The Tragedy of Boris and the Plague
This incredible creation came about on a whim, inspired by two items of national and local news. We'll say no more. Suffice to say that after installing the new BingAI app on an Android phone, it produced something darkly hilarious, heart-warming and ultimately terrifying from the simplest of prompts. This is BingAI's response, less than a minute after I posed my question...
An AI-voiced audio version is at the top of this page. Remarkably, the thumbnail was created in Photoshop Beta (generative), and spookier still, the synopsis is voiced by Resemble AI's 'Meditative Justin'. Strange times!
'Sure, I can try to write a brief synopsis for an imaginary three-act Shakespeare play based on the UK Covid enquiry. Here is what I came up with...
The Tragedy of Boris and the Plague
The play begins with a prologue by a chorus, who introduces the setting of London in 2020, where a deadly plague has spread from China and threatens the lives of many. The chorus also introduces the main characters: Boris, the king of England, who is vain, foolish, and ambitious; Hancock, his loyal minister of health, who is secretly in love with Boris’s wife; Whitty, the wise and prudent chief medical officer, who advises Boris to take swift and strict measures to contain the plague; and Cummings, the cunning and ruthless chief adviser, who plots to overthrow Boris and seize power.
The first scene shows Boris holding a council with his ministers, where he dismisses Whitty’s warnings and mocks the plague as a minor inconvenience. He declares that he will not impose any lockdowns or restrictions on his people, and that he will continue to shake hands with everyone he meets. He also announces that he will host a lavish banquet to celebrate his birthday, and invites all his friends and allies to attend.
The second scene shows Hancock meeting with Cummings in secret, where he reveals his love for Boris’s wife and asks for Cummings’s help to win her over. Cummings agrees to help him, but only if Hancock will betray Boris and join his conspiracy. Hancock hesitates, but eventually agrees to Cummings’s terms.
The third scene shows Whitty visiting Boris in his chamber, where he tries to persuade him to change his mind and listen to science. He tells him that the plague is spreading rapidly and that many people are dying. He also warns him that Cummings is plotting against him and that he should be careful of his enemies. Boris refuses to believe Whitty and accuses him of being a traitor. He orders him to leave and never return.
The play continues with another chorus, who narrates the events that happened between the first and second acts. The chorus tells how the plague worsened and killed thousands of people, including many of Boris’s friends and allies. The chorus also tells how Cummings leaked some damaging information about Boris to the public, such as his affair with a young woman, his mishandling of the pandemic, and his negligence of his duties. The chorus also tells how Hancock seduced Boris’s wife and convinced her to leave him.
The first scene shows Boris at his banquet, where he is surrounded by a few loyal supporters. He tries to act cheerful and confident, but he is secretly worried and depressed. He receives a letter from his wife, who tells him that she has left him for Hancock and that she hates him. He is shocked and heartbroken by this news.
The second scene shows Cummings leading a group of rebels to storm the palace and overthrow Boris. They encounter some resistance from Boris’s guards, but they manage to break through and reach Boris’s hall.
The third scene shows the confrontation between Boris and Cummings. Cummings accuses Boris of being a tyrant, a liar, and a murderer. He demands that Boris abdicate his throne and surrender his power. Boris refuses to do so and defends himself against Cummings’s charges. He claims that he did everything for the good of his country and his people. He also accuses Cummings of being a traitor, a villain, and a usurper. He challenges Cummings to a duel.
The play concludes with a final chorus, who summarizes the outcome of the duel and the fate of the characters. The chorus tells how Boris and Cummings fought fiercely, but neither could gain an advantage over the other. They both wounded each other fatally, and died on the spot. The chorus also tells how Hancock became the new king of England, but he soon fell ill with the plague and died as well. The chorus also tells how Whitty survived the plague and became the leader of a new government, which was more democratic and scientific. The chorus also tells how Boris’s wife regretted her actions and killed herself out of guilt.
The play ends with an epilogue by Whitty, who addresses the audience directly. He reflects on the lessons learned from the tragedy of Boris and the plague. He urges the audience to be wise, humble, and compassionate in times of crisis. He also warns them not to repeat the mistakes of the past or fall prey to false leaders or false promises. He bids them farewell and hopes for a better future.'
Created by Bing A.I. on 3rd November 2023 from a concept and prompt by Sean Macreavy