Life as a Puritan in the Globe Theatre

by Hariket Trivedi

Editor’s note: This piece is based on Hariket’s work on The Tempest by William Shakespeare. He explores what a Puritan might think and feel at Shakespeare’s Globe – but this Puritan might not be so pure after all…


Life as a Puritan in the Globe Theatre

Another utter disgrace! That’s all there could be said. All this daunting magic and
despicable, disappointing witchcraft has anguished and tormented my brain which is quickly filling with intense, immense thoughts, even worse than this depressing show of idiotic fanatics trying to make money! Pffhhhr! Euhgr! I feel like retching at those posh-uns up there with plump cushions, staring with awe and wonder at the… the… the unspeakable dancing figurines. A rancid odour filled my nose with an emotion of disgust. And those groundlings down there! Look, some tomatoes sitting next to that poverty-stricken chicken; I might just borrow some…

As I tried to get out of this piece of monstrosity and eyesore, a crowd of Falstaffian, rotund men with beer bottles hanging from their necks came cheering at everyone, horrible drunkards! They trampled all over my cloak made by that famous bloke, I mean dead pope called Pope Stu Pidd! As I struggled to wear my glasses, more people came storming at me. What the He- I mean, what have I done to them? It’s not like they can somehow hear my writing!

Finally, the people are gone – this is my ultimate and final chance to escape – no! Why would they do this?! I must report this to the Relegitan (the religious puritan, our boss)
and his mind would explode as – just a quick fact – his family has hated and loathed these
vagrants for countless generations. Those drunkards carried me as if was a person enjoying this thing and made me sit in the VIP area! Could this still be as bad as I thought it would be?

No… I was in the VIP area and as I was about to sit on one of the plump, soft cushions when a splinter wedged itself in my leg. Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! What a waste of
money! I’m done with this carbuncle! Goddamn these people and their stupid show!
This is 100% not my regimen to achieve salvation. I mean really, am I seriously the only
person who sees the devils name and the bloody devil himself written and drawn over the actors and the play itself. Why the Hell did the Devil even have to be alive? And, the worst thing of all was that they made me stay awake until nine o’clock in the night! I have even forgotten to go to church today and Christ would not accept this sinful sin. Unbelievable! Anyway, who is this Shakespeare bloke? It is a necessity to talk and I mean a very stern, strict and serious talk to his secretary, even he’s bad enough to support him and his chowder-headed act of vagabonds. This show is called Macbeth, which somehow means ‘son of life’ and the opening scene has three deranged hags who live in a bubble of loathing and abhoration and then act extremely demeaning and pessimistic towards the Macbeth guy. It’s as nutty as someone trying to wear shorts in snow and a fur coat and hat in summer.

As I started my woebegone journey home, a flash of the future triggered my mind: if my
wife found out how horrible and terrible my day was, she would kill me! I thought what
would be better, punishment by my wife or bear the brunt of the colony and get killed.
My wife was the answer! I gulped a gargantuan gulp and sighed a sanctimonious sigh and started my entrance to near peril. She must be waiting for me; our dinner today is and now was a chicken fillet with a fish jus. Why do the bad things always defeat the optimistic things? Oh well, that’s life I guess. A terrible, hapless, forlorn and commiserative life.
Somehow, as I was walking home, I saw a small cluster of what looked like bandits with a
banner on their head saying, ‘Steal all of Shakespeare’s Life…Which are his stupid plays and him himself’, and all of this was written in blood. How did I know this? Well, all the thieves near Stratford-upon-Avon are extremely brutal and very savage, so knowing them, they would kill people and immorally use their heart’s blood. And as gruesome as it sounds, this is the Elizabethan era, so it’s quite sickening. Now, however much I hate those so-called plays, I am strictly against thievery as it says so in my Puritanical laws book and so I went back.

As I snuck back, I saw them going into Shakespeare’s closet/dressing room and had daggers with a blackish, red substance on it. I got nervous. Why would people want to do this? What will I tell my angry wife? What will I tell the other Puritans? Shakespeare was having his evening nap, so he would be ‘fresh’ for his play tonight which was Romeo and Juliet. To be completely honest, I kind of did like this acting thing. I hope the other Puritans didn’t hear that!

As I saw them sneak sneakily into Shakespeare’s bedroom, the world around
me stopped and became blurry as it came to a jerky halt. For once it moved faster than my quick and snappy thoughts of how terrible these actors and most importantly, these acts are. An epiphany escalated through my mind as quick as my actions. My brain froze. My life froze. The world was a train of my life, in chronological order. A tear swam through my cheek and injected and inflicted a strong emotion and a horrible regret. Was I actually this emotional? Was I actually this pessimistic? Was I actually me? My life was not as my God or diary or brain envisaged it. Who am I?!

As they crept in, I heard something I had hoped not to hear. A squeal of despair
reverberated through my ears. Who was this? Shakespeare or The Bandits? My heart rapidly pounded, even louder than the horrible din you hear at Shakespeare’s plays. I nervously crept in and watched what had happened. And, golly, the sight was as sickening and as dreadful as a tyrannosaurus eating and making a mess of a triceratops. They had stabbed Shakespeare and his secretary at least 10 times on each eye and the brain; people say that knives and spears give you nightmares, then those sissiess never saw this and I have got to say that I feel pretty brave about seeing this. My wife would have fainted as soon as she saw those absolutely gross and disgusting bodies of the two, I will now say, good and innocent men. I feel very piteous and sorrowful for them.

Two questions pondered and triggered my brain: 1- who are these tight-fisted criminals? And 2- what shall I do, tackle them myself or call the police? Be brave and tackle them myself was the legitimately brave answer, Goddamn myself – oh I hope the other Puritans didn’t hear that! My life has, in only a few hours, become a torment of, mostly, depressing, things.

As I went into the cold and frosty room, I saw those criminals devising a plan in the corner and I so desperately wanted to ambush on them and I did. Luckily, I didn’t get caught even though the idiotic floorboards croaked a bit and then I hit one of them with a baton of bread, which knocked him out, surprisingly, and then the other two I knocked out with my amazingly powerful fists. What was I to say to the crowd and the people of England? That Shakespeare got murdered by some ruthless criminals? And sure, they will definitely believe a Shakespeare-hating Puritan! Maybe, I could manipulate a commoner to say this; they’ll surely believe him. On the other hand, maybe not as then what would be the difference between me and the other Puritans?

What to do next?!

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