DO YOU EVER WANNA TALK ABOUT A THING SO MUCH YOU’RE GONNA EXPLODE BUT NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT THE THING SO YOU CAN’T AND JUST WOW! LET! ME! TALK! ABOUT! THE! THING!
the other day in english we were looking at this sonnet Shakespeare wrote about his mistress who was presumably black because he says she has dark skin and wiry hair and pale lips
and this kid asked “is the girl he’s talking about black”
and my teacher started stuttering and was like “ummm well i suppose you could interpret this as her being african american” and i started cackling really loud because there are no african americans in 15th century england
okay so i get that this is a ~*~funny doctor who joke~*~ because of that one episode where martha inspired shakespeare to write ‘shall i compare thee to a summer’s day,’ or whatever
no there wouldn’t be ‘african americans’ in 15th century england
(who weren’t fictional characters)
in fact, shakespeare actually wrote a WHOLE PLAY about a black person in white europe
it is called othello
perhaps you should read it
in english today my teacher was showing us this video relating to Shakespeare and shes like “oh theres this one inappropriate part im gonna have to fast forward through” so there were these sock puppets aggressively making out and then she started fast forwarding and all we saw was them bouncing on eachother makin some hardcore sock puppet babies and when it was over and she pressed play again there was just this guy singing “and the wheels on the bus go round and round”
Shakespeare Abridged FTW.
- It’s not historically sound. At all. Edward DeVere, 17th Earl of Oxford died in 1604 and Shakespeare wrote at least twelve more plays between 1604 and his death in 1616. What’s more, in Elizabethan England, actors and playwrights were near the bottom of the social food chain, only a few steps above prostitutes and highway robbers. Yes, members of the nobility sponsored playwrights and playing companies, but they would never directly participate in the making of plays. Also, Edward DeVere wrote poetry under his own name and it’s really, fucking, terrible.
- Shakespeare’s plays embraced a kind of egalitarianism that you just don’t see anymore. He wrote plays for everyone, but he never assumed that one’s socio-economic status prevented you from understanding the profundity of the human experience. He didn’t condescend to his audience nor did he dumb himself down for their supposed benefit. Shakespeare gave kings and beggars equal humanity and their struggles equal weight.
- Then the Victorians kind of fucked that up and made Shakespeare something elite and we’ve never quite recovered from that. Playhouses where the majority of seats were cheap seats disappeared. Shakespeare was typically only heard by those who could afford a night at the theatre; people who naturally believed that intelligence and creativity only came from traditional education. That’s where Anti-Stratfordianism generally comes from.
- Sure, Shakespeare never had a university education, but he lived a long, full life. He saw theatre as a child and as a young man. He had a family, lovers, and friends he loved. He did have some exposure to the court and politics, but, for what he lacked in knowledge, he made up for in imagination and an unmatched understanding of the human condition. There simply is no convincing argument as to why he could not have been the primary author of those 37 plays.
- Oxfordianism is symptomatic of a broader attitude. It’s a mix of class and creative snobbery and it’s hurting all art. Art is meant to be a medium through which collective society attempts to understand the mysteries and struggles of life. To say that someone is incapable of participating in that conversation because of their class or education is, frankly, despicable. Great art can come from anywhere and from anyone. Right now, larger institutions (Oscars, Grammys, museums, etc) only celebrate art that’s approved by critics and dismisses and trivializes popular culture. As a result, we get art that is either trying to appeal to “intelligent” classes or pandering to the lowest common denominator. No one is actually challenging themselves to speak to everyone. Oxfordianism does nothing but perpetuate this narrow way of thinking and storytelling.
- And it fills me with righteous fury.