Friday, October 20, 2017

Cambridge University: Shakespeare Topics "Potentially Distressing"

                Cambridge University students were recently warned they may encounter “potentially distressing topics” in plays by Shakespeare.
                The formerly august bastion of worldly knowledge cautioned its English Literature undergraduates that a lecture focusing on Titus Andronicus and The Comedy of Errors would include “discussions of sexual violence” and “sexual assault.” Egads!!
   According to London’s The Telegraph, the trigger warnings were posted on the English Faculty’s “Notes on Lectures” document which is circulated to students at the university.
 Wait, according to those in the mainstream media, colleges are awash in “rape culture.” They claim one in every five females on campus has been the victim of sexual assault. You mean to tell me that students can’t deal with brilliantly written fictional accounts touching on this topic? Tales that illuminate human nature and may help them gain some understanding?
Titus Andronicus is the Bard’s first tragedy, and was written at a time when many of his contemporaries were writing violent “revenge plays,” which were very popular with audiences throughout the 16th century. Roughly 430 years later, Game of Thrones is the most popular show on television, rap music is ubiquitous, the Fifty Shades of Grey books have sold well over 100 million copies, the new Playboy centerfold is a transgender, and we’re warning young adults about Shakespeare??!!!
What’s more, The Comedy of Errors is a comedy. Look, it says so in the title. It is farcical and full of slapstick humor, puns, and word play. And, it’s short. It has been adapted for stage, screen, opera and musical theatre countless times worldwide. Cambridge is afraid the young scholars can’t even handle that?
            If colleges and universities continue to coddle their students and shelter them from anything and everything that could possibly challenge or trouble them in any way, they had better start handing out trigger warnings with every diploma and degree: “Caution- you may henceforth encounter the following potentially distressing topics: nuclear war, radical Islamic terrorism, mass immigration, the rapid rise of artificial intelligence, unemployment, death (yours and others), illness, violent crime, and the continuing popularity of Pok√©mon Go…among others.”

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