William Shakespeare’s clone –Willy, as he’s known around the lab –finally spoke for the first time this Saturday evening since hatching more than a year ago.
“Horrible connection,” he said to a shocked lab assistant, who promptly pressed the “Speak thou” alarm-button, especially created while waiting for this occasion.
Are the Bard’s first words since 1616 a reflection on human relationships in this frivolous, meta-postmodern world or a commentary on Comcast’s $120 Internet+line bundle?
“Regardless, it’s an incredible achievement,” said biotechnology professor/Reality TV star Alan Womberg, leader of the McBeth project, who finally starts to see the results of a project that has been almost a hundred years in its making.
Shakespeare’s body has been resting at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-Upon-Avon since his original death in 1616, with the following inscription:
“Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he who moves my bones.”
Almost 496 years later, in November of 2112, a group of scientists had managed to barely open it up just wide enough to rub a q-tip over its contents and put the sample on a vitro glass. “Bones were not moved,” declared Alicia Simmons, archaeological director of the British Cultural Society, “we just gave a little rub off the sacrum.” The idea was to confirm, preserve, and study its genetic code, but due to funding issues the specimen landed into the lap of a scientific team lead by Womberg, who tirelessly worked in the laboratories of UCLA, California, where they had different plans. In January 2115 Willy was succesfully hatched.
“It was an exciting time, but nerve-wracking,” Says Womberg. “We were not only concerned by the scientific challenge of cloning humanity’s most famous wordsmith, but also went through a lot of pressure from Netflix, who was financing the project to put a documentary on-demand by pilot season in 2121.” Netflix also has partial copyright to every new play/screen play/performance piece.
This was part of the reason why Womberg’s team decided to clone Shakespeare directly into near adulthood. Almost out of puberty, Willy was born as old as his own unforgettable teenager lover. This may explain why this gentle and dear Romeo is still learning the intricacies and turns of the English language, and he’s yet to write a single word. “He probably wants to make sure he dominates it before dwelling into more unforgettable classics,” a spokesman for the McBeth Project stated. Reportedly, so far he seems to be more concerned about Claire Danes scenes in Baz Lhurman’s 1996 take on the classic star-crossed lover’s story, but as some lab assistants recognize, that may be just because video playback lags sometimes on the wi-fi connection.
The bard has been given coal pencils, pen and ink, a typewriter and a computer. “He has been learning to surf the web” says Womberg, “he easily learned to save screenshots and open incognito tabs, but he still has problems creating new documents on Word.”
“Horrible connection” is now officially the last sentence spoken by Shakespeare, but not the last written, since he still hasn’t put anything on paper. However, the team is positive about the future. “There’s still more Shakespeare to come,” announced Netflix on their Facebook page.
As his previously last-known work, a passage in “The Two Noble Kingsmen,” written in 1613, is for now still considered Shakespeare’s last written words. It’s a passage addressed to the Gods:
Go to McBethProjectonline.com to listen to a SoundCloud recording of the event, and follow Netflix on Facebook to get the latest Shakespeare updates.