Shakespeare in Love

Factual error: About 20 minutes in when they are at some ball/dance thing, Shakespeare's talking with a musician holding a lute. You can see fret markers on the fretboard of his lute, but these were not used on instruments until the late 1800's, early 1900's, definitely not in Shakespeare's time. (00:27:20)

Factual error: When Will shouts "Follow that boat!" a motorboat speeding by is visible in the lake.

Factual error: Throughout the story, the threat is that Viola is going to be shipped off to Virginia with Lord Wessex. Virginia did not exist until 1607, a good 20 years after this story was set.

Factual error: Two scenes show aerial views of the cast in a church: this is in fact St Bartholemew The Great in the Smithfield area of London. These show everybody walking on the floor of the church, which is made of Victorian tiles, laid down in the nineteenth century, about 300 years after the age of Queen Elizabeth I (played by Judi Dench) and William Shakespeare.

Rob Halliday

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Suggested correction: It was filmed in St Batholomews but was set in a fictional church somewhere in London. The floor tiles are just part of the fictional setting and are not anachronistic.

Continuity mistake: Halfway into the film, Shakespeare is holding Viola's face placing his hands around her jaw, looking closely at her. When the angle is behind Viola, we see that her hair gets caught around his left hand's fingers. The angle changes to a wider side angle and his hand has no hair around, even though he hasn't moved it at all.

Sacha Premium member

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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.

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Trivia: Rupert Everett/Christopher Marlow 's name does not appear at any point in the credits at the end of the film. This was due to Everett's decision.

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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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