The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1815 Monday, 25 October 1999.
Date: Sunday, 24 Oct 1999 12:05:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Old Bill
Comment: SHK 10.1802 Re: Old Bill
Dear Judy Craig,
The issue isn't whether Mr. Jiang Zemin likes Shakespeare's plays or
not. His visit raises the much more complex question of the social and
political use to which both plays and Bard are currently put in
Britain. The events indicated a clear opposition between dissidence on
the one hand (from which it was felt that Mr. Jiang Zemin should
shielded by vigorous police action) and non-dissidence on the other (to
which it was assumed he could he could be safely exposed by a visit to
the new Globe Theatre). The extent to which this effectively constructs
Shakespeare as an agency of law and order is a matter for resourceful
presentist analysis. Mind you, I don't think we've ever gone so far as
to name police districts after him.