All Is True (2018) Movie Script

BOY: I'll take your horse, sir.
Bring me some ale, boy, please.
We heard a theater burnt, sir.
Which one was it?
You're Shakespeare, the poet.
You tell stories.
I used to.
I had a story,
but it was never finished.
Will you finish it
for me, please?
I'm done with stories, lad.
I wouldn't know
how to finish yours.
Yes, you would.
Good night, husband.
Twenty years, Will.
We've seen you less and less.
To us, you're a guest,
and a guest must have
the best bed.
Rest well.
SUSANNA: I always thought
he'd end his life in London.
- It's where he lived.
- Doesn't matter where he lived
or dies. All that matters
is who will be his heir.
I am his heir,
and our daughter,
Elizabeth, after me.
Not if your sister
gives him a grandson.
Or we do.
I was thinking perhaps
I could make a garden.
We've got a garden.
I know, but not a kitchen garden
or a flower garden.
A special garden for Hamnet.
Hamnet's in paradise.
He doesn't need a garden.
Perhaps I do.
Bit of a change
from making plays in London.
Well, in some ways, Maria.
In others,
really rather similar.
Similar? I don't see how.
Well, like today,
we take the measure
of our stage.
A garden ain't a play.
Yes, but play, garden, loaf...
Like the ones you bake
every morning.
All of them begin with an idea
from a compulsion
to create something of beauty
or of need.
Bread begins
with yeast and flour.
Exactly. Ingredients.
Now you're getting me.
Bushes, brambles, yeast,
flour versus players,
and they all need a dream
which will not be denied,
and which must weather
all kinds of adversity
because the weather will turn,
the bugs will infest,
the oven will cool,
the yeast will sour,
and in my case,
your fellow workers,
heh, like a brilliant
lunatic actor
called Dick Burbage,
will interfere,
and they will demand
a bigger show
for a smaller budget,
and a shorter play
with a much longer part for him,
and all of these trials
must be overcome
without ever losing sight
of the dream itself.
And what does it feel like
when all of that works?
Well, what does
freshly baked bread smell like?
What on earth
are you doing here?
Now, here's what I need you
not to pee on.
This is what you don't pee on,
and this is what
you don't pee on here.
ANNE: Husband!
SHAKESPEARE: Ooh. Thank you.
Digging up roots is heavy work.
You'll find that.
I once uprooted an entire forest
and moved it across the stage
to Dunsinane.
Well, it's a bit different
in real life.
He showed such promise, Anne.
You scarcely knew him.
I knew him through his poems.
- Well, you say "poems."
- Well, poems, yes.
Childish scribble, perhaps,
but wit and mischief
in every line.
Well, he'll write no more.
And nor will I.
It's not Hamnet you mourn.
It's yourself.
I mourn my son.
You mourn him now.
At the time, you wrote
The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Yes, I did.
Well, it's an adjustment.
She must learn to be a wife
once more.
My husband thinks
you've come home to die.
- Really?
- Mm.
I've just bought a pension.
I can't die
for at least 10 years
or I'll be ruined.
So why are you come home, hmm?
No more stories left to write?
Susanna, I've lived so long
in imaginary worlds,
I think I've lost sight
of what is real,
what is true.
Judith says, "Nothing is true."
Judith is 28 and a spinster.
That is true.
When Father dies,
I shall be destitute.
No, child.
A third of his fortune
comes to me while I live.
While you live.
You're older than him, remember?
Well, Susanna
will never see you want.
Susanna will obey her husband.
I will get nothing,
which is what I deserve.
If you can't forgive yourself,
how do you expect God
to forgive you?
I don't.
to this greenwood pond
on the day I was sacked
from the school.
I know, Father.
You know, the son of an alderman
has a free education,
but the son of a thief...
I thought my world had ended.
But I loved this place.
And you children loved it too.
Yeah, well,
we came here every day.
Although Hamnet never went
in the water.
He wasn't bold like Judith.
Or even...
Even me.
But his mind was bold.
I remember
he brought me here once
to show me what he had written.
I told him then...
that I was the proudest father
in the kingdom.
I still am.
Here, sweetheart.
Your father's mind
is on his legacy.
Your mind is on his legacy.
And therefore must be yours.
I'm your husband,
and what concerns me
concerns you.
It's good, darling.
Eat some more.
- Thank you.
- Mm-hm.
It's Sunday!
This isn't London.
If you miss church here,
they'll fine you.
- Good morning.
- I'm pleased to see you.
Another Sunday, and still
you occupy your family pew.
I pray you'll never
be obliged to vacate it,
as your father was.
I am not my father, Sir Thomas.
I joy to see you dig, sir.
At last, given up on your plays
to distract the mob
from our Lord.
Does the lark song distract you
from your God, John?
Of course not.
It is evidence of God.
Ah. Well, then,
perhaps for some,
I was the lark.
Came to ask a favor,
but I'm loath to distract a man
from his labors.
Will you call when you're done
with your garden?
- Yes, I shall call, John.
- Thank you.
Susanna is well, yes?
