Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Bard on Obama

The Bard Version of O and Joe

Ready to Return to School: Ok, boys and girls, school is about to begin and the election campaigns are at full throttle. In the interest of fulfilling your Humanities requirement we will discuss the Bard (had you done your assigned reading you would know that’s William Shakespeare) and the upcoming presidential election (you remember, Political Science?). This will be accomplished by taking quotes from characters in various Shakespearean plays and attaching them to the current cast of candidate characters. Just in case you did not complete your homework the candidates are, Democrat: Senator Barack Obama, president, and Senator Bill Biden, vice president. The Republican candidate for president is Senator John McCain and his VP is a draft choice to be named later. Ok, shhhhh, curtain’s going up:

Act I Scene I: Republican National Committee Chair Mike Duncan as Romeo asks, “What Light through yonder window breaks?” The media and Republicans scramble to try to identify the Demo Vice Presidential candidate. Once Joe Biden has been named VP, Duncan as Romeo continues “A pair of star crossed lovers. A plague on both your houses.” Duncan then asks Senator McCain when he will select his running mate and McCain, as Macbeth replies: “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.” Fox News reporters are beginning to pester McCain for a hint as to his running mate. Sean Hannity asks if Mitt will be the second banana. McCain, as Hamlet replies, “To be or not to be. That is the question.” As scene I ends Senator McCain is talking on the phone to Joe Lieberman who is begging to know if he is the chosen one. McCain, as Caesar responds, “Et tu Brute?”

Act I Scene II: A flashback from 18 months earlier, Hillary, as Cleopatra commands, “Give me my robe, put on my crown.” Upstage in the present day the CNN newsroom is abuzz. The Democratic VP has yet to be announced and speculation runs wild. Might it be Hillary despite her repeated denials? Wolf Blitzer, as the queen in Hamlet howls, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.” Amid the hubub Bill Clinton as Duke Orsino cries, “If music be the fruit of love, play on. Give me excess of it” Nigh midnight the VP candidate has not been yet identified. A CNN Obamaniac waits for the text message and ponders as Hamlet, “To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub.” When Senator Biden finally realizes he is the chosen one he responds as Prospero in The Tempest, “Such stuff as dreams are made on.” Bill Clinton as Richard the Third, laments, “Now is the winter of our discontent.” Geraldine Ferraro, as Claudio moans, “Oh, what men dare do!”

Act II Scene I: The scene opens outside the Old State Capital in Springfield, Illinois. Senator Obama, as Jacques in As You Like it is ready to introduce his VP candidate, “All the world’s a stage, the men and women merely players.” Joe Biden as Hamlet to Obama, “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, than are dreampt of in your philosophy.” As Omama mounts the stage, he turns to Biden and says as Hamlet, “My words fly up. My thoughts remain below.” He begins his speech as Mark Antonius with, “Friends, Romans, and Countrymen, lend me your ears.” He continues as Lysander, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” And finally, as Malvolio, Senator Obama introduces his Vice Presidential candidate by telling the crowd, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” The curtain falls whilst Senator Biden orates to the crowd.

Act II Scene II: Senator Biden is still on stage. He praises his maybe new boss as Richard III, “So wise, so young,” then focuses on the current administration as Marcellus, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” then begins to praise his opponent as Hamlet, “What a piece of work is that man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties.” But soon reminds the audience that Senator McCain owns seven houses, “All that glitters is not gold,” Finally describing their parting when McCain gave in to the right wing, as Hamlet, “Alas poor Yoric, I knew him well.” In the McCain camp pundit Bill Bennett warns as Cesar, “He has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.” Bennett cites an old speech of Biden’s and as Claudio chortles, “Done to death by slanderous tongue.” As the curtain falls, Bill Clinton as Hamlet helps Hillary plan for her future, “Get thee to a nunnery.”

Act III Scene I: The curtain rises on the Fox News desk planning another fair and balanced script on Obama mania. A producer mumbles, “Eye of newt, and toe of frog.” After watching Obama’s speech another producer, as Hamlet, cries, “Oh villain, villain, smiling damn villain!”

Act III Scene II, the Finale: The crowds are gone. Signs are scattered on the statehouse steps. Senator Obama is reflecting with Senator Biden that the news media was not content to wait for the text message, but had a two-day feeding frenzy. As Iago, Obama laments, “How poor are they that have not patience.” The new veep candidate puts his arm around the shoulders of his running mate and as Celia says, “Now we go in content. To Liberty, and not to banishment. Curtain falls. Loyal supporters cheer. The other party jeers and throws rotten fruit.

A little blogging music Maestro... The soundtrack from the movie, “Shakespeare in Love.”

Dr. Forgot
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