Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

10 corrected entries

(5 votes)

Corrected entry: Shakespeare talks a lot about acts and scenes, but he never sorted his plays into acts and scenes. This was done long after he died by someone else.

rabid anarchist

Correction: He may not have written the act and scene breaks into the scripts. However, since he's writing and directing the play, there is an understanding between him and the actors as to where each scene and act starts/ finishes.

Corrected entry: The first permanent British settlement in the America's was in Jamestown, Virginia. The ships did not land until May of 1607. Why was Viola going to Virginia in the 1590's?

Correction: Perhaps Viola was a member of an earlier attempt to settle in Virginia that did not survive. Therefore, our foreknowledge of her doomed fate enhances the tragedy.

Corrected entry: When they are acting the play at the end, it ends after Viola stabs herself. This isn't how the play ends, however. In Shakespeare's play Friar Lawrence explains what happened to Prince Escales and the parents bury their grudge.

Correction: Very little of the play actually appears in the film. The explanation scene isn't necessary to the film's story, so it jumps straight from Juliet stabbing herself to the Narrator. During his speech we can see that the Friar and the parents are all on-stage, so that scene was performed, just not shown as part of the film.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When Shakespeare is playing Romeo at the end and is doing the poison drinking scene, he first opens the bottle, says what he has to say and in the next shot he opens the bottle again before he actually drinks the stuff.

rabid anarchist

Correction: We see him open it then give his speech but the shot where he drinks from the bottle is from behind him and the bottle can't be seen. Although his free hand reaches to the bottle, we can only speculate why, we certainly can't see him open it a second time.


Corrected entry: At the end, Shakespeare uses the word "America" to Lady Viola, but the word America wasn't used at the time; it was referred to as the "New World" or "the Colonies."

Leonard Hassen

Correction: The film starts in 1593. Cartographer Martin Waldseemueller named the New World America in 1507.


Corrected entry: There's just no way on God's green earth that Viola could have gotten that long, very thick hair into the tiny wig she wears when disguised as a man. I couldn't do it with my hair, and it's much, much shorter and thinner.

Correction: I have very long thick hair (down to my waist) and working in theater I have had to get it into plenty of wigs. You do it by creating what are called pin curls all over your entire head. You take small sections of hair and twist it into a coil until it starts to slighty twist itself. You then curl it into a coil and pin it to your head in with two bobby pins placed perpendicular to each other. You do that with all of your hair and you can then put on any style of wig and not see the hair underneath. All high quality wigs are also designed to hold a little bit of extra hair right at the back of the head and still look natural.


Correction: He is married in this film as well, they refer to both his wife and children. He is just not living with them at the time. This is the reason Viola gets upset and runs out of the tavern, she learns he is married.

Jack's Revenge

Corrected entry: Twelfth night was written sometime between 1600-1603, many years after Romeo and Juliet, not right after it as it is shown in the film. (01:51:50)

Correction: You don't see Shakespeare writing Twelfth Night "right after Romeo and Juliet" - you see him discussing the plotline with his paramour. How long did he keep the idea in his head before writing then play? Years? Why not?

Corrected entry: In the scene where Viola and William are in bed reading the play together Viola says, 'and Juliet is the sun, arise fair sun'. At this point in the film William has not yet changed the name of the play and it is still Romeo and Rosaline. William does not change the name of the play to Romeo and Juliet for another ten minutes so she would have said Rosaline not Juliet.

Correction: Ned suggests the name be changed to "Romeo and Juliet" because he still believes the play is entitled "Mercutio". The female role has been 'Juliet' since the real Rosaline betrayed Will by sleeping with Mr. Tilney.


Corrected entry: Gwyenth Paltrow's suitor refers to them about to travel to Virginia. The State of Virginia was not referred to as such for many years later.

Correction: The term Virginia is historically accurate. It had been in use long before 1593, the year in which the film is set. Virginia owes its origins to the name it was given by Sir Walter Ralegh in honour of Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of England. Its existence in its present form as a US state presumably is due to the form it took after the War of Independence.

Revealing mistake: When Shakespeare is getting dressed and talking with Viola in the bedroom, you get a quick glimpse of Joseph Fiennes' modern day men's briefs under his tunic.

More mistakes in Shakespeare in Love

Queen Elizabeth: Have her then, but you're a lordly fool: she's been plucked since I saw her last, and not by you. Takes a woman to know it.

More quotes from Shakespeare in Love
More trivia for Shakespeare in Love

Question: How did Will not recognise Viloa in her boy disguise? Even in disguise, you can clearly see it's her, and she didn't sound like a boy.

Answer: In real life, Viola, of course, would be recognized as a female in disguise. However, in literature, film, opera, etc, it often is necessary to employ what is known as a "suspension of disbelief." That is, the author expects the reader or audience to know something is impossible, unlikely, or completely unreal, but they have to accept a certain premise in order to allow the plot to unfold. We go along with the idea that no one realizes Viola is actually a woman, so that we can enjoy the overall story.

raywest Premium member

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