- She's well, sir. Thank you.
- And Elizabeth?
- Also well, sir. Thank you.
- Good.
- I'm glad to hear it.
- Yes.
Thank you, John.
Good day to you, Mrs. Hall.
Tell your sister I have
a fine Rhenish wine delivered,
and she may have
a bottle gratis,
for just a single smile.
SUSANNA: I'll tell her, Tom.
- Morning, Nina.
- Good morning, Mrs. Hall.
Package for you. Frank.
FRANK: I'm sorry.
Mercury, Mrs. Hall?
My husband is a doctor.
She said the parcel was for you.
WOMAN: Morning, Kate.
Good day to you, Mr. Smith.
- Mrs. Hall.
- I need cloth.
A loose weave,
to make a summer dress, black.
Black? For summer?
Perhaps this blue.
My husband does not approve
of fancy stuff.
If your husband had his way,
Mrs. Hall,
my shop would be
a very dull place.
All in mourning and nobody dead.
Our Savior wore
only simple cloth,
and he was divine.
As are you, Susanna,
in any cloth.
Mr. Smith,
I am a married woman.
That is not...
I should tell my husband.
Will you?
He knows.
Our neighbor's dog
has taken a great interest
in my gardening.
John Hall has asked for my help
to remove the vicar.
I thought he knew me better.
Well, he thinks you like him.
I'm a good actor.
And I try to like him
for Susanna's sake,
but John is...
An hypocritical shit?
A Puritan.
That's funny, isn't it?
A Puritan who wants
to close all the theaters
will get all of
William Shakespeare's estate?
Well, don't you think
that's funny?
I think that's funny.
For what it's worth, Judith,
I have no intention of leaving
my estate to John Hall.
No. No, you'll leave it
to the sainted Susanna,
and by law, her property is his,
as is her body,
for all the use he makes of it.
Oh, you are grown hard, Judith.
There was a time when you were
such a simple, joyful soul.
Heh, was I, Father?
And when was that?
Was that before Hamnet died?
Is that it?
Is it before Hamnet died
and I survived?
- Judith.
- Well, it's what he thinks.
Every single time he reads
one of them bloody poems,
which aren't even that good,
he thinks, "Why did
she survive and not him?"
You know,
"The golden boy's gone,"
and you know what?
I'm just left with a girl.
A useless, pointless girl.
Oh, she was a pretty thing
once, that girl.
She was a simple,
joyful soul, that girl,
but you want to look at her
now, she's an angry bitch,
still hanging around.
"Why did the wrong twin die?"
Well, thank you
for our supper, Anne.
SHAKESPEARE: I never said an unkind word.
I never gave her cause.
You spent so long putting words
into other people's mouths,
you think it only matters
what is said.
Sir Thomas, I...
VICAR: The Puritans protest
against the old ways.
Some of you resent this, I know,
but I charge you,
remember Corinthians.
These good Christians act
from an honest faith.
They are upright citizens.
They are decent, pious...
Are they, Mr. Woolmer?
Are they?
Or are they fornicators?
I have seen Susanna Hall creep
from her husband's house
to Rafe Smith's chamber
in the night.
This slander will be answered!
This slander will be proved!
You'll no more tell us
how to save our souls, Dr. Hall.
Not while your Puritan wives
fornicate worse than whores!
I've instructed my lawyers.
We shall sue for slander.
- A public trial?
- It's a public slander.
John Lane is a dangerous man.
We can be sure
he did not stage his attack
without some idea
of how to prove it.
- Prove it?
- How can you ask?
Because your husband
fears he can.
I mean, I fear
he has constructed
a convincing lie.
Well, now, what a disaster,
and that it should befall
such a fine
and blameless family as ours.
The Shakespeares
will not be ruined twice.
Bring forth the accused.
John Lane is not here,
Your Honor.
- Not here?
- He has disappeared.
JUDGE: Susanna Shakespeare
has been most foully used.
In his absence, John Lane
is found guilty of slander
and excommunicated!
ANNE: Why?
Why did this man
slander our Susanna?
My guess
is to damage her husband.
John Hall is a Puritan,
and he would make Holy Trinity
and all the town likewise.
John Lane, on the other hand,
likes his cakes and ale.
Then why did he not attend court
and press his case?
I discussed the matter with him.
Discussed? Discussed what?
I asked him if he'd ever seen
Titus Andronicus.
What do I know of plays?
Get away from me.
I'll see you
and your whore daughter
in court.
concerns, amongst other things,
a Moorish villain named Aaron,
and the African who played him
was magnificent and terrifying.
To kill a man,
or else devise his death,
To ravish a maid,
or plot the way to do it,
Accuse some innocent
and forswear myself,
Set deadly enmity
between two friends,
Make poor men's cattle
break their necks;
Set fire on barns
and haystacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them
with their tears.
Oft have I digg'd up
dead men from their graves,
And set them upright
at their dear friends' doors.
Tut, I have done
a thousand dreadful things.
As willingly
as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me
heartily indeed.
But that I cannot do
ten thousand more!
