NCAAdius. How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
Camlet. Not so, my lord. I have been granted blessing to avoid all stressing.
—The Tragedy of Camlet Act I Scene III
The Cam Newton Saga has increasingly felt like a Shakespearean tragedy. (Add alleged to all of the following. . . War Eagle.) There’s the money-mad dad, the corruption of higher institution athletics, the moral ambiguities and folly of youth, venal, profiteering vultures, fat-necked patrons and Thayer Evans. (“A bird hath informed thou art a liar and a cheat.”) Bill would have a time with this tale.
If you’re just realizing how true that is, you’re too late. Jeremy Burgess was several steps ahead of you. He’s taken the initiative and his recent post-grad free time to create The Tragedy of Camlet, Prince of Auburn, a retelling and reworking of Shakespeare’s Hamlet based on the Cam Newton Saga. Burgess was kind enough to take time away from playwriting to give TWER a peak behind the curtain. (Our favorite character thus far: Tebratiow. This is how we like to imagine Tim Tebow actually talks and acts.)
Tebratiow. I must know—how is’t that these men doth plan to ride upon horses west of Louisiana and into the ocean? Be these horses made to swim?
Charcellus. My lord, thou hast misunderstood entirely.
Tebratiow. Ay! Be they seahorses, mayhaps?
Meynaldo. Concern yourself not with these questions, Tebratiow. We must prepare thine arm for swift approaching battle with young Sabanbras. Ho, at arms!
Tebratiow. Thou art most wise. Prepare thyself, Sabanbras! Charge!
—The Tragedy of Camlet Act I Scene III
Are you a student / alum? I am not, but my mother, aunt, and older sister (Miss Homecoming 2001, in fact) all went to Auburn, so I’ve been a fan my whole life. I have a Bachelor’s in English from Birmingham-Southern and a Master’s of English from Louisville. Drew Morris, who does the web layout and pictures for me, is in fact an Auburn grad (class of 2010).
Was this for a class? Nope, this is my first semester with no class since…well, since before kindergarten. The idea just hit me one day, and I knew that I had no reason not to give it an honest shot, so I went for it and it’s been quite an adventure thus far.
What kind of response have you gotten from Auburn fans? From other fans? I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of positive responses from both sides. I’m fortunate enough to know fans/alums from just about every SEC school (except for Arkansas or South Carolina), and they’ve been able to drub up a lot of support through non-Auburn forums like tigerdroppings.com and rollbamaroll.com. Fans of other SEC schools have had a field day with the Cam situation, and they’ve come up with some really interesting/clever ways to spin humor out of the situations. Many Auburn fans, I’ve noticed, actually respond positively to the attacks on Cam if they’re done in a clever way. So, like I mention on the website, I’m trying to pull humor out of the situation itself rather than attacking or praising Cam. Hopefully the number of visitors from other SEC schools means I’m maintaining that balance.
Did you by chance happen to see our Chizik V from a couple of weeks back? Actually I did not, but that image of Chizik is amazing. I’ll have to read it as soon as I’m done with these questions.
What do you think is the parallel-able to Hamlet aspect of the Cam saga? Every Shakespearean tragedy is incredibly dense, and Hamlet is probably the most so. If you look hard enough, you can find parallels between Hamlet and just about anything. Beyond just the name, though, I think the most parallel-able aspect is the relationships between Prince & King Hamlet[‘s ghost] and Cam & Cecil. The plot of Hamlet is spurred along by the demands of his father, and, according to the media whirlwind, the plot of Cam’s college football decisions has a very similar catalyst. Beyond that, there’s the sheer complexity of both characters’ situations. Of course, nobody in Cam’s circle has been poisoned or stabbed or anything, but the beauty of Hamlet’s character is that his actions and words can be interpreted hundreds of ways. I think Cam, to a certain extent, shares that aspect–he’s a fascinating sports figure, though more so for his actions than his words (or lack thereof). But, again, the density of Hamlet makes my job a lot easier. I’ve been able to pull dozens of quotes from every angle of the play and apply them to Camlet.
When did you know Cam was special? What’s your favorite Cam story / play / quote? Well, most Auburn fans I know hoped Cam was special before the season began. The moment I knew, though, was during the LSU game. I was at a wedding reception in Tuscaloosa gathered around a TV with mostly Bama fans who didn’t have much stake in the game. When Cam zig-zagged past LSU’s defense on that 49-yard TD run, everybody’s jaw dropped, and you could tell the Bama fans knew they were going to have their hands full in the Iron Bowl. Favorite story? Anything involving that Moped. Favorite quote? “When the Lord be blessin’, the Devil be messin'” (which will work its way into Camlet, I promise).
How will it all end? If you mean to ask how Auburn’s season will end, well, I like our chances against a team that’s only beaten one currently ranked opponent. But how will Camlet end? Well, the plan is to release the final act the morning of the BCS National Championship, so I won’t have the outcome of the title game as fodder for my story. I’ll say this, though–I’m planning on making it as outrageous and ridiculous as dramatically possible. If you want any hints, go read the last scene of Hamlet.
“Updates are scheduled for Mondays and Thursdays for the first 3 weeks (Acts I and II) and Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the final 3 weeks (Acts III, IV, and V) with the final scene scheduled to be released on the morning of the BCS National Championship,” Burgess said.
Follow Prince Camlet on Twitter.