On In History & Culture

Why Did Shakespeare's Secret Lady Love Cheat On Him?

In 1593, William Shakespeare reached London to establish himself as a successful poet, playwright, and actor. He was a writer for a theatre group, Rose Theatre. The literary scene was extremely rich at that time with the likes of Marlowe, Beaumont and Johnson. Shakespeare wanted to enter the same league, so he started writing comedy and romantic plays. Just when he was midway through his play Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate’s Daughter (Later Romeo and Juliet) something untoward happened. Shakespeare’s suffered writer’s block. For those who don’t know, it’s a situation wherein a writer’s imagination goes for a toss and s/he is unable to take the story forward. It’s like suddenly you are unable to drive your car, which you have been driving for last 25 years! Can you imagine the impact? The worst nightmare for a writer!Read on to know the details.Content Source: Movie 'Shakespeare in Love'

Shakespeare looked for an inspiration to help him overcome writer's block.

Shakespeare started looking for an inspiration. A woman to be precise. Also, he started auditioning possible actors for the same play, and selected a couple of them. He was quite impressed by one of the actors who was exceptionally passionate about acting. While the initial rehearsal continued, Shakespeare discovered that the actor was actually a woman who was very passionate about acting, but could not act because women were not allowed to act during that era. Later, Shakespeare realised that she was also his fan and that was why she came to the auditions, to be close to Shakespeare. Shakespeare loved the way she acted and she loved the way Shakespeare wrote.

Shakespeare's Muse and Inspiration (From the Movie - Shakespeare in Love)

She was Viola de Lesseps. Eventually, she fell in love with Shakespeare and their secret affair started. Viola wanted to act and Shakespeare let her act in the disguise of a man! Their secret affair continued along with the rehearsals, and then their crazy, mad love turned passionate. The whole affair became a true inspiration and he started writing back. But then, the tragedy struck when she came to know that Shakespeare was married and Shakespeare realised that Viola was engaged!Viola couldn’t find true love because she was the daughter of a wealthy man and her matches were mostly the guys seeking money. Finally, she found true love in Shakespeare! Viola!Roses are red, Viola is blue.

The Last Kiss

But even after knowing the truth, their romance continued and got deeper with the passage of time. She carried their romantic escapades before, during and after the rehearsal. They made love near a lake, below trees and around the wood fire in the moon light. They forgot each other and became one soul. The love intensified and broke all rules. The secret affair was like nectar for two dry souls seeking true love in an endless parched desert. Shakespeare was in a loveless marriage and she was fed up of the money mongers. They found true love but that was not to be! Like everything else, good things also come with an expiry date. Viola earlier had promised herself to another man who she should marry now and eventually, she left Shakespeare. Shakespeare understood her situation and let her go. True love has tragic endings!

Romeo and Juliet - The greatest love story ever told?

And Shakespeare converted this whole episode into the greatest love story ever told - Romeo and Juliet. Tragedies come and go, but true love reverberates throughout history.  

William Shakespeare

Belated Happy Birthday Shakespeare! You have made the literary world beautiful.