William Shakespeare may have been a misogynist, apparently. At least that is what the historic Globe Theater in London is now advising patrons. After producing the comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for the past 400 years, an overly-woke governance board of 17 trustees is now dedicated to fighting climate change and cautioning people about Shakespeare to keep the underserving social justice warriors happy.
On the theater’s website, ticket purchasers are faced with a decision: go forward and risk being offended or spend a night in the place that started it all and absorb a bit of comedic culture. It states, “Content guidance: The play contains language of violence, sexual references, misogyny, and racism.”
Most likely, there will be additional warning labels and – who knows – perhaps even some rewriting of the Bard’s plays to appease every race, creed, and color of the woke.
Appeasing the few to the detriment of history and understanding of the times in which these plays were penned, the Globe is making amends on behalf of the actors and writers that built the playhouse in 1584. Anti-Racist Shakespeare seminars are now on the calendar of events, committees have been organized on climate change, and a stated goal clears the pathway: A “commitment for the next three years is to regenerate Shakespeare.”
Enter Shakespeare and Consent, an organization founded and operated by Dr. Hailey Bachrach and conjoined with the theater to explain scenes throughout the Bard’s sonnets and plays that make the woke queasy. Bachrach claims certain plotlines “make Shakespeare problematic,” specifically King Oberon dosing Queen Titania with a love potion, so she swoons for the donkey-headed character, Bottom. Apparently, to some, love potions are now called Rohypnol. But, as Dr. Hailey explains, Titania cannot consent under the influence. Bachrach brings her modern-day argument on consent by asking:
“[T]o understand how today’s theatremakers grapple with the questions of consent that Shakespeare’s plays raise, especially as norms around actors’ safety and mental and emotional health finally begin to shift in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Must that change how we tackle these sometimes-troubling plays?”
Other issues include a “dark/light binary” — dark being bad and light being good. Yes, no one is joking. To say, “Now, fair Hippolyta,” is racist against people of color. Not to mention the downright disturbing scene in which poor Hermia is told to marry a person she doesn’t love or be executed, which, unfortunately, still happens in many countries today. But fear not; the Globe and Dr. Bachrach will soon solve those problems also. Just give them a minute.
“Go Seek Some Dewdrops” Already
The Globe theater is in its third incarnation. It was built originally in 1584 by Shakespeare and his cohorts, the acting company Lord Chamberlain’s Men. First, a wooden and sod building located in Shoreditch. After losing the land lease, the actors and the Bard assisted share owners and patron volunteers in “taking the building down timber by timber, loading it on to barges, and making their way across the Thames.”
That original relocated version burned to the ground in 1613 and was rebuilt a year later. And then, the Parliament decided to get involved with the entertainment industry and, in 1642, closed down all London theatres for being too influential. So, the Globe was again destroyed. Finally, it was rebuilt as close to its original form in 1996, which is ironic since the Trustees feel the need to reconstruct Shakespeare’s works to reflect modern times.
Will the day come when the woke folks want to revisit the truth about history or will they continue to allow the noisemakers to dominate all manner of cultural identity? Of course, that was intended to be a hypothetical question. As the Fairy in Act 2 Scene 1 says, “I must go seek some dewdrops here.” In other words, just enjoy the plays as they were written, without catering to the few wounded hearts.
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