I originally wrote this for a web community ages ago and titled it “If Shakespeare was an Irishman”.
I don’t think anyone really knows if limericks originated from Ireland, or at least were first named/categorized there. The fact is, Shakespeare actually used this form of poetry at least once, in a drinking song in Othello.
What I did was rather simple:
I took several works of Shakespeare, browsed for interesting/well known quotes and tried to turn them into silly limericks, because, why not?
Enjoy guessing my favorites and the descent into madness, as they get weirder and weirder towards the end of this post. Well…they’re all pretty weird.
Here goes, in the order that I wrote them:
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s toe,
Thou art more fingery, thou shalt know!
Five on each foot,
Stuck in a boot
And none have named thee friend nor foe.
Prince of Denmark
To be or not to be, don’t ask the question
You’ll rip apart the caref’lly crafted bastion
Your sanity, that bitch
Thought it could get some rest on.
Another one from Helsingore
There’s something rotten in the fridge of Denmark,
The smell so strong you neighbours yell: “Hark!
Throw out that cheese,
I beg you, please!”
It’s just the carcass of an aardvark.
In Julius Cesar, Act III, Antonius grows hungry
Friends, Romans, countrymen,
Please lend me a hen,
Some eggs I need
Mine is the greed
For an omelette fried in a pan.
The merchant of Venice was a creepy fellow
If you prick us, don’t we bleed?
If you lick us, will we breed?
Don’t by shy,
Give it a try,
A little romp is all we need!
Romeo had something very specific in mind, in act II, scene II
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
I hope she doesn’t plan to be a nun.
“A real shame!”
I would exclaim.
“That ruins an awful lot of fun!”
The Tempest probably was the weirdest
Where the bee sucks, there suck I,
Until the spring runs tot’lly dry,
Do bees suck?
Nonsense, but I admit I had to try.
Speaking of crazy, Old MacBeth should be heard about this
Is this a dagger which I see,
Why does the coroner ask me?
I’m not a corpse.
But space-time warps
And then I see a sucking bee!
Apparently Manowar stole their lyrics from Midsummernights Dream, specificly act II, scene I
My heart is true as steel,
Before me even demons kneel,
Sword at my side,
Eyes open wide,
Your troops are at my heel!
The rest is silence…
– Hamlet, act V, scene II