I have seen that man
tear the heart from a fool
that wronged him,
but he could be tender too,
this extraordinary man.
And one day,
his wild heart was tamed,
and he loved my daughter.
- Susanna?
but their love
could never be, of course.
But he swore that if ever
she had need of him,
then his sword, his claws
and his teeth would be hers,
either to defend her
or to kill for her.
Now, should I inform him
of Susanna's current distress?
Will, I saw Titus.
Aaron was played
by the sweetest chap
you'd ever hope to meet.
He was a lovely fellow.
John Lane doesn't know that.
I've never let the truth
- get in the way of a good story.
Do you think
there's any truth in...
In what Lane says about Susanna?
there is coldness between them.
We've seen that.
It's five years
since they had a child.
She knows this Rafe Smith,
and she did send to London
for mercury.
Mercury is a cure for the pox.
Susanna's not poxed. I'd know.
Well, he, then? I mean,
a poxed man is always pissing.
He seems to be.
Is that...?
Is that why she bears
no more children?
Did she seek comfort elsewhere?
Susanna's a God-fearing woman.
She would not betray
her husband.
Well, maybe it isn't a betrayal.
Well, maybe he told her
to do it.
Well, it's a thought, isn't it?
And frankly, Father,
if you got a grandson by it,
would you care if it were true?
I care that Susanna is free
from slander.
That, you may be sure, is true.
Nothing is ever true.
I wrote you another poem today.
Would you like to hear it?
He was here.
He'll always be here, Will.
You know, in London now,
the plays have just finished.
- Taverns will be full.
- If you're missing London,
- why don't you go back there?
- Do you wish I would?
Doesn't matter what I wish,
but what you wish,
- and it isn't to be with us.
- What do you mean?
Heh. You've come back
to mourn Hamnet,
to mourn your blessed,
departed son,
- and dig a bloody garden for him.
- Judith.
- Enough.
- No, we've mourned him, Father.
We mourned him when he died,
and we mourned him thereafter,
but now, now it seems like
we've just got to begin again
as if his grave was freshly
dug, because suddenly,
suddenly you found the time
to mourn him too.
Will you hold your tongue?
If you can't respect me,
respect yourself at least.
If you're done
with mourning him,
- then try and honor his memory.
- How can you say that I don't?
Start living up to it.
You can't match his talent,
then match his goodness
and his diligence
because you're wasting
your life!
I know what you think's
the purpose of a woman's life.
I know what you want from me.
Mr. Shakespeare?
- I don't want to pester you.
- Good.
Excellent news. Cheerio.
I just wanted to ask you...
SHAKESPEARE: The best way
to get started as a writer
is to start writing.
- Could I...?
- I don't have a favorite play.
I admire my fellow dramatists
I think women should be allowed
to perform the female roles,
as is the practice
on the continent.
- If you'll excuse me.
- I wanted to ask how you knew.
- Knew what?
- Everything.
I don't even know how to keep
the slugs out of the hollyhocks.
There is no corner of this world
you have not explored,
no geography of the soul
which you cannot navigate.
How do you know?
Just what I know?
If I know,
and I don't say that I do,
have imagined.
But they say
that you left school at 14.
You've never traveled.
Imagined from what?
- From myself.
- Yourself?
Everything I've ever done,
everything I've ever seen,
every book I've ever read,
every conversation
I've ever had, including...
God help me... This one.
If you want to be a writer,
then speak to others
and for others.
Speak first for yourself.
Search within.
Consider the contents
of your own soul,
your humanity.
And if you're honest
with yourself,
then whatever you write,
all is true.
Now, if you can't save
my hollyhocks,
please leave me
to mourn the dead.
Then why?
Why did you stop writing?
JUDITH: Morning, Tom Quiney.
A barrel of huffcap ale
and three flagons
of Malmsey wine to New Place.
Now, your usual order
and my usual reply.
Marry me, Judith. I would help
bring back your smile.
Yeah, and every other maid
in the county,
as you chase them all.
Yes, but I only
ever propose to one.
Heh. I'd think you'd tire of it.
I remember a girl,
the prettiest
and the happiest in town.
And I remember her laugh,
and I remember kiss chase.
And I would like
to see the woman
that girl should have become.
Because it surely isn't you.
MAN: My lord!
My lord.
For you, sir,
from the Earl of Southampton.
The Earl of Southampton
makes a progress north,
and he writes to me here
that since he passes close by,
he will spend an hour or two
in talk with me.
Did you hear me, Anne?
The Earl of Southampton.
I heard you.
And I recall the first day
I heard about your friend,
the Earl of Southampton.
The same day as a book of poems
was published.
Sonnets, they told me.
Suppose you thought
because I couldn't read,
I wouldn't mind.
But plenty of people can read,
even in our little town.
Including one
of your own daughters.
Anne, those sonnets
were published illegally
without my knowledge
or my consent.
But you wrote them, Will,
and people read them.
And after they'd read them,
they kept asking, "Who are they?"
Who is this dark lady
he's so in love with?"
- They were just poems.
