all_that_glitters_2 by zhangyun

VIEWS: 20 PAGES: 107

									ALL THAT GLITTERS

       by

 Jonathan Star




      26 White Pine Lane

      Princeton, NJ 08540

      Tel: 845 798 5140

      Email:   unity10@aol.com
                                              Page 1




                 ALL THAT GLITTERS


A BLACK SCREEN

The lighting of a match is heard.



INT. SHAKESPEARE‘S ROOM –- NIGHT

A candle is lit which reveals pages of writing, an inkpot,
and a pen, on a small writing table; the faint outline of a
small room in London, circa 1600, is revealed. A hand
begins to write.



MONTAGE – LONDON NIGHT LIFE, 1600

-- People laughing.

               ANTONIO (V.O.)
     I hold the world but as the
     world, Gratziano, | A stage
     where every man must play a
     part. . .

-- A man loading a horse cart.

               KING RICHARD III(V.O.)
     A horse! A horse! My kingdom
     for a horse . . .

-- Lovers listening to music.

               DUKE (V.O.)
     If music be the food of love,
     play on! . . .

-- A woman pouring punch in a tavern.

               QUEEN (V.O.)
     The lady doth protest too
     much, methinks . . .

-- A lavish London affair.
                                              Page 2


              MOROCCO (V.O.)
    All that glisters is not
    gold, Often you have heard
    that told . . .

-- A lone man walking through the streets

              HAMLET (V.O.)
    To be or not to be, that is
    the question . . . | To
    sleep: perchance to dream:
    ay, there's the rub; | For in
    that sleep of death what
    dreams may come.



INT. SHAKESPEARE'S ROOM –- NIGHT

SHAKESPEARE, a pensive, uncertain, yet brightly optimistic
man in his late 30s, is seen slumped over his handwritten
pages. The candle is just going out. Darkness. . . Pounding
on a door is heard.

              SERVANT (O.S.)
    Master Shakespeare. Master
    Shakespeare. The play begins
    tomorrow at two.



INT. SHAKESPEARE‘S ROOM –- DAYBREAK

First light of morning streams through the window.
Shakespeare is slumped over his pages. He begins to stir,
grudgingly.



INT. THEATRE STAGE –- DAY

An elaborate staging of The Merchant of Venice, is being
performed at The Theatre in London, 1600. Costumes are
ornate. Departing from an historical account, the roles of
woman are all played by woman. The scene opens with PORTIA
(played by LUCIA) announcing the terms of the lottery to
BASSANIO (played by SHAKESPEARE). We see Portia‘s face. As
she speaks the stage is slowly revealed, and then the
theater.
                                              Page 3


              PORTIA/LUCIA
         (in iambic pentameter)
    Behold, there stand the caskets,
    noble prince,| Fashioned of
    gold, of silver, and of lead.|
    If you should choose the one
    that holds my picture,| You‘ll
    gain the whole of my father‘s
    fortune | And straightaway we‘ll
    take our nuptial vows.| But
    should you fail, without more
    speech, my lord,| You must be
    gone from hence immediately,|
    And ne‘er take a maid‘s hand in
    way of marriage.| O gallant one,
    will you hazard a choice?

              BASSANIO/SHAKESPEARE
          (in iambic pentameter)
           For as I am I live upon
    the rack. |So let me to my
    fortune and my choice.

              PORTIA
    Away then! I am locked in one of
    them:| If you do love me, you
    will find me out.

The musicians play. Bassanio approaches the caskets.

              SINGER (O.S.)
    Tell me where is fancy bred,
    In the heart or in the head?
    How‘s it born and how‘s it
    fed? Tell me, tell me.


              BASSANIO/SHAKESPEARE
         (in meter)
    How quick they run to display
    outwardly | What‘s least
    within themselves. Look upon
    beauty | And you will see,
    ‗tis purchased by the
    weight,| Which, when applied,
    can change the course of
    nature. | So too those
    crispèd, flowing, golden
                                              Page 4


     locks,| Which make such
     wanton gambols with the
     wind.| They‘re like the scarf
     which veils a wretched face.
     | The seeming truth which
     cunning times display | To
     trap the wise. Therefore, O
     gaudy gold,| I will have none
     of thee. Nor of thee silver;|
     You are the stuff that goes
     to common coin,| And passed
     between the drudging hands of
     men.| But thou, O meager
     lead, which rather threatens|
     And gives no promise of
     increase or gain;| Thy
     plainness moves me more than
     golden lies.| And here I
     choose, may heaven be my
     prize!

Bassanio opens the casket and takes out a picture of Portia

               BASSANIO
     Here I find a scroll, which sums
     up my fate: I will read it:

Bassanio reads

               BASSANIO
     You that choose not by the
     view,| Take fair chance and
     chose quite true:| Since this
     fortune falls to you, | Be
     content, and seek no new.| If
     you be well-pleased with this,|
     Hold your fortune with your
     bliss,| Turn ye toward your
     loving miss |And claim her with
     a loving kiss.

He offers her the scroll

               PORTIA
     You see me, Lord Bassanio,
     where I stand,| Such as I am.
     Though, for myself alone,| I
     would not be so daring in my
                                              Page 5


    wish | To wish myself much
    better, yet for you | I would
    be tripled twenty times
    better;| A thousand times more
    fair, ten thousand times | More
    rich, that I, in beauty,
    dignity,| Comfort, and virtue
    might exceed account.| Myself
    and what is mine, to you and
    yours,| I now impart unto you.
    All of this | Is yours, my lord
    –- I give them with this ring.

She holds up the ring and places it on Bassanio’s finger.

              BASSANIO
    Madam, you have bereft me of all
    words.| All that but speaks is
    the blood in my veins;| As there
    is such confusion in my words |
    Much like the buzzing cheers
    that issue from | The rousèd
    masses after they have heard |
          Some fine oration by their
    beloved prince,| Where every
    sound now blended together |
    Turns to a wasteland of nothing
    save joy.| And now, within this
    heart, each voice is lost | In a
    single outburst of joy, each cry
    | Expressed yet none is singly
    heard. O Portia,| Then be so
    bold to say, ‗Bassanio‘s dead.‘

A multitude of cheers. The play is over. Players bow.



INT. THE THEATRE – BACKSTAGE - DAY

People are exiting the theater. Shakespeare (still dressed
as Bassanio) and GRATZIO, a rambunctious and quirky-looking
fellow in his late twenties (still dressed as Gratziano,
from the play) are talking.

               GRATZIO
    Will?
                                     Page 6


Shakespeare is distracted.

               GRATZIO
     Will, what about the
     masquerade?

               SHAKESPEARE
     Yes, tonight, the masque –- I
     almost forgot.

               GRATZIO
     And who will you be this
     time? One of your grand
     personages? Andronicus, King
     Richard, Henry? Or more
     romantic, say Romeo himself.

               SHAKESPEARE
     I have no time to fuss with
     costumes. I am coming just as
     I am -- as Bassanio. Now I
     must ready myself for a
     secret pilgrimage -- and yet,
     my having just told you,
     assures me that word of it
     will go straight to the town
     crier. Please temper your
     passion, and your mouth, with
     the cool drops of moderation.

               GRATZIO
     Never -- not tonight, anyway.

               SHAKESPEARE
          (in meter)
     My friend, Gratzio, you are
     bold with words. | And this
     quality suits you well enough
     | But for one who does not
     know your true charm | These
     raucous ways are a tad
     overbearing.
                                Page 7


          GRATZIO
     (in meter)
I can be a solemn and pious
man, | Lost deep in prayer --
if I need be, that is: | I‘d
speak soft, and swear only
now and then | Like a boy
trying to please his grandma.

          SHAKESPEARE
     (in meter)
‗Tis a part I ne‘er hope to
see you play! | I much enjoy
your loud and boisterous ways
– but tonight do not mention
anything about me or my
meeting.

          GRATZIO
Consider it done. And what
time will you make your
entrance at the masque?

          SHAKESPEARE
Some time past the hour of
nine-thirty.

          GRATZIO
Now to find my costume. Maybe
I‘ll come as Richard, and
lose my kingdom for a horse

          SHAKESPEARE
Or you could play the horse.

          GRATZIO
Horses cannot say much more
than say ‗nay‘--and as you
know, I‘m a ‗yes‘ man. Nay, I
will come as Richard.

          SHAKESPEARE
Well, adieu, my liege. I had
rather hoped you would play
the fool -- then we could
hear some more of your
foolish wisdom.
                                             Page 8


              GRATZIO
    Until tonight, my lord. May
    you win your fortune.



INT. THE THEATRE –- COSTUME ROOM -- DAY

Gratzio and other players are trying on various costumes
for the masque. With him are SOLA, a lanky and slow man in
his thirties, and TOO, a well-set man in his forties.

              GRATZIO
    I must make a grand entrance.

              SOLA
    A grand entrance for a grand
    fool!

              TOO (in meter)
    Our Gratzio speaks a lot of
    nothing,| More than any man
    in all of London.

              SOLA (in meter)
    His reasoning is like two
    grains of wheat | Hidden in
    two bushels of worthless
    chaff--

              TOO (in meter)
    You may seek all day before
    you find them;| And when you
    find them, they‘re not worth
    the search.

              SOLA
    But none of that prevents him
    from his blathering.

              GRATZIO
    If you stay with me long
    enough you‘re apt to forget
    how to move your own tongue -
    - which I think is good
    thing, seeing that you don‘t
    know how to use the ones you
    have!
                                              Page 9


              SOLA
    Maybe I‘ll go as a monk and
    observe silence?

              GRATZIO
    Better to observe it than
    follow it. Silence is only
    commendable in a plate of
    dried ox tongue or in a tired
    old maid who‘s wont to
    complain.

              TOO
    Perhaps you are wont to hear
    more complaints -- from the
    women -- than we are
    accustomed to.

              SOLA
    O Gratzio, perhaps you should
    come tonight as Arragon, who
    chose the wrong casket and
    left with no more than the
    head of blinking fool.

Sola, holding the fool‘s head, shakes it and then tosses it
to Gratzio. Gratzio throws them some servant costumes.

              GRATZIO
    Perhaps you can play
    Lancelet, and you his blind
    father Old Gobbo -- both
    dreadful servants at best.

              SOLA
    I think I‘ll come as the fair
    Portia.

              TOO
    And ruin the whole play.
                                             Page 10


              GRATZIO
    I think we should dispense
    with this nonsense and come
    as the three witches! We
    could cast a spell on the
    entire party and then play
    the fool with everyone while
    they‘re in a blind stupor.

              SOLA
    What kind of spell?

              GRATZIO
    The usual kind -- we‘ll just
    spike the punch with
    something stiff.

              SOLA
    Agreed. We shall come as the
    three witches and cast our
    spell.

              TOO
    I‘ll bring the ‗eye of newt
    and toe of a frog‘

              SOLA
    ‗Wool of bat and tongue of
    dog.‘

              GRATZIO
    ‗Adder‘s fork and blind-
    worm‘s sting.‘

              TOO
    ‗Lizard‘s leg and howlet‘s
    wing.‘

              GRATZIO
    And let‘s not forget the
    wine, lard, and fat, I‘ll
    bring us a boiling cauldron
    of that!

Gratzio, Sola, and Too put on witches hats and dance around
the room, throwing costumes into the center as if adding
items to a witches cauldron.
                                             Page 11




EXT. OUTDOOR APOTHECARY STAND – DAY

Shakespeare is at a sidewalk herbal stand, visiting KEEPER,
a wizened man in his late forties.

               SHAKESPEARE
     In my imagination. That is
     the only world I know. That
     is the world wherein I live.

               KEEPER
     Fie, fie. Somewhere you have
     lived it. And that is why you
     are able to tell it so well -
     -though I did not care much
     for the last play.

               SHAKESPEARE
     No?

               KEEPER
     It was brilliant but . . .

               SHAKEPEARE
     But?

A Fat LADY approaches the stall.

               LADY
     That new herb for trimming my
     figure has worked wonders.
     I‘m afraid if I keep taking
     it I may soon disappear.

               KEEPER
     I don‘t think we‘re at that
     stage yet. Now remember to
     boil the mixture for at least
     twenty minutes. Don‘t take
     too much or you‘ll get tired
     keeping all those men away!

Fat Lady takes the herbs, knowingly smiles at the Keeper,
and departs.
                                             Page 12


               SHAKESPEARE
     Methinks your drugs are doing
     better to reduce her sight
     than her weight.

               KEEPER
     Or maybe just to improve her
     imagination. So my friend,
     what can I do for you today?

               SHAKESPEARE
     I -- how might I say it --
     could use some enhancement.

Keeper leans forward and speaks in a quieter tone.

               KEEPER
     To make it bigger?

               SHAKESPEARE
     Yes bigger, more grand, more
     real!

