I’ve avoided this week’s “Shakespeare may have smoked pot” story because, frankly, it doesn’t interest me all that much. Not only is it not very new (link to a story from Nov 2000 – about the same guy, even), but it’s being reported horribly. Once you wade through all the ridiculous articles ranging from “Dude, Shakespeare smoked bowls??” to “Of course Shakespeare smoked pot, haven’t you ever seen Midsummer Night’s Dream?” it seems that everybody’s reporting the story as “Dig him up to see if he smoked pot.”
The problem is, they’re not digging him up.
If given the go-ahead, Prof Thackeray will use scanning equipment to create a 3D image of the bard.
Prof Thackeray said: ‘We are confident that we could complete our work without moving a single bone.’
I suppose the only interesting question to me is, what if they did conclusively find evidence that Shakespeare was smoking something while he wrote? Would that change your opinion of him at all? Just as importantly, how do you think it would change the world’s opinion? Do you think there’s any possible way that people would suddenly begin to dismiss him because of that? Or, from the opposite angle, would that be the single greatest vote in favor of marijuana legalization in the history of the drug?
I guess there are interesting questions after all. 🙂