Study Guide

Shakespeare in Love Mr. Hugh Fennyman (Tom Wilkinson)

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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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