Why Some Scholars Hate Romeo and Juliet

or, What Play Can You Just Not Even?

Our pal Bardfilm is mad as hell, and he’s not gonna take it anymore!

He is so over Romeo and Juliet, that he’s decided no more productions for him. It has been plumbed to its depths, we have wrung all possible angles and meaning from it, it has been set in every possible time and space in the continuum. He’s seen enough, he can’t see any more.  In fact, he wants to eradicate it completely. Sort of.

Here’s his proposal. We keep the text, and we can read it whenever (if ever) we want. But if we elected some crazy dictator who’d been horribly bullied in high school for being a theatre geek and takes out his emotional issues by banning Romeo and Juliet from ever being produced again … Bardfilm’s totally ok with that.

Which of the works brings out similar resentment for you?  You’re in charge, you get to declare a complete moratorium on one Shakespeare play never to be performed again.

What’s it going to be? Shall it be Merchant of Venice, so people can stop arguing with you whether Shakespeare was anti-Semitic? Comedy of Errors, so directors can stop worrying where they’re supposed to find two sets of identical twins?  Maybe A Midsummer Night’s Dream so we can stop having kindergarten productions with five-year-old butterfly-looking fairies?

I’m totally going to take the easy road and pick Merry Wives of Windsor. I’ve literally never seen it, nor even read it (except during my brief “read them all” period in college).  But I also don’t know how much it “makes life better,” otherwise it probably would have hit my radar by now.  So, having never missed it, I figure I won’t miss it going forward.

 

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