"We are such stuff as dreams are made on." (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
On Friday night I was lucky enough to be given tickets to go see the Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline here in DC. I love Shakespeare, but I had neither seen nor read this play. Turns out, I had really been missing out, as it is one of the Bard's more enjoyable efforts. If you've read it, you know it's a bit heavy on the deus ex machina in the end, but that's not really too much of a problem. If you haven't read it, go out and do so, it'll be worth the couple of hours you spend on it.
But the play got me thinking (and no, I don't know why) about how Aston Villa would fit into the Shakespearean world. Could our players be represented by characters in the plays? Would our season be one giant tragedy? Are there any villains reprehensible enough to be MON?
So join me on this journey, and please add your suggestions in the comments below. I think we can make this something special.
Michael Bradley - Appears out of nowhere in the middle of the story. Is sent to a foreign land (oddly enough, England) where the task he's given is hopelessly over his head. Could provide comic relief if rewritten by Tom Stoppard. Rosencrantz and/or Guildenstern from Hamlet.
Marc Albrighton - Easy answer: Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream. A mischievous elf? Absolutely. More in the spirit of this post answer: He's handsome. Everyone seems to like him. Charismatic. But prone to some of the stupidest decisions ever. Romeo from Romeo and Juliet.
Stephen Ireland - A bit of a skeevy character, but put in an awkward position by circumstance, so you're willing to give him a chance. When he keeps ignoring the fact that you don't like him you get a bit annoyed. Finally, when he decides it's time to hunt you down, kill your love and rape you, you begin wishing he'd just get his head chopped off by someone living in a Welsh cave. Cloten from Cymbeline.
Robert Pires - French. Acts like he's part of a royal family and should therefore be entitled to something. He's a real Bastard of Orleans from Henry VI, Part 1.
Stiliyan Petrov - Old, wise, beloved, and a leader of sorts. But he overstays his welcome and becomes, well, useless. No one would be too broken-hearted if he were put out of his misery. Polonius from Hamlet.
Barry Bannan - A magical little fairy who is extremely creative. Wants nothing more than his freedom. Ariel from The Tempest.
Martin O'Neill - Given the keys to the kingdom, and the trust of the king. Squanders it all all the while being a total prick. Finally decides that his betrothal isn't good enough for him and leaves. Would happily poison his own sister. Goneril from King Lear.
Habib Beye - Wants ever so badly to make the first team, yet when he's on the pitch, fails to impress. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. Julius Caesar from Julius Caesar.
Stewart Downing - When the season began, almost no one liked him. But it turns out, once you get to know him, and put him in a good place, he's actually quite delightful. Kate from The Taming of The Shrew.
Gérard Houllier - Seems to be a pretty likable fellow, but a few people certainly have it out for him. If things break right, everyone is happy. If not, he's sent off to an island. Prospero from The Tempest.
Those were the ones I can come up with. Have any other suggestions?