- The handsome man?
They were just poems.
Don't answer.
I don't want to know.
I didn't want to know then,
and I don't want to know now.
But I know
who some people said he was.
Now it appears he's coming
to my house a-calling.
All these years, Will,
worried about your reputation.
Have you even once
considered mine?
THOMAS: I've heard word of
your distinguished visitor,
and my men tell me he's even
now approaching the town.
You will, of course,
introduce me.
I shall suggest he comes on
to Charlecote to take his ease.
Bit more what he's used to.
Naturally, I shall ask
that you join us.
Just you, I think.
We shouldn't wish to tire
His Grace.
And you may go in.
We shall greet His Grace.
Welcome to Stratford-upon-Avon,
Your Grace.
And you are?
Heh. Sir Thomas Lucy
of Charlecote Manor, Your Grace,
and Member of Parliament
for this district.
May I have the honor
of introducing my wife?
- Have we business?
- THOMAS: Well, I...
Is there some petition
which you've come to present?
Oh, no, no. I thought only
to invite you...
Then kindly remove yourself,
Sir Thomas.
I want none of your company.
I'm here to visit
the greatest man in the kingdom.
After His Majesty, of course.
Damn impudence.
Grubby little
member of Parliament.
They'll sell a knighthood
to anybody these days.
He has snubbed me so many times.
Why do you let him snub you?
What is he? The son of a son.
Nothing more.
All his pride and strut comes
from no greater achievement
than having been spat
from the dick
of a previous nonentity.
- Well, I'm the same.
- No.
I'm the son of a son, Will.
Mm, Henry Wriothesley,
son of Henry Wriothesley.
If I were not the son
of Henry Wriothesley,
then your Thomas Lucy,
son of Thomas Lucy,
would not grace me with a sneer.
You, on the other hand, are...
Are the son of a thief.
The son of Apollo, Will.
God of poetry, god of truth.
The finest, the most complete
and most beautiful mind,
I warrant,
that ever existed in this world.
why are you so small, Will?
Why are you such a little man?
Your Grace, I...
You can enchant the multitude
with a scratch of your quill,
and yet you cringe
before Sir Thomas Lucy.
- Cringe?
- Your talent has a greater scope
than all the other poets
and yet you've lived
the smallest life.
I don't feel I've lived
a small life, Your Grace.
Come now, Will. Compared to Kyd?
Or Marlowe?
Oh, what a man he was.
What a life.
Spy, adventurer,
fucked for England.
Boys, girls, boys and girls.
- He knew how to live.
- He is dead, of course, my lord,
so, you know,
win some, lose some.
Yes, they are all dead, Will.
Marlowe, Greene.
Who called me upstart.
Oh, upstart crow.
You see, still you care,
still it rankles.
Kyd, Nashe, Spenser,
all dead.
Booze and passion,
sex and violence
killed them all.
Life killed them.
But you...
You survived.
Yes, I survived.
- In your nice house.
- Several houses.
And your coat of arms.
How much
did that cost you, Will?
Twenty pounds.
Twenty pounds.
The man who wrote Hamlet
and Henry V and Macbeth,
Romeo and Juliet, paid 20
for the name of "gentleman."
Will, why do you care?
My father was once fined
for not attending church.
Can you guess why he didn't go?
Priest too Protestant?
Well, I've heard it rumored
there is a whiff of popery
about you Shakespeares.
Nothing so spiritual.
He could not attend church
because he owed money
to half of the congregation.
Oh, I think I should have liked
your dad.
Well, yes, people did.
I did.
You must write again, Will.
London needs you.
I need you.
We have only Jonson now.
Who laughs at me
because I speak no Greek
and don't know
whether Bohemia has a coast.
Oh, Christ,
why do you care what he thinks?
- You wrote King Lear.
- Because it matters, Your Grace.
Well, in England, it matters.
I have what I have
upon my own merit,
and for that I'm suspect.
Well, perhaps
I'll always be suspect,
but I have my money,
and I have my houses,
and I have my coat of arms.
And you have your verses.
Great Christ, man,
you have your poetry.
Such poetry.
Such beautiful...
beautiful poetry.
And some of it...
Some of it was writ for me.
Yes, Your Grace.
For you.
I have grown old.
As you said in your sonnets
that I would, you bastard.
But the beauty I inspired in you
will be forever young.
And in a thousand years
from now,
when people read those lines,
I will...
Will be young,
alive still,
in the hearts of lovers
yet unborn.
They were only meant for you,
Your Grace.
Not for any other living soul,
nor any yet to live.
Just you.
It was only flattery, of course.
Flattery that was my due.
Just flattery.
I spoke from deep
within my heart.
Well, I was younger then.
Younger and prettier.
Beautiful, Your Grace,
as you will ever be.
When in disgrace
with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep
my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven
with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself,
and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more
rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him
with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art,
and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy
contented least;
Yet in these thoughts
My self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,
and then my state,
Like to the lark
at break of day arising.
From sullen earth,
sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered
such wealth brings.
