Dont get me
wrong, Bill. Its a powerful play, maybe a masterpiece,
but theres a few things, you know, that might have to be
The speaker was
Shakespeares producer, Bert Comstock.
Just a few
things, said Ernie Comstock, Berts brother and
Okay. I know killing
off Ophelia like that was pretty hard to take, said
Shakespeare. Maybe I can lighten that up a
that, said Bert. You see, the Danish
government is concerned about your portrayal of their country and
people. Theyd like certain scenes and lines to be
altered to give a more favorable image of Denmark.
Theyre particularly upset with the line Something is rotten in the
state of Denmrk.
Hmmm, maybe I can
change that around.
Yes, they think it
contributes to a negative stereotype of Danish culture.
Theyd also like you to rewrite the character of Hamlet as a Danish hero
who saves his country from a foreign invader rather than a tortured soul driven
to madness and revenge.
Madness and revenge,
tsk, tsk, said Ernie.
Shakespeare. That would change the whole
Well, think about
it, Bill. Thats all we ask. Then
theres Romeo and Juliet. We
star-crossed lovers; they have to die at the end.
thinking of that, although it would be nice if they survive and then the two
families reconcile. You known that people like a happy
ending. But the main thing is that the Italian officials have
contacted us and they think the play could be considered offensive to the
Italian people due to the tragic nature of the story and the portrayal of
violence in Italian society.
Violence in the
Italian society, said Ernie, shaking his head..
Maybe I can cut out
a death or two, said Shakespeare.
Well, the Italian
officials suggest you relocate the play to a fictional location with no
reference to Italians.
What fools these
mortals be, muttered Shakespeare under his breath.
Nothing. Ill think about it.
Okay. Now heres the real
problem Im referring to Othello of
course. These political correct people, you know how easily
they get upset. We were wondering