               KEEPER
     More real? My friend, either
     you have a real one or you
     don‘t. I can make it stand
     more loyal than the guards at
     the Quuen‘s Palace -- I can
     even make it do two shifts in
     tandem without complaint --
     but I cannot make it more
     real.

               SHAKESPEARE
     It is real enough –- maybe
     too real. I need something to
     make life more real, more
     grand --as grand as the
     characters I create for
     everyone else.
                                             Page 13


              KEEPER
    I have no herbs for that my
    friend. I can only offer you
    some kindly words. The remedy
    you seek can only be found in
    reaches of your soul -– but
    finding yourself in the arms
    of a beautiful woman can also
    work wonders.

              SHAKESPEARE
    It just so happens that I am
    meeting with such a woman
    tonight -- the most beautiful
    woman I have never seen. I
    have but her picture, and a
    note, and a promise of love.

SHAKESPEARE pulls out the picture and shows it to KEEPER.

              KEEPER
    I don‘t think you are going
    to need any herbs with this
    one.

              SHAKESPEARE
    No, no herbs today, just an
    excuse to share a few words
    with a friend.

              KEEPER
    Will, I know you don‘t need
    it, but just in case the
    guard gets a little tired
    after standing half the
    night, I‘m going to give you
    a few handfuls of my new
    combination, gratis.

              SHAKESPEARE
    It won‘t be necessary.
                                             Page 14


              KEEPER
    I insist. It‘s gratis. It‘s
    my own formulation —- ginger,
    goat weed, devil‘s claw, a
    little bone heal. I have to
    prepare it –- so let this be
    my excuse to keep your
    company a little while
    longer.

KEEPER begins to prepare the herbs. A BALD MAN approaches.

               BALD MAN
    The salve has not been
    working. I‘ve applied it
    faithfully for two months and
    nothing‘s come up. Not even
    baby fuzz.

              KEEPER
    Sometimes we have plans but
    God has other plans. It seems
    that His plan is that you
    have a shiny bowl, and
    nothing I can do will change
    that. Here‘s what I‘ll do for
    your troubles.

KEEPER hands him a few coins.

              KEEPER
    The wig shop is two blocks
    down on the right.

BALD MAN exits. KEEPER yells to him

              KEEPER
    Brown would look good on you!
                                     Page 15


               SHAKESPEARE
     In these cunning times it
     seems that falsehood is the
     currency and truth is the
     casualty. People take an
     herb to try and become
     something they‘re not. They
     deceive with smiles to try
     and get something they don‘t
     deserve. And they put a few
     words to paper and claim a
     grandeur that they can never
     hope to live.

               KEEPER
     Will, you are great poet, a
     master of the stage -- no
     one, not even you, can deny
     that.

               SHAKESPEARE
     I‘m but deceiving myself.
     Everyone calls me ‗Master.‘
     I‘m just a man with a pen who
     sits, at night, alone in his
     room. I may have some gift,
     yes, some talent for weaving
     together stories -- but that
     is not so difficult.

               KEEPER
     That is not difficult, that
     is impossible. God cannot
     choose a person to compose
     such magnificent stories,
     unless the person is truly
     worthy of it.

Two average ladies approach.

               LADY 1
     Kind sir, could you give me
     some of that new face cream.
     I heard it works miracles.

               LADY 2
     Yes, some more for me as
     well.
                                             Page 16


KEEPER hands them the herbal salve.

               KEEPER
     Fair, fair -- now don‘t
     complain to me about all the
     compliments you are going to
     get.

Ladies exit.

               KEEEPER
     It‘s been a fast seller. It
     makes their skin fairer. The
     more they apply, the fairer
     they become. It seems that
     even beauty is something that
     can be purchased these days.

 KEEPER is finished mixing the herbs.

               SHAKESPEARE
     Could I but live the life of
     one character. . . could I
     but share one trace of the
     love had by Romeo for Juliet.
     . . But what have I got? An
     empty room, a few sheets of
     wasted paper, a woman in
     Stratford I never see -- and
     now . . .

Keeper tosses the bag of herbs to Shakespeare.

               SHAKESPEARE
     A handful of herbs I‘ll never
     need, to help me with a woman
     I may never met. Thank you,
     thank you very much my friend
     . . . for nothing.

               KEEPER
     Great stuff. Put all that in
     your next play.
                                             Page 17


INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- DAY

LUCIA, an exquisite and elegant woman, in her mid-
twenties, and BRISANA, her plain yet dignified attendant,
are talking.

               LUCIA
    By my word, Brisana, I am
    growing weary of this world.
    So many promises regarding
    happiness, but so little yet
    delivered.

              BRISANA
    That‘s what we have: a life
    of promises—- all strung
    together like pearls upon a
    string. In the end, we have
    nothing, not even the string.

              LUCIA
    Even on one‘s death bed, a
    person clings to the bleak
    promises of life. Do this,
    and you will be happy; get
    this and you will be happy;
    be this and you will be
    happy. One promise more empty
    than the next.

              BRIANA
    I cannot move, I cannot get
    out of debt, I‘m alone,
    decrepit, my bones ache, my
    teeth are gone -- yet, there
    is still hope. Maybe if I do
    this I‘ll get one more shot
    at happiness.

              LUCIA
    Maybe an angel will come down
    and the heavens will part.

              BRISANNA
    Maybe divine grace will
    descend.
                                Page 18


          LUCIA
And then of course, if I
cannot find happiness in this
world, there is still hope I
may find it in the next. O
what fools these mortal men
be. Why not be happy with
what is offered now?




          LUCIA
O Brisana, what is being
offered now? Anything new?

          BRISANA
Half a dozen suitors are
downstairs requesting your
presence. They all show good
promise.

          LUCIA
The only promise they make
good on is that they will
keep coming back. Now if they
promised to go away, and
never return —- well that is
a promise I would hold them
to.

          BRISANA
None of them are suitable?

          LUCIA
I‘m sure they‘re suitable --
for whomever they suit. But,
for me, they are all
unseemly. Sure they are
learnèd men, cordial, up on
the events of the day, and
practiced in the arts, yet
they are drab and clichè. I
know their words even before
they open their mouths.
                                             Page 19


A knock on the door.

                LUCIA
     Come in.

One of Lucia‘s servants leans in through the door.

               SERVANT
     All the messengers are
     waiting. Shall I send them
     away again?

               LUCIA
     No, send them in –- one at a
     time.

Servant and Messenger 1 enter.

               MESSENGER 1
     Lord Falconbridge of Essex
     requests the presence of your
     company this evening, for
     dinner and entertainment.

               LUCIA
     Lord Falconbridge, now
     there‘s one who‘s afraid of
     his own voice. He speaks so
     softly, as one possessed of
     such crystalline virtue that
     any tone above the sound of a
     heavenly whisper might
     shatter it. He talks in that
     soporific monotone which
     suits one who has trouble
     sleeping at night. I‘m afraid
     I would have to carry a
     pillow every time we go out.
     I need a man whose heart is
     revealed through his words,
     not one who fears the sound
     of his own voice.

Messenger 2 makes his announcement.
                                     Page 20


               MESSENGER 2
     Lord Chamberlain, of
     Wellington, asks that you
     join him for an outing this
     Saturday afternoon, at his
     estate.

               LUCIA
     My kingdom for a horse -- his
     kingdom is a horse! He‘s like
     a wild bronco -- quick to put
     reigns on everyone but
     himself. He talks the way a
     horse eats hay —- the mouth
     moves and moves yet nothing
     of worth ever comes out. He
     has all the stature of one
     who is born of a noble family
     but I have my doubts:
     methinks his mother must have
     had a good long ride on the
     stable-keeper.

Messenger 3 is seen.

                MESSENGER 3
     Professor Garcia, invites you
     to join him for a series of
     lectures, to be delivered by
     a visiting scholar from
     Salamanca.

               BRISANA
     He is a man of words. One who
     is more learnèd than, well,
     someone less learnèd.
                                        Page 21


               LUCIA
     And more dull. Perhaps
     ‗boring to death‘ would be a
     suitable epitaph. He does
     nothing but frown from
     morning til night. Ah, the
     sublime melancholy of our
     lot; the fated lapse into
     sadness every time. I fear
     that a cringed brow is
     supposed to be some sign of
     attainment -- but all it does
     is crease the forehead. To
     him joy is like a curse –-
     seen as a ill-begotten state
     of the simple-minded.

               BRISANN
     So nothing of the professor?

               LUCIA
     He promises me a life of
     sadness –- and this is a
     promise I‘m sure he will
     deliver on. No thank you!

Servant leans through the door again.

               SERVANT
     Madam, what shall I tell
     them?

               BRISANNA
     I‘m afraid you must go with
     someone. You cannot sit here
     every evening.

               LUCIA
     Tell Lord Falconbridge I will
     join him this evening. . . I
     need a good rest.

Servant exits.

               LUCIA
     I‘ve been putting him off for
     months.
                                             Page 22


               BRISANNA
     Shall I ready your favorite
     pillow.

               LUCIA
     No. This time, I shall find
     some excuse to take and early
     leave.

                  BRISANNA
     Then what?

               LUCIA
     Then we will have time to
     visit the North End, where
     the poets and writers are
     wont to be.



INT. BALLROOM -- NIGHT

The masquerade party is in full glory.



EXT. STREET OUTSIDE THE BALLROOM -- NIGHT

GRATZIO, SOLA, TOO and other players from the company are
approaching the masque.



INT. BALLROOM –- NIGHT

Grand entrance at the masque, by Gratzio, Sola, Too, and
others. Characters at the masque play out various roles
from the play, according to their costumes.

               MOROCHUS
          (to Gratzio)
     I thought you were coming as
     one of the three witches.

               GRATZIO
     And be bound by the hip to
     Sola and Too all night? --
     that kind of curse I would
     not cast on anyone.
                                     Page 23


               ANTONIO
          (in character)
     In sooth, I know not why I am
     so sad.| It wearies me, I
     know it wearies you.

               SHYLOCK/SOLA
     I will feed fat the ancient
     grudge I bear him.| He hates
     our sacred nation.

Enter AGON, playing Prince ARRAGON

               AGON/ARRAGON
     I‘ve come to claim my prize,
     my just deserts. I say the
     lottery was fixed. Bassanio
     got help from . . .

ARRAGON points his finger around.

               AGON/ARRAGON
     Nerissa! She told him which
     casket to choose.

               NERISSA
          (in character)
     I did no such thing!

               AGON/ARRAGON
     Not in so many words, but
     perhaps a little chickadee
     was singing a song in
     Bassanio‘s ear while he was
     about to make his choice!

               GRATZIO
     How dare you accuse this
     woman of such a heinous act?
     I will fight to defend her
     honor—-tomorrow.

               LADY 1
     He‘s just sore.

               LADY 2
     Weighed down by his own self-
     importance.
                                     Page 24


              GRATZIO
    Who cares if Bassanio was
    tipped off? She loved him, he
    loved her. That‘s how Will
    wrote it. The hero always
    wins.

              AGON/ARRAGON
    But does he have to get help
    to win? That is no hero.

Shakespeare, as Bassanio, enters.

              AGON/ARRAGON
    And here comes our hero,
    right on cue.

              GRATZIO
    Lord Bassanio, pray tell,
    what is the news?

              SHAKESPEARE/BASSANIO
    There is a good wind that
    blows tonight. I must make
    ready all my provisions. We
    sail tonight.

              GRATZIO
    To the isle of Belmont, to
    win a fair maiden?

              SHAKESPEARE/BASSANIO
    Yes, to the win my fortune,
    my prize, my princess. . . .
    Now I must meet with my
    faithful servant, Gratziano,
    and tell him of my plans.

              SHAKESPEARE
         (aside to Gratzio)
    Gratzio, my friend, I must
    needs depart. I did not tell
    you the whole of my plan, but
    I am off to meet with the
    most beautiful woman I have
    yet to lay eyes upon.
                                     Page 25


               GRATZIO
     Wearing this unsightly
     costume?

               SHAKESPEARE
     That is what she requested in
     her letter. She does,
     however, assure me, that my
     wearing of the costume will
     be short-lived.

               GRATZIO
     This is the first I have
     heard of this. When did you
     meet her?

               SHAKESPEARE
     I never actually have. She
     left me her picture,
     beautifully commissioned,
     with a note, asking me to
     meet with her later tonight.
     She assures me that her
     beauty far exceeds this poor
     substitute. If she were but
     one part in ten as beautiful
     as her picture, were her
     heart one part in ten as true
     as her promise, were her hand
     one part in ten as fair as
     what she has written.

               GRATZIO
     Let me see that.

He takes hold of the picture

                GRATZIO
     O, she is fair, she is more
     than fair.
                                               Page 26


              SHAKESPEARE
    O the promise is always more
    real than the deliverance,
    the hope more true than the
    truth. But this time, my
    friend, my mind presages that
    it will prove otherwise. Not
    a word of this to the others.
    Tell them I had to meet with
    a dear friend who has
    recently fallen ill. . .
    Here, I got some special
    herbs from the apothecary.
    Mix them in with the tea and
    make sure the men get a big
    cup first thing in the
    morning. It will do much to
    improve their performance.

