Scott (scott_lynch) wrote,

"Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch'd..."

By now, much of the internet that lives in the actual 21st century has pilloried the bejeezus out of Orson Scott Card's "revelatory version" of Hamlet. Now, now, I can't help but feel that there might be some hidden genius in this notion of squeezing out all the hard words, tossing out all the actual characterization from the original plays, and substituting moral conclusions totally divorced from the tone, temper, and context of what our buddy Bill "Plastic Man" Shakespeare mistakenly thought he was driving at.

As I threatened on Twitter, I would therefore like to present excerpts from my forthcoming re-interpreted masterpiece...




version of


formerly by William Shakespeare

Thrill to the scintillating betrayal scene...

Henry walked into the council chamber.

"We're totally going to beat the French," said Henry. "You guys think so too, right?"

Everyone did.

"I really think we're going to beat the French, if we try hard," said Lord Scroop.

"That's great," said Henry. "Here, Scroop, I've written some special new orders for you."

Scroop read the orders.

"Oh no," he said. "This says that you figured out that I'm a traitor!"

"Yes," said Henry. "They were trick orders. You are a traitor, and it makes me really sad. We've known each other for so long."

All of King Henry's loyal nobles thought this was sad, too. They helped put Lord Scroop in irons, and he was taken away.

"That was close," said Harry. "We owe God big time for warning us about that guy. Now we can all get on boats and go to France!"

Weep at the heartbreaking death of Falstaff...

"Please help my master," said the boy. "He is so ill he can't even hold up his old issues of Diva to read them any more!"

"That's sad," said Mrs. Pistol. "The king has broken his heart. But Falstaff deserves it for the choices he's made."

"Yes," said the boy. "It is sad, but the king has done the right thing and left him to die alone and go to hell for all of his sins."

"Hello everyone," said Corporal Nym. "Hello Mr. and Mrs. Pistol. Does anyone want to play cards while we wait to get on boats and go to France?"

"No, thank you," said Mr. Pistol. "Playing cards is wrong."

"You're right," said Corporal Nym. "I have wasted my life playing cards. I'm glad I realized this before I was tricked into even worse things, like in bath houses."

Stir to the adrenaline-fueled Agincourt speech...

Westomoreland stared at the big army of the French.

"The French army is so big," said Westmoreland. "I wish we had more guys."

"Who says we need more guys?" shouted King Henry as he rode up. "I've thought really hard about this. The less of us there are, the better it is for us!"

"I'm not sure it works that way, my liege," said Westmoreland.

"Really? I don't know," said Henry. "Sounds good to me. Maybe I'm sleepy! I spent all night wandering around the camp LARPing."

"Reinforcements would be really nice," said Westomoreland.

"What are you, Westmoreland, a homo?" shouted Henry. "We don't need more men to fight the French! This will be like fighting Morrisey's back-up band. And if anyone actually does survive the fight, it'll be great! Think of the stories you can tell! And the scars! Chicks dig scars!"

"We like chicks," yelled every man in Henry's army. "And only from the front, the way god intended!"

"You're totally right, my king!" Westmoreland was really excited now. "I'm really excited now about having less guys than the French!"

To prove his point he drew his sword and killed the man standing to his left.

"That's the spirit!" yelled Henry. "Let's roll!™"

There won't be a dry eye in the house during the wooing scene...

"You're the only woman left in the play that isn't a nurse," said King Henry. "So I'm totally buying you from your dad."

Princess Katharine looked very sad and confused.

"I know I'm covered in mud now, but I can take a bath," said Henry. "Sign here, baby."

Katharine hesitantly made her mark on a parchment, then said something in French-talk.

"Stop right there," said Henry. "You are very pretty, but from now on you must speak English like Jesus did."

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