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Essay Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare In Love

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Shakespeare in Love is a fictional
story about the writing of William Shakespeare's Romeo
and Juliet. Shakespeare, played by Joseph Fiennes, is in
the middle of what could be a disastrous writer's block. His
idea for the play, which should be completed, is a pirate
comedy entitled Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter.
But Will is stuck, his shrink asks him how long it has been
since he has been with a woman and advises him that that is
what he needs. Auditions are held since the players' troup
is out on tour. All the not so actors are pitiful. Except for
Thomas Kent, the alias given by Viola, played by Gwyneth
Paltrow. Women at this time are not allowed on stage in
public. After Shakespeare shows interest, this character
runs away to her estate where a party is being held. He
follows Thomas into this party to later find love at first sight
in Viola. Thomas once again shows up to receive her part
in the play as Romeo. While Will and Thomas are talking,
Shakespeare pours his heart out, telling about this
wonderfully beautiful woman, Thomas's cousin. Somehow,
they end up kissing. Now that Will has this woman, his
writers block is cured, he goes on to write Romeo and
Juliet through his true-life actions in his affair with Viola. At
the end of the movie they put on the play through all the
hardships, in the company of Queen Elizabeth. I greatly
enjoyed this movie, even though it is not a typical movie of
my preference. The truth is that I would have never gone to
see this movie if extra credit was not given. I was delighted
to see an extremely entertaining movie. I was also amazed
at all the references that I would not have not caught if it
weren't for English Literature and history covered this year
and by reading Romeo and Juliet two years ago. Freshmen
year, while reading the play, I repeatedly caught myself
thinking, "I don't understand a thing they are saying.

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Shakespeare In Love         English Literature         Queen Elizabeth         Viola         Freshmen         Pirate         Block         Preference         Pitiful        

.. What
is the point of reading this?" Now I come to find it
entertaining. I also enjoyed seeing the humor and
wickedness of Elizabeth I. The movie displayed the point
that people were in desperate need of entertainment at that
time. I found it interesting to see the difference between the
classes of people at that time; the Aristocrats were cruel
and heartless while the commoners were truly disgusting. I
walked out of the theatre with a different opinion on
Shakespearean works and movies about the English.

Shakespeare in Love Essay

Shakespeare in Love
By: Fernanda Price

Shakespeare in Love explores an inside- albeit fictional- look at the great William Shakespeare’s method of coming to write one of his most talked about works Romeo and Juliet. Through this insider’s view, there is another topic that comes to light; if perhaps one that is talked about today even more than his works. This is the issue of authorship.

As a playwright in a time period not bothered with copyright laws, or ownership of intellectual property, citations and such, William Shakespeare took a lot of liberties with his work, as is demonstrated time and again throughout Shakespeare in Love. There are several instances throughout the film in which issues about legitimate authorship are raised, but not addressed directly.

Perhaps the main example of this is the scene in the bar when Shakespeare is conversing with fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe. In it, Marlowe aids Shakespeare’s creative juices by feeding him ideas, even throwing out names (such as Mercutio) which Shakespeare takes as his own and incorporates into the final play.  This raises the issue of ownership of intellectual property, as well as what constitutes an author. Can Shakespeare be said to be the true author of Romeo and Juliet, even though he used Marlowe’s ideas and thoughts to compose the storyline? In fact would the story even exist without Marlowe’s contributions? In this aspect, Marlowe could be said to be as much an author of the play as Shakespeare, or at least a very generous contributor/collaborator. Yet, Shakespeare never acknowledges this fact. This happens again towards the end of the film, when Viola gives Shakespeare, once again a starting point to his next play, The Twelfth Night.

Another issue is that of rights over a piece of work, at least in terms of usage. In the beginning of the movie, Shakespeare promises two different theater owners the same play. One of them even goes so far as to paying Shakespeare two shillings for his first pages. However, he never receives said pages. In fact, Shakespeare relinquishes the entire play to the other producer in its entirety. In a case such as this, would the theater owner that was promised and paid for the pages in advance, have a right to take them away- since they were supposed to be written for him in the first place?

And the final issue seen in the movie comes about when Shakespeare throws away his original draft- written for Rosalyn- into a street trash can. If someone had found those pages, would they have a right to use them, since Shakespeare disposed of them? Would an act such as this relinquish ownership of the work?

Although there are many instances of authorship issues throughout the film, the larger implication and overarching theme can perhaps be said to be the renown for a piece of work. William Shakespeare will continue to be known as one of the greatest playwrights throughout history whether or not he deserves the extent of the credit and renown for his works. In the long-run, all that can be done is to continue to explore and learn from not only his works, but his lifetime and how those works came to be as well. In this way, the implications of his authorship will set an example for generations of writers to come.

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