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Spoofing Shakespeare

When we think about the word “spoof,” what usually come into mind are Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, National Lampoon movies, and a bunch of other movies and television shows. Merriam Webster defines parody as “a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule.” In this article, the focus of the spoofs are on William Shakespeare.

Creating spoofs based on the works of this great English writer is not an unexpected thing. Shakespeare has been widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist, thereby making him an easy prey for paroders.

Shakespeare’s works consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several others. This article will focus on three of his popular plays: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth.

This parody focuses on one of the epic scenes of the play: Juliet’s suicide. When Juliet awoke and found Romeo lifeless beside her, she took the dagger and plunged it onto herself. This clip speaks of “What if Juliet had a Gay Friend?” and in this video, a sassy one at that. It shows humor in a way that does not put offense on the stereotype. The gay friend saves Juliet by being this bubbly person who speaks his mind and is not ashamed of his own thoughts. Back in Shakespeare’s time, women were not treated or seen equally as men. They had to be the prim and proper misses who curtsy and had to say the right and tame remarks and to do as they’re told by their men. It was a caveman attitude covered by frills and laces in that era.

I’ve considered Hamlet as one of the most tragic plays of this English writer. I had the feeling that somehow this play has an obvious similarity to the modern times. This parody covers the general story of Hamlet in sixty seconds. This is pretty much the kind of synopsis I would have wanted when I was in highschool, going past the thous, haths, doeths, and thees and onto okay, oh, what, and the shorter version of those old conversations. I admit that I experienced difficulty when I tried to read the original writings of Shakespeare. I was attracted to the idea of reading a whole play written in his words, but five pages down and my mind was gasping for air because I am a person who enjoys his words modern and his conversations straight to the point. This video tickled my funny bone because I would actually go for something like this in my mind if I was told to create a summary for this play.

It placed a smile on my face when I found this clip. I’ve been a fan of The Simpsons ever since I can recall and I’ve never seen this episode before. I have nothing much to say about this clip because seeing Homer do the lead and Marge as the ghost sent butterflies to my stomach and electricity through my fingers to search the net for the full video of this. At the end of this YouTube video, Homer says “Me having to read all those plays would be the real tragedy” and it was something I can relate to. Like I said earlier, I was never a fan of Old English in its actual form but give me these plays in a modern revision then you can find me stuck at home all day until I can get all the tragic reading I can get.

I remember hearing Shakespeare’s name for the first time and it was attached to Romeo and Juliet. I was around six years old and it has not left my memory bank since then. When highschool came and I had to get to know about him, I was amazed at how much work he has done. I guess a world without television would inspire you to put out your imagination. With that said, I wonder if I could finish writing a play if I was born in that era like William. Because I was not and will never be born in that time, the I’ll have to settle for doing my new goal in life: to finish at least six Shakespearean plays and take the time to enjoy watching parodies and lampoons inspired by his works.











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Sancho Fernando F. Oaminal

Categories: Multimedia Essays
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