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"Sir John's Press Conference" by Cameron Butt

Cameron Butt made the shortlist for the Shakespeare Selfie competition in the 19+ category. Congratulations Cameron!

Here is his present-day soliloquy for Falstaff from Henry IV.

"Sir John's Press Conference"
By Cameron Butt

Tell me, what think’st thou? Think’st thou that proud Sir John be unfit to govern for being a corrupt rogue, an arrant knave, and a whoreson gluttony rascal? Sblood! Shall I be made to resign for some forgotten part of one of my drunken stupors? Does not a man deserve even a crack of privacy? Well, ’tis no matter. ’Tis in the past now. And the past is past reckoning. Zounds! Shall my office be taken from me because I, like other men, turn rosy o’the cheek after a cup of sack? ’Tis insensible. They say I lie and swear. Show me a man who lies and swears and I will show you a man who knows the truth, and defends it, too! What, wouldst thou replace me with Mistress Chow, Master Tory, or Soknacki? They are unqualified for high office—they drink no wine! But sack ascends me into the brain, warms me of the blood, and is the birth of my excellent wit. Still, men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me. But they know me not. Every third word a lie! In truth, I am a gentleman. And as I am in truth a gentleman, I am in truth as pious and honest as a Trinity Lawyer—nay, for then I should not practice in Ontario, as I do—rather, I am pious and honest as a senator o’ the Senate. And my seat in government is as roundly justified as a French Justice’s. Why, I saveth taxpayers millions of dollars! When thou hast a pot hole at the end of the drive, or what have you, call on me and I shall ride forth to fill it myself! So banish not me thy company. Banish Duffy! Banish Wallin! Banish Brazeau! But as for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy company! He is old, and old men need company. He is ill, and ill men need their medicine. If medicine maketh an old man lie ’tis no fault o’ the man! I prithee, what say’st thou? Canst thou forgive me the vice of lying? It doth become me, thinkst thou not? And as for the medicine, if that be the problem, I shall make myself better before Autumn. What you have seen is but a colour. Fear no colours. I will be as good as my word.

The winner of the Shakespeare Selfie competition will be announced on Friday, May 16.


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