'''''Anonymous''''' is a 2011 historical drama from director Creator/RolandEmmerich. Like many of Emmerich's films, it revolves around fringe conspiracy theories and features a major world landmark being destroyed, even if it isn't a disaster movie like his previous work. It's based on the conspiracy 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:

* AlternateHistory: The premise of the film is that Shakespeare never wrote his own plays, instead attributing them to Edward De Vere, the Earl of Oxford.
** Also, that Queen Elizabeth was not a virgin but had several bastard children. [[spoiler:[[RefugeInAudacity And that Edward De Vere was her bastard son]] [[IncestIsRelative who she then had sex with.]] Who fathered ''another'' one of the Queen's bastards.]]
* AnachronicOrder: Kyle Kallgren at ''Webvideo/BrowsHeldHigh'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3uYipLshD4 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: To cover up the fact that Shakespeare never wrote his own plays... [[spoiler: and also that Edward De Vere was the child of Queen Elizabeth, as well as [[ParentalIncest the father of another one of her children.]]]]
* AnonymousAuthor: Edward, before Shakespeare starts taking credit for his plays.
* AnythingThatMoves: UsefulNotes/ElizabethI is "The Virgin Queen" InNameOnly in this film.
* ArrangedMarriage: Between Edward and William Cecil's daughter.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Creator/DerekJacobi appears in the beginning to admit that the story is just an intellectual exercise, not hard history.
** The chronology is ''completely'' wrong. ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' is performed before ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''. ''Macbeth'' is widely considered to be a rather late production by Shakespeare, and directly references King James I (who ascends to the throne at the end of the film).
** Also, Creator/ChristopherMarlowe figures out that Edward is writing the plays, because he realises that the character of Polonius in ''Hamlet'' is meant to signify William Cecil, so Shakespeare [[spoiler:murders Marlowe]] to prevent the truth from getting out. ''Hamlet'' was first performed in 1601 (1598 in the film.) Marlowe had already died in 1593, and Cecil in 1598.
** The portrayal of UsefulNotes/RichardIII 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.
** Surprisingly, the Earl of Essex DID hire Shakespeare to stage a play about King Richard in order to incite a riot so he could seize the throne. However, rather than ''Theatre/{{Richard III}}'', as shown in the movie, the play was ''Theatre/{{Richard II}}''. Which makes sense, as ''Richard II'' is about a noble earl who does his solemn duty and deposes a corrupt and decadent monarch, whereas ''Richard III'' is about how wonderful Queen Elizabeth's family is, and isn't it ''great'' that they're in charge now?
** The Globe Theater catches on fire when torch-bearing troops chase Ben Johnson through it. The actual 1613 fire was an accident caused by a prop cannon.
** At a gathering of playwrights, the idea of a play entirely in iambic pentameter is treated as revolutionary. Not only did Shakespeare write only one play entirely in that form (''Richard II''), but writing plays in verse was the common way of doing it back then.
** The Tudor Rose was not an ''actual'' flower, unlike what's depicted in the movie. It was meant to depict the union of the House of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) and the House of York (who used a white rose).
** While it's certainly up for debate if the "Virgin Queen" really was a virgin, popping out tons of bastard children to the point that she lost count without anyone noticing would be rather difficult given that the Queen has to actually, you know, ''physically undergo nine months of pregnancy followed by childbirth.''
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: William Shakespeare was actually a patsy for Edward De Vere, allowing him to publish poetry without affronting his aristocratic family.
* BrickJoke: Ben Johnson complains that Oxford'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 Oxford's study, there is a hooded falcon perched off to the side.
* CoitusInterruptus: At one point, Shakespeare is interrupted while having sex with a prostitute.
* DownerEnding: The fraudulent Shakespeare winds up taking credit for all of De Vere's work, De Vere is a failure as both a playwright and a human being, and Elizabeth dies without a legitimate heir, marking the end of the Tudor line.
* EvilChancellor: William and Robert Cecil.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Most of the characters in the film, obviously. The ones with their own page on TV Tropes could be mentioned: Creator/WilliamShakespeare, Creator/ChristopherMarlowe and UsefulNotes/ElizabethI.
%%* HistoricalFiction
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: The Cecils, as well as William Shakespeare himself.
%%* HowWeGotHere
* UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor: Queen Elizabeth herself plays a large role in the events of the film.
* LargeHam: Shakespeare himself is one of the bigger offenders, although several of the actors ham it up throughout the film.
* ParentalAbandonment: [[spoiler: Queen Elizabeth gives birth to Edward out of wedlock, then gives him up to be raised by the Duke of Oxford to avoid a scandal.]]
* ParentalIncest: [[spoiler: Edward De Vere sleeps with Queen Elizabeth, who is secretly his mother. And [[{{Squick}} she gets pregnant]] from their coupling.]]
* ReallyGetsAround: Queen UsefulNotes/ElizabethI, in contrast to her historical reputation as the Virgin Queen.
* 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.]]
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory[=/=]BasedOnAGreatBigLie: Depends on whether you're a Stratfordian or Anti-stratfordian.