Thursday, September 07, 2006

Shakespeare in Ban

Alright, not such a great pun on my part. When a lot of people think of banned books, they focus on books that are based on reality. The ugly truth is always a threat to the establishment. Just ask the current administration about that one. WMDs anyone? Since the truth can be so threatening, it is an obvious target. What often baffles me is the ban on fiction.

Over the years, Shakespeare has gotten a lot of crap -- too much sex, adult language, and violence. The way education is going in this country, we should be thankful if kids can even catch the sexual references in Shakespeare's plays. At least that means that they aren't reading the Cliff's Notes. The first Shakespeare play I was required to read was "Romeo and Juliet." At first, I thought it was boring and dumb. Then I started reading it out loud (to stay awake). That's when I realized that it was really good. Then I started reading other plays and sonnets on my own. When I was in college I took more classes about Shakespeare even though I had seen quite a few productions and read numerous works on my own.

After I started reading more Shakespeare, I started to realize how many movies were based on his plays. When I was in college, I was watching "Tootsie" instead of studying when I had this realization: "Tootsie" is "Twelfth Night". So is "Just One of the Guys". Now there is a new version of "Twelfth Night" staring some teeny bopper girl star that is coming out soon. "Twelfth Night" is a funny story with a message (how Afterschool Special!). And yet, banned for promoting alternative lifestyles. Ignoring the whole concept that people base their judgments of others on what they wear, not what they are like as a person.

Another one of my favorites is "King Lear". Banned for its violence. Let's ignore the whole part of the play about greed and loyalty. No lessons in this blood bath. Just watch "Ran" and you will not see any hard learned lessons. But I guess stories about human nature are just as dangerous as the ugly truth. And now I am no longer baffled.


Only Grrrl said...

Welcome to BBC, my prolific Pineapple!

Winston: can I come back now? I have things I NEED to say!

Winston said...

Welcome to the BBC, everyone.

pineapple said...

Have I ever mentioned how much I like banned books?