That then I scorn to change
my state with kings.
Yes, well, as I said,
just flattery.
Not flattery. Truth.
And I always dared to hope.
- Will?
- That perhaps in some small way
- it was reciprocated.
- Reciprocated?
- That perhaps you also...
- You forget yourself, Will.
As a poet, you have no equal,
and I, like anyone
with brain or heart,
am your humble servant.
But as a man, Will,
it is not your place to love me,
and hanging a 20 shield
above your door
will never make it so.
Well, I must be off.
It was the poet
that I came to visit,
and it is of the poet
that I take my leave.
When in disgrace
with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep
my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven
with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself,
and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more
rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him
with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art,
and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy
contented least;
Yet in these thoughts
my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,
and then my state,
Like to the lark
at break of day arising.
From sullen earth,
sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered
such wealth brings.
That then I scorn to change
my state with kings.
William Shakespeare.
I noticed that
your friend, the Earl,
didn't bring his wife
with him on his travels.
Perhaps he doesn't find
female company to his taste.
I'm sure His Grace
and the Countess Elizabeth
are most happy
in their marriage,
as I would wish you to be,
Why are you still unwed?
You are so pretty, I think.
- I don't.
- SHAKESPEARE: Well, look in your glass.
I don't have a glass. I didn't
like the person I saw in it.
daughter, that's a bleak thought
since the only company you keep
is your own.
- Yeah, but there it is.
- And what of children?
- All women want children.
- Apparently.
Well, don't you want a child?
Do you want me to replace
Hamnet for you, Father?
I meant just as a...
For your own sake.
A husband, children
for companionship, comfort.
Perhaps she sees that marriage
may not bring you either.
Oh. Oh, is that it, Judith?
Is that it?
You've seen
your mother's misery,
and you thought,
"I'll be a spinster
rather than get shackled
to some man who neglects me."
- I did not say I was miserable.
- You didn't,
but though I put words
into other people's mouths,
I, too, can occasionally see
beyond what is merely said,
and I'll have no more of this.
I've worked ceaselessly
on behalf of this family.
On your own behalf.
Yeah, and I'm head
of this family!
And I've given you
a fine house and servants,
sent you money all your life.
Is not that comfort?
You have two
beautiful daughters,
you've got a brilliant son
and a husband
who, though absent, kept you
always in his thoughts.
Is that not that companionship
in abundance?
I've risen this family up!
Through my genius,
I've brought fame and fortune
to this house.
Yes, yes, my genius. Would you
have me ignore that, as well?
Ignore a gift from God Almighty
so that I could stay here
in Stratford
and be a bloody glove maker,
and you might feel
a bit more appreciated?
Hamnet died, and I wasn't here!
I know that!
Hamnet died,
and the plague took him,
but the plague's taken millions.
It'd have taken him
whether I was in Stratford
or London or on that
godforsaken highway.
We just... We lost our boy!
I know that!
And I wasn't here!
How many times can I say it?
I wasn't here!
We lost our brilliant,
brilliant boy, and I wasn't...
But Hamnet wasn't brilliant!
- What do you...?
- Judith, don't.
What do you mean?
He was beautiful,
but he wasn't brilliant.
Judith, I said don't.
I wrote them.
Wrote? Wrote what?
The poems.
These verses
that you hold so dear,
with wit and mischief
in every line.
I made them up.
Hamnet only wrote them down.
She helped him a little.
That's all.
No, I made them up.
- All of them.
- No.
Hamnet was sweet and kind,
but he was no good.
- No, no, no. He...
- He wasn't.
No, he was absolutely brilliant!
No, Will.
He was an ordinary little boy.
- What?
- If you'd looked closer,
- then you'd see...
- I look...
If I looked at my own son?
- If you looked...
- I looked at my son!
You saw what you wanted
to see. You saw yourself.
What of myself?
You saw a boy with a mind
who was as big
and as bold as yours.
But happy, you know,
with a... With a father
who appreciated his genius.
Hamnet might not
have been a genius,
but he was clever enough
to know he could never live up
to what you wanted him to be.
He dreaded your visits.
ANNE: We didn't plan it,
not at the beginning.
Judith was always
making up stories
and conjuring rhymes.
Hamnet heard one and...
And wrote it down one day for...
For practice with his pen.
You found it and thought
it was his and praised him.
So are they worthless now?
They're not his.
Will you read them no more?
You sit in the sun
and chuckle at their wit.
Well, they aren't his.
They're mine.
And so I will do
what I bloody well please
with them.
No! No, no, no!
No, no, no, you can't have them.
Judith tried to teach herself
to write,
you know, after Hamnet's death.
But she never had the patience.
Not like Susanna.
I should have liked
to have been able to write
a few letters of the alphabet,
particularly married to you.
Remember our wedding day?
Me, older, pregnant,
and you a strange,
clever lad of 18.
I know what people thought.
I couldn't even sign
the register.
Just made a stupid mark.
I felt so foolish.
Then you went to London
and became this great writer,
with a wife at home
who couldn't read a word.
