Mercutio is in love with Romeo.He seems to be jealous of Romeo and Juliet's relationship, and he is 'extremely' close to Romeo.
Hamlet's insanity is real and is the result of a sublimated Oedipal complex.Oops, it looks like this theory's not so wild after all.
Shakespeare didn't write his own plays.Shakespeare was an uneducated peasant who couldn't even write his name before moving to London and becoming the most famous playwright in existence. The facts don't quite add up. So, in light of that, who did write them?
Shakespeare wrote all of his own plays.Wouldn't that be a twist?
Horatio killed everybody.We see the events of Hamlet from Horatio's perspective. He is in every important scene and has off-stage events reported to him. He promises to tell Fortinbras the story of how Claudius, Gertrude, Hamlet, Laertes, Ophelia, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern wound up dead. So he makes up an odd story involving ghosts, dueling with poisoned swords, mistaken identity and insanity to cover up that he's an Ax-Crazy maniac. For all we know, Horatio even murdered Yorick when he was a boy.
Horatio murdered everyone because he was Fortinbras's Brainwashed and Crazy puppet.Notice how he came in right when King Claudius was trying to appeal peace with Norway.
Hamlet knew Yorick in a biblical sense.Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio!
Hamlet knew everyone in the cemetery in a biblical sense.Except Ophelia.
Ophelia is PregnantSeen here, but also just type in 'Ophelia Pregnant' in a search engine and multiple results (20 300 from Ask.com) will show up.
Iago does not existHe's the incarnation of that voice within every person's mind, which is why it's so easy for him to trick everyone into believing what he says. He's not saying it — they're thinking it. Emilia is just a klepto with self-esteem issues; Othello is suffering from paranoia (or, if you hold that his seizures are real, he's also having epileptic hallucinations); Roderigo is generally unstable; Cassio has a serious drinking problem... the list goes on. Iago is just an excuse for their own bad behaviour. Killing Desdemona effectively snaps our hero out of this funk, leading him to kill Iago and thus free himself from the toxic influence of his own self-hatred. Of course, all he manages to do is convert it into soul-crushing angst (Emilia in her death scene) that makes him take his own life to 'follow' his lover, but still.
Othello suffers from MPD, and Iago is the other personality.Since the story is told mostly from Iago's point of view, the whole thing is a severe case of Unreliable Narrator.
Everyone in Othello is in the psych ward.Iago started out as a delusion of one of the patients; the rest ran with it, editing him into their own personal safety net. "As long as it's Iago's fault, it's not mine." When each of the characters 'die' in the story, they've been released — either cured or on their way to recovery. Othello is released when he kills 'his' Iago.
Iago did die.This is made explicit in the Laurence Fishburne version of Othello (in which Kenneth Branagh plays Iago.)
Claudius is Hamlet's biological fatherDoesn't it seem odd that Gertrude willingly leaped right into bed with her husband's brother Claudius once Hamlet Senior kicked the bucket? Indeed, the Gravedigger scene informs us that Hamlet was born the same day that Hamlet, Sr. killed Fortinbras, Sr. Old Hamlet was out on military campaigns all the time. It's hardly a stretch to think that Gertrude fooled around with Claudius behind her husband's back. Claudius himself knows that Hamlet is his son, which is why he initially tries to be friends with him and insists that he remain at Elsinore rather than return to France for school. Indeed, Kenneth Branagh's adaptation all but makes this assertion. Branagh bears a much greater resemblance to Derek Jacobi than BRIAN BLESSED, and the scene where Claudius orders Hamlet's murder makes Claudius seem genuinely reluctant to do so.
Claudius is Laertes's biological fatherSuggested in the Mel Gibson Hamlet.
Benvolio killed Tybalt's father.In Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt Capulet is introduced as a volatile, violent person who loathes the Montagues even more than his kinsmen do. This suggests that he has a personal motive for hating Montagues; even Boss Capulet himself has to restrain him from murdering Romeo at the party. This motive is personal enough. This interpretation is good because it gives Tybalt a deeper motive and makes his character more understandable.
