Elizabeth McCollum's Reviews > How Shakespeare Changed Everything

How Shakespeare Changed Everything by Stephen Marche
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Mar 28, 12

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Well, it started out really well, lots of interesting stuff about the first African-American actor to play Othello, long before Paul Robeson, back in the 19th century. Really good stuff. Then he got to talking about sex in Shakespeare's plays and he says, in the first paragraph of the chapter, "The sexual revolution of the sixties and the smaller sexual revolution we are undergoing now, with the normalization of homosexuality and every other kind of freakishness, both derive directly from Freud's humanistic, unembarrassed approach to desire. That humanism and that lack of embarrassment are Shakespeare's." "Homosexuality and every other kind of freakishness", eh? You just lost me, bub. Do not equate my love for my wife with freakishness, okay? That does not wash for me. Maybe you're freaked out by it, but if so then, you're going to have some trouble with that humanism you're talking about. He continues to seem rather uncomfortable with the topic he's dealing with in this chapter. But that one statement left a really bad taste in my mouth, so I'm probably not going to finish this book. Which is a pity, because it has a lot of worthwhile information in it, and I like the premise. But the almost unconscious slur on my inborn sexuality turned me right off.
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Bonne that comment hit me the same way--glad I wasn't alone in feeling slapped.


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