I figure that if I just keep typing, something profound will eventually come out of all this -

Monday, October 17, 2011

He-Man Woman Haters Club pt.2

    I've found it interesting how I'm starting to see Shakespeare everywhere I look. (Question: Am I the only one that this is happening to, or are y'all seeing Bill pop up everywhere too? Maybe I'm stretching in some instances, but it still blows my mind to realize that everything he wrote about was so universal that it still crops up in society today. I guess that's why we're still reading him hundreds of years later.
    Anyway, this whole train of thought cropped up because this past weekend my wife and I sat down to watch The Little Rascals, and I couldn't help but compare the entire film to Love's Labour's Lost. (Again, you think I would have drawn the connection sooner considering Chris's post a few days ago) It's not a perfect comparison, but the similarities between the two definitely deserve some looking into.
Love's Labour Lost - Oath

The King proposes an oath that each man swear an oath to study, not sleep, fast, and not talk to women.  
"I have already sworn, That is, to live and study here three years. ... not to see a woman in that term ... And one day in a week to touch no food And but one meal on every day beside, ... And then, to sleep but three hours in the night, And not be seen to wink of all the day" - Biron Act 1 Scene 1 

The Little Rascals - Oath 
The rascals all swear to hate women.
"I, Stymie, member in good standing of the He-Man Woman Haters Club, do solemnly swear to be a he-man and hate women and not play with them or talk to them unless I have to. And especially never fall in love, and if I do may I die slowly and painfully and suffer for hours - or until I scream bloody murder."
Love's Labour Lost - Switched Letters
After being freed from prison, Costard is given a letter from Armado to Jaquenetta, and another letter from Berowne to give to Rosaline. Costard mixes up the letters and hijinks ensue.

The Little Rascals -  Lost Letter
Alfalfa writes a love letter to Darla but pretends to write a hate letter while his friends Porky and Buckwheat listen. Porky and Buckwheat lose the letter on the way to Darla's, so instead repeat what Alfalfa said.

Love Letter: "Dear Darla, I can't live without you...Really...I'm not kidding. Your Romeo, Alfalfa."
Hate Letter: "Dear Darla, I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You're scum between my toes! Love, Alfalfa."
Love's Labour Lost - Costard's Trial
When the king learns that Costard has spent time with a woman, he's put on trial for breaking an oath he didn't really agree too.

Costard Sir, I confess the wench.
Ferdinand Did you hear the proclamation?
Costard I do confess much of the hearing it but little of
the marking of it.
Ferdinand It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment, to be taken
with a wench.
Costard I was taken with none, sir: I was taken with a damsel.
Ferdinand Well, it was proclaimed 'damsel.'
Costard This was no damsel, neither, sir; she was a virgin.
Ferdinand It is so varied, too; for it was proclaimed 'virgin.'
Costard If it were, I deny her virginity: I was taken with a maid.
Ferdinand This maid will not serve your turn, sir.
Costard This maid will serve my turn, sir.
Ferdinand Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast
a week with bran and water.
Costard I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.
Ferdinand And Don Armado shall be your keeper.
My Lord Biron, see him deliver'd o'er:

The Little Rascals -  Alfalfa's Trial 
When his friends learn that Alfalfa and Darla have been spending time together, Alfalfa is put on trial for going on a date with Darla and burning down the clubhouse.

Spanky How do you plead?
Alfalfa Like this, please oh please have mercy please
Buckwheat Hmmm, pretty good pleading
Spanky Would you like to make a statement
Alfalfa Just that I never knew liking a girl could lead to all this. I let my pals down. I let the club down. And I let my best friend down
Spanky Alfalfa Switzer, I hereby sentence you to execution at dawn
Buckwheat Yes! 
Stymie Your honor may I suggest this court rules this court put him on probation. As terms of the probation he alone will be responsible for guarding the go-cart, day and night
Spanky Court agrees.

Love's Labour Lost - All End Up Breaking Oath
In the end, all the men end up falling in love with women.
The Little Rascals -  All End Up with Corresponding Girls
The final scene of The Little Rascals shows each of the boys with a girl, and the sign on the door now reads:
He-Mon Womun Haters Club
    Women Welcome

Again, I'm not saying it's an exact comparison, but they certainly do share elements.


  1. Thanks for fleshing that was awesome! It's really fun to see how ubiquitous Shakespeare is in our society. I think the parallel is great.

  2. i don't know how I missed this post before but i LOVE it!! Little Rascals in one of my favorite movies!