The play "Romeo and Juliet" is a fanfiction written by Shakespeare.Mercutio is the main character of another work of fiction, possibly a high school dramedy. He is paired with Juliet in canon. Romeo is his sidekick and is canonically paired with Rosaline. Shakespeare ships Romeo/Juliet, and the play is his Medieval AU fanfic. This would explain why Rosaline is instantly put on a bus while Romeo and Juliet fall in "true love" instantly. It also explains why the plot seems so rushed and why Romeo and Juliet are "so in love" that they get married within two days of meeting each other. Shakespeare is a rabid shipper and an awful writer. This would also explain why they're only fourteen (well, Juliet is). Shakespeare probably set the fic in Renaissance Italy so that he could get away with having highschool-aged characters getting married. Alas, the work this is a fanfic of was lost. Manuscript preservation was not as high a priority back then as it is now.
Macbeth was a carefully orchestrated plot by Banquo......Created to put his family in the seat of power without dirtying his hands. What he didn't gamble on was Macbeth going as far as to kill him; but he found that this strengthened his plans rather than ruining them.
Macbeth was a carefully orchestrated plot by Malcolm......Created to put Malcolm into power. Not only does it get his father out of the way more quickly, but it puts him into power in the most heroic way possible. He bribes three scary-looking old ladies to give a cryptic message to Macbeth and has an agent on the battlefield tell them that the Thane of Cawdor has died. Also, his speech to Macduff about how evil he is? It's actually a Sarcastic Confession, not a Secret Test of Character.
Macbeth was a carefully orchestrated plot by Lady Macbeth......who's also one of the 3 witches. Along with her 2 cohorts, Lady Macbeth implanted the thought of becoming king in Macbeth's head, involving him in a plan that was originally her own to steal the crown and vindicate her master, Hecate (or maybe just whatever witch religion-thing she and her other witches are a part of). Why else would she include both of Duncan's guards as the ones to take the blame, when only 1 is necessary? Obviously, that was added so Macbeth would think it's all about him, but the plan was originally independent of Macbeth. Not to mention, at one point, she invokes "spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts" to fill her "from the crown to the toe topful/ Of direst cruelty!" before Duncan arrives. Now, who do we know who invokes dark spirits?! Actually, she may be calling for another type of spirits. I.E., whiskey.
Macbeth was a carefully orchestrated plot by Macduff......to prevent Macbeth from becoming King of Scotland. Essentially, he kills Macbeth so that Malcolm can be King.
Macbeth was a carefully orchestrated plot by Macbeth himself......to become king and get overthrown. He kills Duncan, thus becoming king, but he is overthrown by Macduff because Malcolm is the true heir to the throne.
Cymbeline was written by Ben Jonson as a Shakespeare parody.Cymbeline is full of allusions to Shakespeare's other, more legendary plays. The play is all right, but not Shakespeare good — it's a little too educated, like Jonson himself. Jonson was pals with Shakespeare (and defended him often), but considered himself a genius and Shakespeare a hack (he often heckled Shakespeare's plays). Cymbeline comes off as a Stealth Parody.
Somebody lost the ending to The Taming of the Shrew.Originally, it cleared up what happened to Sly.
The part of Macbeth where Hecate appears was added later by another playwright.That scene sucks compared to the rest of the play. Note that many Shakespeare scholars argue this theory.
Hamlet is HamnetHamlet is close enough to his father to hate his mother when he dies. Shakespeare's supposed to have been recovering from the loss of his similarly named son when he wrote his adaption of the Amleth legend and probably hated his wife, what with his whole moving-to-London thing. What if at least part of Hamlet's character is what Shakespeare wished had happened if he'd died first (you know, aside from the poisoned daggers, &c.)?
