Monday, April 30, 2012

Fun with Hamlet & His Friends

Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet.
Photo by James Lafayette. Public domain.

My mom had an old mimeograph copy of this Hamlet spoof when I was a kid and thanks to the wonders of the internet, I tracked down a copy of the anonymously written parody in Time Magazine. Time claims the spoof itself first appeared at the 1962 National Education Association convention, but whatever the story behind it, it's just as funny now as it was when I was a kid.

So next time you want to beat yourself up for using too many adverbs or adjectives or you worry your story is too passive, remember you can go to far the other way too!


Fun with Hamlet & His Friends
By Anonymous

See Hamlet run. Run, Hamlet, Run. He is going to his mother's room. 

"I have something to tell you, mother," says Hamlet. "Uncle Claudius is bad. He gave my father poison. Poison is not good. I do not like poison. Do you like poison?"

"Oh, no, indeed!" says his mother. "I do not like poison." 

"Oh, there is Uncle Claudius," says Hamlet. "He is hiding behind the curtain. Why is he hiding behind the curtain? Shall I stab him? What fun it would be to stab him through the curtain." 

See Hamlet draw his sword. See Hamlet stab. 

Stab, Hamlet, Stab. See Uncle Claudius' blood. See Uncle Claudius' blood gushing. Gush, Blood, Gush. See Uncle Claudius fall. How funny he looks, stabbed. Ha, ha, ha. 

But it is not Uncle Claudius. It is Polonius. Polonius is Ophelia's father. 

"You are naughty, Hamlet," says Hamlet's mother. "You have stabbed Polonius." 

But Hamlet's mother is not cross. She is a good mother. Hamlet loves his mother very much. Hamlet loves his mother very, very much. Does Hamlet love his mother a little too much? Perhaps. 

See Hamlet run. Run, Hamlet, Run. 

"I am on my way to find Uncle Claudius," Hamlet says. 

On the way he meets a man. "I am Laertes," says the man. "Let us draw our swords. Let us duel." 

See Hamlet and Laertes duel. See Laertes stab Hamlet. See Hamlet stab Laertes.

See Hamlet's mother drink poison. See Hamlet stab King Claudius. 

See everybody wounded and bleeding and dying and dead. 

What fun they are having! 

Wouldn't you like to have fun like that?

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