Anonymous – Words: Voices and Pictures!

‘Anonymous’ is a movie about the theory that Shakespeare didn’t write the plays which are attributed to his authorship. ‘Anonymous’ claims that the plays were written by the 17th Earl, Edward Oxford and because he wanted to avoid political repercussions of being a playwright he needed to use someone else, the someone else being Shakespeare. The movie doesn’t do a great job of selling this theory, it is probably not worth anyone’s money unless one ardently loves historical dramas with a conspiracy angle.

I saw something in the movie that I admired. The 17th Earl is a guy who loves words so much that he was willing to relinquish authorship just to see the words come to live. He is the true artist who had not vested interest, except to see the effect of his words on the ‘mob’. He often mentions in the movie that words are powerful weapons. He even tries to use the power of his words to control succession plans of English monarchy.

He depicted a strength – strength to relinquish control for the sake of beauty – a strength to become lesser for a greater cause the cause of ‘words coming to life’. He depicted a strength in being himself – an artist instead of being the Earl attending to his investments. In fact, he loses his great wealth and is close to bankruptcy. His exasperated wife, justifiably gets mad at him and asks him why he keeps writing.

The Earl replies, almost helplessly, but with a calm conviction that he hears ‘voices in his head’ – the cry of the soldier in the battle field, the thoughts of a prisoner in dungeons, the words of a lover to his maiden… and if he had to be sane, he had to write them down. I felt I got my money’s worth and some more with that line. After all, don’t we all hear ‘voices in the head’.

Writing is sort of like painting, but the picture is not on canvas. The writer if he is good will be able to get the reader to paint the picture of the story in his/her mind, many many pictures… Words, are voices in the head of the writer, and pictures in the mind of the reader.  

Author: Emmanuel R Paulpeter

I am a writer, spiritual director, life coach and a Church Planter who love all things pop culture, theology and spirituality.

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