Scene: Rome, the Capitol, the year 44 BC.
Caesar: Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!
Cinna: Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Cassius: Uh, not so fast, Cinna. Now that I think of it, Caesar wasn't all that bad a guy.
Decius: Now you tell us!
Cassius: He was always buying us drinks, handing us free tickets to the Coliseum, fixing us up with friends of Cleopatra ...
Casca: Maybe we can glue him back together?
Lepidus: What do we do, Brutus?
Brutus: I've got it! When I address the rabble, I'm going to say "Friends, Romans, and Countrymen, lend me your ears. I'm also going to need a torso. And some legs. And a head."
Above is a rare reproduction of the first draft of a key scene from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar which only goes to prove that even with Shakespeare, as with all writers, the first draft is always shit.
I was fortunate to find this excerpt so as to be able to avoid writing my own contribution for Friday Fictioneers this week based on the prompt above. There are many other noble contributors to the Forum this week proclaiming their own works for the prompt, however, and you can beseech them all by clicking here.
As for me, well, humor should be made of funnier stuff! I'll try not to lean so much on the Bard next week and endeavor to develop my own personal very shitty first draft instead.
Haha! Good one, Perry. I never imagined "Lend me your ears" was meant literally, but hey, I wasn't there. I only memorized part of the speech.
Thanks, Janet. Yes, it was meant literally and it took several hours for Brutus to return all the ears before Mark Anntony was allowed to speak. And I was there!
Speak for yourself. My first drafts always shine like a highly polished turd. Oh wait...that's still shit. Nevermind.
Yes, but that that too solid turd shall melt and ... what am I saying?! I like your turds very much, polished or otherwise.
One of your more hilarious - and that is saying something. I wrote mine just for you!
You did? Awwww, you shouldn't have. Wait a minute, why the hell not? It's about time I got an accolade or two. You should have! And I'm headed over there right now!
Okay, folks, I'm breaking the fourth wall here, or whatever that expression is, to try to steer some business to my previous post. Yes, I'll stoop to anything, this we already know. Watch as I attempt to convince readers to go to PerryCare.gov to actually sign up for Obamacare. Yes, I know it's cheap and sleazy but it doesn't cost anything and I'm a whore, what can I tell you? Okay, let's watch, shall we?
Very funny! And you can't have my ears, damn it!
Too bad Michael Jackson isn't still alive. Maybe you could have gotten his nose.
Not even for a torso? Boy, you drive a tough bargain, Jan!
And speaking about a bargain, don't forget to sign up for Obamacare on the PerryCare. gov website! It's just a click away at http://t.co/wZW12GIxSJ.
Friends, Romans, and Countrymen, lend me your noses? It does have a certain ring to it ...
Thanks, and you'll sure be smiling after you sign up for Obamacare the free and easy way at PerryCare. gov. Do it today at http://t.co/wZW12GIxSJ!
Thank you for sharing this obscure draft from the Bard. It restores my faith in the writing profession. I can't lend an ear though. They fit my aging head.
Pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, that I am meek and gentle with these butchers....
Loved the idea of Marc Antony plying the crowd for swaps.... hilarious.
hahaha i had no idea that Shakespeare was capable of such shit. hilarious! :) :)
Your posts always leave me laughing, Perry. Well played!
O noble Perry, thou art so affable in thy ways, so sublimely amusing, a veritable ray on sunshine on a cloudy day. I come not to bury Perry, I come to praise him. Ron
I laughed out loud at this one, Perry. How lucky we were you found this first draft. I'd hate to have missed the chance to read it.
I've been meaning to talk to you about at least one of your ears. I need replacement parts for my two aging ears! I'll trade ya a nose for them .... gladly!
And don't forget, Rochelle, free and easy registration for Obamacare is just a click away at PerryCare.gov at http://t.co/wZW12GIxSJ. Do it for those you love.
Thou art the remains of the noblest man that ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood! ....
And in these confines in a monarch's voice "CRY HAVOC!"
And let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth!
With carrion men groaning for burial ....
Yep, I wrote this part in the First Folio. That Shakespeare needed a hell of a lot of help. And if you should need any help with Obamacare, don't forget to log into PerryCare.gov at http://t.co/wZW12GIxSJ for all your health insurance needs!
A fun story! Ah, that clever Shakespeare, still full of surprises. You know, Caesar does sound like a good buddy, with all those favors he gave out. When Caesar handed Brutus free tickets to the Coliseum, maybe they weren't good seats? That'd push anyone into a murderous rage.
