* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: The movie is this for many historical figures.
** Creator/WilliamShakespeare was an uncouth, foul, egotiscal buffoon and [[spoiler:murderer of Christopher Marlowe.]]
** Queen Elizabeth I was not the Virgin Queen but a sex-hungry despot who had so many bastard kids she lost track of them [[spoiler:and ended up banging one of them.]]
** Edward de Vere was the true author of Shakespeare's plays, a tortured artist who wrote in secret because of his puritanical family, and [[spoiler:the child and incestuous lover of Queen Elizabeth.]]
* CriticalResearchFailure: Numerous, but one of the more baffling ones involves Edward De Vere plucking a red-and-white Tudor rose from a bush and admiring its beauty. For those unaware, ''there is no such thing as a RealLife Tudor rose''- it's a symbol of the unification of England under TheHouseOfTudor after [[UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses the Wars of the Roses.]]
** Anything and everything involving the chronology of the events involved- see ArtisticLicenseHistory.
** In the film, Shakespeare's peers are baffled at the idea of a play written entirely in verse. In that time period, however, ''every'' play was written mostly or entirely in verse.
* GeniusBonus: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]. The film can be pretty hard to understand without some prior knowledge of Shakespeare and his time period, due to the AnachronicOrder of the plot. However, if you ''do'' have that knowledge, [[EnragedByIdiocy the inaccuracies in the film will drive you mad.]]
* RealLifeRelative: Vanessa Redgrave plays the older Elizabeth; the younger Elizabeth is played by Redgrave's daughter, Joely Richardson.
* RealitySubtext: Creator/DerekJacobi (the Narrator) is a very prominent Anti-Stratfordian advocate. He also played the Chorus (i.e. the narrator) in Creator/KennethBranagh's ''Theatre/HenryV''.