Thursday, February 03, 2011

Why would you watch a Shakespeare play when you could watch the Super Bowl?

Although Bardfilm doesn’t have any visceral objections to the Super Bowl, he does find Shakespeare more interesting. In the list below, he offers some of his reasons. Enjoy them—and follow the hashtag #ShakesBowl on Twitter to see what other reasons people come up with—and to add your own to the mix!

Shakespeare is better than the Super Bowl . . .

. . . because most Super Bowls are only four quarters long. All Shakespeare plays are five acts.

. . . because millions have been talking about Hamlet for over 400 years—but how many remember who won Super Bowl IV?

. . . because you can be sure that neither Macbeth nor Macduff will call time out in the middle of their exciting battle.

. . . because the ads during a Shakespeare play . . . well, all right. Super Bowl ads are pretty good.

. . . because the coaches hardly ever deliver the St. Crispin’s Day Speech to their teams during halftime—even though they really ought to!

. . . because when Hamlet talks about "Singeing his pate against the burning zone," he's not talking about the End Zone.

. . . because if you feel disappointed at the end of a Shakespeare play, you've been rooting for the wrong people.

. . . because women in Shakespeare are generally treated with more respect than women dancing at the Super Bowl are.

. . . because "The Battle of the Century" should refer to something like Bosworth Field, not a Football Field.

. . . because "Two households, both alike in dignity" seldom describes the Super Bowl matchup.

. . . because the pre-game show usually consists of a speech like "O, for a muse of Fire" instead of inane chatter.

. . . because “Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, / Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of Steelers” doesn’t have quite the right ring to it.

. . . because John Madden seldom delivers a play-by-play on a Shakespeare play.

. . . because concussions only occur in Shakespeare very rarely—usually by accident when the Scottish Play is being performed.

. . . because Sonnet XLV begins with “The other two, slight air and purging fire, / Are both with thee, wherever I abide”; Super Bowl XLV begins with a sixteen-hour pre-game show.

. . . because Because the Black-Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” doesn’t show quite the emotional range of Romeo and Juliet.

. . . because Rosalind says “my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the bay of Portugal” not “. . . like the bay of green.”

And don't forget to follow #ShakesBowl on Twitter during the big game for more reasons!

Our thanks for this guest post to kj, the author of Bardfilm. Bardfilm is a blog that comments on films, plays, and other matters related to Shakespeare.

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