William Shakespeare is generally acknowledged to be the greatest English language writer of all time. People Still from Shakespeare in Love Photograph: He crumples his efforts up into a ball and throws them at a novelty mug bearing the words: You may get the idea that this movie isn't going to take its history too seriously. Funnily enough, it does care a bit.
For instance, both Alleyn and Henslowe left diaries: Henslowe's tends to support the movie's image of him as an eccentric. Alongside accounts for the seasons at his theatre, the Rose, it ventures into astrology and witchcraft — including a recipe for curing earache with fried earthworms. Authorship Still from Shakespeare in Love Photograph: He ends up in a pub with fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe Rupert Everett.
Always in and out of love. The daughter of his enemy. His best friend is killed in a duel by Ethel's brother. His name is Mercutio. Marlowe is among those proposed as the "real" author. This is a conspiracy theory bandied around by the sort of people who can't accept that an ordinary bloke from the Midlands wrote the best poetry ever without even going to Oxbridge first.
Clearly, they've never heard of Noddy Holder. The film goes further after Marlowe's murder: Some scholars have argued that Shakespeare effectively rewrote two plays by Marlowe or another dramatist to shape Henry VI, others claim that it was written by committee, and others yet passionately defend Shakespeare's authorship. It is true, though, that some phrasings in Henry VI echo lines in Marlowe's plays. Marriage Still from Shakespeare in Love In the movie, Will gets his muse back in the form of Viola de Lesseps Gwyneth Paltrow , a fictional lady who dresses as a boy to perform in the theatre.
The film plays up the theory that Shakespeare's marriage to Anne Hathaway may not have been a happy one. When they married in , he was 18; she was 26, and three months pregnant. It cannot really be called a shotgun wedding in the age of the arquebus, but that may have been what it was.
The film's speculation on this score fits well enough with the known facts, partly because there aren't many of them: Sexuality Still from Shakespeare in Love Photograph: In her place, he writes Juliet as inspired by Viola.
Quite apart from the fact Viola didn't exist, this upsets Shakespeare purists because the movie is set in Twelfth Night is thought to have been written around , and Sonnet 18 was first published in Furthermore, Sonnet 18 is one of those addressed to "Fair Youth", an unidentified man.
The fact that the movie's Viola is a cross-dresser gives this a witty twist — though not one with any historical validity. Verdict "This film is entertainment," said writer Tom Stoppard when Shakespeare in Love came out, "which doesn't require it to be justified in the light of historical theory. In any case, there are enough historical and literary allusions here to keep all but the most severe academics chuckling smugly about how clever they are to notice them.