Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Posted by M.H. Forsyth
Usually, parodies of Shakespeare are rubbish. People think that if you throw in a few thous, prithees and marry nuncles that that's enough. It's not. Because if you've ever read much Elizabethan drama you'll know that that is how they all spoke. Moreover, they usually fail to make any use at all of blank verse, which means that the Shakespeare parody is nothing more than godwottery, gadzookery and a blizzard of well-known archaisms.
That's why the video below is fantastic. Not only have the writers put it mostly into iambics, not only do they have occasional references to actual Shakespeare lines (making the beast with two backs with the moor), but they have zeroed in, as all good parodies do, on Shakespeare's weaknesses. Will's love of puns and word play is often quite preposterous. Before watching this you should know that tread, for example, was an Elizabethan term for sex and for foot, thus setting up a ridiculously overinvolved set of puns on the subject of foot massages. And the silliness of "dropping the rock of horror as though he were a mere stone" and "The rock's words stick and stutter as stones themselves/And roll smooth no more" is just what Shakespeare would have done.
Were I in LA I would be buying tickets now.
Eagle eyed readers will have worked out by now, that this is a Shakespearean reworking of the film Pulp Fiction, familiarity with which is probably necessary for full enjoyment.