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Here's some quotes from the movie. These were all written by Mark Norman and Tom Stoppard. I know I've missed some or many, so if you know of any that's not on here that you think should be, please email me with it. If you don't want me to post your name and/or email address here, please say so. Email your quotes to Thanks :) Oh and please quit sending me the Two Gentlemen of Verona poem because I forgot it. It's the very last one. It's always been on this site, it'll always be here. I've gotten so many people sending me that poem or requesting it because I've seemed to have missed it. Not-uh...Just scroll down, it takes half a second. How tough is that?

WILL: Word, words, words...once I had the gift...I could make love out of words as a potter makes cups out of that overthrows empires, love that binds two hearts together come hellfire and brimstone...for sixpence a line, I could cause a riot in a nunnery...but now...
DR. MOTH: And yet you tell me you lie with women? (Will doesn't respond) Black Sue, Fat Phoebe, Rosaline, Burbage's seamstress; Aphrodite, who does it behind the dog and...
WILL: Aye, now and again, but what of it? I have lost my gift.
DR. MOTH: I am here to help you. Tell me in your own words.
WILL: I have lost my gift...It's as if my quill is broken. As if the organ of my imagination has dried up. As if the proud tower of my genius has collapsed.
DR. MOTH: Interesting.
WILL: Nothing comes.
DR. MOTH: Most interesting.
WILL: It's like trying to pick a lock with a wet herring.
DR. MOTH: Tell me, are you lately humbled in the act of love?

MARLOWE: How goes it Will?
WILL: Wonderful, wonderful.
MARLOWE: Burbage says you have a play.
WILL: I have. And chinks to show for it...I hear you have a new play for the Curtain.
MARLOWE: Not new-my "Doctor Faustus."
WILL: I love your early work. "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium?"
MARLOWE: I have a new one nearly finished, and better. "The Massacre at Paris."
WILL: Good title.
MARLOWE: And yours?
WILL: "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter." (beat) Yes, I know...
MARLOWE: What is the story?
WILL: Well, there's this truth, I haven't written a word.
MARLOWE: Romeo...Romeo is italian. Always in and out of love.
WILL: Yes, that's good. Until he meets...
WILL: Do you think?
MARLOWE: The daughter of his enemy.
WILL: The daughter of his enemy...
MARLOWE: His best friend is killed in a duel by Ethel's brother, or something. His name is Mercutio.
WILL: Mercutio...Good name.
NOL: Will, they're waiting for you!
WILL: I'm coming...Good luck with yours, Kit.
MARLOWE: I thought your play was for Burbage.
WILL: This is a different one.
MARLOWE: A different one you haven't written?

VIOLA: (on balcony to herself) Romeo, Romeo...a young man of Verona. A comedy by William Shakespeare.
WILL: (whispers) My lady!
VIOLA: Who is there?
WILL: Will Shakespeare!
NURSE: (from inside the room) Madam!
VIOLA: Anon, good nurse. Anon... (to WILL) Master Shakespeare?!
WILL: The same, alas.
VIOLA: Oh by why "alas?"
WILL: A lowly player.
VIOLA: Alas indeed, for I thought you the highest poet of my esteem and a writer of plays that capture my heart.
WILL: Oh, I am him too.
(NURSE calls again)
VIOLA: (to NURSE) Anon, anon! (to WILL) I will come again. (She goes inside.)
WILL: (to himself) Oh, I am fortune's fool, I will be punished for this. (VIOLA comes back) Oh my lady, my love!
VIOLA: If they find you here they will kill you.
WILL: You can bring them with a word.
VIOLA: Oh, not for the world! (NURSE calls again.) Anon, Nurse!
(She goes inside again. WILL finds a tree he can climb to reach the top of the balcony. He gets to the top and the nurse comes. They both scream. WILL falls out of the tree onto a bush and then runs for his life.)

VIOLA: I would not have thought it. There is something better than a play.
WILL: There is.
VIOLA: Even your play.
(a pause)
WILL: Hmm...?