              GRATZIO
    We could use all the help we
    can get. The reviews have not
    been so good lately.

              SHAKESPEARE
    Good cheer my friend. I will
    see you tomorrow.

Shakespeare slips out. The masque continues.

              AGON
    Where‘s Will?

              GRATZIO
    He is going for a secret
    rendezvous with a lady --
    whom I happen to know is
    extremely beautiful.

              AGON
    Ah, let him have his fun. Let
    him stay out all night if he
    likes -- so long as he shows
    up tomorrow.
                                              Page 27


               GRATZIO
     You mean stay out all night
     with the woman he‘s going to
     meet with at 220 Chauncey
     Street?

               SOLA
     I thought it was a secret.
     How do know about the woman
     and where she lives?

               GRATZIO
     Because there is no woman!
     There is but a fantasy of a
     woman, a hope of a woman, but
     no woman. I left him a
     picture and a promise. I had
     the note written -- sprinkled
     with perfume. And off he
     went. He‘ll be back within
     the hour -- ready to write
     some good tragic verses.

               LADY 1
     He is going to be heart-
     broken.

               GRATZIO
     It‘s just a bit of fun -- not
     unlike the tricks that Will
     plays on us. But you should
     have seen his excitement.
     Skipping around like a
     school-boy. He is playing
     Bassanio, a trickster. Why
     not give the trickster a bit
     of his own trickery?



INT. BANQUET HALL –- NIGHT

Lucia, Falconbridge, and others are dining.   She is dozing
off.



EXT. LONDON STREET –- NIGHT
                                             Page 28


Shakespeare is happily making his way to Chauncey Street.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE –- NIGHT

LUCIA returns.

               LUCIA
     Well Brisana, I am now rested
     for the evening. Falconbridge
     never fails in that. Shall we
     go?

               BRISANA
     Yes, the carriage is ready.

Enter CHAS, a middle-aged and practical man, who is now
overseeing Lucia‘s affairs.

               CHAS
     Lucia, my dear, I‘m afraid
     all these fine suitors are
     complaining. How will you
     ever find someone if you
     don‘t give them a chance?

               LUCIA
     A chance to do what?

               CHAS
     To win you. Even to have
     your attention, in order to
     win you. They tell you the
     news of the day. They share
     spiritual discourses, lessons
     learned, even savory bits of
     gossip --and all you do is
     nod your head like a
     marionette.

               LUCIA
     O Chas, you‘ve been a dear
     friend of the family for as
     long as I can recall. I know
     you want what‘s best for me.
                                Page 29


          CHAS
I have brought in many
different kinds of men, from
all over Europe -- Lords,
Dukes, scholars, theologians.
Before his death, I promised
your father that I‘d help you
find you a husband. I assumed
it was . . . Is there not one
that suits you?

          LUCIA
One who can read and speak
the words of his own heart --
that is one who suits me. A
wordsmith, a poet – that‘s
who suits me. If not that,
then one who can truly say,
‗I am happy.‘ That suits me.
Can you find such a man?

          CHAS
A wordsmith –- they come a
dime a dozen. A poet -- not
so easy, but possible. A man
who can truly say, ‗I am
happy‘ -- now you are asking
too much. Can‘t you give
them another chance?

          PORTIA
For you, Chas, I will try.

          CHAS
What about the Frenchman,
Monsieur Du Pris? He speaks
eleven languages.

          LUCIA
Yes, but does he have
anything to say? Saying
nothing in eleven languages
is the same as saying nothing
in one -- but eleven times
worse.
                                            Page 30


              CHAS
    We will never find you
    someone?

              LUCIA
    O Chas, in your care, what
    you fail to see -- ‗Tis not
    for father, but a husband for
    me.
         (beat)
    We‘ll continue this
    exhortation tomorrow. But
    for now we must needs depart.



EXT. LONDON STREET -- NIGHT

A drizzle of rain. Shakespeare is running lightly. He is
repeating some of Bassanio‘s verses from the play, and
buoyantly jumping over puddles. He stops to look on her
picture.

              SHAKESPEARE
    What demigod had the skill to
    create | Something so real and
    proximate to life? | Do these
    eyes move or do they ride upon
    | The balls of mine own eyes
    and seem to move?| And here,
    her gentle lips lay slightly
    open | Parted with sugar
    breath. So sweet an air |
    Should sunder such sweet
    friends. Here in her hair | The
    painter plays the spider and
    hath woven | A golden mesh
    t‘entrap the hearts of men |
    Faster than gnats in cobwebs.

He starts to run again.
                                             Page 31


               SHAKESPEARE
     But her eyes -- how could he
     see to do them?| Having made
     one, Methinks that one should
     have | The power to steal both
     his eyes, and leave | The work
     unfinishèd.

He slips, hitting his head, dropping the picture of his
love, which falls to the ground. He lies on the street,
neck bent, like a dead hero after a tragic play; water runs
past his head. People casually walk by him or over him.
Someone trips over his outstretched legs. Thinking he is
drunk, two men move his legs out of harm‘s way and prop him
up against a wall.



INT. BALLROOM -- NIGHT

The masque continues.



EXT. LONDON STREET -- NIGHT

SHAKESPEARE is still out. We see a hand gently tap him on
the cheek, but he does not moves. A pair of strong arms
lifts him up. A carriage is seen riding off.


EXT. THE THEATRE -- MORNING

The company, less Shakespeare, is present. The men are
drinking tea from very large cups in copious amounts.

               AGON
     Gratzio, what is this stuff?
     It‘s horrid.

               MOROCHUS
     Much like the medicine my
     mother used to force on me as
     a child.

               SOLA
     I kind of like it.
                                Page 32


          GRATZIO
Will gave it to me. He said
it would improve our
performance.

          TOO
Lord knows we could use that.

          MOROCHUS
Where is he? He should be
here by now.

          TOO
Did you check his house?

          GRATZIO
He‘s not there.

          AGON
Perhaps he found himself a
good pub on the West side of
town and is sleeping it off.

          MOROCHUS
Look what you‘ve done with
your prank, Gratzio! Will‘s
probably in some gutter,
forlorn and heart-broken.

          GRATZIO
I am not to blame. He‘s OK -
I‘m sure of it.

          TOO
We must go in search of him.
We must check the waterfront,
the East side, all the places
a forlorn man is wont to be.

          ONE
This tea is pretty good,
don‘t you think?

          ARRAGON
Horrid, but if it helps our
performance this afternoon,
then I say we should grin and
bare it.
                                     Page 33


He drinks up.

               MOROCHUS
     And the play? Who‘s going to
     play Bassanio? We should
     make Gratzio play every part
     for this prank.

               AGON
     We cannot surmise, at this
     point, whether or not Gratzio
     is to blame.

                  GRATZIO
     Thank you.

               AGON
     Certainly some as-of-yet
     unknown event could have
     arisen. . .

Looking down at himself, aghast.

               AGON
     It‘s hard, it‘s hard to tell,
     difficult that is. Maybe Will
     is held up somewhere.

               MOROCHUS
     The important thing is to
     keep our heads cool.

               SOLA
     And not be hot-headed.

Men are getting very ancy.

               GRATZIO
     I fear we need to find him --
     now. Morochus and Sola, you
     check the bars. Me and Toozie
     will check the cathouses.
     Agon and the rest, you check
     the backstreets.
                                             Page 34


               MOROCHUS
     Or rather I and Sola will
     check the cathouses, Gratzio,
     you wander the streets, and .
     . .

               AGON
     Rather I and Toozie will
     check the cathouses, and . .
     .

               GRATZIO
     I think it best that we all
     check the cathouses and then
     see about where to look next.

                ALL
     Agreed.

They run off.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE, BEDROOM -- DAY

A large house, with a garden, outside of town.   Brisana is
attending Shakespeare, who is lying in bed in a large, open
room.

               BRISANA
     Kind sir, you had quite a
     fall. Though it is not the
     practice of my mistress to
     pick up strangers on the
     street, she felt compelled. I
     think it was your clothes.

               SHAKESPEARE
     Where am I?

               BRISANA
     Do you recall anything?
                                           Page 35


              SHAKESPEARE
    Yes, I was going to meet a
    fair woman, on the Isle of
    Belmont. She had just come
    upon a great fortune, and she
    was virtuous, beautiful,
    caring, and kind. The winds
    had come about. I was off to
    my ship, when . . .

              BRISANA
    Belmont? I have never heard
    of the isle of Belmont.

               SHAKESPEARE
         (in meter)
    ‗Tis near to Venice. There
    was held a contest.| Suitors
    had sailed in from the
    earth‘s four corners | Trying
    their luck to win her great
    bounty,| Her golden locks did
    hang about her temples | Just
    like the golden fleece that
    Jason won.

              BRISANA
    But you are in London, not
    Venice. Let me call on my
    mistress.

Brisana goes out to get Lucia.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- WAITING ROOM -- DAY

              BRISANA (to Lucia)
    I‘m afraid he‘s a bit mad.
    He is clearly a Londoner, who
    claims to be a prince from
    Venice, off to win a princess
    on some island called
    Belmont. Perhaps you could
    reason with him better than
    I.
                                              Page 36


INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- BEDROOM -- DAY

LUCIA enters the room.   Her hair is tied back.   Her beauty
is obscured.

              LUCIA
    Kind sir, do you remember
    anything?

              SHAKESPEARE
    The last I recall I was in
    Venice. I was throwing a
    feast, a masquerade ball,
    before I was to set sail to
    win a beautiful maiden and
    her fortune.

              LUCIA
    We found you last night near
    Chauncey Street.
         (to Brisana)
    Sounds like some kind of
    fairy-tale. He believes he‘s
    some kind of hero, a prince
    off to save a princess.

              BRISANA
    I‘m afraid, my lady, he may
    be a charlatan, and all this
    feigned forgetfulness but a
    pretence. And who is he
    supposed to fool with those
    clothes?

              LUCIA
    But someone trying to
    impress, to deceive, would
    certainly don more convincing
    attire. No there is
    something here yet to be
    discovered. Perhaps I should
    call on my uncle, Doctor
    Balstade. He is an expert in
    these matters. Perhaps he
    could uncover the truth.
                                             Page 37


EXT. LONDON STREETS -- DAY

Company is looking for Shakespeare. Gratzio, looking in the
street, finds the picture Shakespeare was holding; he puts
it into his shirt pocket. Sensing he is close, he begins to
looks more vigorously around the area, calling out ‗Will!‘
Agon is still in the cathouse, not looking. Morochus is
looking about the docks. Sola and Too are looking in the
taverns.



INT. UNIVERSITY STUDY –- DAY

Gathered around in a typical university study, with books,
fire place, pipe smoke, etc., are a group of psychologists,
including BALSTADE, a comfortable Oxford man in his mid-
fifties. Lucia Enters.

              BALSTADE
    My dear niece Lucia. What
    good fortune brings you here
    this day?

              LUCIA
    Sweet uncle, I have a most
    unusual case upon which I
    need your help. Last night I
    found a stranger, on the
    street, in some stupor, and I
    took him home with me.

              BALSTADE
    That is strange. Indeed it is
    strange for a woman of your
    stature to be picking up men
    off the street. Well, come
    sit down, and I will try to
    find out what has gotten into
    you.

              LUCIA
    Not me, the man I found. He
    is from London, perfectly
    versed in words, yet he
    claims to be an Italian
    Prince, off to rescue some
    princess.
                                             Page 38


              BALSTADE
    So, put him back on the
    street, or on a boat to
    Italy, and that will be the
    end of the matter. Come sit
    down my dear and tell me how
    you are.

              LUCIA
    There‘s something about him.
    It‘s as if I have found a
    precious jewel covered in
    mud. I need your expertise to
    help me find that gem.

              BALSTADE
    I will help you find this
    jewel, if it is there. And
    should we find only rocks,
    well --it will not be the
    first time, nor the last I
    suppose. My sweet dear, it is
    so good that you see the
    highest in everyone -- even
    when others cannot. Let us
    go. Get me my hat. These
    things you tell me are not so
    strange --for I once knew a
    man who mistook his wife for
    a hat!



EXT. LONDON STREETS -- DAY

Players are still looking for Shakespeare.



INT. HOUSE OF BACKWARDS FAMILY –- DAY

A low-breed FATHER and SON are sitting around drinking some
ale (the same way a bunch of redneck hillbillies would be
sitting around on a couch, drinking beer, and watching TV.)
GIRL is standing.
                                     Page 39


               FATHER
     You done what? You gone and
     got yourself pregnant?

               GIRL
     I didn‘t do it daddy --
     somebody else did it.

FATHER whacks the SON.

               FATHER
     Son, I gone and told you . .
     .

               GIRL
     The boy at the theater done
     it.

                 FATHER
     What boy?

