Sure, we all have.
My take on it is:
I love a good mystery, but who cares? At the end of the day, we still have these miraculous plays and sonnets. So regardless of whether or not there are clandestine shenanigans behind the scenes, let us rejoice that these works survived and can be enjoyed. Though it is fun to, as I am fond of saying, “entertain the notion” of such an ordeal.
Well, someone is entertaining the notion … in movie form.
In a film called Anonymous which seems as if it will be very good or very silly, Roland Emmerich is brining us a story of how Shakespeare came to write his plays (or not). It’s a political/historical thriller. Here’s his description as posted online: It's a mix of a lot of things: it's an historical thriller because it's about who will succeed Queen Elizabeth and the struggle of the people who want to have a hand in it. It's the Tudors on one side and the Cecils on the other, and in between [the two] is the Queen. Through that story we tell how the plays written by the Earl of Oxford ended up labeled 'William Shakespeare'
See? It could go either way.
I don’t know if this “spin” is part of the plans for the story or not, but here’s what I came up with after hearing this idea — what if the truth is that William Shakespeare did exist but he had been framed, as it were, used as a scapegoat to hide the real (aristocratic) culprit who slandered and told the “secrets” of royalty and other high ranking societal figures with his [or her!] deep-seeded works. Shakespeare, in his day, would then be punished and chastised for them… and the irony is that now he’s revered as one of the greatest writers the world has ever known. If I may say so, THAT’s a cool thought.
Let’s hope Anonymous turns out to be a marvelous period piece flick with all the intrigue, sense and elegance of a good Shakespearean “thriller.” Vanessa Redgrave is attached, so it has some merit already. :)