Shakespeare And Metal: Part II
Last night I watched a rerun of Metalocalypse when Nathan Explosion had to read the complete works of Shakespeare, and then I was reminded of one of my many projects that I initiated and subsequently abandoned. So, at long last, here is the second installment of my speculations on the connexion betwixt Shakespeare and Metal.
Last time, I had Othello on my mind. Now, I’m thinking about Hamlet. The titular character is a hesher and a half. As countless Metal documentaries and fans are forever reminding us, Metal is all about the underdogs. Our first introduction to Hamlet in Act I, Scene II shows him insulting his enemy Claudius. His very first line in the entire play is “A little more than kin, and less than kind.” From Twisted Sister to Arch Enemy, Metal exemplefies the rebellion against such foes. Whether it’s bitchy authority figures, corrupt governments, or society as a whole, everyone has oppressors who are too close for comfort.
This rebellion takes a more humorous and less sinister tone in Act II, during which Hamlet verbally kicks Polonius’ ass. Seriously, try to read this dialogue (the good stuff starts at line 170) and not think of Beavis And Butthead dissing a lame music video. Hamlet ruthlessly mocks Polonius’ old age, his ignorance, and even insults his daughter’s sexuality. However, this scene is more than mere comic relief. Polonius, in an uncharacteristic moment of wisdom, asserts that “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” Even more than rebellion, unison in entropy is the pinnacle of Metal art. From the music itself to the bedlam state of a mosh-pit, Metal is all about turning your insanity into something artistic and meaningful.
Uh… Sorry guys, but it turns out that Hamlet isn’t exactly light reading, so I could only get through two acts today before the process got tedious. I’m sure that there’s more similarities between the play and Metal, but I’m gonna take the easy way out and just remind you that everyone dies at the end. Ja, datz brootalz.