               GIRL
     Willy Shakespeare. That was
     his name.

               FATHER
     Talk English girl -- Shake
     what?

               GIRL
     Shakespeare. That was his
     name. Willy Shakespeare -- he
     gone and done it.

               FATHER
     That fella who writes those
     plays? I told you not to
     ‗ssociate with those low-
     breeds, those players that
     never done an honest day‘s
     work. How long you been with
     that boy, folling behind my
     back?

               GIRL
     I only been with him once,
     daddy.
                                             Page 40


               SON
     That boy goes straight for
     the good stuff.

FATHER slaps SON again.

               FATHER
     Don‘t you be talkin‘ ‗bout
     your sister like that. One
     time -- and this is what he
     done left you.

GIRL begins to cry.

               FATHER
     OK, girl, don‘t cry -- we‘s
     gonna make an honest man outa
     that boy. Get ready, we‘s
     gonna go and find this
     Shakespeare fella and have
     ourselves a weddin.‘ And we‘s
     gonna do it in style. Don‘t
     mind havin‘ a few lowbred
     writers in our family -- if
     it makes my girl happy. I
     just hope it don‘t ruin the
     bloodline too much.

GIRL runs over and kneels between her father‘s legs
to hug him -- a bit too close.

                 GIRL
     Oh daddy.

SON looks over. FATHER slaps Son.

               FATHER
     Don‘t you be lookin‘ at your
     sister that way.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- BEDROOM -- DAY

SHAKESPEARE is in bed.
                                             Page 41


               LUCIA
     Kind sir, my uncle has come.
     He may be able to help you
     remember who you are and how
     you got here.

Enter BALSTADE.   He examines Shakespeare.

               BALSTADE
     It seems you have had quite a
     hit on your head.

He whips his hand.

               BALSTADE
     Yes, quite a hit. Did you
     receive this hit in London or
     on your way to your ship in
     Venice?

               SHAKESPEARE
     I don‘t know.

               BALSTADE
     Can you tell me the last
     thing you do remember?

               SHAKESPEARE
     I was on the Isle of Belmont.
     I was there to win a
     beautiful princess. She was
     fair, and wise, and virtuous.
     There were three caskets, one
     of gold, one of silver, and
     one of lead. There was a
     contest. If I chose the right
     casket, the one which
     contained her picture, then I
     would win her and all her
     wealth.

               BALSTATE (aside to Lucia)
     Possible delusions of
     grandeur. A confused sense of
     reality. A vivid sense of
     imagination and fantasy. What
     else do you recall?
                                Page 42


           SHAKESPEARE
I was tempted to choose the
gold casket, which seemed to
beckon me, and which promised
to give me what many men
desire. But I passed over the
gold to the silver, which
promised to give me what I
deserved. This too did not
appeal to me and I went to
the lead casket which
impelled me to give and risk
all I had.

          BALSTADE
And?

          SHAKESPEARE
I chose the lead casket,
which I opened, and thereupon
I found a picture of this
fair maiden. I had won the
maiden and her father‘s great
fortune. Suddenly I was a man
of great wealth and status. I
recall looking at her
picture, thinking about all
the wonders which were about
to embrace me, and then . . .

          BALSTADE
Then?

          SHAKESPEARE
Then I found myself here, in
this bed, with a pulsing
headache. Even know I have
the sense that my best friend
is in trouble, someone is
trying to kill him.

          BALSTADE
Could it be that all of this
is a dream? That there was no
princess, no friend in
danger? Are these the clothes
of a wealthy man? These are
but rags.
                                             Page 43


               SHAKESPEARE
               (noticing his clothes)
     Yes, these look like the
     clothes I was wearing in
     Belmont. But it‘s true, the
     fabric and stitchery are
     amiss. Hardly from a dream --
     but perhaps sewn together by
     someone who was in a dream at
     the time of making. Someone
     must have changed my clothes
     before I awoke -- exchanged
     my fine Italian silk with
     this rough English cotton.

               BALSTADE
     It‘s getting late. You must
     rest another day until the
     swelling in your head abates.
     I‘ll return tomorrow and we
     will try something new.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- WAITINGEE ROOM -- DAY

LUCIA and BALSTADE are talking.

               BALSTADE
     Dear niece, I‘m afraid the
     depths of his delusion may be
     unfathomable. Tomorrow we
     will try to find him in the
     recesses of his mind.

                 LUCIA
     Find him?    How will you find
     him?
                                Page 44


          BALSTADE
On my recent trip to Samara,
I met a wandering dervish
named Muhammad Sheik Muhammad
Ahaa Rahuddin. He laughed a
lot. Upon much supplication,
prayer -- and then finally a
payment of several large
diamonds-- he taught me an
ancient way to probe the
mind. This method had been
passed down, through his
family line. I was the first
Westerner to ever receive
this knowledge. I‘m not sure
why. Perhaps fate, the hand
of God, a destiny yet untold
-- or perhaps it was the
dizziness of his whirling
caused him to confuse me with
his own uncle. I do not know.

          LUCIA
And?

          BALSTADE
And I can use this ancient
method to try and pull him
back to reality. I cannot
guarantee you anything but,
my dear niece, I will do my
best.

          LUCIA
That is all I ask.

           BALSTADE
Perhaps if nothing, at least
you‘ll be entertained by his
vivid imaginings -- far more
than the trash they are
putting on at the theaters
these day.

          LUCIA
Thank you, uncle. Until
tomorrow.
                                             Page 45


              BALSTADE
    I‘ll be at the theater this
    afternoon, and at the
    university tonight -- but I
    will return here first thing
    in the morning.



INT. THE THEATRE – DAY

Audience is gathering in The Theatre.



INT. THE THEATRE –- ON STAGE –- DAY

A performance of The Merchant of Venice is in progress. The
players are on stage and we hear all the ‗boos‘ when the
villain Shylock enters. Salarino, Solanio, and Shylock are
on stage.

              SALARINO
    Why, I am sure, if Antonio
    forfeit thou wilt not take
    his flesh. What‘s that good
    for?
                                     Page 46


               SHYLOCK
     To bait fish withal. If it
     will feed nothing else, it
     will feed my revenge. He hath
     disgraced me, and hindered me
     half a million times. He
     laughed at my losses, mocked
     at my gains, scorned my
     nation, thwarted my ventures,
     cooled my friends, heated
     mine enemies -- and what‘s
     the reason? I am a Jew. Hath
     not a Jew eyes? Hath not a
     Jew hands, organs, arms and
     legs, senses, affections,
     passions? Are we not fed
     with the same food, hurt with
     the same weapons, subject to
     the same diseases, healed by
     the same means, warmed and
     cooled by the same winter and
     summer as a Christian is?

Boos and hisses from the audience



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- NIGHT

Lucia and Brisana are talking.

               LUCIA
     Which one again?   Which one
     did I agree to?

               CHAS
     Count Winthrop from
     Edenborough. He‘s a very
     spiritual man.
                                             Page 47


               LUCIA
     O Brisana, save me from these
     spiritual types. They‘re the
     worst of the bunch: always
     privy to some ‗higher‘
     knowledge which they use to
     justify their own misery. The
     vow they have taken is the
     poverty of joy, the poverty
     of true living —- which they
     hold as some kind of sacred
     virtue, some grand sacrifice
     to God. Did it ever occur to
     them that being happy, might
     be God‘s command? If there‘s
     one thing God doesn‘t need,
     it‘s all this sufferance in
     the name of God!

               BRISANA
     I suppose this will have to
     be another night of penance.
     But hurry home –- you‘ll not
     want to be late for the
     evening prayers.

               LUCIA
     I‘ll be back soon.



INT. UNIVERSITY STUDY -- NIGHT

Balstade is sitting around with some colleagues.

               BALSTADE
     It is the most unusual case.
     A case of double confusion
     and delusion. And I‘m not
     sure who has it worse –- the
     man I am treating or my
     niece.
                                               Page 48


INT. CHURCH -- NIGHT

Lucia, at some kind of religious ceremony, is trying
to stay awake.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- BEDROOM -- DAY

Shakespeare is getting out of bed.    Lucia enters.

               LUCIA
       Did you rest well?

               SHAKESPEARE
     Yes, quite well.

               LUCIA
     And your head? How does it
     feel?


               SHAKESPEARE
     The swell has gone down --
     but it seems the swell in my
     mind has gotten worse. I see
     a sweeping panorama of events
     playing through my mind -- as
     if they had a life of its
     own.

                LUCIA
     I‘m sure these imaginings
     will pass.

                SHAKESPEARE
     I see great cities I have
     never seen and magical
     kingdoms; the tragedy of
     kings and star-crossed
     lovers. All with such words
     of beauty.

               LUCIA
     Words of beauty?

               SHAKESPEARE
     Yes, poetry. Do you know
     anything about poetry?
                                 Page 49


          LUCIA
I‘ve studied the forms, and
practiced all the meters,
such as the Petrarch and
iambic pentameters.

          SHAKESPEARE
You are referring to verse, to
craft; I and talking about an
outpouring of the heart, which
is beyond the words.

          LUCIA
Beyond the words?   Is there
such a place?

          SHAKESPEARE
Here, let us try. I‘ll begin
and you respond.

          LUCIA
     (to herself)
What is this strange spell
that has suddenly been caste
upon me? I dare not say it
is love -- I dare not speak
of it at all.

          SHAKESPEARE
Are you ready? . . . ‗Happy is
this moment, when we sit
together. . . ‗

          LUCIA
‗Me and you, in this place‘ -
- I can‘t do it.

          SHAKESPEARE
Just let the words flow from
your heart, from what you feel
in this moment. . . ‗The
flowers will bloom forever . .
‗

          LUCIA
. . . ‗the birds . . . flying
. . . through the air.‘
                                 Page 50


          SHAKESPEARE
Your heart, not your head.
What you feel not what you
see.



          LUCIA
‗The birds will sing . . .
their eternal song.‗

          SHAKESPEARE
Yes . . . ‗the moment we enter
the garden, you and I.‘

          LUCIA
That is so beautiful.

          SHAKESPEARE
 ‗The stars of heaven will
come out to watch us . . .‘

          LUCIA
‗ . . . and we will show them
. . . the light of the full
moon -- you and I.‘

          SHAKESPEARE
Yes. ‗And all the bright-
winged birds of heaven will
swoop down to drink of our
sweet water . . .‘

          LUCIA
‗the endless delight of you
and I.‘‗Tis a miracle of fate,
us sitting here. . . ‗

          SHAKESPEARE
‗yet even at the ends of the
earth we would still be
together, you and I.‘ ‗We are
one soul in this world, how
can we say ‗good-bye?‘
                                               Page 51


               LUCIA
     ‗to us belongs an eternal
     heaven, the endless delight of
     you and I.‘ Oh my.

LUCIA is somewhat lost. She puts her hand to her heart and
slumps into Shakespeare‘s lap.



EXT. LONDON STREETS -- DAY

Players are looking for SHAKESPEARE.



INT. CATHOUSE -- DAY

AGON is still lingering in the cathouse.



EXT. LONDON STREETS -- DAY

FATHER, SON, and posse approach the Theatre.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- DAY

Shakespeare has gotten out of bed and is putting his
clothes on. Lucia awakens from her dream.

               LUCIA
     What is this? Where are you
     going?

               SHAKESPEARE
     I just remembered -- my
     friend is in mortal danger
     and only I can save him.

               LUCIA
     But ...

               SHAKEPEARE
     The door? Where‘s the door?
                                             Page 52


               LUCIA
     But tarry for a day or two.
     Or even a month. If you leave
     now I will lose your company
     —- and not even know who I am
     losing. You must stay.

               SHAKESPEARE
     I have dreamt long enough –-
     and I am not even sure if the
     delight I feel with you is
     but another dream. But I am
     now gripped with an urgency I
     cannot ignore. I must find my
     friend.

               LUCIA
     But where will you go?

               SHAKESPEARE
     To Venice. He‘s in Venice.

               LUCIA
     I will go with you.

               SHAKESPEARE
     No, this is no woman‘s work.
     O sweet lady, I promise, I
     will . . . return. I will . .
     . not rest until I return.
     Adieu, my sweet, adieu.

Shakespeare makes a hasty exit. Lucia stands up, about to
run after him, but she is rendered inert by confusion.



EXT. GARDEN HOUSE -- FRONT DOOR -- DAY

Shakespeare is leaving the house. Confusedly, he looks to
the left and the right. He begins to run to the left, and
then after a few paces he changes and runs to the right.
After a few paces he begins to walk, than slow down. He
comes to the next street corner and confusedly looks in
both directions.
                                             Page 53


INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- DAY

Balstade enters. Lucia, overcome by sadness, is lying in
the bed where Shakespeare was once resting, the bed cover
over her face.

               BALSTADE
     My dear fellow . . .

Portia moans and then removes the cover from her face.

               BALSTADE
     I see a marvelous change has
     come over you -- you look
     just like my niece.

