Shakespeare in Love again

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I recently watched “Shakespeare in Love” again. It’s one of my favorite movies, though it has been several years since I have watched it beginning to end. I was reminded once again at how wonderful – truly beauitfully written, acted (less Ben Affleck), directed and photographed- that movie really is. The ending though is so good, so touching, without being overly dribbly, that I thought I’d post the script here.

I’m a person who tends to romanticize too much about the world, which is why maybe I like this ending so much. Whatever the reason I find I like it, hopefully you’ll find your own.

A gaggle of the QUEEN'S favoured courtiers wait by her
carriage. WESSEX is hurrying down the exterior staircase
as the QUEEN emerges from the theatre. During the
following a general egress from the Auditorium is taking
place, including some of the actors crowding to see her
off. WESSEX bows out of breath.

                           WESSEX
                 Your Majesty!

                           QUEEN
                 Why, Lord Wessex! Lost your wife so
soon?

                           WESSEX
                 Indeed I am a bride short. How is this
to end?

VIOLA has come out of the theatre, amongst some of the
other players. The QUEEN catches her eye.

                           QUEEN
                 As stories must when love's
denied--with tears and a journey. Those
whom God has joined in marriage, not
even I can put asunder.

                           QUEEN (CONT'D)
                     (she turns to VIOLA)
Lord Wessex, as I foretold, has lost
his wife in the play- house--go make
your farewell and send her out. It's
time to settle accounts.
(to WESSEX)
How much was the wager?

                           WESSEX
                 Fifty shillings.
(the QUEEN gives him a look)
Pounds.

                           QUEEN
                 Give it to Master Kent. He will see it
rightfully home. WESSEX gives his
purse to VIOLA.

                           QUEEN (CONT'D)
                     (to VIOLA)
And tell Shakespeare something more
cheerful next time for Twelfth Night.

The QUEEN proceeds towards her carriage. There is an
enormous puddle between her and her carriage. The QUEEN
hesitates for a fraction and then marches through the
puddle as cloaks descend upon it.

                           QUEEN (CONT'D)
                 Too late, too late.

She splashes her way into her carriage, which departs.

       INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. STAGE. DAY.

                           WILL
                     (heartbroken, testing her
name)
My Lady Wessex?

VIOLA nods, heartbroken too. For a long moment they
cannot say anything to each other. The she holds up
Wessex's purse.

                           VIOLA
                 A hired player no longer. Fifty
pounds, Will, for the poet of true
love.

                           WILL
                 I am done with theatre. The playhouse
is for dreamers. Look where the dream
has brought us.

                           VIOLA
                 It was we ourselves did that. And for
my life to come I would not have it
otherwise.

                           WILL
                 I have hurt you and I am sorry for it.

                           VIOLA
                 If my hurt is to be that you will
write no more, then I shall be the
sorrier.

WILL looks at her.

                           VIOLA (CONT'D)
                 The Queen commands a comedy, Will for
Twelfth Night.

                           WILL
                     (harshly)
A comedy! What will my hero be but the
saddest wretch in the kingdom, sick
with love?

                           VIOLA
                 An excellent beginning
(a beat)
Let him be…a duke. And your heroine?

                           WILL
                     (bitterly)
Sold in marriage and half way to
America.

                           VIOLA
                     (adjusting)
At sea, then--a voyage to a new
world?…she lands upon a vast and empty
shore. She is brought to the
duke…Orsino.

                           WILL
                     (despite himself)
Orsino…good name

                           VIOLA
                 But fearful of her virtue, she comes
to him dressed as a boy

                           WILL
                     (Catching it)
and thus unable to declare her love

Pause. They look at each other. Suddenly the conversation
seems to be about them.

                           VIOLA
                 But all ends well.

                           WILL
                 How does it?

                           VIOLA
                 I don't know. It's a mystery

WILL half smiles. Then he's serious. They look deeply at
each other…and rush into each other's arm.

                           WILL (CONT'D)
                 You will never age for me, nor fade,
nor die.

                           VIOLA
                 Nor you for me.

                           WILL
                 Good bye, my love, a thousand times
good bye.

                           VIOLA
                 Write me well.

She kisses him with finality. Then turns and runs from
him. WILL watches as she goes.

       INT. WILL'S ROOM. DAY.

A blank page. A hand is writing: TWELFTH NIGHT. We see
WILL sitting at his table.

                           WILL (VO)
                 My story starts at sea…a perilous
voyage to an unknown land…a shipwreck

       EXT. UNDERWATER. DAY.

Two figures plunge into the water

                           WILL (VO)
                 the wild waters roar and heave…the
brave vessel is dashed all to pieces,
and all the helpless souls within her
drowned

       INT. WILL'S ROOM. DAY.

WILL at his table writing

                           WILL (VO)
                 all save one … a lady

       EXT. UNDERWATER. DAY.

VIOLA in the water

                           WILL (VO)
                 whose soul is greater than the ocean …
and her spirit stronger than the sea's
embrace … not for her watery end, but
a new life beginning on a stranger
shore

       EXT. BEACH. DAY.

VIOLA is walking up a vast and empty beach ….

                           WILL (VO CONTINUED)
                 It will be a love story … for she will
be my heroine for all time

       INT. WILL'S ROOM. DAY.

WILL looks up from the table.

                           WILL (VO CONTINUED)
                 and her name will be … Viola.

He looks down at the paper, and writes: "Viola" Then:
"What country friends is this?"

       EXT. BEACH. DAY.

DISSOLVE slowly to VIOLA, walking away up the beach
towards her brave new world.

                             THE END

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