I often wondered
if it bothered you.
But why should it?
You were hardly here.
I'm sorry.
You lost your son.
Any man would mourn.
A daughter is nothing.
They're destined only to become
the property of another man.
We fade away.
No, Judith.
You mustn't fade away.
Why don't you write again?
Father, you know I cannot write.
I could teach you.
I have no verse
left in me anymore.
- Why?
- Because the wrong twin died.
No, it was the plague.
The plague makes no judgments.
It's just a plague.
Well, I wish
a plague had taken me.
Judith, why do you
hate yourself?
I have stolen Hamnet
from you twice,
once by surviving him,
and now by taking
your dream of him away.
You've given me a new dream.
My beautiful daughter, the poet.
A woman cannot be a poet.
A woman is put upon this Earth
for one reason.
I know my duty now.
I will make amends
for stealing Hamnet from you.
I prom... I promise
I will make amends.
I'm glad Hamnet
didn't write the poems.
- Glad?
- I know him better now.
And it's love, not ambition,
that will blossom
in this garden.
Well, something has to.
Not much else has blossomed.
I'm not a good gardener,
it's true.
Found it easier
to create things with words.
Well, you'll find that.
Would you like me to help?
And here. I think further.
- Over here?
- Yes.
That one.
Make a really big hole.
- Ah. Oh, brilliant.
So maybe we can put...
Good night, Anne.
Stay with me, Will.
For comfort.
In our second-best bed.
I will take that glass
of Rhenish wine with you,
Tom Quiney.
You know that I am not
a good man.
There have been women.
Many women.
Look, I've seen
too little of life.
You've seen too much.
But perhaps together
we may begin again.
JOHN: She was not ordering wine.
She was drinking it with Quiney.
She was inside
for half an hour or more.
If Judith is reaching
for a little happiness,
then I'm glad of it.
Sinning will not make her happy.
Then let us hope
it makes her unhappiness
a little more bearable.
That is a wicked thing to say.
Remember your scripture.
What I remember is a little girl
who smiled a lot.
A reputation once lost
cannot be refound.
- Mine was!
- Yours was not lost!
It was defamed
by a convicted drunkard
and suspected Papist.
Judith must drop this Quiney.
He's debauched.
If only those without sin
were allowed to marry,
there would be
precious few weddings.
I can't see you
anymore, Margaret.
- Oh.
- I'm sorry.
Because of Judith Shakespeare.
I never made you a promise,
Margaret. You know that.
If we sinned,
we sinned together.
She's with child.
- Can you be sure it's mine?
- You dare ask it?
Margaret has many friends
at the tavern.
- Dare again.
- I'm certain. I...
I think...
I believe it's yours, Tom.
Honestly, I do.
Collins, come in, come in.
- You'll take some wine?
- Please.
- Maria, some wine, if you please.
I'm relieved to see you
in high spirits.
When a man sends for his lawyer,
it is not always so.
- Judith is getting married.
- No.
- Congratulations.
It was a crime
that such a spirited
- young woman remained unwed.
- Well, crime no longer.
And so I would like
to amend my will
to include my new son-in-law,
Tom Quiney.
Quiney, is it?
- Wine and tobacco. Good trade.
- Can't think of a better.
And thus,
we must also make provision
for their male issue, my...
- Many of them.
I should also like
to leave something to Anne.
Anne? Oh, if she survives you,
she will have a third by law.
She'll survive me,
there's no doubt about that.
She's years older,
10 times tougher.
I don't mean money. She'll have
more of that than she can spend.
No, I had in mind
a piece of furniture.
But surely Anne will live here
and have the use of every stick.
A specific piece
of furniture which,
when it is no longer ours,
must be hers,
and when she is in it,
I hope she will...
smile and think of me.
- So...
son-in-law owns a wine shop,
and the other one
wants to close it.
Welcome to my family.
I know that sometimes we...
we Shakespeares have been
our own worst enemies,
and sometimes we have had,
the worst of enemies.
MAN: If ever John Lane shows
his face round here again,
he'll have his nose cut off!
Yes, we've had
our ups and downs,
but I flatter myself that...
That I have brought some
small credit to my hometown.
And although I no longer ha...
Although I no longer have
a son...
And show me a family
in this town
that has not lost at least
one child.
I have two beautiful daughters.
And so, perhaps one day,
I shall have a grandson.
And for that, of course,
I, in fact,
look to you, Tom,
and also to you, John,
so please, ahem,
be about your business.
Ahem. Thank you very much. Um...
For family is everything,
and today...
I could not be more proud
of mine.
I saw Margaret Wheeler
in the church today, Tom.
I know it, Judith.
And I cannot undo what is done.
I have confessed all to you.
All I can promise you
is that her and her child
will want for nothing.
ANNE: We'll find him.
- Where is he?
- Is he over there?
- He's over there.
- Everything all right?
Anne, is everything all right?
- ANNE: Yes, fine.
Then why the...?
JUDITH: Well, you see...
Father, we have some news.
- And that news is...
- Yes?
That I'm pregnant.