               LUCIA
     I am stricken with a grave
     illness –- a heart that has
     broken.

               BALSTADE
     The madness of madness and
     the madness of love -– who
     can ever tell the difference?
     What has happened my dear?

               LUCIA
     His madness came back –- and
     off he went, to Venice.

Lucia suddenly begins to get out of bed.

                LUCIA
     I must find him. He might be
     in danger.

               BALSTADE
     My case load has just
     doubled.

               LUCIA
     Please uncle.

                BALSTADE
     Yes, you go and find him.
     Then I‘ll return and we will
     try again.
                                             Page 54


               LUCIA
     Thank you uncle.
          (yelling)
     Brisana, ready my carriage.



EXT. LONDON STREET -- DAY

Lucia‘s carriage is seen speeding off. It passes Gratzio
and others as they walk by, calling out, ―Will, Will.‖ On
the other end of the street, Shakespeare is coming around,
disoriented, having gone in a big circle.



INT. THE THEATRE -- THE STAGE -- DAY

The play is in progress.

               PORTIA/LUCIA
          (in verse)
           There are some fell
     contents in yon same paper |
     That steals the color from
     Bassanio‘s cheek.| Some dear
     friend dead? -- else nothing in
     the world | Could turn so fully
     the disposition | Of any
     constant man.

               BASSANIO/SHAKESPEARE
     Here are a few of the most
     dreadful words,| That ever
     blotted paper. Gentle lady,|
     The paper is the body of my
     friend | And every word in it a
     gaping wound | Issuing life-
     blood. But it is true,
     Salerio,| Hath all his ventures
     failed? What, not one hit? |
     From Tripolis, from Mexico, and
     England,| From Lisbon, Africa,
     and India -- | And not one
     vessel scaped the dreadful
     touch | Of merchant-marring
     rocks?
                                              Page 55


               SALERIO
     Not one, my lord.| Besides, it
     doth appear that if he had |
     The present money to discharge
     the Jew | He would not take it.
     Never did I know | A creature
     that did bear the shape of man
     | So keen and wolfish to
     destroy a man.

               PORTIA
     Is this your dear friend who
     is thus in trouble?

               BASSANIO
     The dearest friend to me; the
     kindest man, |The most
     benev‘lent and unwearied spirit
     | In serving others; and one in
     whom | The ancient Roman honour
     more appears | Than any man who
     draws breath in Italia.

               PORTIA
     O love, dispatch all
     business, and be gone!

               BASSANIO
     Since I have your leave, I will
     go apace | But soon return to
     your loving embrace;| All beds
     that beckon, I‘ll solemnly
     spurn,| And slumber ne‘er a
     wink, until my return.

Applause.   The play is over.



EXT. LONDON STREET –- GARDEN HOUSE -- NIGHT

Shakespeare is tired from walking. Having gone around in a
big circle, he unwittingly ends up near the entrance to
Lucia‘s house and there he slumps himself down.
                                              Page 56


EXT. LONDON STREET -- NIGHT

Lucia‘s carriage is returning.



INT. CARRIAGE –- NIGHT

Lucia is crying in Brisana‘s arms.

               LUCIA
     Why did I let him leave?
     Why? Why?

               BRISANA
     I‘m sure he will return. We
     will look again tomorrow. How
     far could he have gotten?

               LUCIA
     He‘s gone. Off to Venice, off
     to Belmont, off to somewhere.
     How will we ever find him?

Brisana looks out the window.

               BRISANA
     Off to Venice -- perhaps not.

               LUCIA
     It is so far away.

               BRISANA
     Methinks it is not much further than you own
     front steps.

Portia looks out the window.

               LUCIA
     Driver, stop the carriage.



EXT. LONDON STREET –- GARDEN HOUSE -- NIGHT

Shakespeare is carried into the house, followed by Lucia
and Brisana.
                                             Page 57


EXT. GARDEN HOUSE –- THE GARDEN –- DAY

              SHAKESPEARE
    Am I to awaken or keep this
    dream forever?

              LUCIA
    You are to awaken.

              SHAKESPEARE
    How will I e‘er awaken from a
    dream, when you are found in
    that dream? I was in
    darkness which people are
    wont to call ‗life.‘ Now I
    am illumined. Why go back to
    the darkness of sleep?

              LUCIA
    I see you now, I hear you now
    —- in this state of dreaming
    or is it wakefulness—- but I
    am afraid. What of your old
    life? Who might be looking
    for you?



EXT. GARDEN HOUSE –- LONDON –- DAY

Shakespeare and Lucia do all kinds of playful things around
the house and around the grounds. They decide to walk
around London to see if that jogs Shakespeare‘s memory. We
see a few close misses those looking for Shakespeare. They
end up lying on the grass, near a lake.

              SHAKESPEARE
    There is nothing of my old
    life. No one is looking for
    me.

               LUCIA
    Right now –- but what happens
    when that old life comes to
    life? Maybe you will forget
    this life.
                                                Page 58


               SHAKESPEARE
     One look at your eyes and I
     do swear: there is no life --
     past nor future -- wherein I
     would not choose this life.

               LUCIA
     But --

Shakespeare places two fingers upon her lips.

               SHAKESPEARE
     No time, no place, no life.

He removes his fingers from her lips.

               SHAKESPEARE
     ‗There is a field where all the
     world dances,| Where people
     live the story of their lives.|
     There is a garden lying beyond
     that field.| And there‘s a
     place that lies beyond that
     garden.| And do you know this
     place I talk about?| This place
     where the heart is a boundless
     ocean?| Where all of life
     becomes a perfect joy? -- I‘ll
     meet you there.‘

                LUCIA
     Why yes, I know that place:|
     ‗There‘s a place that is
     touched by a warm breeze,|
     Where you can hear the sweet
     whispers of your soul,| A
     place where lovers dance like
     the circling spheres,| Where
     every drop of rain becomes a
     thousand songs -- I‘ll meet
     you there.

               SHAKESPEARE
     Yes, that‘s the place. . .
                                             Page 59


    ‗There is a place th‘will
    always be your home,| Where
    every smile glistens like the
    summer sun,| Where an ancient
    keeper awaits your return,|
    Where a million lives join into
    one moment | -- I‘ll meet you
    there.‘

              LUCIA
    O, you must meet me there.

              SHAKESPEARE
    ‗There is a place where all
    these words will end,| where
    silence covers us in golden hue
    of light.| A place where
    everything merges in love,| We
    are that place -- I‘ll always
    meet you there.‘

              LUCIA
    Now it is I who am lost in a
    dream -- O Lord, never wake
    me from this one.

She leans her head upon his shoulder.



INT. THE THEATRE -- THE STAGE -- DAY

Gratzio and players are sitting upon the stage, in regular
clothes, dejected.

              GRATZIO
    The show must go on –- but
    without Will our ship is
    dashed upon the rocks. We
    need someone to play
    Bassanio. Did you check his
    room again?

              TOO
    No sign of him.
                                     Page 60


               GRATZIO
     Well, let‘s check again and
     again. Maybe he‘s returned.



INT. SHAKESPEARE'S ROOM -- DAY

The empty room of his life.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- DAY

Balstade enters.

               LUCIA
     Uncle.

               BALSTADE
     And how is my sweet Lucia?

               LUCIA
     Fine.

               BALSTADE
     I see you are feeling better.

               LUCIA
     We are feeling wonderful,
     uncle. Just wonderful.

               SHAKESPEARE
     Yes, much better.

               BALSTADE
     Anything new?

               SHAKESPEARE
     Everything is new, but there
     is nothing new I can recall.

               BALSTADE
     Any insights into who you
     really are?
                                Page 61


          SHAKESPEARE
It seems as if I‘ve been
searching for myself for 20
years, but never knew who I
was looking for. Now that I
have lost myself, it seems
that I have found something
much greater than myself.

          BALSTADE
I see the symptoms are
growing more troublesome.
Fantasies and delusions I can
deal with, A crazed poet,
perhaps -- but a would-be a
philosopher, never. That is
something very difficult to
cure.

          LUCIA
Oh uncle, but you are a
philosopher.

          BALSTADE
Yes, and I‘ve never been
cured of it. This spiritual
mumbo-jumbo about losing
yourself sounds a lot like
the stuff my dervish friend
used to spatter. I never
understood a word of it.

          LUCIA
Are you referring to Muhammad
Sheik Muhammad Ahaa Rahuddin?

          BALSTADE
Yes, the very one.
     (to Shakespeare)
Have you recalled anything?
                                Page 62


          SHAKESPEARE
Nothing but the same grand
actions: the kings and
princes, the heroes and
villains, the merchants and
magnificoes. Yet I did have
the most bizarre dream last
night.

          BALSTADE
And pray tell, what did you
see?

          SHAKESPEARE
I was in Samara, with a
Muslim, a Sheik, who was
wandering about. Laughing
here, crying there.

          BALSTADE
I have just come from Samara,
and there I was visiting a
Sheik.

          SHAKESPEARE
I did not see you. You were
not in the dream.

          BALSTADE
Go on.

          SHAKESPEARE
Yes, there was an Arab Sheik.
He was holding a spear; and
he was lost, wondering about.
Then came a bearded man, he
was waiving a knife. Then
there arrived a blond-haired,
who was holding a sword.
There was some conflict over
a stone which I could not
see.
                                             Page 63


              BALSTADE
    Again we see the theme of
    three, three religions, three
    caskets.
         (musing)
    A Sheik with a spear? I have
    a new method I want to try. I
    want you to put this
    blindfold on. Brisana will
    lead you around the house,
    and bring you back here.
    Then we will begin.

He places the blindfold over Shakespeare‘s eyes, and
Brisana enters to lead him out of the garden.

              LUCIA
    Dear Uncle, what is this
    method you are going to try?

              BALSTADE
    Do not worry, my dear. This
    is an age old method.

              LUCIA
    Which, of course, you have
    used with many of your
    patients. . .

              BALSTADE
    Well, actually, this is the
    very first time I am trying
    it. No need to worry -- I
    have tried this many times on
    myself, and I am still here

              LUCIA
    I have grown quite fond of
    this man. I dare say, without
    saying it -- since a woman is
    refrained from truly
    expressing what is in her
    mind or her heart -- that I
    am very, very fond . . . that
    I -- I don‘t want to lose
    him.
                                             Page 64


              BALSTADE
    And I am hearing you, without
    quite hearing you. But the
    way you are not quite saying
    anything, and the tone you
    are using to not quite say it
    – let‘s me know quite well
    how you feel

              LUCIA
    Behind all these fantasies of
    being a Prince of Denmark, a
    King of England, a Roman
    emperor, a great sorcerer, --
    well, behind all that there
    is a gentle and loving soul.
    A soul whose eloquence rivals
    that of any angel in heaven.
    Were he not mad, he could . .
    . well is he mad? Uncle, can
    you help him?

              BALSTADE
    A madman, a poet, or a lover
    -- who can say what he is.
    Maybe all three. Sometimes we
    are hard-pressed to tell one
    from the other. I tell you my
    dear cousin, he is not mad –
    but who exactly he is I
    cannot say.

Philosophizing, using the words of the Duke, in A Midsummer
Night‘s Dream.
                                             Page 65


              BALSTADE
    The lunatic, the lover, and
    the poet | Are all united in
    their imaginings; | The
    madman sees more devils than
    in hell;| The lover, just as
    crazed, sees the beauteous |
    Helen of Troy in the face of
    a gypsy.| The poet‘s eye that
    rolls about in frenzy,|
    Reaches from heaven to earth,
    and from earth | Again to
    heaven, as his imagination |
    Conjures the form of things
    that be unknown.

              LUCIA
    But uncle, I . . . I‘ve been
    tinged by a madness, or a
    love, or the madness of love,
    which keeps me awake at
    night. So, in curing him you
    might destroy that which I
    love in him

    .

              BALSTADE
    You can only love what is
    real in him, and that can
    never be destroyed. He may
    believe himself to be a
    prince but he might turn out
    to be a pauper.

              LUCIA
    Both would be the same in my
    heart.

Enter Shakespeare, wearing a blindfold, guided by Brisana.

              BALSTADE
    Here he comes.

              SHAKESPEARE
    You are all so kind.
                                Page 66


          BALSTADE
Kind sir, are you ready? Now
just relax. Let you mind
gently sway, as if ‗tis being
rocked by the waves of the
ocean. Now imagine you are
being rocked, lost in the
arms of your beloved. Now you
are relaxing more and more.
You are going back in time.
You are being swayed in the
arms of your mother. You are
relaxing, you are falling
into a long deep slumber,
slumber, nothingness. . . .
What do you see?

          SHAKESPEARE
Nothing. It is dark, it is
peaceful.

          BALSTADE
Look closer, look through the
veil of darkness, what do you
see?

          SHAKESPEARE
I see a king, I am a king. I
have been banished from my
kingdom. My children have
thrown me outside the city
and left me to die.

