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“Put a ring on it” with Modern Sonnets | Voices

Nowadays, we’re used to Shakespeare being adapted to suit contemporary culture, popular teen films have seen the Bard’s best plays reworked to appeal to the masses; Ten Things I Hate About You was a successful version of The Taming of the Shrew (count those syllables), while She’s the Man was a less popular rendition of Twelfth Night. We’ve seen Leonardo running around in a Hawaiian shirt portraying Romeo, while Claire Danes became the ‘snowy dove’ of the script with the help of some fancy dress wings. But can the switcheroo work the other way around? Could Beyonce be reworked into Renaissance rhetoric?  What about Queen, Abba or Bon Jovi? ‘No!’ you scoff? Think again, because the clever people over at Popsonnets on Tumblr have done just that. Here are our favourites…

If only Ophelia had told Hamlet to put a ring on it…

Beyonce Sonnet

The Beatles realised what Shakespeare meant when he wrote Sonnet 25…

The Beatles Sonnet

We think The Boar’s Head would definitely have this rendition of Abba‘s Dancing Queen quoted after a few ales…

Abba Sonnet

If only Rosalind had been able to gone to stay at the YMCA instead of the forest of Arden…

YMCA Sonnet

No one can argue that Romeo and Juliet weren’t living on a prayer…

Bon Jovi Sonnet

For more old twists on new tunes every Thursday, visit http://popsonnet.tumblr.com/

Adele-Elizabeth Orchard

Author Adele-Elizabeth Orchard

Adele-Elizabeth Orchard recently completed her MA Shakespeare at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis demonstrated how Shakespeare employed the role of foreign women and their use of language to subvert and transcend the inherent phallocentric nature and limitations of the English language. Her interests include: Shakespeare’s heroines and their cultural appropriation; Shakespeare and gender; female language and the female body; and the role of foreign women.

More posts by Adele-Elizabeth Orchard

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