FENNYMAN: This time the boots are coming off!
HENSLOWE: What have I done, Mr. Fennyman?
FENNYMAN: The theatres are all closed by the plague.
HENSLOWE: Oh, that.
FENNYMAN: -by order of the Master of the Revels.
HENSLOWE: Mr. Fennyman, let me explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of the insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Believe me, to be closed by the plague is a bagatelle in the ups and downs of owning a theatre.
FENNYMAN: So what do we do?
HENSLOWE: Nothing. Strangely enough it all turns out well.
HENSLOWE: I don't know, it's a mystery.

WILL: (shouting to VIOLA AS THOMAS) Did you give her my letter?
THOMAS: (calling back) And this is for you!
(WILL climbs into THOMAS'S boat and reads the letter.)
WILL: Oh, Thomas! She has cut my strings. I am unmanned, unmended, and unmade, like a puppet in a box.
BOATMAN: Writer is he?
WILL: (yells at BOATMAN) Row your boat! (to THOMAS) She tells me to keep away. She is to marry Lord Wessex. What should I do?
THOMAS: If you love her, you must do what she asks.
WILL: And break her heart and mine?
THOMAS: It is only yours you can know.
WILL: She loves me, Thomas!
THOMAS: Does she say so?
WILL: No. And yet she does where the ink has run with tears. Was she weeping when she gave you this?
THOMAS: I...Her letter came to me by the Nurse.
WILL: Your aunt?
THOMAS: Yes, my aunt. But perhaps she wept a little. Tell me how you love her, Will.
WILL: Like a sickness and its cure together.
THOMAS: Yes, like rain and sun, like cold and heat. Is your lady beautiful? Since I came to visit from the country, I have not seen her close. Tell me, is she beautiful?
WILL: (looking into THOMAS'S eyes) Oh, if I could write the beauty of her eyes! I was born to look in them and know myself.
THOMAS: And her lips?
WILL: Oh, Thomas, her lips! The early morning rose would wither on the branch, if it could feel envy.
THOMAS: And her voice? Like lark song?
WILL: Deeper. Softer. None of your twittering larks. I would banish nightingales from her garden before they interrupt her song.
THOMAS: She sings too?
WILL: Constantly. Without doubt. And plays the lute, she has a natural ear. And her bosom-did I mention her bosom?
THOMAS: What of her bosom?
WILL: Oh Thomas, a pair of pippins. As round and rare as golden apples.
THOMAS: I think the lady is wise to keep your love at a distance. For what lady could live up to it close to, when her eyes and lips and voice may be no more beautiful than mine? Besides, can a lady born to wealth and noble marriage love happily with a Bankside poet and player?
WILL: Yes, by God! Love knows nothing of rank or riverbank! It will spark between queen and the poor vagabond who plays the King, and their love shoud be minded by each, for love denied blights the soul we owe to God! So tell my lady, William Shakespeare waits for her in the garden!
THOMAS: But what of Lord Wessex?
WILL: For one kiss, I would defy a thousand Wessexes.
(The boat arrives at the De Lessepses' house. THOMAS kisses WILL on the mouth. WILL gives a really cool expression.)
VIOLA: Oh, Will! (she gives the BOATMAN a coin and runs to her house)
BOATMAN: Thank you, my lady!
WILL: Lady?
BOATMAN: Viola de Lesseps. Known her since she was this high. Wouldn't deceive a child...

NURSE: My lady, the house is stirring, it is a new day.
VIOLA: It is a new world.

VIOLA: I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all.....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: (to WILL) I heard you were a poet...But a poet of no words?
(WESSEX takes WILL away)
WILL: I was a poet 'til now, but I have seen beauty that puts my poems at one with the talking ravens at the Tower. (Wessex takes a knife and puts it at WILL'S throat) How do I offend, my lord?
WESSEX: By coveting my property. I cannot shed blood in her house, but I will cut your throat anon. You have a name?
WILL: Christopher Marlowe at your service.

HENSLOWE: Will, Will, I have wonderful news!
WILL: Romeo and Rosaline. Scene one! God I'm good!
HENSLOWE: Rosaline? You mean Ethel.

(WILL gives a page to PETER)
WILL: (to PETER) How is it?
PETER: It's all right. (PETER leaves)
WILL: (to ALLEYN) Ned...I know...I know...
ALLEYN: It's good...The title won't do..."Romeo and Juliet"-Just a suggestion.
WILL: Thank you, Ned. You are a gentleman.
ALLEYN: And you are a Warwickshire shit-house.

