* AwardSnub:
** According to some, this was what ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'' was snubbed in favor of, allegedly due to a campaign by Miramax. A campaign so effective, in fact, the Academy members are said to have actually booed [[SugarWiki/SoCoolItsAwesome the latter film]]. Needless to say, the film gets A LOT of hate for said snub. [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} Rejection, thy name is]] ''[[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} Ryan.]]''
** Likewise Gwyneth Paltrow winning the Oscar for Best Actress in favour of (at the time) the relatively unknown Cate Blanchett for ''{{Film/Elizabeth}}''.
* ComedyGhetto: The last comedy to win Best Picture until the BlackComedy ''{{Birdman}}'', which came out in 2014. This film was released in 1998.
* FreudWasRight: When Will is talking to his physician, saying that his inspiration is coming along difficultly, like trying to pick a lock with a wet herring...
-->'''Shakespeare:''' "It is as thought the organ of my imagination has dried up.. the proud tower of my genius has collapsed..."
-->'''Physician:''' "Interesting..."
-->'''Shakespeare:''' "Nothing comes."
-->'''Physician:''' "Most interesting...!"
* GeniusBonus:
** In Ned Alleyn's introductory scene, he enthusiastically rattles off a list of leading roles that he's played in Marlowe's plays, then dismissively adds that he also played [[Theatre/HenryVI King Henry VI]] when he notices Shakespeare in earshot. If you're familiar with the ''Henry VI'' trilogy, you can understand why Ned might not think highly of the role: Henry VI is a glorified side character in the play named for him, as the play is actually about the fracturing of the English nobility in the UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses; Henry had almost no notable accomplishments to his name, and he's largely remembered as [[NeverLiveItDown the incompetent weakling who allowed England to descend into Civil War because he couldn't control his nobles]].
** Other than ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', the three Shakespeare plays explicitly referenced in this film are ''Theatre/TwoGentlemenOfVerona'' (which the actors are shown performing), ''Theatre/HenryVI'' and ''Theatre/TitusAndronicus'' (which are both mentioned in dialogue). If you're familiar with the timeline of Shakespeare's career, this should immediately make it clear that the movie takes place at an early point in his life. Scholars generally agree that those are three of Shakespeare's earliest plays, and that one of them was probably the very first play he ever wrote (though it's almost impossible to know ''which'' one). [[note]] Dating is rather inexact, since most plays in the Elizabethan era weren't actually published until long after they were written, and after they had already been performed for years. But by comparing the plays and analyzing their composition, scholars have at least managed to develop a rough idea of which plays came first.[[/note]]
** Every trope that happens in this movie - SweetPollyOliver, KingIncognito, etc. - refers to similar tropes that pop up - often repeatedly - in Shakespeare's plays.
* HilariousInHindsight: The Earldom of Wessex hadn't existed for nine hundred years when this movie came out with a fictional Lord Wessex as the villain; a year after the film's release, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex on his marriage. Maybe the Queen was a fan of the film?
** Actually, it was Prince Edward's idea.
** Likewise, Creator/GeoffreyRush's eagerness to do a play [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean about pirates]].
* HypeBacklash: [[InvertedTrope Inverted.]] People seem to forget it's quite a good movie due to anger over the Best Picture win. Among Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics, its Tomatometer and average review score are nearly identical to ''Ryan'''s.
* {{Narm}}: Lampshaded.
-->"Gentlemen, good e'en! A woorrrrd with one of you!"
-->"...are you going to do it like that?"
* OneSceneWonder: Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth I. Eight minutes of screentime total, and one Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
* TearJerker: [[spoiler:Will and Viola parting at the end, never to meet again.]]
-->'''Will''': You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.
* TheyCopiedItSoItSucks: There was some controversy at the time of the film's release due to its alleged similarity to the mid-20th-century novel ''No Bed For Bacon'' by Caryl Brahms and S J Simon.