          BALSTADE
What else do you see?

          SHAKESPEARE
I am in Verona. I am in the
middle of sword fight with my
enemy, who just killed my
dear friend.

          BALSTADE
What else? Where are you?
                                             Page 67


              SHAKESPEARE
    Now I am in a forest, I am
    the king of the fairies. The
    queen is yelling at me. She
    is mad. . . It is my fault,
    it is my fault that the roses
    bloom in winter . . .

              BALSTADE
    Go deeper and deeper into the
    scene . . .



EXT. AN ENCHANTED FOREST -- DAY

Scene in the forest from A Midsummer Night‘s Dream.

              TITANIA
    O fairy king, I see your rage
    and anger | Has not abated
    from when we last met,| And
    this condition hath disturbed
    our play -- | And so our
    spirit and the whole of
    nature.| The eastern winds
    have turned against us now:|
    And, in revenge, they‘ve
    sucked up from the sea |
    Contagious fogs, which,
    falling on the land,| Hath
    every pelting river made so
    proud | That they have
    overborne their meager banks|
    And flood their waters upon
    growing fields.| Oxen now pull
    their plows in vain and
    plowmen | Do sweat without
    return upon their labor | And
    the green corn doth rot ere it
    can ripen.| The pens stand
                                Page 68


empty in the drowned fields;|
And crows are fatted ‗pon the
rotting sheep.| The parks
where people play are filled
with mud | And quaintly paths
that crossed the country-side
| O‘ergrow with bush and
weeds from lack of use.| Men
find no cheer in the long
cold of winter | And nights
no longer ring with hymns or
carols.| And thence the moon,
the governess of tides,| Pale
in her anger, dampens all the
air | And causes feeble
joints to swell with pain.|
And from this disturbance, we
see the seasons | No longer
follow their course. Hoary
frosts | Fall in the lap of
roses about to bloom;|
Garlands of perfumed buds, as
if in mockery,| Are laid open
to the cold freeze of
winter.| The normal course of
verdant spring and summer,|
The fruitful autumn and the
chilling winter | Have
changed their faces. Now the
world‘s confused | Unable to
tell one season from the
other.| ‗Tis our disharmony,
our dissension,| Which doth
give birth to this long list
of evils.| We are its
parents, we brought this to
bear.

          OBERON
‗It lies in you, my queen, to
change all that -- give me
the boy.
                                             Page 69


EXT. THE GARDEN -- DAY

              SHAKESPEARE
    Give me the boy. Give me the
    boy.

Balstade prompts Shakespeare to wake up.

              SHAKESPEARE
    Garlands of perfumed buds, as
    if in mockery, are laid open
    to the cold freeze of winter.

              LUCIA
    Uncle, I think the delusions
    are getting worse.

              BALSTADE
    They must get worse before
    they get better. He must
    enter into the depths of his
    fantasy world before he is
    able to come out.

Balstade speaks to Shakespeare who is still lost in a
trance.

               BALSTADE
    You are in a forest, in a bed
    of flowers. You are tired,
    you are very tired, you lie
    down to rest in that bed. You
    are in a deep, dreamless
    sleep. . .

Balstade rings a bell; Shakespeare comes out of it.

              BALSTADE
    We are getting very close. I
    will return this afternoon
    and we shall find your
    prince, your poet, and your
    heart.
                                             Page 70


INT. THE THEATRE –- DAY

The play has just ended. Father, Son, Girl, and Posse are
seen making their way backstage, moving opposite to the
flow of people who are leaving the theatre.



INT. THEATRE -- DRESSING ROOM –- DAY

Actors have just finished their performance and are still
in costume. Father, Son, Girl, and Posse enter.

               FATHER
     That Shakespeare fellow done
     gone and knocked up my little
     girl.

Girl shows her protruding stomach.

               TOO
     Is that so?
          (yells to others)
     Will‘s gone and got this girl
     pregnant.

               SOLA
     I didn‘t know he had it in
     him.

               TOO
     He had it in her, you fool.

               GRATZIO
     It seems his pen is faster
     than his sword -- or maybe
     the other way around,
     depending on . . .

               FATHER
     Where is he? We    got our own
     show to put on.    And it ain‘t
     no mind to me if   he does it
     with his costume   on or not.
                                          Page 71


              TOO
    It just so happens he‘s been
    gone missing for the last few
    day . . . and maybe now we
    know the reason.

              SON
    Well, where did he gone
    missing to?

              FATHER
    I told him so, I told him so.
    I swore an oath to Jesus,
    that this here Shake fella –
    so good with his pen -- gonna
    sign this here marriage paper
    and take care a my girl. He‘s
    done the deed. This here‘s
    my Ebelline and we‘s gonna
    have ourselves a hitchin‘.

Father shows Girl who is very pregnant.

              SON
    I think e‘s back here pa.
    They‘s hiding him from us.

              GRATZIO
    You can‘t prance around on
    the stage. We‘ve already put
    on the show for today. I tell
    you, he‘s not here.

              SON
    Paw, they‘s hiding him. That
    two-faced, no good, thebian.

              SOLA
    He‘s not here. The play is
    over. He‘s been missing for
    days.

              GRATZIO
    I‘m afraid you must‘ve run
    him off.
                                                Page 72


              FATHER
    Well then, boy, you‘re just
    gonna have to run him back.
    If not, good ole‘ Ebelline
    and yous is gonna tie the
    knot. I don‘t care which one
    -- yous or Shaky boy. We‘s
    gonna be back here tomorrow
    and some one of you is gonna
    marry my girl. And this time
    we ain‘t gonna pay no fee to
    git in. We‘s family.

Girl looks lovingly at Gratzio.

              SON
    Couldn‘t barely understand it
    anyway. Is that what you
    call a play?

              FATHER
    Come to think of it, ‗twas
    one of his worst.

FATHER starts to sound like a theater critic.

              FATHER
    And I found the portrayal of
    Shylock somewhat disturbing,
    as his motivations were
    neither established nor
    clarified within in the
    cultural context of Venetian
    society, and therefore. . .

              SON
         (slaps father on the head)
    Paw, yous starin‘ to talk
    funny. We best get outa here.
                                     Page 73


               FATHER
          (back to normal)
     They told me it was gonna be
     a comedy. I seen every one of
     his plays, and this here one
     confused me. He‘s gonna have
     to write some better stuff to
     git with my daughter. Come on
     boys, we‘s gonna come back
     tomorrow -- for a hitchin‘ or
     a hangin‘ -- or both!

They all exit.

               GRATZIO
     We gotta find Will!

He runs our yelling.

               GRATZIO (o.s.)
     Will, where are you? Has
     anyone seen Will Shakespeare?

               SOLA
     I dare say Gratzio might take
     well to his new father, and
     brother-in-law, and wife. At
     least, over the generations,
     they have the sense to keep
     it all in the family.

               TOO
     Maybe Will left town, sailed
     out on the last boat, to
     avoid, well -- his . . .
                                             Page 74


              AGON
    It cannot be. He‘s probably
    been enslavèd somewhere, by
    some mistress, chained to a
    wall, forced to write love
    poems and recite them to her
    each evening. Then, in her
    lusty state of rapture, he is
    forced to . . . well he might
    have to force it . . .well,
    when he is able to, I mean
    when he is manly enough, he .
    . . if he has anything left .
    . . Poor fellow -- I think
    he might fare better with
    that girl and her father.

              SOLA
    She was kinda cute, in her
    own way -- don‘t you think?
    She looked familiar, didn‘t
    she? I can‘t recall.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE –- DAY

Session is taking place. Balstade and Lucia are present.
Shakespeare sits with his eyes closed.

                 BALSTADE
    What else?     What else do you
    see.

              SHAKESPEARE
    I am a prince, well not a
    prince, someone appearing as
    a prince. I am in Venice,
    there‘s a knife. . .

              BALSTADE
    And the sword?

               SHAKESPEARE
    There is no sword, it‘s a
    knife -- and there is a
    Christian.
                                 Page 75


           BALSTADE
And what is he doing, the
Christian?

          SHAKESPEARE
I am the Christian -- I am
seeing it through his eyes.
I am a great merchant. I have
lost all my ships. I am sad .
. . now I am afraid. I am in
a chair, about to be
sacrificed. The sacrificial
lamb. Someone is approaching
me, with a knife. I am being
held down, biting on a piece
of wood. I am afraid. He is
going to cut out my heart.

          BALSTADE
This represents a traumatic
heartbreak, where one feels
as if his heart is about to
be cut out.

          LUCIA
Go on uncle.

          BALSTADE
Why are they holding you
down?

          SHAKESPEARE
‗A pound of that same
merchant‘s flesh is thine. The
court awards it, and the law
doth give it.‘ I am strapped
to a chair. Wait -- I am not
in the chair, I am now
watching all of this. My dear
friend is in the chair. He‘s
the merchant. I am his friend.
All his ships have been lost.
I have just won a fortune.
Yet, my fortune cannot help
him now. I fill a chest with
gold ducats, they‘re all over
the floor, yet he will not
take it. I cannot save my
                                 Page 76


friend. It is all my fault. He
wants a worthless pound of
flesh, to use as fish bait.

          BALSTADE
And?

          SHAKESPEARE
My friend is saved. He is
freed by the high court of
Venice.

          BALSTADE
My dear, it is worse than I
thought.

          LUCIA
What is it?

          BALSTADE
     (To Lucia)
Only just now I noticed that
his words and images are
straight from the new play
that opened at The Theatre.
He must have seen the play
last week. He‘s not a poet,
nor a creator of verse, he‘s
a would-be actor, a confused
charlatan who memorized the
words of another, and now,
wittingly or otherwise pawns
them off as his own. These
are not his words nor his
stories -- he has stolen
every word of it.

          LUCIA
Are you sure?

          BALSTADE
Yes, I saw the very play
yesterday afternoon. It was
staged in Venice. His story
is from that play. He has
stolen it all.
                                       Page 77


              LUCIA
    Yet he has stolen something
    much more valuable --
    something I am unable to
    recover. Perhaps there is
    something more to this, some
    other explanation.

              BALSTADE
    My dear, you are so hopeful.

              LUCIA
    Hopeful in heart; hopeless in
    love. O uncle, I don‘t know
    what to think anymore.

              BALSTADE
    My dear, I fear ‗tis your
    imagination that now runs
    amuck: you are seeing a poet
    in a charlatan, a lover in a
    rogue.

              LUCIA
    It cannot be. I know in my
    heart there is something
    more. Please uncle.

              BALSTADE
         (to Shakespeare)
    What else do you see?


INT. THE THEATRE -- THE STAGE –- DAY

    Part of the court scene from
    The Merchant of Venice, is
    being played o

              PORTIA
    Do you confess the bond?

               ANTONIO
    I do.

              PORTIA
    Then you must be merciful.
                                 Page 78


          SHYLOCK
On what compulsion must I?
Tell me that.

          PORTIA
The quality of mercy is not
strained | It droppeth as the
gentle rain from heaven | Upon
the earth beneath. It is twice
blessed:| It blesseth him who
gives and who receives. Though
justice be thy plea, consider
this:| That in the course of
justice none of us | Should
seek salvation. We do pray for
mercy,| And that same prayer
doth teach us all to render |
The deeds of mercy. I have
spoken thus | To mitigate thy
rig‘rous plea for justice.

          SHYLOCK
My deeds upon my head! I crave
the law,| the penalty and
forfeit of my bond.

           PORTIA
Is he not able to discharge
the money?

          BASSANIO/SHAKESPEARE
Yes, here, I tender it for him
in the court.| Yea, thrice the
sum. If that will not
suffice,| I will be bound to
pay it ten times o‘er.

          SHYLOCK
If every ducat in six thousand
ducats | Were in six parts,
and every part a ducat, | I
would not draw them. I would
have my bond.
                                             Page 79


               PORTIA
     A pound of that same
     merchant‘s flesh is thine. |
     The court awards it, and the
     law doth give it.

               PORTIA (to Antonio)
     Therefore, lay bare your
     bosom.

               SHYLOCK
     Ah, his breast.| So says the
     bond; doth it not, noble
     judge? | ‗Nearest his heart‘--
     those are the very words. . .
     Most learnèd judge! A
     sentence! (To Antonio) Come,
     prepare!

Antonio is tied to a chair, and bites down on a stick in
order to bear the pain. Shylock is about to approach
Antonio.



INT. THE THEATRE -- OFF STAGE -- DAY

FATHER sees Gratzio and goes over to side of stage.    He
calls to Gratzio while he is on stage.

               FATHER
     Psst. Hey you. Where‘s that
     Shakespeare fella?

Gratzio leans down offstage and answers quietly.

               GRATZIO
     He‘s not here.

               FATHER
     I can‘t stand this play
     anymore. I‘ve had to stand
     through it three times -- now
     where is he?
                                             Page 80


              GRATZIO
    He‘s gone. He‘s been missing
    for days. Can‘t you see I‘m a
    little busy right now?

