When something is well-written, it’s not uncommon to hear someone refer to it as “Shakespeare.” For example, hypothetically, someone might say, “The script for Ghostbusters was so good, it’s like Shakespeare.” But what if Ghostbusters actually was written by Shakespeare?
That was the question posed by Jordan Monsell. And not only did he pose it, he answered it. His new book Ministers of Grace: The Unauthorized Shakespearean Parody of Ghostbusters takes Ghostbusters, originally written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, and translates it into iambic pentameter and other kinds of period prose. The result is the same Ghostbusters you know, but in a way you never expected.
For a taste, here’s a brief excerpt from Ministers of Grace. It’s when the Ghostbusters go out on their first call.
I humbly thank thee gentles for thy speed. Our guests grow anxious by the hour and start To question me for reasons have I none.
Hath it appeared ere now?
The eldest servants know of higher floor The strange impatience, I do mean to say Though stirred it not these past five moons till late. And ne’re did carry on as violently.
Did’st thou make report to any soul?
Nay! Good heavens! We do not speak of it. I wish it were removed before the dawn.
Verily. Now peace good sir. Custom hath made it in we a property of easiness.
MAN AT STAIRS
What be you, a Muscovite?
Nay, we be extirpators. A rat a man did see on floors above and called upon us.
An unholy size this rat must be.
‘Twould take this from this, sirrah.
Wilt thou follow?
I’d rather keep my head to chew and swallow.
It hath occurred to me of late that a successful trial of our weapons have we not.
I do accuse myself.
As do I.
The fault, dear Egon, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Wherefore be troubled? For upon our backs have we unlicensed boxes of rough magic.
Agreed. Are we content?
EGON charges RAY’s pack, then backs away.
Plus, Aykroyd himself gave Monsell a quote for the book.