As the movie begins. Shakepeare’s frequenter Philip Henslowe ( Geoffrey Rush ) finds himself in debt to loan shark Hugh Fennyman ( Tom Wilkinson ) . Henslowe offers Fennyman a partnership in the approaching production of Shakespeare’s newest comedy. Romeo and Ethel. The Pirate’s Daughter assuring that it will be a hit. This drama will subsequently be renamed Romeo and Juliet and be reworked into a calamity ( but with some amusing undertones with a few characters. like the Nurse ) . Will Shakespeare is enduring from writer’s block and has non completed the drama. but begins hearings for Romeo.
A male child named Thomas Kent is cast in the function after affecting Shakspere with his public presentation and his love of Shakespeare’s old work. Unbeknownst to Shakespeare and the remainder of the theatre company. Kent is immature noblewoman Viola de Lesseps. Viola de Lesseps’s dream is to move. but as adult females were barred from the phase. she must mask herself as a immature adult male in order to carry through her dream. After Shakespeare discovers his star’s true individuality. he and Viola get down a passionate secret matter.
There are strong analogues between the pair’s love affair and the love affair in Romeo and Juliet. including the dance hall scene from act 2 and the balcony scene instantly following it. The component of out love forms the footing of Shakespeare’s inspiration. and many of their conversations subsequently show up as some of the most celebrated quotation marks in the drama. Inspired by Viola. Shakespeare begins composing feverishly. His work in advancement besides benefits from the off-hand advice of dramatist and friendly rival Christopher Marlowe ( Rupert Everett ) . Yet Shakespeare and de Lesseps know that their love affair is doomed.
Shakespeare is married. albeit long separated from his married woman. and Viola is a noblewoman whose parents would ne’er allow her to get married a common man such as Shakespeare. In fact. Viola’s male parent has in private arranged a engagement for her to Lord Wessex ( Colin Firth ) . Viola is called to the tribunal of Queen Elizabeth I ( Judi Dench ) . and Shakespeare dons a woman’s camouflage to attach to her. At tribunal. Shakspere manages to spur Wessex into wagering the expansive amount of 50 lbs that a drama can non capture the nature of true love. If Romeo and Juliet is a success. Shakespeare as dramatist will win the money.
The Queen. who enjoys Shakespeare’s dramas. agrees to be a informant to the bet. The true intent of the meeting is revealed when Wessex announces his purpose to get married Viola. The Lord of Revels. an functionary of the Queen. learns that there is a adult female in the theatre company at the Rose wendy house. He orders the theatre closed for this misdemeanor of morality and the jurisprudence. Left without a phase or lead histrion. it seems that Romeo and Juliet must shut before it even opened. Shakespeare is offered one last opportunity by the proprietor of a viing theatre. the Curtain. who offers his ain theatre to Shakespeare.
Shakespeare will take the function of Romeo himself. with a male child histrion playing Juliet. Viola learns that the drama will be performed on the really twenty-four hours of her nuptials. After the ceremonial. Viola’s loyal nurse ( Imelda Staunton ) helps her faux pas off to the theatre. In one concluding turn. mere minutes before the drama begins. the boy playing Juliet starts sing the voice alteration of pubescence. Viola takes the phase to replace him and dramas Juliet to Shakespeare’s Romeo. Their passionate portraiture of two lovers inspires the full audience. The Lord of Revels arrives at the theatre with Wessex. who has deduced his new bride’s whereabouts.
The Lord invokes the name of the Queen to collar all there for indecency. Suddenly. Elizabeth I’s voice rings out from the dorsum of the theatre: “Have a attention with my name – you will have on it out! ” The Queen had decided to go to the drama. and says that she will manage this affair herself. Although she recognizes Viola in her pretense as Thomas Kent. the Queen does non unmask Viola. alternatively declaring that the function of Juliet is being performed by the male child Thomas Kent. However. even a Queen is powerless to interrupt an official matrimony of the Church.
Queen Elizabeth orders “Thomas Kent” to bring Viola so that she may sail to America. She besides states that Romeo and Juliet has accurately portrayed true love and Wessex is forced to pay Shakespeare the 50 lbs. This is adequate to let Shakespeare go a stockholder in a new theatre. The Queen so committees Shakespeare to compose something “a little more cheerful following clip. “
Viola and Shakespeare portion. ne’er to run into once more. She must attach to Wessex to a colonial colony in Virginia. Shakespeare immortalizes her by doing the chief character of his new drama. Twelfth Night. a strong immature adult female named Viola who besides disguises herself as a male child.