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To tell you the truth, I haven't read that much Shakespeare. I've read Romeo & Juliet, Othello, and Hamlet. I think that's it. I've seen Sleep No More and The Donkey Show, but both of those are loose interpretations; the latter being very loose, if you know what I mean. So, I would try to wax poetic about the picture here being an interpretation of Billy's works but I am afraid I am not knowledgeable enough to do that. Of course, there are all of the characters that Shakespeare liked to write about pictured here. There is the hero, pictured here holding a rabbit, (or cat; let's make it a cat to really double up on symbolism) looking off into space with a knowing look; as if he knows of his impending doom and is foreshadowing the coming storm with a sense of calm and helplessness. As if he can do nothing to stop his fate. He wears headphones to block out the advise given to him by friends and family and even has an Ego growing out of his head. His ego looks down on him, unable to change his mind, although in constant dialogue with him; a sad expression on its face, also foreshadowing his grisly fate. The hero (or possibly tragic hero) is being carried in a baby bjorn by an eyeless, sexless being, possibly the narrator, possibly a spiritual being who is "carrying" the hero to his predestined future; both unseeing and uncaring, the being merely delivers the hero's destiny as written by the stars. Behind these characters is the crazy woman, the Ophelia of the picture. You may remember her from Tim & Jeremy's #21 where she first appeared in a seemingly much older form. In this incarnation, she dances at the peripheral as the men make the big decisions and ultimate downfalls. She becomes marginalized and dances her way out of the picture, literally, with her socks drooping and feeding her hat all the while. Next, we have the villain. Here he is pictured as a high school aged cat (not unlike the kind the hero has been "carrying", amIright?) smack dab in the middle of the composition. He is like Iago, stabbing the proverbial lamb in the heart with a smirk on his face implying that he will probably get away with it, or at least bring down the entire kingdom while doing so. The lamb, in turn has a surprised look, like he should have known the knife was coming, like his own fate was to die by the knife in order to become the martyr or rallying cry for the kingdom to seek revenge. The revenge can possibly come from the character right in front of him, the king. The king looks old and regal and wields a hedge trimmer, eyes wild with bloodlust. He swings the hedge trimmer wildly, out for blood of those who have been trying to manipulate him into laying down the crown and give it to the evil high school cat. He really wants to cut down the plant behind him, but he has been blinded by fantasies of revenge so powerful that his hedge trimmers cannot find the source of his ire, which is the plant. The plant obviously represents the ghosts prevalent in many works of Shakespeare. No one in the picture even notices this plant, although they should as it has a head, teeth and is sprouting small heads each with it's own mouth and eyes. The plant sits on the edge, watching the living souls play out their irrelevant drama, as it waits patiently to be joined by one and all of them. They will all eventually die, and since this is a work of Shakespeare, they will all die relatively soon. But wait! Is that a band in the background? It is! The band provides a little comic relief, like that of the jester or Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The lead singer adds some sex appeal by exposing himself while the backup singer provides the comedy so needed in this tragedy by throwing up and the band plays on. This is merely a stage show! Look over on the side, there is the audience, silent and ghostly, observing but making no comment; an act made difficult without mouths. They observe the unfolding drama as judges, unable to provide assistance to any of the participants in the play and must sit and watch the action unfold.
This is certainly an entertaining way to look at this one. It gives it some weight where there may not have been any in the first place. But isn't that so Shakespearian? Ordinary lives take on extraordinary properties and turn literature into scripture, passed down for the ages that repeat themselves forever.