Study Guide

Shakespeare in Love Mr. Hugh Fennyman (Tom Wilkinson)

Mr. Hugh Fennyman (Tom Wilkinson)

Fenny for Your Thoughts

Hugh Fennyman is "the money"— the man who finances the plays that Mr. Henslowe puts on at the Rose. When he lights a fire under Henslowe's feet (literally) to make him pay back his debts, Henslowe lights a fire under Shakespeare's rear (his Shakesrear if you will) to write a new play.

Without Fennyman igniting the action like this, we wouldn't have a movie… and we wouldn't have Romeo and Juliet. For such a minor character, he has major influence.

Out of all the film's minor characters— and like a Shakespeare play, there are many— Fennyman gets the most dramatic scene when he is given a dramatic scene in Romeo and Juliet. He takes his role as the Apothecary very seriously. His stage fright humanizes him, after he's been a ruthless loan shark for most of the film.

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