At the Romeo and Juliet premiere, the actor playing Juliet loses his voice, rendering him incapable of performing. Immediately after her wedding to Lord Wessex, Viola bolts from the church and runs to the theatre to see the play. Overhearing that the performance is in trouble, she steps in as her alter ego, 'Tomas Kent,' and plays Juliet, and Shakespeare plays Romeo. As the play ends, the audience roars with approval. Just then the magistrate bursts in, accusing Shakespeare of breaking the law. "That woman is a WOMAN!" Queen Elizabeth, who is in attendance, intervenes and tells the magistrate he is mistaken; it is obvious 'Thomas Kent' is not a woman although "the illusion is remarkable." Lord Wessex arrives looking for his runaway bride, and Elizabeth informs him he has lost his wager - that a play can show the truth and nature of love. He grudgingly pays up. Elizabeth sends 'Thomas Kent' back into the theatre to fetch Lady Wessex (Viola). She also commands a message be delivered to Master Shakespeare to write a comedy for the upcoming Twelfth Night celebration. Viola and Shakespeare make their sad farewells, and Viola departs with Lord Wessex for the American colonies. Shakespeare writes Twelfth Night as an ode to his muse and lost love, Viola.
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