Shakespeare Solved ®

Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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Articles Written For:

The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library & The Royal Shakespeare Company

Most Popular Posts:

1. Shakespeare's Shylock Solved 2. Shakespeare's Othello Finally Identified 3. Shakespeare In Love Sequel Solved 4. The Real Romeo and Juliet 5. Shakespeare's Malvolio Solved 6. Shakespeare's Real Petruchio

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shakespeare In Love Sequel Solved

Big news! 
Miramax Films has announced they will make a sequel to their 1996 film Shakespeare In Love.

Gwyneth and Joseph -- back together again?

I enjoy that film. The cast was excellent, especially Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes, it was very romantic and as far as I am concerned there is no such thing as too much Shakespeare in this world.
However, as I have written before, I want to see a film version of Shakespeare’s life that is more accurate. Shakespeare In Love is very very far from an accurate depiction of William Shakespeare’s life and work.
That is why I wrote my versions of the plays.
But I do look forward to seeing this sequel.
In fact, as soon as I heard the news, I started to wonder what might happen in the sequel.
I have solved Hamlet, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, and in the process of writing a new version of Othello, I solved the meaning of the character Othello’s name.

So, let’s have some fun!
Here is my Shakespeare Solved version of Shakespeare In Love, the Sequel:

Shakespeare In Love used lines and moments from  Romeo and Juliet as the foundation of that film.
Of all the other Shakespeare plays, the one that would be most appropriate as the foundation for the Sequel would be Much Ado About Nothing.

Gwyneth as Viola as Beatrice

Briefly, Much Ado About Nothing is about “a merry war” of love between Beatrice and Benedick. Benedick despises love at first, and he argues about love with Beatrice. However, it is clear to everyone else that they love each other. 
The men scheme to make Benedick fall in love with Beatrice, while the women scheme to make Beatrice fall in love with Benedick.

Joseph as Shakespeare as Benedick

At the same time, Claudio loves Hero. He courts her and they want to get married.
The villain Don John plots to ruin their marriage.
By the end, Don John fails, Claudio marries Hero, and Beatrice and Benedick finally confess their love for each other. 

So, at the beginning of Shakespeare In Love, the Sequel, Gwyneth Paltrow, as Viola, returns from Virginia, where she has lived all these years married to her husband, Wessex.
Wessex is now dead, and she is not married. Queen Elizabeth brings Viola into her court.
It has been many years since Viola last saw Shakespeare, and she no longer has the idealistic view of love she once had.
Shakespeare is no longer a hungry and poor playwright. He is now famous and successful. His plays at The Theatre in Shoreditch sell out daily.
He is a shareholder in The Theatre. As the Sequel begins, he is re-negotiating the lease on The Theatre with his Landlord.
Shakespeare hears that Viola has returned. While he is excited to see her again, he has lost his idealistic view of love, too.
He is still married to Anne, who lives in Stratford-upon-Avon. The fact that they will never part, but they are not in love, also sours him on love.
Viola is Beatrice, and Shakespeare is Benedick.
Shakespeare hopes she will come to see him, but she does not. He waits day after day, but she doesn’t come.
He tells his actors to perform Romeo and Juliet, a play he wrote for Viola in the first film. The actors have not performed it in many years. 
He hopes that this play will lure her into The Theatre.
But she doesn’t come.
He then tells his actors to perform Twelfth Night, another play they have not performed in many years. Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night wrote for Viola.
But she doesn't come.
The actors see what Shakespeare is up to. No matter how much he denies that he still loves Viola, they know better.
Meanwhile, a young Earl has fallen in love with one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting.