Oh, no, my dear!
Oh, yes!
Mr. Quiney!
Well done, my boy.
My darling.
Sister, I'm truly happy for you.
Oh, this is so wonderful.
But where is John?
John should be here.
He was called out
to a confinement.
JOHN: Quiney!
Margaret Wheeler
has died in childbirth,
along with her baby.
The child has no name.
It will not enter heaven
without one.
Well, well, Mr. Shakespeare.
How very unfortunate.
Seems your daughter's wedding
was rushed for a reason.
Like your own, eh?
The apple doesn't fall far
from the tree.
Damn me, you Shakespeares
are a scandalous lot.
Perhaps being
an illiterate farm girl,
your wife was unable
to teach your girls morals.
Well, well. Must be getting on.
Can't loll about all day
thinking pretty thoughts,
like you poets.
I must to business.
Business, Sir Thomas?
Yes, business.
A large estate like Charlecote
doesn't run itself, you know.
I thought you meant
real business.
Like building, owning
and operating.
London's largest theater,
for instance.
Actors, carpenters,
seamstresses, crew to pay,
bribes to pay,
security to mount,
politics to navigate,
3000 paying customers
to be fed and watered
every afternoon,
each promised a spectacle
greater than the last.
One hundred and seventy
Royal Command Performances
for our queen and our king.
Have you considered
the logistics
of mounting
the Battle of Shrewsbury
in the banqueting hall
at Hampton Court?
Please don't.
It would make you so tired.
And yet, in all the years
that I have run my vast, complex
and spectacularly successful
business, Thomas,
I have indeed found the time
to think and to write down
the pretty thoughts you mention
and which, in my experience,
bring immense pleasure to those
who seek mere diversion
or respite
from this veil of tears,
without which, it would all be
about as pointless as...
Well, about as pointless
as you, Sir Thomas.
And, since you mention her,
my wife, Anne,
has more decency and wisdom
in her daily shit
than you have
in your entire body.
Oh, and I wish I had poached
your bloody deer.
Quiney bequest removed, sir.
I take no pleasure
in Judith's distress,
Or yours.
It grieves me.
I know that, John.
Will you work with me
a while, husband?
You can put some beer out
for the slugs.
By the look of it, Anne,
you do better without me.
I think I shall walk a little.
She did it for you, Will.
You wanted a grandson.
You didn't attend the funeral.
I was on my way home.
The news reached London
after I'd left.
By the time I got here,
he was already in the ground.
It was summer.
No corpse remains unburied long,
particularly a plague corpse.
Ah, this is the page.
August, 1596.
Mm, there he is.
I brought him a penknife.
It was a special one
with a folding blade.
It had his initials
engraved on the handle.
He'd have loved that knife.
I keep it with me all...
All the time.
- Heh. Do you mind if I...?
- Please.
Whenever I, uh...
Whenever I trim a new quill,
I imagine that it's not mine,
but his hand, grown to be a man,
and there he is, trimming...
Trimming his quill
with the knife
his father gave him
on that joyful homecoming
so long ago.
And then, when I, uh...
When I dip the ink
and make a mark,
it's still his hand I see
and his words that I write,
and then I imagine
that it's not me
who thinks of him at all,
but that I am dead
and Hamnet lives,
and it's him who thinks of me.
People often ask me
how I've written so much,
how I've found the energy
and dedication
to sit alone at my desk,
writing play after play
after play,
but the answer is quite simple.
I was always in the company
of my son.
My boy.
You... You sent for me, Father?
Yes. Yes, Judith.
Thank you for coming.
Your... Your new home
is comfortable, I hope?
Well, there's a lot
of work to do,
but my husband's working hard.
Despite all the shame
he brought us, he...
He is a good man.
I visited Hamnet's grave today,
and I read his name
in the register.
ANNE: Oh, I'm glad of it.
I know the plague.
Many times in London it struck,
all the theaters were closed,
so I do...
I know the plague, and...
I was thinking today that...
the Black Death is a scythe.
It is not a dagger.
ANNE: How's that?
Never once did I see it
strike a single person
and then depart.
How did Hamnet die?
His death is recorded
in the parish register,
but no mention of the cause.
Plague, husband.
The vicar pronounced it
at his funeral.
SHAKESPEARE: Because that
is what you told him,
and also, no doubt,
what you told the gravesmen
who came to the greenwood
to find him already stitched up
in his shroud.
But when I look at the graves
around about Hamnet's
and the register,
I see that no scythe
swung through this town
in the summer of 1596.
In fact, precisely,
only five children were taken,
and three of them were newborns.
Not like the other plague years,
where dozens upon dozens
and dozens
were struck down
each time it struck.
So, Judith, Anne,
please tell me.
How did my son die?
He died of plague.
I woke Mother in the night
with my cry.
Hamnet's bed was empty.
Mother searched the house.
And then she thought
of the greenwood pond.
That was his favorite place,
even though he couldn't swim
and he'd never go in the water.
Around him...
torn and shredded,
were the final verses
of the poems
that I had conjured
and that he had writ.
