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“Like a sickness and its cure together.”

November 10, 2009

It’s not a surprise that Tom Stoppard co-wrote the screenplay for Shakespeare in Love.

Phenomenal dialogue:

Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

Geoffrey Rush as


Viola De Lesseps: [to her Nurse] I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No… not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that… over-throws life. Unbiddable, ungovernable – like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love – like there has never been in a play.


Viola de Lesseps: [as Thomas Kent] Tell me how you love her, Will.
William Shakespeare: Like a sickness and its cure together.


[last lines]
William Shakespeare: My story starts at sea… a perilous voyage to an unknown land… a shipwreck… the wild waters roar and heave… the brave vessel is dashed all to pieces, and all the helpless souls within her drowned… all save one… a lady… whose soul is greater than the ocean… and her spirit stronger than the sea’s embrace… not for her a watery end, but a new life beginning on a stranger shore. It will be a love story… for she will be my heroine for all time. And her name will be Viola.



I think the play Arcadia is still his best work ever, but that 1999 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay was definitely well-deserved.

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