steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Will in Overplus

Back when Death of a Ghost (a title I disliked) was published, HarperCollins insisted on printing a film-style shout-line on the cover: “Birth of a Nightmare”. I disliked that even more, but shout-lines were obligatory for all their children’s books at the time. Not only that, they printed it in such a large font that many people took it to be part of the title, and the book is listed as Death of a Ghost: Birth of a Nightmare in quite a few places. This still rankles. (Part of me wishes I’d held out for The Runaway Swain.)

Anyway, turning awkwardly to Shakespeare, I note that he had only a few subtitles, and I get the impression that he wasn’t really trying too hard with them. What you Will and All is True aren’t exactly evocative. If he’d been writing today, though, he might have had them foisted on him by Burbage’s Marketing Dept. So, as a New Year divertissement, what subtitle/shout-lines might be appropriate for the Shakespeare canon?

Here are a few suggestions...

Romeo and Juliet; or, Thicker than Blood

As You Like It; or, If you Go Down to the Woods Today

King Lear; or, Tell Me if I Start to Wander

The Tempest; or, Daddy Knows Best

Timon of Athens; or, Life’s a Beach

Henry V; or, The Lancastrians Unplugged Tour 1415

Titus Andronicus; or, You're Looking a Bit Pasty

and, of course...

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; or, I Know What you Did Two Months Ago; or, Shit or Get off the Pot; or, Brains Aren’t Everything (Not by a Long Chalk)

Anyone else want to play? Feel free to improve on those above, or give titles for other plays.
Tags: books, my writing
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