In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn how is the Shakespearean performance by the duke and king received?

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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In chapter 2i of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Duke and King decide to put on the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet (where the King will play the part of Juliet) and the sword fight scene from Richard III.

Since the men are frauds, the performance is of course a travesty.  They do not know the words and are not good actors, but the King cons the people in to giving him $87.75 by claiming the he is a changed man who once was a pirate.

The group moves on to the next town to perform their show, but only twelve people come. The Duke decides “lunkheads couldn’t come up to Shakespeare" they should lower their play to a low comedy. Again, the men are frauds and the play is nothing more than the king with paint on his body.  Instead of letting people know they were conned, this audience lies to their friends and convinces them to go watch the show.  Before the king and duke run off (knowing their good luck will soon run out) they hustle $465 from the people.

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