Two Gentlemen of Lebowski: A Most Excellent Comedie and Tragical Romance
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What if…William Shakespeare had written The Big Lebowski?
The Dude has met the Bard—and he doth abide.
Join “The Knave” and Sir Walter on a wild tale of mistaken identity, kidnapping, bowling, and a rug that, in faith, really tied the room together—in a sidesplitting Shakespearean comedy of errors and ninepins, told in five glorious acts of iambic pentameter and impeccable period prose.
Already a theatrical hit and a worldwide viral phenomenon, Two Gentlemen of Lebowski comes alive anew in this definitive and lavishly illustrated edition, featuring recently discovered historical engravings, scholarly annotations, and a revelatory afterword from the author.
WALTER By my life, he cracks. THE KNAVE Think not on him till Wednesday, for the game; Our worries stretch to higher fruit than he. Look well: the nihilists approach our green And bring Greek fire to our quiet lot. My burning car doth hotly scorch the earth! The weary moon hath shone upon our park And lit the burnt husk of my fiery car! Greek fire. Alarums. Enter OLIVER and the NIHILISTS. It hath finally been done. They made my car to shuffle off the mortal coil. OLIVER Money buys
I had mine: “What if”—pause for effect—“William Shakespeare wrote The Big Lebowski?” I suppose I owe you an explanation. The summer of 2009 was a magical time to be a Bardolator. Visionary director Julie Taymor’s film of The Tempest was in postproduction. Noted Shakespearean actor Brian Blessed was making plans to explore outer space while boisterously shouting in iambic pentameter. Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway was playing Viola in Twelfth Night. And the failing economy meant more time
would regularly join the mortal realm and partake in mortal practices like sex and gravity. ‘we’ of royalty: pluralis maiestatis, the use of a plural pronoun to refer to a single person of high status a wilderness of monkeys: unknown equerry: a senior attendant within a household; from the French écuyer, squire excises: taxes least wholesome: most evil Vexatious: perplexing, worrisome favour: appearance cockerel: rooster soil’d with fear: i.e., so afraid as to soil ourselves temperance:
guilty of betrayal Devonshire: county of Devon in southwestern England condition: behaviour liked my jerkin not: probably an insult related to social class. The jerkin, as compared to the doublet, was workman’s wear for the middle and lower classes, and unsuitable attire for a garden party. The constable may have reacted to the Knave’s ignoble fashion in addition to his behaviour. For more information, consult Janet Winter and Carolyn Savoy, Elizabethan Costuming for the Years 1550–1580, 2nd
clearly demarcated in our rules, In tumbling past the throw. ’Tis play most foul. JACK SMOKE But see the pins struck down in fair play’s course! Knave, mark mine eight of nine pins; mark it eight. WALTER Not eight but l’oeuf:; you’ll mark it nought, O Knave, And so we carry on to the next frame. JACK SMOKE Peace, Sir Walter! WALTER Smokey, this be not the foul jungles of the darkest East Orient. This be ninepins. We are bound by laws. THE KNAVE Nay, Walter; the quality of mercy is