None of the plays attributed to Shakespeare were written by Shakespeare. We know this. It’s fact. The earth revolves around the sun, 2+2=4, Shakespeare was a disgusting fraud. These are the foundations upon which civilisation is built. What is less commonly known is that every single one of Shakespeare’s plays was written by a different person/group of things/collective alien entity. This week, we’ll be proving through close textual analysis that Romeo and Juliet was actually written by an Italian plumber from the Mushroom Kingdom.
I know what you’re going to say. They said it to me at the Oxford Academy of Shakespeare Studies. They said it to me in the ruined amphitheatre in Pompeii. They even said it to me at a communion party I crashed in a Wario costume last weekend. “The Mario games were only created in the eighties and Romeo and Juliet is hundreds of years old.” they, and probably you, all say. To which I reply: the Mario games are set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away so Mario in fact predates Romeo and Juliet. Now that’s THAT little problem dealt with. No more questions on that front thank you very much, it all fits together, stop thinking about it now please.
The second thing people say is “you’re really committed to this Mario thing eh?” to which I usually nod enthusiastically and open my second folder of evidence.
The third thing people say, if folders two through five have left them unconvinced, is “Alan, sweetie. We all care for you. But listen hun, isn’t Mario fictional?”. I’m not sure what usually happens after that but when I regain consciousness everyone agrees that Mario wrote Romeo and Juliet and my hair generally grows back good as new within two to three weeks.
Act I Scene I
Act I Scene I of Romeo and Juliet begins with a famous street brawl between servants of the Montagues and Capulets. What’s less commonly known is that earlier drafts include the following exchange:
Do you wave a blue shell at us, sir?
I do wave my blue shell, sir.
Balthasar, fetch the 40cc karts, and fie upon these Capulets, a banana skin upon their tires.
The Prince hath forbid the racing of karts within Verona. Otherwise I’d be totally with you.
Fie! Capulets! Willst thou agree to race us on Rainbow Road tomorrow at about six?
Yeah, grand, whatever.
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that several elements from the above scene also appear in the autobiographical video games created by the artist known only as Mario. Unfortunately, Mario left very little autobiographical detail in the finished version of Romeo and Juliet but his discarded scenes and drafts are positively bursting with the kind of detail that could only be provided by an ageless Italian plumber who has starred in over 200 games about his life.
Act III Scene II
Romeo! Yea, thine mushrooms may maketh thy proportions as those of the gods but I have sent a slow green tortoise towards thee! Let all present watch as a mere tortoise defeats the Monta…dude, don’t jump on my tortois…WHOA…why would you kick my tortoise at me? Dude. Chill.
Convinced yet? Well, how about these scene descriptions:
Act IV Scene III
(Enter Friar Laurence. He pauses. He jumps up and down in place while a fireball spits upwards, peaks, and falls back into the lava below. He jumps over the lava onto a moving platform. He jumps off the platform onto solid ground. He jumps into bits of the ceiling as if testing for something. He reaches a door.)
The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light, and flecked darkness like a drunkard reels from forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.
Surely by now, it’s apparent that Romeo and Juliet was written by everyone’s favourite Italian plumber, Mario but if you’re not convinced yet then a) I pity you, and b) check out this stage direction:
Act II Scene V
(Romeo walks the streets of Verona, he squats over any sewer openings he comes across just in case they bring him to a warp room)
Act IV Scene I
(Enter Romeo from above, dressed in a Tanooki suit)
But the clincher has to come in this long-lost rejected draft of the balcony scene recently discovered in an old back issue of Nintendo Power! magazine.
Act II Scene II
But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun and kill the-
Who’s down there? It’s late, I have to be up early to do whatever it is toadstools with nifty waistcoats do for a living. Wait tables maybe?
Juliet! O speak again bright angel! For thou art as glorious to this night-
Let me stop you there pal. I’m not Juliet. Do I look like a Capulet?
In truth, no good sir Toadstool, thou art more like a Deathcapulet! (wait for applause for the greatest pun ever)
Sorry bud, your princess is in another castle.
I. Rest. My. Case.