Thursday, November 21, 2013

Analysis of "A Silly Poem" by Spike Milligan

Original poem reprinted online here: "A Silly Poem" by Spike Milligan
Originally read: May 31, 2013
More information about the Poet: Spike Milligan

Humorous poem.  I'm not so sure how to go about this to analyze.  I guess I'll start with the title.  The title announces that the poem is a straight forward silly poem -- so the mindset of the reader automatically looks for the following: the type of humor which is how subject and tone fails expectation.

But the switch happens automatically as the point of view is revealed to be Hamlet talking to Ophelia -- yes, that Hamlet, and that Ophelia.

The characters act out of character to the play when Hamlet asks Ophelia on "What kind of pencil shall I use?" to draw a sketch, "2B or not 2B?"  The reference being to Hamlet's famous soliloquy.

How much of Hamlet does a reader have to know about Hamlet to understand this?  Not much.  How much does a reader have to know about pencils in order to find this humorous -- a lot more than knowing Hamlet.

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