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Viola De Lesseps: This is not life, Will. It is a stolen season.

William Shakespeare: I'm done with theater. The playhouse is for dreamers. Look what the dream brought us.
Viola De Lesseps: It was we ourselves did that. And for my life to come, I would not have it otherwise.

Viola De Lesseps: I loved a writer and gave up the prize for a sonnet.
William Shakespeare: I was the more deceived.
Viola De Lesseps: Yes, you were deceived, for I did not know how much I loved you.

[Saying their goodbyes.]
William Shakespeare: You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.

[About Marlowe's death in a tavern]
Ned Alleyn: A quarrel about the bill.
Philip Henslowe: The bill! Ah, vanity, vanity!
Ned Alleyn: Not the billing -- the BILL!

William Shakespeare: It is not a comedy I'm writing now.

Ned Alleyn: Pay attention and you will see how genius creates a legend.

William Shakespeare: Love knows nothing of rank or river bank.

William Shakespeare: Love denied blights the soul we owe to God.

William Shakespeare: A broad river divides my lovers: family, duty, fate. As unchangeable as nature.

Lord Wessex: How is this to end?
Queen Elizabeth: As stories must when love's denied: with tears and a journey.

Viola de Lesseps: I would stay asleep my whole life, if I could dream myself into a company of players.

William Shakespeare: You see? The comsumptives plot against me. "Will Shakespeare has a play, let us go and cough through it."

Viola De Lesseps: Good sir? I heard you were a poet. But a poet of no words?

Viola De Lesseps: Master Shakespeare?
William Shakespeare: The same, alas.
Viola De Lesseps: Oh, but why "alas"?
William Shakespeare: A lowly player.
Viola De Lesseps: Alas indeed, for I thought you the highest poet of my esteem and writter of plays that capture my heart.
William Shakespeare: Oh -- I am him too!

Queen Elizabeth: Fifty pounds! A very worthy sum on a very worthy question. Can a play show us the very truth and nature of love? I bear witness to the wager, and will be the judge of it as occasion arises. I have not seen anything to settle it yet.

Viola De Lesseps: Good morning, my lord. I see you are open for business -- so let's to church.

Queen Elizabeth: And tell Shakespeare, something more cheerful next time, for Twelfth Night.

Viola De Lesseps: Write me well.

[Last line]
William Shakespeare: 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... Viola.

Viola De Lesseps: I love you, Will, beyond poetry.

Philip Henslowe: Let us have pirates, clowns, and a happy ending, or we shall send you back to Stratford to your wife!

Philip Henslowe: You see -- comedy. Love, and a bit with a dog. That's what they want.

Viola De Lesseps: [as Juliet] I do remember well where I should be, and there I am -- where is my Romeo?
Nurse: [shouting from the audience] Dead!

Ned Alleyn: [singing the stage directions] Men upstage; ladies downstage. . . . Are you a lady Mr. Kent??

Viola De Lesseps: [to her Nurse] I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No...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.

Philip Henslowe: I'm a dead man and buggered to boot!

Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.

Richard Burbage: The Master of the Revels despises us all for vagrants and peddlers of bombast. But my father, James Burbage, had the first license to make a company of players from Her Majesty, and he drew from poets the literature of the age. We must show them that we are men of parts. Will Shakespeare has a play. I have a theatre. The Curtain is yours.

Hugh Fennyman: Uh, one moment, sir.
Ned Alleyn: Who are you?
Hugh Fennyman: I'm, uh... I'm the money.
Ned Alleyn: Then you may remain so long as you remain silent.

[Dropping Mr. Henslowe's feet into hot coals.]
Hugh Fennyman: Henslowe! Do you know what happens to a man who doesn't pay his debts? His boots catch fire!

Lord Wessex: I have spoken with your father.
Viola De Lesseps: So, my lord? I speak with him every day.

William Shakespeare: I have a new play.
Christopher Marlowe: What's it called?
William Shakespeare: Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter.
Christopher Marlowe: What is the story?
William Shakespeare: Well, there's this pirate...

Christopher Marlowe: I thought your play was for Burbage.
William Shakespeare: This is a different one.
Christopher Marlowe: A different one you haven't written?

[Whispering at Viola's bedroom door.]
Nurse: My lady, the house is stirring. It is a new day.
Viola De Lesseps: It is a new WORLD.

Queen Elizabeth: Mr. Tilney! Have a care with my name -- you will wear it out!

[Authorizing Lord Wessex to marry Viola.]
Queen Elizabeth: Have her, then, but you're a lordly fool. She's been plucked since I saw her last -- and not by you. It takes a woman to know it.

[After sex.]
Viola De Lesseps: I would not have thought it: there IS something better than a play!
William Shakespeare: There is.
Viola De Lesseps: Even your play.
William Shakespeare: Hmm?
Viola De Lesseps: And that was only my first try.

Lord Wessex: I cannot shed blood in her house, but I will cut your throat anon. What is your name?
William Shakespeare: Christopher Marlowe, at your service.

Lord Wessex: Is she obedient?
Sir Robert de Lesseps: As any mule in Christendom -- but if you are the man to ride her, there are rubies in the saddlebag.
Lord Wessex: I like her!

Tilney: That woman is a woman!

Lord Wessex: My lady, the tide waits for no man, but I swear it would wait for you.

Viola de Lesseps: [as Thomas Kent] Tell me how you love her, Will.
William Shakespeare: Like a sickness and its cure together.

Queen Elizabeth: I know something of a woman in a man's profession. Yes, by God, I do know about that.

[On first hearing the tragic ending to Romeo and Juliet.]
Philip Henslowe: Well, that will have them rolling in the aisles.

Philip Henslowe: The show must... you know...
William Shakespeare: [prompting him] Go on!

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