... Shakespeare in Love won a well deserved Academy Awad for Best Costume Design (Sandy Powell). The gowns were stunningly beautiful but were they historically accurate? Someone on the internet has done an extensive gown by gown analysis. Here are some of our favorites.
... Part of the fun in watching Shakespeare in Love is catching all the Shakespearean nods and winks woven throughtout the movie. A man contemplating a skull- Hamlet. The imagined shipwreck - Twelfth Night. Balcony Scene - of course Romeo and Juliet. We also hear dialogue lifted straight from the plays. A man calls out "A plague on both your houses" ( R&J) Will answers a question "Doubt thou the stars are fire. Doubt that the sun doth move. (Hamlet) Will writes Viola a poem "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (that's Sonnet 18 and we thought you might like to read it)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
... The characters in Shakespeare in Love are a mix up of people who really did exist and those created by the writers. Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush), Ned Alleyn (Ben Affleck) and Christopher Marlowe (Rupert Evertt) were all real people while Hugh Fennyman (Tom Wilkinson) and Lord Wessex (Colin Firth) were not. The little urchin seen playing with rats who likes the gory parts of the plays is named John Webster. The real John Webster grew up to be a famous playwright known for writing macbre and disturbing tragedies.
... A thought might have come to you as you finished watching Shakespeare in Love, Lord Wessex and Viola sail off for a colony in America, hmmm what year is it? It's 1593 and yes the first British colony in America was Jamestown in 1607 so where exactly were they going? Just let that thought go.