Shakespeare in Love
Directed by John Madden,
Scene 1: Love and Poetry
2. Is Viola's enthusiasm for love or her enthusiasm for poetry greater? Are they distinct?
2. Why does Thomas/Viola want to hear Will's description of his beloved?
3. Discuss the irony in Thomas's statement that he has not seen Viola "close"?
4. Why does Thomas think that Viola should keep Will's love for her "at a distance"?
5. Why does Viola identify her beloved as "the author of the plays of William Shakespeare"?
2. In presenting love as pretty and comical, and lust, do poets not "make it true"? What does the Queen's criticism of poets imply about her view of love?
3. If the Queen holds the view of the theater that she states, why does she have so many plays "acted for [her]"?
4. Would Lord Wessex agree with the Queen that the question of the wager is a "worthy" question?
5. Why might Shakespeare be intrigued by Queen Elizabeth?
2. Why will Viola marry Wessex? Does her decision qualify her love for Will?
3. Does Will's musings about Marlowe have any bearing on Viola's decision?
2. What are the significant differences between the two plots?
3. Why is it important to the film that circumstances dictate that Viola play Juliet rather than her original role of Romeo?
2. Is there any validity at all in the law that forbids women from acting on the public stage? Why was it passed?
3. If the Queen knows well that a woman can perform admirably in a man's profession, why does she not seek to overturn the law concerning the theater?
4. In what way(s) can the Queen's pronouncement about Master Kent be considered an act of statesmanship?
2. Discuss the role played by Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love. What decisions does she make, and why? How do her decisions illustrate the potential and limits of statesmanship? How does she contribute to the themes of the film?
3. Is "something more cheerful" an appropriate aftermath
to the action of Shakespeare in Love?
5. Is Shakespeare in Love worthy of William Shakespeare?