It's 1589, a time of religious turmoil in Protestant England when to be Catholic could be a death sentence - Will Shakespeare arrives from a small town to the wild streets of London with little more than a dream and a treacherous letter.
Will is plagued with guilt over the arrest of a rival playwright, and he makes a dangerous confession to the sightly, rebellious Alice. The future of the theatre is jeopardized when another playhouse tempts a popular actor.
An unexpected arrival from out-of-town sends Will's world spinning. A transcendental experience leads Marlowe to deal with his past. Topcliffe deciphers a code that throws Will into a life and death situation.