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Shakespeare Gets A 'Yoof-Speak' Makeover

By Staff

London : A British author and satirist has re-written the complete works of England's most famous playwright William Shakespeare for the "chav-speak" generation.

Martin Baum has taken the Bard's Victorian language that schoolchildren often find difficult to understand and reworked 15 of his plays in a new compendium, 'To Be Or Not To Be, Innit: A Yoof-Speak Guide to Shakespeare."

In Baum's updated 'yoof-speak" version, Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet, for example, becomes 'Amlet, reports the Telegraph.

And his famous line "To be, or not to be?" becomes "To be or not to be, innit?"; the state of Denmark is no longer "rotten" but "minging".

The Two Gentlemen of Verona become "geezas" and Romeo, one of the star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet, now pines for his "fit bitch Jules".

“Verona was de turf of de feuding Montagues and de Capulet families", according to the synopsis of the classic story of young love spurned in the language of the street.

"And coz they was always brawling and stuff, de prince of Verona told them to cool it or else they was gonna get well mashed if they carried on larging it with each other."

Baum's chav-speak Shakespeare, which takes its title from 'Amlet's query, includes titles such as Macbeff, Much Ado About Sod All, De 'Appy Bitches of Windsor, De Taming of de Bitch, Two Geezas Of Verona and All's Sweet That Ends Sweet, Innit.

Following the well-trodden path of modern interpretations of the Bard's works, Baum, 48, insists on his website that the abridged versions retain the essence of the originals, including "the important sexist, duplicitous, cross-dressing and violent moments that made William Shakespeare well wicked".

He adds that if the Bard was living today, he would "still be writing in the Globe turf, getting loads of respect from the Stratford upon Avon massive and producing works of pure genius

Story first published: Saturday, April 26, 2008, 10:39 [IST]
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