Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Shakespeare Would Have Said It Differently

David Aaronovitch translates the conversation George Bush had with Tony Blair into Shakespearian English.

As he explains:

Like every other member of the commentariat I was shocked and disappointed by what my colleague Jane Shilling described as the “phatic gruntings” of the overheard George Bush and Tony Blair last week at the G8. One expects something better from world statesmen. Like this, perhaps.

I'll just excerpt the Israel-relevant section. The full version is here.


Dramatis Personae:
Georgio, King of America
Antonio, Duke of England
A waiter
A microphone

Act ten, Scene twelve. Council Room, St Petersburg Giorgio sits alone at a great table.

- - - -

Giorgio: Like unto a second skin. Nay better, for the first hath no embroidered G. For Giorgio.
But good Antonio, take we counsel now concerning the Levant.
My lord Annan, charged by the nations in their assembly to calm the noise of war,
Seeks only to separate the arms, thinking thereby to fulfil the task.
But the enmerded Moor, taking this peace for respite and repose,
By my vision, readies his galleys for renewed assault on the enrag’d Jew.

Antonio: Mayhap your counsels have prescribed another course,
But stand I ready to depart, at word once spoken,
For domed Jerusalem, besieged Beirut and perilous Damascus,
To smell out the land, to test the walls and ramparts of obstinacy, and discover yet who would rather dwell in the valleys of peace.
Only let it be soon, for rashness leads on to rashness.

Giorgio: Good my cousin, e’en now the fair Condoleezza,
for Zeus’s favoured daughter named,
Encompasses within her Vuitton sacks,
the necessaries for the voyage.

Antonio: The course is wise. And yet thy herald, being thy herald, must prevail, or all is lost.
Gentle Giorgio, little detains me in my state of England, whose wealth and peace is long secured, and whose people’s affections were ever mine. And so might I, with profit to us all, beard the lion in his den, and failing if fail I must, succeed.

Giorgio: Sweet Antonio, there may yet be need. But how the horrid bruits of war do interrupt the nourishment of the soul. I have thought ten times this summer long to divert me to those pursuits for which my nature was by God first formed. The writing of sonnets.

Antonio: The composition of operatics.

Giorgio: The designing of cathedrals.

There is the sudden sound of microphone feedback.

Giorgio: But heark! A spy?

Antonio: This microphone, which we thought but slept, is awake and — like any traitor — broadcasts our councils to the unready world. Dead for a ducat, dead!

Antonio draws his sword and stabs the microphone.

The rest is silence.

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