Tag Archives: William Shakespeare

Ban the Bard! By Theodore Dalrymple

The woke will ban everything except strict woke dogma. From Theodore Dylrymple at takimag.com:

Ban the Bard!

A creative writing course at a British university has withdrawn graduation requirement that students should attempt a sonnet, not on the reasonable grounds that it is futile to try to turn people with cloth ears for language into sonneteers, but because the sonnet is a literary form that is white and Western.

Indeed so: One has only to read a sonnet of Shakespeare to appreciate just how parochial and ethnocentric, but at the same time offensive to most of the world’s population, any sonnet by the “greatest” sonneteer in English is. I need take only one of the most famous as an example, Sonnet XVIII, which begins:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Does Shakespeare (the ignoramus) not realize that there are equatorial and tropical parts of the world in which there is no summer, at most a wet and a dry season, and where the day and night are invariably more or less twelve hours long? Millions of people live in such regions, for whom the term “summer” can mean nothing. Of course, the people who live in such regions are predominantly those of color, to whom Shakespeare, with his typical Eurocentrism, was indifferent if not actually hostile. He simply didn’t care whether or not they understood him.

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He Said That? 1/9/19

From William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist, Hamlet (1599):

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

He Said That? 9/4/18

From William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet, playwright, and actor (there is some controversy as to whether Shakespeare wrote that which is credited to him), Julius Caesar (1599):

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.

He Said That? 6/5/18

From William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as both the greatest writer in the English language, and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist, The Merchant of Venice (1599):

So may the outward shows be least themselves:
The world is still deceived with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.

He Said That? 1/12/17

From William Shakespeare (1564–1616, English poet, playwright, and actor,  Henry IV, Part 2 (1599):

Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it


He Said That? 9/9/16

From William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet, playwright, and actor, Hamlet, (1601):

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true.
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Polonius, Act I, scene iii.

This seems particularly good advice right now, both about not borrowing and lending, and being true to thine ownself.