Sunday, November 2, 2008

Shakespearean Subtitles in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Dir. Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. Perf. Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Eric Idle. 1975. DVD. Columbia Tri-Star, 2001.

Although it's something of an anachronism for Shakespeare to turn up in the reign of Arthur, King of the Britons, he does. In the subtitles. One of the options on the DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail is "Subtitles for People who don't like the Film." I happen to like the film, so I don't look at them too often, but they are made up of random lines from Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II.

[Note: Upon recent review, Bardfilm has determined that the lines may not be that random after all. There's a method in the randomness of the lines—most of them make a sort of sense out of the lines as they are delivered.]

Here's a sampling:

Links: The Film at IMDB.
Click below to purchase the film from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).


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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest