In Competition No. 3062 you were invited to submit a Shakespearean-style soliloquy that a contemporary politician might have felt moved to deliver.
Inspiration for this comp came from Aryeh Cohen-Wade’s imagining, in the New Yorker, of Donald Trump performing Shakespearean soliloquies: ‘Listen — to be, not to be, this is a tough question, OK? Very tough…’
The Donald kept an uncharacteristically low profile this week, with most choosing British politicians. Theresa May and Boris Johnson in particular had plenty to get off their chests. You drew on Hamlet ‘O that this too too shrouding garb would drop…’; Macbeth ‘Is this a compromise I see before me…?’; and Richard III ‘Now is the exit of our discontent…’ to impressive effect; well done, one and all.
Honourable mentions go to Naomi Smith and Martin Parker. The winners take £25. Bill Greenwell snaffles the extra fiver.
Jeremio: Though I be pale, and far beyond the pale,
As artless in my art as rural clown,
Yet shall I hitch my waggon to that she
As hums at hems, and lights on leather hose
With half-conceal’d excitement. What bold sir
Doth not this sycophancy entertain,
That there be sport in buttering the lip
Of such an one? Ay, deputies survive,
And thrive by thrifty means. Hand her the conch,
I’ll stand abreast with her, yet at an angle —
A loyal wretch, a cozener withal,
The trusty that she tenders with her life.
I am her man, unmanned but to her face,
Bold in my braggart blood. Bring envoys in!
Wast I afeard of physick, or the surgeon?
I’ll prosper in this murk, until I burgeon.
Bill Greenwell/Jeremy Hunt
Men must at times be masters of their fate.
I know too well whose leopard shoes these are.
’Tis true, I once admired them, trod their sods
Till, led into the mire, I went my way
While others turncoat turned and, in their trail
Ran with the hares whilst hunting with the hounds;
Her courage and resilience many praised
And in her vision of a Britain freed
From bonds believed, though bound in bonds she stayed.