Goverment According To Monty Python
Constitutional peasant Dialog:
Arthur: Old woman!
Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle
Dennis: I’m 37.
Dennis: I’m 37, I’m not old!
Arthur: Well, I can’t just call you “man”.
Dennis: You could say “Dennis”.
Arthur: I didn’t know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn’t bother to find out, did you?
Arthur: I did say I’m sorry about the “old woman”
thing, but from behind you looked…
Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treatin’
me like an inferior.
Arthur: Well, I am king.
Dennis: Oh, king, eh? Very nice. And how’d you get
that, eh? By exploiting the workers! By hanging on to
outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the
economic and social differences in our society! If
there’s ever going to be any progress…
Dennis’ Mother: Dennis, Dennis, there’s some lovely
filth down here! [sees Arthur] Oh. How’d you do?
Arthur: How do you do, good lady? I am Arthur, king of
the Britons. Whose castle is that?
Dennis’ Mother: King of the who?
Arthur: The Britons.
Dennis’ Mother: Who are the Britons?
Arthur: Well, we are. You are all Britons and I am your
Dennis’ Mother: I didn’t know we had a king. I thought
we were an autonomous collective.
Dennis: You’re fooling yourself. We’re living in a
dictatorship! A self-perpetuating autocracy in which
the working classes…
Dennis’ Mother: Oh there you go, bringing class into it
Dennis: But that’s what it’s all about! If only people
Arthur: Please, please, good people. I am in haste. Who
lives in that castle?
Dennis’ Mother: No one lives there.
Arthur: Then who is your lord?
Dennis’ Mother: We don’t have a lord.
Dennis: I told you. We’re an anarcho-syndicalist
commune. We take it in turns to act as sort-of-
executive officer for the week…
Dennis: … But all the decisions of that officer have
to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting…
Arthur: Yes, I see.
Dennis:… by a simple majority, in the case of purely
Arthur: [getting bored] Be quiet.
Dennis:… but by a two thirds majority, in the case of
more major –
Arthur: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
Dennis’ Mother: Order, eh? Who does he think he is?
Arthur: I am your king!
Dennis’ Mother: Well I didn’t vote for you.
Arthur: You don’t vote for kings!
Dennis’ Mother: How’d you become king, then?
Arthur: The Lady of the Lake,… [Angel chorus begins
singing in background] her arm clad in the purest
shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom
of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [Angel chorus ends] THAT is why I am your king!
Dennis: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds
distributing swords is no basis for a system of
government. Supreme executive power derives from a
mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic
Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis: You can’t expect to wield supreme executive
power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at
Arthur: Shut up!
Dennis: I mean, if I went ’round saying I was an
emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a
scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
Arthur: Shut up! Will you shut up?! [Grabs Dennis and
shakes him] Dennis: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the
Arthur: Shut up!
Dennis: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the
system! HELP, HELP, I’M BEING REPRESSED!
Arthur: BLOODY PEASANT!!
Dennis: Oh, what a giveaway. Did you hear that? Did you
hear that, eh? That’s what I’m on about! Did you see
him repressing me? You saw it, didn’t you?
Maximillian Garland | Bright Futura Columnist