Why did the Shakespearean Chicken Cross the Road (Guest Post)

It suddenly occurred to Bardfilm that he had never taken the elementary step of asking Shakespeare’s characters the simple (but telling) question “Why did the chicken cross the road?” That has now been rectified:

Why did the chicken cross the road, Falstaff?

You mean I missed one?

Henry V, why did the chicken cross the road?

Proclaim it through my host that any chicken which hath no stomach to this fight may depart. We would not die in that chicken’s company that fears his fellowship to die with us. We few. We happy few. We brood of chickens!

Why did the chicken cross the road, Tybalt?

I do not know. I hate the bird, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.

Why did the chicken cross the road, Ophelia?

She . . . she made it? Then there’s hope! Hope! Hope! {Splash.}

Mark Antony, why did the chicken cross the road?

Because she was an honorable bird. So are they all—all honorable birds!

Why did the chicken cross the road, Hamlet’s Father’s Ghost?

Because she escaped me. My general policy, as you know, is to murder most fowl.

Macbeth, why did the chicken cross the road?

Is this a chicken that I see before me, the beak toward my hand?

Why did the chicken cross the road, Hamlet?

Well, it was going to cross the road, but halfway across it began to think, “If I cross this road now, while it is a-praying, won’t the road end up going to heaven?” so it turned around and headed straight back. It struck me as pretty reasonable.

King Lear, why did the chicken cross the road?

To die, insane, having lost everything.

Why did the chicken cross the road, Rosalind?

To get to the Forest of Arden! But to get there, she had to dress as a rooster.

Antigonus, why did the chicken cross the road?

She simply exited, pursued by a bear. Wouldn’t you?

Macduff, why did the chicken cross the road?

Did you say all?

No, just the one chicken, Macduff.

O hell-kite! All?

No—listen. It just a joke. One chicken, one road.

What, all my pretty chickens and their dam at one fell swoop?

Oh, nevermind.

Our thanks for this guest post to kj, the author of Bardfilm. Bardfilm is a blog that comments on films, plays, and other matters related to Shakespeare.

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One thought on “Why did the Shakespearean Chicken Cross the Road (Guest Post)

  1. I love these! I've been telling them to Polonius and Gravedigger 1 constantly.
    But I beg to differ on Ophelia's answer.
    "Because they say the chicken was a baker's daughter."

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