [[http://chezapocalypse.com/episodes/shakespeare-month-anonymous/ points out]] that this was probably done to stop the audience from noticing that the internal chronology of the film is both self-contradictory and flies in the face of almost all historical data.
* AncientConspiracy
* AnonymousAuthor: Edward, before Shakespeare starts taking credit for his plays.
* ArrangedMarriage: Between Edward and William Cecil's daughter.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory:
** A man appears in the beginning to admit that the story is just an intellectual exercise, not hard history.
** The chronology is ''completely'' wrong. ''Theater/{{Macbeth}}'' is performed before ''Theater/{{Hamlet}}''. ''Macbeth'' is widely considered to be Shakespeare's last play, and directly references King James I (who ascends to the throne at the end of the film).
** Also, Christopher Marlowe figures out that Edward is writing the plays, because he realises that the character of Polonius in ''Hamlet'' is meant to signify William Cecil. ''Hamlet'' was first performed in 1601 (1598 in the film.) '''Marlowe died in 1593.''' You see the problem here?
** The portrayal of [[RichardOfGloucester Richard III]] as an EvilCripple wasn't Shakespeare's invention: it appears as "[[BasedOnAGreatBigLie fact]]" in Polydore Vergil's ''Anglica Historia'', published in 1534 - over a decade before the births of both Edward and Shakespeare.
** Cecil was actually against Elizabeth naming James of Scotland as her successor and for very good reason: it was Cecil, more than anyone else, who'd convinced Elizabeth to execute James's mother, Mary Queen of Scots.
* BrickJoke: Ben Johnson complains that Essex's writing is just a passing hobby, saying "Last week it's gardening, now it's plays, next week it will be falconry!" Later, when Shakespeare is in Essex's study, there is a hooded falcon perched off to the side.
* DownerEnding
* EvilChancellor: William and Robert Cecil.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: The Cecils and also William Shakespeare himself.
* HowWeGotHere
* TheHouseOfTudor
* LargeHam: Shakespeare
* ParentalIncest
* RealLifeRelative: Vanessa Redgrave plays the older Elizabeth; the younger Elizabeth is played by Redgrave's daughter, Joely Richardson.
* RealitySubtext: Creator/DerekJacobi (the Narrator) is a very prominent Anti-Stratfordian advocate. He also played the Chorus (i.e. the narrator) in Creator/KennethBranagh's ''HenryV''.
* SuccessionCrisis: With Queen Elizabeth old and having no legitimate children, the Cecils want James of Scotland to take the throne of England after her death. Edward wants it to go to the Earl of Essex.
* SurpriseIncest: Between [[spoiler: Edward and Elizabeth, his mother.]]
* TheVirginQueen
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory[=/=]BasedOnAGreatBigLie: Depends on whether you're a Stratfordian or Anti-stratfordian.

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