ElizabethVernon as Hero

The Earl of Southampton woos this young lady, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Vernon.
(Fun fact -- Southampton and Vernon were the real historical people who inspired Shakespeare to write Romeo and Juliet -- as I wrote here)

The Earl of Southampton as Claudio

Southampton is Claudio, and Lizzie is Hero. 
Southampton goes to The Theatre all the time. He’s friends with Shakespeare. He knows Shakespeare still loves Viola. He tells Lizzie about this.
Lizzie gossips with Queen Elizabeth and tells her what Southampton said.
In the first film, Queen Elizabeth was against Viola’s falling in love with Shakespeare.
In this Sequel, Queen Elizabeth is all for it. She invites Shakespeare to perform at court, and makes sure that Viola is there.
Viola and Shakespeare meet for the first time in nearly 20 years. 
Sparks fly!
But Viola argues with Shakespeare, and he argues back. Their love has turned to bitterness.
The “merry war” begins.
Shakespeare’s fellow actors, Southampton and other Earls scheme to make Shakespeare fall in love with Viola.
Viola’s friends, ladies-in-waiting, and the Queen herself scheme to make Viola fall in love with Shakespeare.
At the same time, Shakespeare is trying to help Southampton court Lizzie, who in turn is being helped by Viola.
To borrow a device from Cyrano de Bergerac -- Shakespeare writes sonnets for Southampton to recite to her. But Southampton is so bad at remembering them, Shakespeare has to stand behind him and feed him the poems.
(Fun fact -- it is commonly believed that the real historical Shakespeare did write the sonnets for the real historical Earl of Southampton.)
At the same time that Lizzie hears Southampton recite the sonnets, Viola stands behind her and helps her reply to such beautiful poetry.
Of course, Viola will become very suspicious, and detect Shakespeare’s style in the sonnets.
Over the course of the film, it is through the sonnets that Viola falls in love with Shakespeare.
The villain in this Sequel is Queen Elizabeth’s infamous right hand man, Robert Cecil, who has a hunch-back. 

Robert Cecil as Don John

Cecil does not like Southampton, Lizzie, nor Viola. 
He especially hates Shakespeare, and the feeling is mutual. 
Shakespeare regularly makes fun of Cecil in his plays -- depicting him as a villian. Malvolio, Richard III, and Polonius are all caricatures of Cecil.
Cecil plots to ruin Southampton’s affair with Lizzie, embarrass Viola in front of the Queen, and destroy Shakespeare.
Cecil makes Queen Elizabeth so upset at Lizzie, that she throws her into Fleet Prison. Shakespeare helps Southampton sneak into the prison to visit her.
Viola discovers that Shakespeare is helping Southampton, and that Shakespeare wrote the sonnets. She falls in love with him.
Viola plans to tell the Queen about Cecil’s evil plot.
But then, Cecil forces Shakespeare’s Landlord NOT to renew the lease on The Theatre. 

The Theatre in Shoreditch

The Landlord throws Shakespeare and his playing company out of The Theatre and shuts them down.
But Shakespeare and his company surprise everyone. 
The Landlord owns the land on which The Theatre is located, but he doesn’t own the actual building itself -- all the wood and nails, etc.
Based on true historical events, which I wrote about here (The Great Theatre Heist), late one night Shakespeare and his company take The Theatre completely apart -- piece by piece.
They carry all the pieces across the Thames River to Southwark, and rebuild the pieces of The Theatre into a new theatre --and they name it The Globe!

The Globe

Shakespeare even gets his friend and rival playwright, the hard-drinking and violent Ben Jonson to help out.
Shakespeare and his company celebrate their victory, at the same time that Queen Elizabeth sees through Cecil’s plots -- and punishes him.
But most importantly, Shakespeare and Viola finally confess their love for each other.
Southampton marries Lizzie. Queen Elizabeth gives her away at the wedding.
As a wedding present, Shakespeare invites everyone back to The Globe to watch a new play he has just written -- Much Ado About Nothing.
Southampton and Lizzie sit in the audience, hand in hand as they laugh at the play which depicts them as Claudio and Hero. 
At the end of the play, when Claudio and Hero get married, Southampton kisses his new bride.
Shakespeare also sits in the audience, with Viola, and when the play ends, they are hand in hand.

They may never marry, but they are finally in love together after many long years apart.
The End.

What do you think? 
Do you have any ideas about the Sequel?

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