The world celebrated the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death this weekend. MTV News decided to join the festivities by doing something that would probably have the Bard rolling over in his grave: adapting some of his words into plotlines from the 2016 presidential race. It may seem like sacrilege, but Donald Trump proves to be an especially fitting stand-in for a besotted character in a Shakespearean comedy — as long as the person he’s longing for is himself.
Donald Trump, in the style of Julia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona
[Trump deletes a tweet after the Internet complains]
O lyin’ hands, to delete such great words!
Huge and manly paws, so big-league that you
Erased my beautiful tweet without pause!
I’ll read my other great tweets for amends.
Look! Here I wrote “Low-energy guy.” Jeb!
And here I wrote — hehe — “Little Marco.”
What a lightweight chocker! I will retweet,
So that loser remembers he lost. Dumb.
I should fave this too. With my big fingers.
Be still, great fingers, delete no more tweets
’Til I ask Ivanka to print them out.
I forgot about this one. So big-league:
Here in one line is ‘Lyin’ Ted’ twice writ —
Why won’t he drop out, I am so winning!
— I will fave you too. This is so much fun!
Oh no, Melania is coming. Sad!
Let me retweet one more before I go.
Now @ me, subtweet, do what you will. Bye!
Mitt Romney, in the style of Henry V
[The former presidential candidate, speaking at the University of Utah]
If the GOP is mark'd to die, we are now
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer Trumps, the better off we’ll be.
Oh God, please! I pray thee, no Donald Trump.
By Jove, I’m not covetous for power —
At least not now. Maybe later, the White House. If you’d like.
I don’t much care if you don’t chant my name,
If you crave it, though, you should go for it.
But if it’s a sin to hate Donald Trump,
I am the most offending soul alive.
Let us pray that no more will fall under
the spell of a hat! How come you don’t care
About flip-flopping when he does it? Hmm?
I don’t know what the hell is going on.
Oh gosh, that steak-selling fraud made me swear.
He is such a phony. Let him depart,
Return to his tower; Let us pick Cruz,
Or Ryan. Or, I don’t know, someone else.
This great day is called the Feast of Reagan:
He that outlives this election and saves
The GOP should remember that I
Cut down the Donald like a tall tree in
Michigan. His campaign ended thanks to
Mitt. All will forget my pivotal role,
Except for those who join the epic cause.
The hashtags we wield in battle will be
Familiar in their mouths as household words —
#NeverTrump and #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain,
#WhenTrumpIsElected and #PickMittPlease.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Ronald Reagan shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
Because we keep bringing him up again;
We few, we scared few, we Establishment,
For he that sheds his blood with me
Shall be the immortal party elite;
And gentlemen in D.C. doing naught
Will feel pretty stupid while any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Reagan's day.
Jeb Bush, in the style of Richard III
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made so much worse by this son of Trump.
And all the faults buried under our house
Pop up like undead oppo researchers.
Now our autopsy reports wait unread;
Our bruised present hung up in attack ads;
Our stern alarms changed to frantic dick jokes,
My dreadful race to delightful defeat.
Grim party stumbles hath smooth'd Trump’s defects;
And now, instead of acting the charmed fool,
Wounding egos of perplexed opponents,
He capers nimbly to the convention
Catching lustful endorsements on the way.
But I, that am not shaped for winning votes,
Nor made to court an amorous Iowan;
I, that am sans verve or the desired
Skill of conjuring a debate comeback;
I, that am curtail'd of outsider charm
By my blood and plummeting Right to Rise.
Depressed, unfinish'd, sent after my time
Into this wretch’d race; Exclamation point
Wilting in the reflection of Trump’s hair
Until expectations turn invisible;
Why, I, in this Republican détente,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
By standing as his Apprentice’d shadow,
Forced to semaphore-flag with my dead eyes.
Therefore, since I cannot prove endorser
To a man who ruined the Bush hat trick,
I’m determined to completely give up
And eat guacamole with my cool mom.
A Democratic debate, in the style of Much Ado About Nothing
There is a kind of merry war betwixt Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton:
They never debate but there's a skirmish of policy
between them. But, before we get started, a commercial break.
I wonder why you are still debating, Senator Sanders; I am winning.
What, my dear Secretary Clinton — or do you no longer work at the Department of Truth Evasion? Did you enjoy your trip to Wisconsin?
When I become president, I am happy to offer the position to you. I did enjoy Wisconsin. I remembered that old saying — “If God gives you lemons late in the afternoon, but the kid next door already set up a lemonade stand in the morning and has way more lemons than you, you should give up.”
Yes, the delegates are lemons. The voters, however, are less feeble. It is certain I am loved of all ladies at the ballot box — older ones, such as yourself, excepted.
And yet here I am, waiting for when they watch a revolution morph into an orbit of the same old election cycle. [Bernie starts waving his finger in the air, eyes slightly bugged.] I had rather hear Wolf bark at a poll than an idealistic voter swear she loves me.
God keep the secretary still in that mind! So some voter shall ’scape a predestinate equivocating debate answer. But we speak in revolutions instead of change — let us turn to policy.
But what mysteries remain? The voters have heard us banter. They know I support the $15 minimum wage. We’ve discussed your love of guns. What have we missed?
I would my momentum had the speed of your tongue, and so brightening a filter.
And I would the election didn’t have the speed of these debates.
It would be more lively if we perform your speech transcripts instead. I will play the millionaires and billionaires.
I will save the theater for Trump. You always end with a sore loser’s trick: I know you of old.
I have no idea what just happened.