              FATHER
    Which one is he? I can‘t tell
    with all the costumes.

              GRATZIO
    He‘s not here -- now get ye
    gone!

              FATHER
    I have a mind to git up on
    that stage and find the knave
    myself.

              GRATZIO
    He‘s gone I tell you!

              FATHER
    Well, I guess it‘s you then.
    We‘s gonna have our weddin‘
    right after the show ends.

Father returns to Son, Girl, and Posse in audience.



INT. THE THEATRE -- THE STAGE –- DAY

              PORTIA
    Tarry a little; there is
    something else. This bond
    doth gives thee here no drop
    of blood:| The words
    expressly are, ‗a pound of
    flesh.‘ |Take then thy bond,
    take thou thy pound of
    flesh,| But in the cutting
    it, if thou dost shed | One
    drop of Christian blood, thy
    lands and goods | Are, by the
    laws of Venice, forfeited |
    Unto the state.
                                             Page 81


               SHYLOCK
     I take this offer, then. Pay
     thrice the bond | And let the
     Christian go.

               BASSANIO
     Here is the money.

               PORTIA
     He shall have nothing but the
     penalty.

                SHYLOCK
     Shall I not even have my
     principle?

               PORTIA
     Thou shalt have nothing but
     the forfeiture,| To be so
     taken at thy peril, Jew.

Cheers from the audience. Shylock is dragged off the stage
by Gratiano and others. Father cheers.



INT. THE THEATRE -- BACKSTAGE -- DAY

Gratiano and others are seen pulling Shylock off stage.
They get off stage and their demeanor changes to
playfulness.

               GRATZIANO
     Quick, out the back before
     that toothless fool and his
     pregnant daughter find us.

               TOO
     Us? I already committed to
     being your best man.

               GRATZIANO
     If I‘m not here, whosever
     left is next in line.

Gratiano and Too run off. Sola is hesitant, not certain he
wants to run off.
                                    Page 82


INT. GARDEN HOUSE –- DAY

              LUCIA
    Many he needs some rest.

              BALSTADE
    Everything he recalls about
    himself is straight from that
    play I saw yesterday. It was
    written by William
    Shakespeare. In his fantasy
    world he identified with the
    romantic hero -- who won the
    fair maiden and her vast
    fortune. This must be a
    deranged compensation for
    some emptiness in life.

              LUCIA
    It‘s all from the play by
    William Shakespeare – his
    dream, a sheik with a spear.

              BALSTADE
    At least, to his credit, he‘s
    an avid playgoer and his
    memory is quite keen.

              LUCIA
    We must contact the players
    at The Theatre.

              BALSTADE
    No, that is the worst thing
    we can do. Seeing the same
    characters, from whom he
    constructed this illusion,
    might caste him deeper into
    the realms of fantasy, from
    which he may never escape.

              LUCIA
    Then what should we do?
                                     Page 83


                BALSTADE
     We must enter and destroy his
     fantasy from within the
     constructs of his own fantasy
     world. I will secure draft
     notes of the play and we will
     stage it here. You will play
     the woman he is in love with,
     fair Portia. Brisana will
     play her maid, Nerissa. Our
     Prince will play Bassanio, as
     he imagines himself to be.
     And I will play Portia‘s
     father come back to life from
     the grave.

               LUCIA
     Are you sure about this?

               BALSTADE
     Nothing in life is certain,
     my dear, but I believe it is
     our only chance. Get
     everything ready. Bring in
     three caskets, one of gold,
     one of silver, one of lead.
     Tomorrow we will stage the
     play, just as he recalls it -
     - with a few minor changes.

               LUCIA
     What changes? Uncle, have
     you tried this before?

               BALSTADE
     This will be the first.
     There is always a first, my
     dear. But, I have tried it on
     myself, once before, and I am
     still here.



INT. TAVERN –- NIGHT

Players are discussing the matter.
                                Page 84


          GRATZIO
He‘s been missing for three
days.

          SOLA
We‘ve looked everywhere.
We‘ve been to every pub East
of the river.

          TOO
Every pub West of the river.

          MOROCHUS
Every docks, where distraught
souls might roam.

          AGON
Every cat house, where, well
-- every cat house.

          TOO
Maybe he‘s been captured --
not by pirates, but by the
throes of love. Three days
have passed -- but to him –
it may only seem like the
passing of an hour.

          SOLA
Perhaps the throes of death
have finally grabbed him. He
was picked up on the street,
and dumped into that graven
pit at the edge of the city.

          GRATZIO
And now, three days hence, he
has been resurrected. Enough
with these bootless
speculations. After another
round, you all must go out in
search again.

           SOLA
And you?
                                     Page 85


               GRATZIO
     I have some business to
     dispatch.

               TOO
     And her name is? Do you not
     even know here name?

               GRATZIO
     Her name is ‗glory,‘ but she
     also goes by ‗beauty,‘
     ‗charm,‘ and ‗delight‘-- and
     she has other names which I
     swore I‘d never mention.

He takes another draft

               GRATZIO
     I could say more but I must
     go.

               ALL
     More, more.

               GRATZIO
     That‘s exactly what she said.

               ALL
     More, more.

               GRATZIO
     If you insist.

               ALL
     More, more.

               GRATZIO
     Alright, when she‘s
     theatrical I might hear: ‗Oh,
     you‘re the best I ever had!‘

               TOO
     ‗Delusional‘ better describes
     it.
                                  Page 86


          GRATZIO
Enough with these comments
from the floor! Do you want
to hear the whole of it or
not?

          ALL
Yes, tell us the whole of it.

          GRATZIO
The whole of it is, well,
when she‘s crude, I might
hear: ‗Stick it to me hard,
baby.‘ When dreamy, with a
touch of the poetic: ‗I love
the way we make love -- like
the motion of the ocean.‘
Punctual: ‗all right then,
make it quick.‘ Indiscreet:
‗Could you do me doggie-
style?‘ Corporate: ‗I have
twenty minutes before my next
meeting.‘ Theatrical: ‗The
world is but a stage,
Gratziano, and your part is a
very big one!‘ Zoological:
‗I think the anaconda,
perhaps, could be cited in
comparison.‘ Tongue-tied:
‗Ah, ah, ah, that was good.‘
Biblical: ‗O my God, O my
God.‘ Nautical: ‗A ship had
come to port -- hurry and
unload the cargo.‘ Military:
‗Stand at attention, soldier!
Now hit the floor and give me
fifty.‘ Evolutionary: ‗Homo
erectus is certainly an
improvement over
Neanderthal.‘ Medical: ‗Let
me find a good yardstick or
two so I can measure it.‘
And that is the whole of it
my friends.

          TOO
Enough with this empty chatter.
                                             Page 87


               GRATZIO
     Yes, enough -- ‗tis time for
     a man to do what a man‘s
     gotta do. Adieu, gentlemen,
     adieu.

GRATZIO exits in triumph.

               TOO
     Its going to be another long
     night, searching in all the
     usual places.

All drink.

               ARRAGON
     So long as the sword is
     mightier than the pen, --
     we‘ll go in search again, and
     again, and again!

All drink.



EXT. OUTSIDE THE TAVERN –- NIGHT

Singing coming from within, “all night long . . .”



EXT. GARDEN HOUSE -- THE GARDEN –- DAY

The outside garden area is set up as the play, with the
three caskets in place. Balstade, playing Portia‘s dead
father, climbs into the lead casket. A picture of Portia,
and a scroll, is also placed in the casket with him. Lucia,
playing the role of Portia, is waiting. Shakespeare, still
dressed as Bassanio, enters in a trance-like state. The
reenactment of play begins.
                                             Page 88


              PORTIA/LUCIA
    I pray you, tarry. Pause a day
    or two | Before you hazard,
    for in choosing wrong | I lose
    your company. Thus, forbear a
    while.| There‘s something
    tells me -- but it is not love
    -- | I dare not lose you; and
    as you well know | Disfavor
    speaks not in such a manner.|
    ‗Tis your two eyes that see a
    broken truth | For they‘ve
    overlooked and divided me. |
    One half of me is yours, the
    other half yours,| Mine own I
    would say—but if mine, then
    yours. I speak too long; but
    ‗tis to slow the time,| To eke
    it and to draw it out in
    length,| To stay you from your
    choice.

              BASSANIO/SHAKESPEARE
    Nay, let me choose,|      For
    as I am, I live upon the rack.

              PORTIA
    Away then! I am locked in one
    of them.| If you do love me,
    you will find me out.

Bassanio approaches the caskets. Music plays, a song is
sung:

              SINGER (O.S.)
    Tell me where is fancy bred,|
    In the heart or in the head?|
    How ‗tis born and how ‗tis
    fed? -- | Tell me, tell me.

              BASSANIO
    So may the outward shows be
    least themselves.| The world
    is ere deceived by ornament.|
    This outer show is but a
    guilèd shore | The seeming
    truth which cunning times put
    on | To trap the wise.
                                             Page 89


     Therefore, thou gaudy gold,| I
     will have none of thee. Nor of
     thee silver; | But thou, thou
     meager lead, which rather
     threatens | And gives no hope
     of promise or gain.| Thy
     plainness moves me more than
     golden lies -- And here I
     choose. May heaven be my
     prize!

Bassanio opens the casket and takes out a picture of
Portia.

               BASSANIO
     ‗Tis not fair Portia! ‗Tis a
     picture showing | A corpse: and
     here‘s a scroll which sums up
     my fate:

He reads.

               BASSANIO
     You that ruin all that‘s true,|
     Show one face but thou have
     two.| Here you‘ve come but to
     receive,| Not to chose, but to
     deceive;| Thou a father‘s heart
     would kill,| Break thy word and
     thus his will.| Now I‘ve come
     to sing my song,| From the
     grave to right this wrong.

Balstade, as Portia‘s dead father, suddenly rises from the
casket. Bassanio pulls back in horror.

               FATHER/BALSTADE
     What have we here? In mine
     own house? An imposter, a
     cheat, a charlatan, come to
     steal my daughter and my
     fortune

               BASSANIO
     It is not true, kind sir --
                                             Page 90


               FATHER
     A liar on top of that! -- for
     I am no sir!

Father is pulled out of the casket by two men in
attendance.

               FATHER
     You shall be cursèd,
     banishèd, and dragged | unto
     the underworld with every
     dark | and horrid spirit that
     walketh the night.

               PORTIA
     Father, I knew nothing of
     this! He deceived us all. I
     was taken in by his charm. He
     comes but for money -- and I,
     blinded by the hope for love,
     did not see it. He is but a
     poor man in debt,
     masquerading as a rich man in
     love.

Nerissa/Brisana is dragged in by two men dressed in black.

               NERISSA/BRISANA
     I helped him, yes, but I did
     it out of love. It was for my
     mistress. I did it for her --
     but he did it for his own
     selfish wants.
                                             Page 91


              FATHER
    You did it with a selfless
    heart -- and for that you are
    forgiven. But here, in mine
    own house, this thief has
    come to take my fortune --
    but now, it is I, who will
    take him. I will drag him by
    his ears to the deepest
    region of Hades, and there I
    will leave him to burn. O
    fool, dressed as a prince,
    abandon all hope: you have
    lost my daughter, you have
    lost my fortune, and now you
    have lost your very soul.

Servants dressed in black grab Shakespeare/Bassanio and
stuff him into the lead casket; they close and latch and
hold down the cover. We hear kicks and muffled screams, but
soon the screaming dies down. Balstade wipes off the white
make-up from his face and sits; Lucia lets her hair down
and sits impatiently and in dread.

              LUCIA
    O uncle, I fear he is lost.
    We may have gone too far.

              BALSTADE
    Faith my dear girl. Your
    prince, your poet, your
    pauper -- whoever he may be -
    - will soon emerge, as if
    back from death, and
    triumphant.



INT. INSIDE THE CASKET -- NIGHT

Blackness. A montage of plays appears to Shakespeare.
Several scenes of lovers sitting together, playing,
kissing, dancing. Then scenes involving fools, magicians,
witches, and apparitions. Then the great kings, feasting.
Then the great kings and princes in despair. Then the
heroes laying dead, and lovers dead in each other‘s arms.
                                             Page 92


INT. THE THEATRE -- ON STAGE -- DAY

Blackness. Lights come on to reveal PROSPERO/Shakespeare‘s
face, then a stage strewn with costumes of kings, duke,
fools, villains, witches, etc. As he speaks, Prospero is
freeing himself from his elaborate stage costume, tossing
off pieces of his costume into the surrounding piles.