We prepared them
for when you came home.
Mother asked me
to get threads and blankets
so that nobody would ever
find out how he died.
ANNE: That's Judith's story,
and she's carried it
like a burden ever since,
but I say he died of plague.
The vicar spake it at his grave.
And God accepted it.
Millions of people died of it,
and Hamnet entered heaven
amongst that host.
Jesus would never
have denied him a place,
in spite of what Judith said
we saw.
Of course.
Well, of course he's in heaven.
Hamnet didn't kill himself.
He only threw himself
upon the water.
It was I that caused it.
I killed him.
- ANNE: Judith, it's not so.
- I killed my brother.
You see, all he wanted to do
was to please you.
All that you cared about
was him,
and all he cared about was you.
I was jealous.
I was jealous...
because Hamnet went to school...
and I had to work
in the kitchens
because I was a girl.
But I wanted your approval.
I wanted your love.
And so I told him
that I would tell you.
That you would finally know
who'd writ the verse.
I didn't...
I didn't mean it.
I didn't mean it.
He died of plague.
God accepted it.
It was only a little lie.
He was only a little boy.
You finished it.
Thank you.
My story's done.
I can rest.
Hamnet, please.
Stay a moment.
We are such stuff.
As dreams are made on,
and our little life.
Is rounded with a sleep.
I think that...
perhaps I may have caught
a chill.
Ben Jonson,
it is good to see you.
Christ, Will,
you've had a time of it.
Both daughters
caught up in scandals.
Well, good for them.
Yes, retirement hasn't exactly
brought the peace
- we might have hoped for.
- In my experience, Will,
no one gets what they hope for,
but they do tend to get
what they deserve.
And you think
I got what I deserve?
Well, not all of it, perhaps,
but something, certainly.
You lost a son.
No man deserves that,
though many men suffer it.
I myself have lost
a son and a daughter.
I know you did, my friend.
But you have two daughters
still who love you
and a wife to share your bed.
I have none of that.
Mine own Anne despises me.
Yeah, well, you do
publicly insult her.
You call her a shrew, so, um...
Yeah, well, I didn't say
she had no cause.
- Only that she does.
You told me
that Southampton says
you've led a little life.
- What an ass.
Well, I mean,
you conquered England, Will,
and returned victorious
to the bosom of your family.
Ah, how is that little?
Is it little?
Perhaps the second part.
Well, the second part
is the best part.
You made it home, Will.
How many other conquerors
can say the same?
What poets, huh?
Anyone can die alone
and despised.
- I mean, Marlowe was murdered.
- Oh.
No one knows
which of his many enemies
- did it.
- Mm-hmm.
- I mean, Greene died in poverty,
- Oh.
Estranged from all who knew him.
- Kyd, the same.
- Mm. Mm-hm.
I mean, no one knows
how Tom Nashe died,
but if his filthy dildo poems
are anything to go by,
it wasn't in the bosom
- of his family, hmm?
- I think not.
And me? Well,
while I am not dead yet,
I may soon be, for I am
out of favor with the king,
and none will speak for me.
But you, you made it home, Will.
So sorry. I'm fine.
You've had your friends
and your family,
a full fire and a full belly.
And, by the way,
you've also written
the greatest body of plays
that ever were or will be,
you bastard.
So, yes, my old friend...
I'd say you got
what you deserved.
Today is a special day,
and Mother and Sue have
prepared you a special present.
Goodness, what is this?
It's our marriage license, Will.
Thirty-four years ago,
I put my mark on it.
And now...
Anne Shakespeare.
You have a beautiful hand.
Sue is teaching me
how to write also.
And by the time you are better,
I shall have written you a poem.
Well, you will need...
a penknife.
- This is for you.
Thank you.
And what should you like
to do today, Father,
on this special day?
I know a bank
where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips
and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied
with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses
and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania
sometimes of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers
with dances and delight...
You probably know the rest.
And there the snake
throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough
to wrap a fairy in:
Fear no more
the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone,
and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers,
come to dust.
Fear no more
the frown o' the great;
Thou art past
the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The scepter, learning,
physic, must.
All follow this,
and come to dust.
Fear no more
the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded
thunder stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young,
all lovers must.
Consign to thee,
and come to dust.
Fear no more
The heat o' the sun
Nor the furious
Winter's rages
Thou thy worldly task
Hast done
Home art gone
And ta'en thy wages
Golden lads
And girls all must
As chimney-sweepers
Come to dust
Fear no more
The frown o' the great
Thou art past
The tyrant's stroke
Care no more
To clothe and eat
To thee the reed
Is as the oak
The scepter, learning
Physic, must
All follow this
And come to dust
Fear no more
The lightning flash
Nor the all-dreaded
Thunder stone
Fear not slander
Censure rash
Thou hast finished
Joy and moan
All lovers young
All lovers must
Consign to thee
And come to dust
No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft
Charm thee!
Ghost unlaid Forbear thee!
Nothing ill Come near thee
Quiet consummation have
And renownd be Thy grave!