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(Art) Shakespearean madness

2nd February 2009 (00:59)

Because beer_good_foamyposted meta about Shakespearean influences on the Buffyverse, and because I clearly have too much time on my hands. Incidentally, there's also this from last November on a similar theme.

Buffy hath murdered Sleep: (warning, not an exact 100% transcript of Shakespeare's dialogue; I've butchered it to fit the images. Sorry.)




And because as a result, angeariachallenged me to convert the Jossverse dialogue to iambic pentameter...

I hate all this. I hate that I am here.
  I hate that you all have to be here too.
I hate that there is evil, and that I
  Was chosen for this fight 'gainst it. I wish,
A whole lot of the time, that I had not.
  I know a lot of you wish that same thing.
But this is not about wishes. This is
  About choices. And I believe we can
Defeat this evil. Not when it arrives,
  Not when its army is ready, but now.
Tomorrow morning I'll open the seal
  I'm going down into the mouth of Hell.
And I will finish this for once and all.
  Right now you ask yourself, "So then, what makes
This different? What makes us anything
  More than a bunch of girls being picked off
By one and one?" It's true that none of you
  Now have that power that Faith and I do.
So here's the part where you all make a choice.
  What if you all could have that power now?
In every generation, one Slayer
  Is born... because a bunch of men who died
Thousands of years ago made up that rule.
  They were powerful men. But this woman
Has more power than all of them combined.
  So I say we should change the rule. I say
My power should instead become our power.
  Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence
Within the scythe to change our destiny.
  From now on, every girl in the whole world
Who might become a Slayer, will become
  A Slayer. Ev'ry girl who could have that
Power will have that power. Can stand up
  Then will stand up. Slayers... every one
Of us. So make your choice. Are all of you
  Ready now to be strong?
                                               These guys are dust.
Willow? You are a goddess.
                                                   And you are
  A Slayer. Now get this to Buffy. That
Was nifty.


Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 01:13 (UTC)

Lovely. I think it'd be interesting to see your analysis of how this fits the scene/circumstance of the Buffyverse. :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 01:21 (UTC)

You mean, why did I cast Buffy as Macbeth, the tragic hero who starts out with the best intentions but is trapped into committing evil deeds and plunges into a cycle of isolation and reaction until he finally meets his death? And why did I cast Xander as Lady Macbeth, who encourages her husband in his ambitions and overrides his scruples, but in the end just can't take it?

Who knows. :-)

But the bit about the poisoned chalice and "teaching bloody instructions" is obviously inspired by the fact that in the original comic, they're discussing Simone. That bit isn't a very subtle allusion. :-)


Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 01:38 (UTC)

I particularly enjoyed the "vaulting ambition that o'erleaps itself" and "that we but teach bloody instructions which, being taught, return to plague the inventor" allusions.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 01:47 (UTC)

It's funny how cutting up a monologue to share it out between different speech bubbles - or even two characters, in this case - can actually bring out more subtleties in it. Like here, where Buffy initially protests her innocence ("I have no spur"), but recognises Xander's charge of ambition when he makes it, and is aware of the negative consequences.

Also, giving the 'bear men-children only' line to Buffy, saying it to Xander, seemed fun in a subversive and surrealistic kind of way. :-)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 02:12 (UTC)

You, dear sir, have entirely too much time on your hands.

I have no words. I'm duly impressed.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 02:34 (UTC)

It didn't actually take that long. :-)


Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 12:38 (UTC)

You know, I haven't read the comics, just seen odd bits and read about them - but this could make more sense than the original...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 13:38 (UTC)

The Macbeth dialogue does form an ironic commentary on the themes of Season 8 and this issue of the comic in particular. But yeah, it makes sense without knowing both sources. :-)


Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 18:53 (UTC)

Eerily spot on - both the "bloody instruction" and the role of the Slayer as supposedly the one who should "against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself"...

I like the pentameter too. Thanks for including Vi's line.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd February 2009 20:50 (UTC)

I actually jumped forward to Vi's line, checked its metre (two iambic feet: these guys/ are dust/ ), and then worked backwards to make sure it ended up as the final part of its line of verse. :-)

Although with hindsight the last line of Buffy's speech should be:
Now rea/dy to/ be strong?/
rather than
Ready/ now to/ be strong?/
Makes the metre much less forced.

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