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Shakespeare in Love is a fictional movie written about the great writer and poet, William Shakespeare. The story is of a young William Shakespeare barely making ends meet and trying to write a play for the local theatre. However, Shakespeare is suffering from writer’s block, and is seeking inspiration by having a muse. A muse is a power, in this case a female, used to inspire a poet. Of course, a love story proceeds. Although fictional, the real story line is the writing of “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare. The story line is wonderful. In addition, there are very educational aspects to the movie, which focuses on theatre in the days of William Shakespeare. The theatre life is educational and the reflection of scenery in theatres of this time seems well depicted.

The theatre life of these times is called Elizabethan. In the sixteenth century the most powerful form of literature or drama was non-religious and more concerned with the inner workings of the human personality. Shakespeare’s writings were tragedies that focused on human actions without thought to the consequences of these actions. There are two examples in this movie that come to mind illustrating this humanistic approach. First, Shakespeare falls in love with Viola, his muse, and follows his heart knowing that she has already been promised to marry someone else. Second, is the theatrical representation of Romeo and Julie and the tragic love story it entails.

The dramatic style and preparation of theatre in this movie is of the baroque style. The Baroque style is a period following the Renaissance, from 1600 to 1750, and is characterized by a dramatic expression and performances or theatrical shows. There are several examples of dramatic expression during the movie. During the preparation of the play, there is a fight. For example, when Mercutio fights with Romeo. The poetic verse of the love affair between Romeo and Juliet is dramatic. During Elizabethan times women were not allowed to act in the theatre. However, Viola, the character, wants to act and auditions for a role in the production. When it is found out there is a female working on the production, the theatre is shut down. In my opinion, the most dramatic part, is at the end of the production of Romeo and Juliet, where Shakespeare is acting opposite his muse and she wakes up to find his character laying beside her dead and she stabs herself. Also, the costumes are beautiful and reflect an ornate detail.

The movie was a wonderful display of the sixteenth century theatres and their production’s. The reviews of the movie “Shakespeare in Love” were differing, either it was seen as an outstanding piece of work or overrated. Sometimes, Shakespeare can be a little hard to watch because of many peoples unfamiliarity with the prose, however, I think the movie did a wonderful job of helping literally anyone comprehend the poetic verse. The movie also gives you a sense of the Baroque style and the dramatic expression during these times. While the movie is fictional, it is absolutely an educational tool in helping depict the theatre and drama of these times. Although nothing can compare to a live production of a Shakespeare play, Hollywood’s interpretation of Shakespeare was educational and a joy to watch.


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