Wow... what a find! Good one, Perry!
Then you've certainly never read "Love's Labors Lost and Good Riddance," "Romeo and Herbie," or "As You Whine It." Without a good editor this guy was another E.L.James.
And don't forget to check out PerryCare.gov at http://t.co/wZW12GIxSJ for all your Obamacare needs!
Thank you, Dawn.
And you can make the right play for your health care insurance by going over to the exciting new portal I've developed at PerryCare.gov! It's at http://t.co/wZW12GIxS.
Thank you, Ron! And I cometh to line you up with greateth health insurance under my new excitingeth Website PerryCare.gov at at http://t.co/wZW12GIxS. Goeth there sooneth!
Just a bit of Caesar glue and he's back to normal again. A good toga will cover the scars. :)
And that's not all I found. There's a first draft called "Anthony and Bubbles Saperstein." Imagine all the rewriting went into that!
And don't miss my special Obamacare website at http://t.co/wZW12GIxS. Everything you need to know!
I understand that the seats were not that great. They were under a lion and Caesar hadn't told Brutus. No wonder Brutus et tuted!
Don't forget my special Obamacare website at http://t.co/wZW12GIxS. All questions answered.
Just fell into my lap, so to speak. Not that anything else ever has!
Thank you for solving the problem. Now kindly help me get my protagonists out of Rome because the rejuvenated Caesar will kill them!
And don't miss the brand new Obamacare website at http://t.co/wZW12GIxS!
This is a great first draft! I had no idea that Shakespeare was as funny as you are :-)
Really, Jan? You had no idea that Shakespeare wrote for the Stooges? He came up with the eye poke!
And thanks for visiting PERRYCARE.GOV!
I don't want anything that's belonged to someone else. Whether on temporary or permanent loan. But Shakespeare should be shaking in his boots... Well done. :)
This brings new-found respect for Shakespeare. That guy was too serious! It's good to know he wasn't perfect. Might I suggest Guerrilla Glue to put him back together?
Quit nagging already! I visited on Facebook! Go Obama!
I'll take Shakespeare's brain if it's offered, I think. Otherwise, I think you're right! Thanks, Sandra!
Never heard of Guerilla Glue. I'll let you know if it works. If it does, you and me will be getting the Nobel at the very least!
And don't to click on PerryCare.gov for all your Obamacare needs at http://t.co/wZW12GIxS!
LOL, I will use the phrase "lend me an ear" very differently from now on.
Ha., brilliantly funny.. you could say that an ear would cost you an arm and a leg??
I don't know which amused me most, your very funny dialog or your seriously funny explanation for it. I am still laughing. Well done sir.
No need to. Just don't be surprised when you return the ear if you get Julius Caesar's kidneys back!
Funny line. Hail Caesar! I mean, Hail Bjorn!
You're welcome. I think probably it would have been the very funny dialogue had there been any.
Very funny, Perry. I agree even your most serious explanation for it has me chuckling. You see, it's just original that you came up with this idea of the Romans in the first place. I can't seem to read all the stories this week, but so far, I have not seen it! Well done!
Thanks, Amy. I don't know how anyone can read all the stories in a week without going into toxic shock. I haven't even read yours this week, and I like your work. I try to read about half of them; I could be reading Charles Dickens' entry by the end of them all and think it sucks!
Amusing enough to make AnElephant chuckle a tad, forsooth.
Does Obamacare stretch to France?
Mr Dickens could not write his name in 100 words!
You should have done 'Arms and the Man' Perry - 'Yond Cassius hath a lean and hungry look' ... Ann
Thanks, Elephant, and I trust you'll never ever forget that chuckle a tad, forsooth either. As for Obamacare, it doesn't even seem to stretch to the United States, at least so far.
I was going to include the Cassius line, but just then Cassius stepped out to Olive Garden and blew the whole thing! Thanks for writing, Ann.
'I come not to prise your story, but to bury it...' Or something like that.
But seriously, a good job with the prompt. I did enjoy it and i'm glad to know that Shakespeare had first draft issues.
It probably needs to be buried! But seriously Shakespeare had a lot of first draft problems, and in Gigli he never got it right at all. That's why its rarely produced and only got filmed once! Thanks, Doug.
Lend me your ears--in exchange for other body parts...? Then you're into health coverage! Isn't that a conflict of interest?
Considering the response most of my posts get, it's probably more a conflict of disinterest! But thanks for writing.
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