Monday, August 15, 2016

Shakespeare References in Goldberg Street: Short Plays And Monologues

David Mamet’s Goldberg Street: Short Plays And Monologues contains a couple of Shakespeare references. The first comes in the first line of the introduction: “Tradition has it that Shakespeare finished King Lear and handed it to Richard Burbage saying: ‘You son-of-a-gun, I’ve finally written one you can’t perform’” (p. vii). The second comes in a piece titled “The Spanish Prisoner”: “a knight rides out and, you know him by his shield, or as the Bard says, ‘Reputation’” (p. 26). In Othello, Cassio laments: “Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!” Part of Iago’s response reads, “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving.”

There is another possible Shakespeare reference in the piece titled, “All Men Are Whores: An Inquiry.” Mamet writes, “We are the stuff that rocks are made of” (p. 196), which is possibly a play on Prospero’s line “We are such stuff/As dreams are made on” from The Tempest.

Goldberg Street: Short Plays And Monologues was published in 1985 by Grove Press.

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