Romeo and Juliet was a Dark Parody.First of all, A Midsummer Night's Dream was written before R&J and has as a major theme that young love is foolish. This is also pointed out by several characters in Romeo and Juliet; they tell Romeo that he's being stupid thinking that he is truly in love with a girl he only met a few days before. Mercutio made fun of him for being in love with Rosaline, whom Romeo has never really talked to, right when Romeo decides, "Oh no, I don't love Rosaline anymore. I love Juliet!" Also, there is the famous line from Julius Caesar (another play that predates Romeo and Juliet) - "The fault... is not in our stars, But in ourselves..." But Romeo blames all his screw-ups on the stars. He kills both Tybalt and Paris, and then whines about how his killing them is the stars' fault.
Shakespeare set Measure For Measure in Vienna because he thought it was in Italy.To begin with, no other Shakespearean play is set in a Teutonic country (except perhaps A Winter's Tale, of which more.) Bohemia, where the Holy Roman Emperor (i.e., the German emperor) did hold court, is the setting of A Winter's Tale, but it was actually a Slavic country (the modern Czech Republic), not a German one. However, MANY of S.'s plays are set in Italy, particularly the comedies: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Much Ado About Nothing, A Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors, etc.
Hamlet knows he's in a play.At least by Act 5 he does. Hamlet is constantly making metatheatrical references— to the practices common in Elizabethan theatre in general and to the Globe specifically. When he gets picked up by the pirates, he realizes what an obvious plot device it is (and it is— Shakespeare uses it in Pericles as well)— and he's Genre Savvy enough already for that to clue him in that he's a character in a play. This explains why he's so calm about facing the duel in Act 5— he knows how it's going to end already.
The pirates in Pericles are the same ones mentioned in Hamlet.See above. They're obvious plot devices in both plays, and in both plays random characters know them. Clearly they travel around a lot, as their express purpose is to transport characters to the next location in the plot.
Hamlet is a flashback.Horatio is the narrator. He's in the first and last scenes, and in between he's in a lot of scenes but does almost nothing but observe. Hamlet tells him everything, and he's unobtrusive enough to have observed other scenes without being noticed, so that accounts for the scenes that he's not in. In his last speech to Fortinbras, he says: "Give order that these bodies high on a stage be placed to the view, and let me speak to the yet unknowing world how these things came about." That's another metatheatrical reference— the bodies are on a stage. Horatio has just finished narrating the entire tale to Fortinbras and this speech is where the flashback comes full circle.
Lady Anne isn't beautiful.That's why Richard's flattery is so effective. She falls for his seduction because she's completely thrown off guard by it. (This also explains why she appears initally skeptical of her "beauty's" power over him.)
Hamlet, Iago, and Mercutio are the same character in different situations.Hamlet is what Mercutio would be if he were the main character of a revenge tragedy, and Iago is what Hamlet would be if he were evil. All three have similar levels of intelligence (and of homoerotic subtext, if you want to go there). Hamlet and Mercutio share the same compulsion towards wordplay, and Iago and Hamlet have similar tendencies to soliloquize. Mercutio and Iago are both able to manipulate other characters, although Mercutio uses that ability a lot less frequently. And all three have sidekick characters (Horatio, Benvolio, and Roderigo).
Sonnet 18 was written for a man.It was part of his Fair Youth series.
Sonnet 18 was written for an immortal.Who else would have eternal beauty and could be promised "Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade"? A vampire? Well, "too hot the eye of Heaven shines" and saying that the subject is far more attractive than daytime may be praising a vampire lover and asking to be made a vampire oneself. A demigod? The "eye of Heaven" could be a pun on the word's sun and son. (Shakespeare may also be punning the words fair and fare. Could he be hinting eternal life comes at a price?)
Sonnet 18 was written for a work of art.Shakespeare may have seen a sculpture, perhaps of Apollo, and wrote a poem about how beautiful the statue was and how it would be a permanent monument to beauty. Or, perhaps he saw a painting of a landscape of a summer's day. "Thy eternal summer shall not fade".
