Set against the stifling conformity of pre-World War I English society, E.M. Forster's Maurice is a story of coming to terms with one's sexuality and identity in the face of disapproval and misunderstanding. Maurice Hall (James Wilby) and Clive Durham (Hugh Grant) find themselves falling in love at Cambridge. In a time when homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment, the two must keep their feelings for one another a complete secret. After a friend is arrested and disgraced for "the unspeakable vice of the Greeks", Clive abandons his forbidden love and marries a young woman. Maurice, however, struggles with his identity and self-confidence, seeking the help of a hypnotist to rid himself of his undeniable urges. But while staying with Clive and his naive wife, Anne, Maurice is seduced by the affectionate and yearning servant Alec Scudder (Rupert Graves), which brings about profound changes in Maurice's life and outlook.