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To Be Or Not To Be

"To be or not to be" thought Will. "What the hell did that mean?" His teacher had asked him to write 370 words about it. He didn't know why she had chosen that number and why she had given him that option instead of being suspended. He wondered now why he hadn't chosen three days to walk about the streets doing whatever he wanted instead of this boring essay.

He googled it and learnt three new words, soliloquy, Shakespeare and Hamlet. It also said the most famous of all literary quotations but there is a deep disagreement on the meaning of both the phrase and the speech. "Great" mused Will, I'll write those words and Miss Page wont be able to diss them. He hadn't yet learnt the meaning of plagiarism.

He downloaded the film Hamlet, it was ancient, made in 1996 but that blonde in Titanic was in it Kate Somebody and Kenneth Whatshisname. It went on for four hours but somehow the time went as quick as when he played on his X box. His mum yelled up the stairs "turn that rubbish off and get to sleep".

It felt strange, it wasn't rubbish. The way they spoke was strange but Will was mesmerised. Here was this bloke agonising over death, suicide, murder, wandering about with a skull. He picked up his pen and wrote 370 words, no more no less.

In later years when interviewed on television he would talk about Miss Page and why he called his first best seller 370 words. He'd forgotten by now the reason why suspension had been threatened. His genre was referred to as Street Shakespeare. He'd watched every film, saw plays at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford upon Avon but never read any of Shakespeare's texts. That would be too boring.

Story by:

Stella Turner

30 August 2012

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