Back in high school, the most difficult paper ever had to write was about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. Were they truly the works of one William Shakespeare or were they a collaborative effort between the Bard and the great Christopher Marlowe? The repetitiveness and consistency of alliterations, allusions and other literary devices common to all the plays suggests they had to have been written by the same person. Michael Rubbo’s documentary Much Ado About Something goes further, exposing what could very well be the greatest literary scam in the history of the world. Here, the pro-Marlowe camp seems to have the upper hand, drawing upon similarities between Shakespeare’s works and Marlow’s. They support the theory that Marlowe feigned his death and that he wrote in exile until his dying days. The history is sketchy and full of holes but if Shakespeare was indeed the frontman for a ghostwriting Marlowe, there is a legion of scholars and actors (including Intimacy‘s Mark Rylance) ready to scratch Shakespeare’s name off that Collected Plays and Sonnets tome you may have buried in a bookshelf somewhere. Visually there isn’t much to Rubbo’s video document. No matter, the material couldn’t possibly be more engaging. The implications of a “by Marlowe” verdict are positively earth-shattering. Even when the pro-Shakespeare camp seems to take charge, a new piece of evidence threatens their complacency. It’s fascinating because, according to Rubbo, we are a culture that strives on myth.
- Films Transit International
- 93 min
- Michael Rubbo
- Michael Rubbo
- Mark Rylance
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