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I know I always say you shouldn’t knock other writers, but sometimes, you just have to make an exception.

It seems wherever I look these days, there’s someone or other going on about how great that Shakespeare bloke is. Well I’m sorry, but as far as I’m concerned, the guy’s a shameless hack, stealing other people’s ideas and passing them off as his own work.

He tries to hide it by setting all his stories back in the olden days, but he doesn’t fool me for a moment. That so called ‘classic’ Romeo and Juliet? It’s just West Side Story without the singing, and anyone who’s ever seen The Lion King knows where he got the idea for Hamlet. Frankly, I’m surprised Disney hasn’t sued the guy.

And another thing; what’s with all the funny-sounding words and talking in rhymes? Talk about stuck in the past. Dr. Suess was doing that forty years ago.

People go on and on about how everything Shakespeare writes is great, but I’m not joining in. I’ll grant you, that Henry V thing was quite good, but Henries I thru IV must have gone straight to DVD ‘cause I never saw so much as a movie trailer for any of ‘em, did you? Maybe he was doing a George Lucas and made episode five first, but I doubt it.

Speaking of George Lucas, people thought he was a bit cheeky naming a character after his dog, Indiana, but at least he never named a lead character after himself, like a certain person did in Shakespeare in Love.

It’s possible that Shakespeare used to be good, but he sold out a long time ago. These days it’s all about sponsorship and product placement. Have you read the script for Macbeth? You just know there’ll be a commercial break around that ‘Out out damn spot’, line. If you think that’s bad, wait till you see who he’s got lined up to sponsor Othello. What’s he gonna call his next script? Monopoly?

Why do people let him get away with it? That’s what I wanna know. In Barnes & Noble the other day, I overheard a sales clerk telling some customers that Antony and Cleopatra was Shakespeare’s own creation. Lucky I was there to set him straight. I’m a bit of a history buff, and I know for a fact that story’s based on two real people who lived back in Roman times (the one between yore and the good old days). What a rip off! He didn’t even bother to change their names!

Still, good luck to the guy. Why should Bill Shakespeare care what I think? He’s sitting in his Hollywood mansion, soaking up the praise and counting his money, right?

He’s probably already working on his next blockbuster. With all this global warming fuss going on, I expect it’ll be some kind of disaster movie, like The Storm or The Hurricane or The Blizzard, just you wait and see.

So my question for today is: Just who does that Shakespeare bloke think he is?


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( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
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selfavowedgeek
Dec. 12th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
RE: "and talking in rhymes"

Yeah, just passing off doggerel verse as dramatic scripting.

As if!
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Exactly :)
maryjdal
Dec. 12th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, he'll have his fifteen minutes and vanish into the night. :)
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
yep. Give it a year so and it'll be Sheik-who?

Edited at 2010-11-30 07:40 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
We'll see if his work can stand the test of time :)
karen_w_newton
Dec. 12th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford?

But seriously, you are a hoot! Actually, as I understand it, old Will really did borrow heavily from myths and legends, at least as far as plot. But, of course, copyright laws were a lot looser then. -)
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
'Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford'

I heard his real name was Englebert Puckthwaite - the illegitimate son of a pickle vendor from Norfolk, but then again, I've been wrong in the past :)
(no subject) - saetter - Dec. 12th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karen_w_newton - Dec. 12th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
mmerriam
Dec. 12th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
I still respect his early work...
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but the special effects weren't up to much :)
cathschaffstump
Dec. 12th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Really, he's just this lucky guy whose portfolio survived into modern times, and he's famous more for quantity than quality.

Who did Shakespeare think he was? Steven Spielberg. :)

Just don't believe his press.

Catherine
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
Hah! As if Shakespweare could ever have made Jaws ;)
a_r_williams
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
The G.O.A.T. perhaps?
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
I know he did one with an ass, but I can't recall anything with a goat in it. Which one was that? ;)
martyn44
Dec. 12th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Such a ham I have to borrow someone else's catchphrase to sum him up - the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
If he was great, he's lost his touch. I haven't seen anything new from him in years ;)
asakiyume
Dec. 12th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Roman times (the one between yore and the good old days)

I'd love to see a timeline with these labels :-)
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
Lol, it might make for an interesting history chart :)
dlgarfinkle
Dec. 12th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
And the classic literary film Ten Things I Hate About You was so much better than that rip-off Taming of the Shrew.

Thanks for the morning laugh!
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Exactly :)
clarionj
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
LOL, thanks for giving me something fun to start the day (well, start the baking part of the day/the earlier part was errands). I love how you managed this, finding all these modern tellings. Now I want more--a movie based on some lunatic trying to dismantle Shakespeare.
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
'...a movie based on some lunatic trying to dismantle Shakespeare.'

You mean like a sort of Bard of the Opera? :)
peadarog
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
He thinks he's Bocaccio. Or Petrarch.

Oh, and btw, he really genuinely *did* rip off other people's work -- but that's just the way it was done in those days...
bogwitch64
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, he really did; and he wasn't even sly about it. Just ripped off playwright after playwright, willy-nilly, and did it so much better that no one remembers who they are now.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Dec. 12th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peadarog - Dec. 12th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
jakobdrud
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
I think what's really annoying you is that he's come to all this fame without following your guide to self-promovation. I mean, the guy doesn't even have a blog!
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
He doesn't even return my emails :(
bogwitch64
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
You know what I heard? There's no actual "Shakespeare" at all. It's some guy by the name of Kenneth, I believe the last name is Branaugh or something like that. A Brit, of course, but that's what I heard.
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
You could be on to something here. Perhaps he's a lot of people, just like The dread Pirate Roberts :)
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Dec. 12th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Dec. 12th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
He's clearly a man of mystery :)
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( 47 comments — Leave a comment )

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