Lady Macbeth was possessed by the witches and not in control of her actions.Notice how she seems to swing widly from fear to control. She also has a "spot" which in those days was believed to be a symbol of evil possession by the devil. Near the beginning of the play she asks evil spirts to give her strenth. The witches used her to make sure Macbeth would kill Duncan and become evil. Her Sanity Slippage was her after she was released from being possessed and realizing what she had done.
The "pound of flesh" bargain in The Merchant of Venice is the result of Shylock and Antonio's dueling plansShylock wants to either kill Antonio or run him out of Venice so that he can conduct business without Antonio's interference; he loses nothing by having the debt repaid. Antonio is already in debt (other creditors are mentioned in 3.1), and therefore will not be able to pay the debt even if his ships succeed. He's depressed and thinks that the best solution is to take the deal and hopefully die in Bassanio's arms. Then Jessica elopes, Bassanio gets married and everything goes pear-shaped; Shylock winds up motivated by revenge, not economics, and Portia feels compelled to come to the rescue.
Sonnet 18 was written for a Time Lord.This is just building on the "Sonnet 18 was written for a man." and the "Sonnet 18 was written for an immortal." WMGs above.
Portia was trying to help Bassanio cheat.Listen to the song that she arranges to have play to "help him think" while he's trying to pick a casket:
Othello is Aaron in hellNow he gets to find out what it feels like to have your life ruined For the Evulz.
Launcelot from The Merchant of Venice and Launce from Two Gentlemen of Verona are related in some way."Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping. All the kind of the Launces have this very fault"? Launcelot Gobbo is also very weepy and emotional, and some have suspected that all his references to himself as "young master Launcelot" indicate that his father is a Launcelot too, making "Launcelot" or its variant "Launce" a family name. Both characters also frequently make puns and reference Jews disparagingly. Ergo...
Launce is the son of Launcelot Gobbo.Launce's family has a maid, which makes me think he's slightly better off than Launcelot was at the beginning of Merchant. Possibly, grown-up Launcelot is retired, and he and and his family are now living comfortably off the money he made working for Bassanio and Portia. Launce's personality comes from spending so much time with his father. Or, vice-versa...
Launce is Launcelot's father.Two Gentlemen was written first, so Old Gobbo from Merchant could be Launce, now old and blind.
Old Gobbo had an affair with Shylock's wife, Leah, and therefore may be the father of Jessica.Launcelot does hint that his father was a cheater, and Jessica is described as not looking or acting anything like Shylock. Years ago, Old Gobbo (then Young Gobbo) worked for young Shylock and his young, pretty wife. The reason Launcelot has a job with Shylock is that Shylock had to hire him because of past history—his former servant came knocking on his door and begged him to take in his son. Launcelot either knows Jessica to be his half-sister or merely suspects. Either way, his jokes about Shylock not really being her father have a level of truth, and are meant to open her eyes to the possibility. Shylock also suspects this, but he's in denial. This explains a lot of his actions—his furious insistence that "my daughter is my flesh and my blood", and his pain at the loss of the ring. (He'd be upset either way, of course, but think of it like this...he suspected all along that his wife, who he loved, never really loved him, and now it turns out that his daughter, who might not even be his daughter, doesn't love him either.)
Orsino wrote Sonnet 20 about "Cesario."The language in it is similar to that of Twelfth Night (the part about Nature's hand painting beauty, for instance) and it seems to reflect Orsino's opinion that women are gentle, but false. Actually, Orsino could write this about halfway through the play; it would reflect his feelings perfectly.
Hamlet didn't know Yorick at all.In his angst and near-lunacy, Hamlet gives an eloquent speech about the happiness of his youth...personified as a man he never even met. This represents the fact that Hamlet's youth probably wasn't as good as he thinks it was (after all, his mother seems to have loved his uncle all along, not to mention all that royal stress). With his father gone, Hamlet mentally rewrites his past: he had the best father ever born, the most loving mother, and, of course, the funniest and most loyal court jester.
