True Grit Shakespeare

I love the paradox : Shakespeare is so difficult and irrelevant to modern society that nobody can understand why we even teach him anymore … and yet every time a new movie comes out, inevitably somebody compares it to Shakespeare.
Today’s example is True Grit, the current remake of the old John Wayne western. Although the linked interview is with 14yr old Hailee Steinfeld, she quotes co-star Barry Pepper for the Shakespeare reference.
Combing through the quotes page on IMDB, I found this amusing bit of dialogue that Mr. Shakespeare himself might have penned:

Rooster Cogburn: The jakes is occupied.

Mattie Ross: I know it is occupied Mr. Cogburn. As I said, I have business with you.

Rooster Cogburn: I have prior business.

Mattie Ross: You have been at it for quite some time, Mr. Cogburn.

Rooster Cogburn: There is no clock on my business! To hell with you! To hell with you! How did you stalk me here?

Mattie Ross: The sheriff told me to look in the saloon. In the saloon they referred me here. We must talk.

Rooster Cogburn: Women ain’t allowed in the saloon!

Mattie Ross: I was not there as a customer. I am fourteen years old.

Rooster Cogburn: The jakes is occupied. And will be for some time.

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One thought on “True Grit Shakespeare

  1. I just saw the movie tonight and came straight home to see if anyone else felt the rhythms of Shakespeare in the dialogue throughout. Not much mention of it out there and it's a little surprising to me. I'm no scholar on Shakespeare, nor can I pick out the specific meter in which large parts of the script were written. But having just read The Merchant of Venice for a class, it all seems very familiar to me.

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