Welcome to WNTR’s “Middle of the Night Radio Shrink,” where pop psychology helps you make it through the night. Tonight’s program which is in honor of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday features a penetrating analysis of Shakespearean characters and how they relate to YOU. Night Radio Shrink thinks that when you admire certain Shakespearean characters’ qualities, you are really expressing your own personality quirks. If you’d like to participate live, send your tweets to #WNutterBillsBday.
For you happy folks, we’ll start with the comedies. You’re on the air, Doc.
Rosalind, whom we all know is the heroine in “As You Like It” is an impulsive lady. She’s spirited and a meddler whose favorite color is forest green. Her hobby is climbing trees and she likes to dress in men’s clothes. Rosie’s ideal hook-up is any man she’s not supposed to marry. The Buzz whispers that there was a lot more going on in the Forest of Ardor than we need to know. Let’s Dish the Dirt: Orlando and Ganymede—I tell you…
Portia is the poor little rich girl in “Merchant of Venice.” She’s a quick witted, sympathetic, beautiful, and dutiful daughter. Portia’s favorite color is lead because she knows that “all that glitters isn’t gold.” She moonlights as an attorney while dressed as a man. (It’s a good thing her daddy is dead!) This lady’s favorite hook-up is any John Doe in trouble with the law, or at least JD’s best friend. The Buzz says that Bassanio is just another guy who slips off his wedding ring when he enters the bar. Poor Portia! Let’s Dish: The whole casket thing was rigged.
Kate, is the title character in “The Taming of the Shrew.” Choleric Kate is a headstrong lady who’s ripe for the plucking. Her high school graduating class voted her most likely to become a widow in ten years. Kate’s favorite color is fire engine red. Few people know that she moonlights as a marriage counselor. This elder daughter of Baptista looks for a misogynist as her ideal mate. The Buzz is that Kate wanted to become a nun. Let’s Dish: Her hubby said “ ’tis the mind that makes the body rich”—RIGHT!
OK, Fellows, wake up! I haven’t forgotten you. The History plays are just the things that dreams are made of for our gentlemen listeners…
Richard III was not well liked. This Prince of York carried one heck of an inferiority complex on his shoulder (the lower one, I think). He balanced his complex with a strong streak of homicidal mania and insatiable ambition. His color reflected the gold of the blazing sun of York, tarnished by the winter of his discontent. Richard was relentless in the pursuit of his hobby, eliminating the competition. Marriageable women with claim upon the crown really turned on this darling prince. The Buzz quotes Richard’s mother. She says, “my son was not a hunchback. The boy just couldn’t be without his favorite dish, haggis, so he slung a sack of it over his shoulder (the higher one, I think) whenever he rode out to kill and cause mayhem.” Let’s Dish: there are hints that, like Don Corleone, family meant everything to Richard.
Henry V came after Henry IV (both parts) and before Henry VI (all three parts). Like most middle children he liked to get in people’s faces and have a good time. Number V was energetic and fun to be with. He didn’t always choose his friends wisely, hence Sir John Falstaff. In his family, purple—the color of kings—was the only color. As a young man his favorite hobbies were drinking and wenching but this prince of the blood turned our pretty well. He had a soft spot for French girls who happened to be included in treaties. The Buzz tells us that “men are merriest when they are from home.” Poor Kate! Let’s Dish, “we band of brothers,” come on! Stephen Ambrose said that first.
And now, as the midnight hours pass into predawn, we’ll examine the tragedies. Lord knows the ole Doc is depressed tonight.
Macbeth, Thane of Chowder and Oyster Crackers (just checking to see if you’re still awake), began as a loyal subject and fearless warrior. That is, until he met the three sisters, aka the weird sisters, aka the witches. His ambition, as well as his lovely wife, Lady Macbeth, urges him on to regicide. This man is a very poor host. He is also superstitious. Macbeth’s favorite color is said to be plaid. As a natural scientist, Macbeth collects specimens like eye of newt, toe of frog, scale of dragon and tooth of wolf. His favorite hook-up is a murderous, insomniac with a hand washing compulsion. (To each his own.) The Buzz is that his family told him not to marry that girl! Let’s Dish: “They” say that Macbeth has been seen wearing a skirt and daintily pointing his toes when dancing the Highland fling.
Hamlet, of course we have to talk about Hamlet, that broody, indecisive, arrested adolescent; talks to himself too. Our prince’s favorite color is ghostly grey and he has been known to hang around graveyards, the morbid little twit. The lovely Ophelia just wasn’t his type, he’s Oedipal you know. The Buzz tells us that the family gets a large purchase discount on poisons. Let’s Dish: Uncle Claudius took the fun out of dysfunctional. Grow up, boy!
Our final selection for the night is a little known Roman general,
Titus Andronicus. Titus is a classic psychotic whose sole motivation is revenge. When Ti is around there is sure to be buckets and buckets of blood and gore. It should come as no surprise that this totally out of control madman’s favorite color is blood red. His monomania is apparent in his chosen specialist field, tit for tat and hand for hand. If the general had a preference I’d say that a nice girl like Medea would strike his fancy. There is a rumor that Titus was nominated for Father of the Year, but his children all died before they could testify on his behalf. The Buzz advises: Stay Away From This Man. Let’s Dish: This play is GOTH-ick!
But seriously, if any of you listeners are the Titus Andronicus type, TEXT ME right now. Let’s meet up because I’m sure we can get an afternoon talk show on TV. This all night gig is wearing me out!
Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare. For earlier Bardolatry tributes click on the Shakespeare links on the left.