Launcelot only worked for Shylock on the Jewish Sabbath.In sixteenth century Venice, Jews were forbidden by law from having Christian servants. The legal exception was the Sabbath Day, when the Jews couldn't work themselves (day of rest, and all that) and had no choice but to hire Christians to do their work for them, even down to little things like lighting the fires. This helps to explain why Shylock is so eager to get rid of Launcelot. All stereotypes aside, who would want to feed, clothe and shelter someone who only worked one day a week? A Midsummer Night's Dream and thought, "Where else have I read a Shakespeare play in which a mysterious man plays God by using herbs to help a couple of young lovers and 'make everything right'?" Oberon is, as we have seen, a traveler who is also fond of mortals—specifically, young mortals. (Like Romeo.) The "friar" identity is the perfect disguise—who'd ever suspect a friar of being the King of the Fairies? And what better opportunity to do what Oberon does best—restore peace and initiate Weddings for Everyone by somewhat morally questionable means? Are there any herbs in real life that make people appear dead? Sure there aren't—they're magical herbs in the vein of love-in-idleness. Optionally, Puck is Friar John. His messing-up hardly seems funny anymore...
The offstage "moor" who's pregnant with Launcelot's child in Merchant is meant to represent the Dark Lady.Sonnet 144 has the same Good Angel, Bad Angel vibe as Launcelot's "fiend/conscience" speech in Merchant. In Elizabethan times it was not uncommon for devils to be represented as being black. The moor is the personification of Launcelot's imaginary "fiend". (At least, that's the way he probably sees her.)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were innocent.They didn't know the contents of the letter they were delivering. They were roped into Claudius' schemes because they genuinely wanted to help their poor mad friend.
Romeo and Juliet died because Mercutio cursed their families.Up to that point, if Romeo had just left well enough alone, Tybalt would have been the only one in trouble. The second that Mercutio finishes his "plague a' both your houses" rant and gets dragged offstage to die, Romeo begins to muse that he shouldn't have been such a pacifist, and by the time Tybalt returns (very conveniently, one might say) he's ready to run him through—which he instantly regrets doing. Because of this sudden and somewhat out-of-character piece of violence (isn't Tybalt supposed to be an expert swordfighter? Couldn't he have dealt with Romeo, who never involves himself in the fighting?), Romeo is banished, setting fire to a chain of events that end with the parents discovering Romeo and Juliet lying dead. If killing off the respective only children of the Feuding Families—and killing them with love, the thing Mercutio despises most—wasn't the worst punishment a vengeful spirit could have devised, I don't know what was. (Plus, Tybalt, Mercutio's murderer and related by marriage to the Capulets, gets killed first—and didn't Mercutio say "your houses!" three times?) Those who believe that Mercutio has a connection to the supernatural ("Queen Mab", anyone?) should find this theory especially attractive.
Launcelot Gobbo is a reincarnation of Hamlet.Let's see. Strong themes of the connection (and disconnection) between father and son? Check. An enthusiasm for dramatic performance (and a love of jesting)? Check. Conscience issues? Check. Got a girl pregnant and left her? True in Launcelot's case, and probably true in Hamlet's. The powers that be, or what Launcelot might call, "fates, and destinies, and such odd sayings, the Sisters Three and such branches of learning", took pity on Hamlet when he died, realizing that he was a relatively good guy who probably wouldn't have killed all those people if he and his family hadn't been Royally Screwed Up. So they gave him a second chance, this time as the son of a poor man. It goes without saying that he has no memory of his past life—what he doesn't know won't hurt him. Sure, Launcelot is uneducated, a bit bumbling, and has the general attitude of one of Shakespeare's "lower" characters, but that's because he is a peasant. Furthermore, despite his mess-ups with the English language, he displays a lot more instinctive knowledge of the upper classes than you'd expect (one commentator called him a "rustic bel esprit"), and he can pull off acting like a gentleman. When he does the monologue about his conscience and the fiend, it almost seems as if he's attempting to do a Hamlet-style soliloquy, but can't find the right words. Of course, you don't want to get on Hamlet's bad side, and the same holds for his reincarnated form—Launcelot hates Shylock with a Hamlet-like intensity. He often takes on one of Hamlet's "whimsical" moods, speaking complete nonsense. The clincher is that Hamlet loved theatrics and wit. One of his most famous speeches is the one where he speaks with tenderness and admiration of "poor Yorick", and it seems likely that if Hamlet had had his way (and been less depressed), he would have become, not the crown prince of Denmark, but one of Shakespeare's more common character types, the fool-cum-philosopher. Which is exactly the job that Launcelot gains himself in "Merchant". And what's another memorable line of Hamlet's? "O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!" Sounds like a perfect description of Launcelot to me. ("Slave" at the time often meant simply "servant"...and the name "Launcelot" means "servant".)
