Shakespeare in Love
written by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard
Will: My Lady Wessex?
(Viola nods miserably. She holds up the bag of 50 pounds which he has won from her new husband.)
Viola: A hired player no longer. Fifty pounds, Will, for the poet of true love.
Will: I am done with the theatre. The playhouse is for dreamers. Look where the dream has brought us.
Viola: It was we ourselves did that. And for my life to come I would not have it otherwise.
Will: I have hurt you and I am sorry for it.
Viola: If my hurt is to be that you will write no more, then I shall be the sorrier. (beat) The Queen commands a comedy, Will, for Twelfth Night.
Will: A comedy! What will my hero be but the saddest wretch in the kingdom, sick with love?
Viola: An excellent beginning...Let him be...a duke. And your heroine?
Will: Sold in marriage and half way to America.
Viola: At sea, then- a voyage to a new world?
Will: (bitterly) A storm. All are lost.
Viola: She lands...upon a vast and empty shore. She is brought to the duke. Orsino.
Will: Orsino...good name...
Viola: But fearful of her virtue, she comes to him dressed as a boy...
Will: ...and thus unable to declare her love...
(pause. The conversation has turned to be about them as well as the play)
Viola: But all ends well.
Will: How does it?
Viola: (beginning to cry) I don't know. It's a mystery.
Will: (embracing her, voice quavering) You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.
Viola: (sobbing) Nor you for me.
(They kiss passionately) Will: Good bye my love, a thousand times good bye.
(They kiss again)
Viola: Write me well...
(She kisses him for the final time and then leaves quickly. Will looks after her for a moment then sits down at his desk and begins to write.)
Will: (voice over) My story starts at sea...a perilous voyage to an unknown land. A shipwreck. The wild waters roar and heave. The brave vessel is dashed all to pieces, and all the helpless souls within her ...drowned. All save one: a lady...whose soul is greater than the ocean and her spirit stronger than the sea's embrace. Not for her a watery end, but a new life beginning on a stranger shore. It will be a love story for she will be my heroine for all time. And her name will be...Viola...
Kudos and much thanks go to Jen for the donation of this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
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