HENSLOWE: It's a crowd tickler-mistaken identities, a shipwreck, a pirate king, a bit with a dog, and love triumphant.
LAMBERT: I think I've seen it. I didn't like it.
HENSLOWE: This time it's by Shakespeare
FENNYMAN: What's the title?
HENSLOWE: "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter."
FENNYMAN: Good title.

WILL: Are you to be my muse, Rosaline?
ROSALINE: Burbage has my keeping, but you have my heart.
(WILL gives Rosaline the snake bracelet. They kiss until WILL hears coughing in the theatre.)
WILL: You see? The consumptives plot against me. "Will Shakespeare has a play, let's go and cough through it!"

WILL: Can you love a fool?
VIOLA: Can you love a player?
(they kiss)
WILL: Wait! You're still a maid and perhaps as mistook in me as I was mistook in Thomas Kent.
VIOLA: Answer me only this: are you the author of the plays of William Shakespeare?
WILL: I am.
VIOLA: Then kiss me again for I am not mistook. (They kiss again and then start undressing each other.) I do not know how to undress a man.
WILL: (undressing VIOLA as THOMAS) It is strange to me too.
(Outside VIOLA'S room the NURSE comes and hears voices coming from VIOLA'S room. She brings a rocking chair to the bedroom door and rocks it at the same time as the creaking of the bed, She fans herself. The CHAMBERMAID comes and pauses. She stares at the NURSE rocking. The NURSE stares back.)
NURSE: Go to, go to.

WILL: You did not like the speech?
ALLEYN: The speech is excellent. "Oh then I see Queen Mab hath been with you!" Excellent and a good length. But then he disappears for the length of a bible.
WILL: There you have his duel, a skirmish of words and swords such as I never wrote not anyone. He dies with such passion and poetry as you ever heard: "a plague on both your house!"
ALLEYN: He dies?

VIOLA AS ROMEO: "...Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?"
SAM AS JULIET: "Ay pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer."
ROMEO: "Oh then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do. They pray. Grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
(WILL watched)
JULIET: "Saints do not move, though grant for prayer's sake.
(VIOLA misses her cue from watching WILL)
SAM: It's you.
ALLEYN: Suffering cats!
ROMEO: "Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take." (VIOLA kisses SAM. WILL gives a twitch.) "Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purg'd."
JULIET: "Then have my lips the sin that they took."
ROMEO: "Sin from my lips? Oh trespass sweetly urg'd. Give me my sin again."
(VIOLA kisses SAM again. WILL gives a bigger twitch. He goes onto the stage.)
WILL: Yes...yes...err...not quite is more...let me. (as Juliet) "Then have my lips the sin that they have took."
ROMEO: "Sin from my lips? Oh trespass sweetly urg'd. Give me my sin again." (VIOLA and WILL kiss very passionately.) "You kiss by th' book."
ALLEYN: (to WILL) Well! It was lucky you were here. Why don't I write the rest of your play while you-
WILL: Yes, yes...continue...

WILL: Gentlemen! Thank you! You are welcome.
FENNYMAN: Who is that?
HENSLOWE: Nobody. The author.

HENSLOWE: It starts well, and then it's all long-faced about some Rosaline. Where's the comedy, Will. Where's the dog? (to RALPH) Do you think it's funny?
RALPH: I was a pirate king, now I'm a nurse. That's funny.

WESSEX: My lady Viola.
VIOLA: My lord.
WESSEX: I have spoken with your father.
VIOLA: So, my lord? I speak with him everyday.

Will Shakespeare gets credit for this quote spoken by Valentine from "The Two Gentleman of Verona"
"To die is to be naish'd from myself;
And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her.
Is self from self: a deadly banishment!
What light is light if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale;
Unless I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no day for me to look upon;
She is my essence, and I leave to be,
If I be not by her fair influence
Foster'd illuminated, cherished, kept alive.
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doon;
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life."

last updated May 15, 2000
These quotes are from the original screenplay, so some lines may not be exactly what's in the movie. Thanks, Thom for informing me about that and for clearing up a few lines.