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ARTICLES AND BOOKS BY WRITER BEN AROGUNDADE

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New Shakespeare Comedy Mashup: A Modern Remix Of Othello And Romeo And Juliet

A SHAKESPEARE REMIX: The Shakespeare Mashup (eBook) is a modern adaptation of Othello and Romeo and Juliet. In this version, Ben Arogundade has created a mashup of both plays, using only the Bard's original text. The resulting tragi-comedy is the first ever work of its kind.

WHAT DO YOU GET when you fuse William Shakespeare's plays Othello and Romeo and Juliet together?
A brand new comedy “remix”, called Hellomeorootlietju. By Ben Arogundade.

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THE SHAKESPEARE MASHUP (Hellomeorootlietju)
The Shakespeare Mash-up represents a new genre in theatre and literature, created by author Ben Arogundade. It deconstructs the text from Shakespeare's plays Othello and Romeo & Juliet, then reassembles selected components of dialogue from all the main characters, thereby placing Othello, Desdemona, Romeo and Juliet together for the first time, in an original cut-and-paste modern adaptation. In this remixed version, an original new play has been created entirely of Shakespeare's own rearranged words. The end result is a short tragi-comedy entitled Hellomeorootlietju — a mash-up of the titles of both plays. Here is a sample of the action:

The players
Othello — the Moor, general in the Venetian army
Desdemona — wife to Othello
Romeo — only son of the Montagues
Juliet — only daughter of the Capulets

Remixed plot - synopsis
Noble Othello, leader of the Venetian armed forces, has returned home to Cyprus, victorious against the Turks. But his celebrations are muted when he receives word that his beloved bride Desdemona is having an affair, although he has no direct proof of the allegation. Nevertheless, maddened by the speculation, he reciprocates by embarking upon a clandestine affair of his own, with Juliet, only daughter of the Capulet family.

Early one morning, Desdemona catches her husband and Juliet together. But the lovers are unrepentant, ridiculing her in the process. A humiliated Desdemona is unaware of the fact that Othello suspects her of being unfaithful. She is puzzled as to what has driven him to dispense such cruelties.

Later, Desdemona confronts Juliet about the affair. She is shaken when Juliet declares that she is in fact in love with Othello. Determined to win her husband back, Desdemona hatches a desperate plan to loosen Juliet’s grip on her husband’s affections. She introduces him to a close friend of hers — a handsome gay lothario called Romeo. She has briefed him with prior instructions to seduce Othello. Desdemona hopes her husband will take the bait, as she has learned of the ways of soldiers like him, and the manner in which their sexuality can be turned by long months away at war, with only the company of other men to sustain them.

But as Romeo sets about his mission, Othello is still haunted by thoughts of Desdemona and her alleged adultery. He fixates on a certain handkerchief, a love token he once gave her, that is now lost. He believes that she gave it to her secret lover. A corrosive rage begins to swell within him — one that even Romeo’s charms cannot quell. Gorged with jealousy, Othello decides on a drastic course of action that will result in the deaths of all but one of the four people involved.

SCENE I — the bedchamber of the Capulet house

Enter Othello and Juliet.

JULIET
'Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:
And yet no further than a wanton's bird;
Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.

OTHELLO
I am bound to thee for ever.

JULIET
Speakest thou from the heart?

OTHELLO
Amen, with all my heart.

JULIET
How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.

OTHELLO
The sooner, sweet, for you.

JULIET
What man art thou that thus bescreen'd in night
So stumblest on my counsel?

OTHELLO
Pray, chuck, come hither.

Embraces her and kisses her.

JULIET
You kiss by the book.

OTHELLO
An unauthorized kiss.

JULIET
Amen!

OTHELLO
Are you not a strumpet?

JULIET
It is an honour that I dream not of.

OTHELLO
Say you?

JULIET
I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
And yet I would it were to give again.

OTHELLO
Down strumpet!

Pushes her onto the bed, kisses her.

JULIET
What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?

OTHELLO
A horned man's a monster and a beast.

Enter Desdemona.

DESDEMONA
What horrible fancy's this?

JULIET
Ay me!

OTHELLO
Amen to that, sweet powers!
I cannot speak enough of this content;
It stops me here; it is too much of joy:
And this, and this, the greatest discords be
That e'er our hearts shall make!

DESDEMONA
By heaven, you do me wrong.

OTHELLO
Why, what art thou?

DESDEMONA
Your wife, my lord; your true
And loyal wife.

OTHELLO
Was that mine?

DESDEMONA
Why do you speak so startingly and rash?

OTHELLO
O Desdemona! away! away! away!

DESDEMONA
What's the matter?

OTHELLO
Think on thy sins.

DESDEMONA
Alas, my lord, what do you mean by that?

OTHELLO
Away!

DESDEMONA
Be as your fancies teach you;
Whate’er you be, I am obedient.

OTHELLO
Excellent good.

DESDEMONA
I will not stay to offend you.

OTHELLO
Indeed!

DESDEMONA
I am very sorry that you are not well.

JULIET
A thousand times good night!

Exit Desdemona.

The Observer

The Times

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“A transformative remix”

“Bold innovations”

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