Dude, Where Art Mine Horse and Carriage?

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"That was one craaazy night!"

Dude, Where Art Mine Horse and Carriage? is one of William Shakespeare's best-known plays, written sometime between 1596 and 1598. Although it is sometimes classified as a comedy ("comedy" had a very different meaning at the time; see "Two and a Half Men") and shares certain aspects with the other romantic comedies, it is perhaps more remembered for its dramatic scenes (particularly the famous tattoo scene). The story follows the misadventures of two 16th Century Flemish oil painters, Antonio and Jacob who, after a wild night of strong cheese and lute playing, misplace their wives' horse and carriage.

Act 1[edit | edit source]

At the play's outset, Antonio and Jacob awaken with a most dreadful case of post-alcohol consumption head pains and no memory of the previous night. Their house is filled (quite literally) with containers of broth and salted meats. They emerge from their home to find Antonio's horse and carriage missing, and with it their wives' One Year's-Relationship presents as well. This prompts Antonio to ask the play's title query: "Dude, Where art mine Horse and Carriage?"

The duo begins retracing their steps in an attempt to discover just where they left the horse and carriage. Along the way, they encounter a Venitian moneylender, a skittish Scottish noble, the Danish Royal family, Richard III, three witches, and the risen ghost of Adolf Hitler who ironically had not been born when the play was written.

Act 2[edit | edit source]

The second act is generally seen as more dramatic and less "comedic" than the first, as the day draws on Antonio becomes discouraged at the lack of information they gained from their travels and lashes out on Jacob. Jacob bitterly responds and blames Antonio for losing the carriage.

Antonio:"O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!"
Jacob:"Knave! blundering fool! thou hast lost mine wagon for eternity!"

The two storm off, and decide to spend the last of their remaining currency on bodily needle markings. As these said markings are out of their own lines of vision, the two must question each other to find out what was inscribed on to their backs, and unfortunately their lack of trust with each other once again arises and they begin to bicker once again.

Jacob: "Antonio thou hast gotten a bodily needle marking!"
Antonio: "As do you Jacob, What scribblings hath penetrated mine flesh?"
Jacob: " 'Dude!' What scribblings hath penetrated mine flesh?"
Antonio:" 'Sweet!' What scribblings hath penetrated mine flesh?"
Jacob: " 'Dude!' What scribblings hath penetrated mine flesh?"
Antonio:" 'Sweet!' What scribblings hath penetrated mine flesh?"
Jacob: " 'Dude!' What scribblings hath penetrated mine flesh?"
Antonio:" 'Sweet!' What scribblings hath penetrated mine flesh?"
Jacob: " [Angrily] 'Dude!' What scribblings hath penetrated mine flesh?"
Antonio: [shouting] "Thou speaketh an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Flanders!"

Act 3[edit | edit source]

The final act is seen by many as one of the most tragic passages in the history of the english language. After their argument, Jacob challenges Antonio to a competiton in which each contestant will do a lively jig. The contestant who does not do the superior jig must face death. Antonio readily accepts for fear of shame, and because he thinks Jacob still suffers from the plague. They try to outjig each other in increasingly elaborate, and often erotic ways, a mighty controversy to the public of the time, but eventually Jacob succumbs to the brilliance of Antonio's moves and literally implodes on himself in a tragic, bloody manner. Bankrupt and alone, Antonio takes his own life.

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The Complete works of William Shakespeare

Comedies:  A Midsummer Night's Dream · All's Well That Ends Well · As You Like It · The Comedy of Errors · Cymbeline · Love's Labour's Lost · Measure for Measure · The Merchant of Venice · The Merry Wives of Windsor · Much Ado About Nothing · Pericles, Prince of Tyre · Taming of the Shrew · The Tempest · Twelfth Night · The Two Gentlemen of Verona · The Two Noble Kinsmen · The Winter's Tale

Histories:  The Bawdy Bard · King John · Richard I · Richard II · Henry IV, Part 1 · Henry IV, Part 2 · Henry V · Henry VI, part 1 · Henry VI, part 2 · Henry VI, part 3 · Henry VIII · Richard III · Richard IV · Richard V · Richard VI · Richard VII · Richard VIII · Richard IX · Richard X

Poems and Sonnets:  Venus and Adonis · The Rape of Lucrece · The Passionate Pilgrim · The Phoenix and the Turtle · A Lover's Complaint · Sonnet 18