Shakespeare in Loathing
10 October 2015
Researchers in Wales have discovered evidence that one William
Shakespeare, author of theatrical plays famous throughout the world, was also a
businessman who dealt in grain and hoarded it during a food shortage. He was
arrested for this offense. (This is all true.)
SHAKESPEARE IN LOATHING
(A Play in one Act)
A Court in
England – Year 1608
Magistrate: (Finishing a case. A forlorn man stands before
him.) So for you sir, a fitting sentence for a man fit to steal the grog of
his neighbor. You shall be fitted to the stocks in Dorchester Square for the
entire day of Wednesday for the entire publik to scorn. I hope you will see fit
to control your passions so that we will not have to control them for you.
Man: (Humbled by the verdict) Yes, Sire.
The man is escorted out by a guard.
Magistrate: (To his aide) So, another bit of soiled
laundry washed and aired. Dear Kentworth, what joyous bit of social engagement
are we to delight in next?
Kentworth: Well, Sir, let me take a look.......hmm... It seems
we have an actor appearing before us.
Magistrate: (He snorts in derision) An actor? I
presume he is a debtor who some boarding house woman is finally turning the
screws on to get the last three months due!
Kentworth: Nay, Sir. It would seem that he is hoarding grain
during our time of famine.
Magistrate: (Flabbergasted) Hoarding grain at a time like
this. A black bastard is he! Have him appear!
Kentworth (Rises and speaks loudly) Guard, please allow
entrance to a Mr. (looks at the paper and reads) ..ah.... William
The guard brings in a prim man, well dressed, but
somewhat disheveled with bits of hay from the jail cell strutting out here and
there on his wardrobe.
Kentworth: Would you stand before the Magistrate, Mr.
Magistrate: (Leans forward to take in the man before him)
So, Mr. Shakespeare, what sort of folly is this I am to attend to? You have
been hoarding grain? What a foul villain are you to do such in a time of great
want among the people?
Shakespeare: (Bold, frightened but hiding it; searching
desperately for the right words to say to free him from these circumstances.)
Aye, great Sir, that is the strife laid upon me, but a grievous one.
Magistrate: A grievous one? How so?
Shakespeare: True it be that I am a grain master and do lord over
several silos thereof, but, verily Lord, it is with the intention of the people
at heart. I save the fodder for the days when true starvation clappers upon
Magistrate: Hold, fellow, hold! Was it not read to me that you
are an actor? I see by the straw of your costume that you carry yet your
profession off the stage and out into the world at large. How did an actor come
to be a merchant of grain? It would seem to be the two most unlikely of
professions to be dancing a duet!
Shakespeare: Largely Lord, that accusation is false as well. I am
Magistrate: (Laughs loudly) A playwright! (Sarcastically.)
Twell, that puts thee in with a whole higher level of company than I suspected
you kept. Your status in society is immensely elevated thereby, much as a worm
is greatly elevated by being hoisted aloft by a passing hungry raven! (Kentworth
guffaws at this witticism.) Yes, indeed, a playwright! But not an actor? Or
be you an upstart crow who merely tramps about in the plumage of a greater
Shakespeare: (He is having a great difficulty swallowing this.
He stammers, but marches on forward.) Aye, Sir, playwright and actor. One
cannot survive without the other.
Magistrate: (He is having much fun with this.) Yes,
indeed, good Sir! The one with too much in his head invents words for the one
with too little! A fine marriage! But, pray Sir, It is rare that both inhabit
the same living corpse.
Shakespeare: (Humiliated, but holding in his anger and wrath
and insult) I have learned the arts from being both. The experience of one
supplies knowledge and wisdom to the other. (Taking a risk) I am widely
admired amongst my critics, Sir.
Magistrate: As is the pickpocket amongst fellow thieves.
Shakespeare: (Almost to the breaking point, but struggling to
keep control and not be insulted.) So it may seem , Sir. But my plays are widely
Magistrate: (Not relinquishing an inch) Yea, by do-nothings,
layabouts and drunkards who have no other way to pass their day! Ha, Sir! I
should have you taken to the gaol for being a vagrant as there is little
difference in the two vocations. But then I guess we must account for your
'other profession', that of being a grain hoarder. Are you awaiting that
starvation will loosen purses which will greater the stores of your money while
your stores of oats drain?
Shakespeare: Nay, Sir. I merely maintain a strong hand in keeping
my business a business. An eagle cannot be lax when mice are about.
Magistrate: I would imagine that such has truth in it. I could
also imagine that the eagle that guards the prize also feeds well off the mice
that he fights against. You, sir, I suspect, are a black villain. Jehovah
Himself will witness upon me that I witness here in this court every manner of
scallywag who will lift a pence off a body living or dead. I will keep you for
two days here in hand while I have agents determine the extent of your
'business'. But that should profit yourself as well. It should give you time
for working your 'profession' of playwright in great solitude. I know that
genius needs stillness and quiet. A couple of days enclosure should stimulate
all manner of clever dialogue!
Shakespeare: (defeated, his head is bowed) Aye, Sir, aye.
(The guard begins to be take him out.)
Kentworth: (He interrupts the procedure) Hold, my man. I
mean to ask; I believe I have seen your latest performance. What was the name
Shakespeare: The title of the piece is 'Coriolanus'.
Kentworth: Does it not begin with a scene of a mob out to rob
the hero of his life as he has robbed them of grain?
Shakespeare: As, Sir, it does.
Magistrate: Blackheart! Gouger! Viper!
Kentworth: Hypocrite! Blood greed! Scoundrel!
Magistrate: A proper sentence for you sir would be for the
fiction of your work to become the reality of your life! You foul the name of even
the gaol you will pestify with your presence! I should be shamed that I am so
lenient with you! A noose would be a better fit to you, sir, and more just! May
your name be forever linked with intrigue, scandal, and comedies of errors!
Begone with thee! Out of my sight!
Shakespeare: (To himself) They jest at scars that never
felt a wound. (Aloud) A plague on both your houses! (He is dragged
- - - -
It could perchance prove to be, being as the scholarly study was completed at Aberystwyth,
Wales, that the derision of character made against said perpetrator William
Shakespeare is perhaps due more to the Welsh tradition of caustic abrasion
against the moral character of their British overlords rather than a true
defect of character on the part of the Bard. One is always wise to err on the
side of reasonableness than to taint the possibly innocent.
Rfreed is the pseudonym for the Ghostriderwriter which is the pseudonym for the Laptop finger lapdancer which is the pseudonym for Paperwaster which is the pseudonym for Mark Twain which is the alias for Mitch McConnell.
Sometimes I wonder if I exist at all.
In my alter ego I have to go out and work a real job. What a drag.........