Lord Capulet's fiancé started the feud by marrying his friend Lord Montague instead.This explains it all.
Mercutio is in love with Juliet.People tend to assume that it's Romeo he's in love with, but he appears to be straight. The Arthur Brook poem "Romeus and Juliet", which Shakespeare copied almost detail for detail, doesn't feature Mercutio the way the play does. He appears in only one scene—right before Romeo and Juliet meet at the party, he's apparently trying to woo Juliet, but Romeo comes in and steals her. In Shakespeare, Mercutio comes in somewhat randomly—we hear nothing about him until he suddenly shows up with the others to go to the party. It could be that he just wants to have a good time and pick up some chicks—but it also could be that he's been watching Juliet from afar for some time. They don't talk about it because it's being kept low-key; Mercutio's embarrassed about being in love, and mocks Romeo about Rosaline to keep up his "I'm too cool for deeper feelings" image. As a relative of the prince, Mercutio would be in good standing to gain Juliet as a wife—her parents are eager enough to get her married to Paris, the prince's other relative. Now imagine Mercutio's thought process as Romeo waltzes in and steals Juliet—why shouldn't he feel betrayed and angry, especially since Romeo was obsessing over Rosalind mere moments ago? He plays dumb about it, pretending not to notice or care, in accordance with his Sad Clown nature, joking around with Romeo (who he still really cares about—they've been friends for a long time) and attempting to make him reject love (so he can have Juliet). The hurt and betrayal he feels don't come out until his death (which Romeo pretty much caused), at which point he curses the Montagues and the Capulets—"They have made worm's meat of me." Also, why is he so eager to attack Tybalt? Because Tybalt is Juliet's cousin, and Mercutio is Hot-Blooded enough to take out his angst on someone marginally involved that he's not particularly attached to.
Tybalt is in love with Juliet.Used in the French musical, but it's not terribly unlikely. It's possible Tybalt knows about Romeo's relationship with Juliet and wants to get rid of him out of family pride, big brother instinct...or thwarted love. Cousins married cousins all the time back then, and when you consider how clannish Tybalt is...
Shakespeare wrote the plays, but the actor Shakespeare was actually someone else.I'm surprised I've never heard this theory before.
Banquo's ghost wasn't really a ghostOkay, hear me out here. Banquo was murdered by a band of three murderers, right? But what about the mysterious third murderer who just appears out of nowhere? In one of the film adaptations, he kills the other two after Banquo dies. But it wasn't really Banquo, it was a body double that Banquo had hired. He knew that Macbeth was going to try and kill him. Fleance escaped because the third murderer (Banquo) went after him to instruct him to spread word of "Banquo's" demise. Banquo's ghost at the banquet was actually Banquo pretending to be his ghost. The reason for this was that if he could drive MacBeth insane with guilt, he would retire the throne. However, the rest of the people there (even Lady Macbeth) were in on this. You've noticed how Lady MacBeth seemed like she didn't want anymore killing, that's evidence that she doesn't approve of MacBeth anymore and wants him out of power. The reason Banquo's "ghost" only appears once is because there was a large group of people there (it's useless to go "insane" if there's no witnesses), ripe to spread rumors about their insane ruler.
Costard is related to the person who murdered Henry III, the Princess' father.