               PROPSERO
     And now my charms are
     overthrown,| What strength I
     have is but mine own,| Yet now
     it wanes, grows faint --‗tis
     true,| And is herein confined
     by you,| Here a forgiven
     charmer dwells | On this bare
     island by your spells | I am
     but freed from shrouded bands |
     By gracious clapping of your
     hands | So let the sound
     release this cage | This world
     I‘m in is but a stage. | My
     power‘s fled, my spell‘s recant
     | My art now fails to enchant.
     | I‘ll end a man, but in
     despair, | Lest I‘m relieved by
     sounding prayer | Which pierces
     heaven‘s vaulted sky | And robs
     all falsehood of its lie:| The
     heart of mercy it doth touch,|
     For that I thank you very much.
     | As you from crimes would
     pardoned be, | Let your
     indulgence set me free.

Prospero/Shakespeare bows. Arms outstretched, head back.
Loud, thunderous applause. Standing ovation. Costumes on
stage slowly ascend. Lights fade. Darkness.



EXT. STREET NEAR GARDEN HOUSE –- NIGHT

Gratzio and the rest of the crew are all walking with some
speed and determination.

               GRATZIO
     We will be there soon enough.
                                        Page 93


Gratzio looks up at the street signs.

               TOO
     I‘m beginning to think that
     Will‘s flight may have --
     well that man and his
     daughter could make anyone
     run.

               SOLA
     But she was kinda cute --
     don‘t you think?

               GRATZIO
     We‘re almost there. We‘ll
     find our boy very soon.

               SOLA
     Now I know where I saw her.
     It was seven or eight months
     ago. We had just finished
     Midsummer Night‘s Dream. I
     saw her after the show and we
     got to talking. She was very
     impressed with the play, the
     fairies, and, well -- I could
     not tell her that I played
     the part of a mere wall.

                 GRATZIO
     And?

               SOLA
     And so I told her that I
     wrote the play. That I was
     Will Shakespeare.

               GRATZIO
     And she believed you?

                SOLA
     She could not tell one from
     the other.

                 TOO
     And then?
                                     Page 94


               SOLA
     And then she was so impressed
     that she, well we -- I,
     impressed. . .

               GRATZIO
     It was you who . . .

Gratzio imitates the father.

               GRATZIO
     Done gone and knocked up my
     girl. She musta had her eyes
     closed thinkin‘ you was
     Shakespeare.

                SOLA
     But she‘s kinda cute, don‘t
     you think?
          (no answer)
     Well, I got a better look at
     her this time -- it was kinda
     dark back then.

               GRATZIO
     And quite foggy as well.

               SOLA
     She did look better in the
     light . . .

               GRATZIO
     Here we are.

Gratzio knocks on the door.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- GARDEN –- DAY

Knock is heard.

               LUCIA
     Who is that?

               BALSTADE
     Please send them away. We
     cannot be disturbed.
                                             Page 95




EXT. STREET OUTSIDE GARDEN HOUSE -- DAY

Brisana opens the door. She smiles knowingly at Gratzio and
bids him to come in.



INT. GARDEN HOUSE -- GARDEN –- DAY

Gratzio and others enter.

               BALSTADE
     I said we cannot –

               GRATZIO
     Where‘s Will?

               BRISANA
     He forced himself in.

               GRATZIO
     I did nothing of the sort.
     The doors were wide open --
     so to speak.

               BRISANA
     Well, I could not say ‗no.‘

               BALSTADE
     Now that you‘re here, Pray
     tell, what is it that you
     want?

               GRATZIO
     We‘re actors. We‘re with
     Brayne and Burbage from The
     Theatre. We heard our friend,
     Will Shakespeare might be
     here.

               BALSTADE
     Shakespeare is your friend?

               GRATZIO
     Yes, he‘s gone missing for
     three days.
                                               Page 96


                BALSTADE
     And how did you come upon
     such news?

               GRATZIO
          (holding Brisana)
     A chance meeting with a maid.
     I told her that my friend was
     missing, she told me about a
     strange guest at her house. .
     . we put one and one
     together, and . . . So where
     is he?

               LUCIA (stunned)
     Shakespeare? William
     Shakespeare, the poet?

               GRATZIO
     The player, the poet --
     whatever you want to call
     him. But where is he?

               BALSTADE
     He did not know who he was
     when we found him. He could
     recall nothing from his life.

               GRATZIO
     And do you recall where he
     might be? I don‘t see him
     anywhere.

INT. INSIDE THE CASKET -- NIGHT

Black. Applause   is heard. And empty stage comes into view.
Fades to black.   A loud pounding is heard --someone is
pounding on the   casket from the outside. Cover of casket
opens to reveal   Gratzio‘s face.

               GRATZIO
     Will, Will -- it‘s me,
     Gratzio.

                  SHAKESPEARE
     Who?
                                             Page 97


              GRATZIO
    It‘s me, Gratzio. Do you
    remember?



EXT. GARDEN HOUSE -- GARDEN -- DAY

Shakespeare sits up in the casket.

              SHAKESPEARE
    I don‘t know, I . . .

He looks around, still in a daze. They pull him out.   He is
still getting his bearings.

                 SHAKESPEARE
    Who? What?

               GRATZIO
    Is it you?
         (to Balstade)
    Is he OK?
         (to Shakespeare)
    Will? Say something.

              SHAKESPEARE
    The play. I was running, I
    hit my head -- how is the
    play?

              GRATZIO
    Not the same without you. We
    have another performance at
    two.

              SHAKESPEARE
    Who‘s been playing the part of
    Bassanio?

                 GRATZIO
    Sal.

              SHAKESPEARE
    My play with Sal as Bassanio.
    We must go henceforth -- to
    the Theatre. The play must
    go on.
                                          Page 98


They prepare to exit.

              LUCIA
    Do you know me, William
    Shakespeare? Do you choose
    me?

              SHAKESPEARE
    Choose you for what?

              LUCIA
    Do you not know me?   Do you
    not remember me?

              SHAKESPEARE
    I know beauty when I see it –
    and had I ever seen such
    beauty as yours I surely
    would have remembered it.

              GRATZIO
    Will, save it for the play.
    We must hurry to make the
    show.

              SHAKESPEARE
    Then hurry we must.

They make a quick exit.   Lucia breaks.

              LUCIA
    O uncle, what am I to do? He
    is lost? He was no pauper,
    he was the poet of my heart.

              BALSTADE
    He has found his world again,
    now, my dear, you must find
    yours.

              LUCIA
    I‘m afraid I have no more
    world left to find.
                                              Page 99


INT. THE THEATRE -- BACKSTAGE -- DAY

Shakespeare and Gratzio are backstage, while the play is
going on.

               GRATZIO
     You went missing for three
     days.

               SHAKESPEARE
     But where? I don‘t recall.

Cheering is heard.   Shakespeare looks onto
the stage.

               SHAKESPEARE
          (musing)
     Here we are again, Gratzio.
     The same old Theatre, the
     same empty stage.

               GRATZIO
     Empty, nay, it is full of
     happy faces and cheers for
     you.

               SHAKESPEARE
     Who cares? Those are faces I
     cannot see, cheers I cannot
     hear -- they do not reach my
     heart.

               GRATZIO
     Will, you‘re on.

Shakespeare goes on stage.
                                           Page 100


INT. THE THEATRE -- THE STAGE -- DAY

              SHAKESPEARE / BASSANIO
         (unconvincing)
    Therefore, O gaudy gold,| I
    will have none of thee. Nor
    of thee silver.| But thou, O
    meager lead, which rather
    threatens| And gives no
    promise of increase or gain;|
    Thy plainness moves me more
    than golden lies.| And here I
    choose, may heaven be my
    prize!

Shakespeare/Bassanio opens the casket and takes out a
picture frame, which (from his perspective) is a blank
picture. Behind Shakespeare we can see the actor playing
Portia, and in the audience we find Lucia.

              SHAKESPEARE / BASSANIO
              (sad)
    What have we here? -- a
    portrait of fair Portia.

The play is over. Meager applause.



INT. THE PUB -- NIGHT

Shakespeare is out drinking with Gratzio and others.
Everyone is laughing and celebrating Shakespeare‘s return.
Shakespeare is lost in his own world.



EXT. LONDON STREETS -- NIGHT

Shakespeare is walking alone.



EXT. THE THEATRE -- DAY

The audience is piling into the theatre.
                                           Page 101


INT. BACKSTAGE -- DAY

Gratzio places something in the lead casket.



INT. THE THEATRE -- DAY

The audience is entering the theatre.



INT. THE THEATRE -- BACKSTAGE -- DAY

               SHAKESPEARE
     Something is missing, Gratzio,
     I tell you something is
     missing.

               GRATZIO
     You are missing, Will -- I
     mean you are here, but your
     heart is somewhere else. What
     you need is a little cheer.
     We will go to the pub tonight,
     to your old haunt.   You‘re
     on.

Shakespeare goes on stage.

               SHAKESPEARE
          (from offstage)
     Let me choose, for as I am, I
     live upon the rack.

               PORTIA
          (from offstage)
     Upon the rack Bassanio? Then
     confess | What treason there
     is mingled with your love?

               SHAKESPEARE
          (from offstage)
     None but that ugly treason of
     distrust.
                                            Page 102


INT. THE THEATRE STAGE -- DAY

Shakespeare/Bassanio opens the casket and takes out a
picture frame, which (from his perspective) shows a crass
cartoon picture captioned, ―Live it UP – Gratzio.‖ He
begins to laugh and, no longer in character, he begins to
cry.

              SHAKESPEARE / BASSANIO
              (tearful)
    What have we here? -- a
    portrait of fair Portia.| What
    demigod hath come so near
    creation? | Yet look how far
    the substance of my praise |
    Doth wrong this shadow in
    devaluing it,| Just as this
    copy limps behind her beauty.



EXT. LUCIA‘S GARDEN -- DAY

Lucia in a sad state.



EXT. THE THEATRE -- DAY

The audience is piling into the theatre. Gratzio and
Brisana are present.

              GRATZIO
    He does not recall anything.
    Those three days are a
    complete blank to him.

              BRISANNA
    My lady is so sad. She comes
    everyday. I thought if you
    show him this is might help.

She hands him a picture.



EXT. THE THEATRE -- DAY

The audience is piling into the theatre.
                                            Page 103




INT. BACKSTAGE -- DAY

Gratzio places something in the lead casket.



INT. THE THEATRE -- DAY

The audience is entering the theatre.



INT. THE THEATRE -- THE STAGE -- DAY

Shakespeare / Bassanio opens the casket and takes out a
picture frame, which (from his perspective) holds a picture
of Lucia. Lucia is seen in the audience.

               SHAKESPEARE / BASSANIO
          (surprised) What have we
     here? -- a portrait . . .|
     What demigod hath . . . |
          (off the script)
     What fortune comes upon me now
     -- an angel.| A sight more
     glorious than a master poet |
     could ever hope to write. ‗Tis
     she: That which | I have seen
     all along but could not see |
     Have held in mine own heart
     but couldn‘t touch.

Shakespeare/Bassanio captivated by the site of Lucia slowly
walks toward the front of the stage, speaking only to
Lucia.



INT. THE THEATRE -- BACKSTAGE -- DAY

Sola yelling to Shakespeare on the Stage.

               SOLA
     Will, the play – you‘re off
     the script.
                                                Page 104


INT. THE THEATRE -- THE AUDIENCE -- DAY

    Lucia, stands.

                   SHAKESPEARE
              (to Lucia)
         It‘s as if I have awoken from
         a long dream. Seeing your
         face, your radiant beauty,
         it‘s as if the wonder and
         majesty of both worlds is now
         rushing towards me. . .
              (half to himself)
         So this is what it feels like
         to be alive, to awaken in the
         arms of one‘s beloved. This
         is what the poet‘s write
         about, what the gods envy.
         This is what the spheres of
         heaven celebrate as they
         dance through the evening
         sky.                (to
         Lucia)                  You
         need not ask again -- for I
         know you. A thousand times I
         know you. A thousand times I
         chose you. There will never
         be a past, a present, or a
         future wherein I will not
         choose you.

    Audience cheers the triumph of love.

    INT. THE THEATRE -- BACKSTAGE -- DAY

    The play is over. Shakespeare and others are back stage.
    Lucia is seen alone at the edge of the stage.

    INT. THE THEATRE -- THE STAGE -- DAY

    Shakespeare approaches Lucia.

                   LUCIA
         I too have seen but have not
         seen; I too have heard but
         have not heard. Now it is you
         I see and hear William
         Shakespeare.
                                                 Page 105


                   SHAKESPEARE
         Me lady, may I have this
         dance?

                   LUCIA
         You may have every dance.

    They dance. Others enter stage.

                   GRATZIO
              (to Brisana)
         And may I, dear madam, have
         this dance?

                   BRISANA
         You may, kind sir.

    Musicians, play. The two couples dance on stage.
    Flowers fall.



INT. THE THEATRE -- BACKSTAGE -- DAY

    Sola marries Girl, with Father, Son, and various players
    happily present. Flowers begin to fall and Sola and Girl
    look up. Sola and Girl join the dance on stage.

    Applause, the audience is full again.   Flowers slowly fall.

                                                        FADE OUT.
                 Page 106




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