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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: January ::
Re: Shakespeare in Prison
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0181  Thursday, 25 January 2001

From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Jan 2001 06:50:47 -0500
Subject: Shakespeare in Prison
Comment:        SHK 12.0155 Shakespeare in Prison

The connection between Shakespeare, law-enforcement and the control of
the criminal classes is well established in the English-speaking world.
In Chicago the 14th police district has long been known as
'Shakespeare', and the virtual founder of modern textual scholarship in
English, W. W. Greg, was always happy to work for Scotland Yard. In
1945, the US military government in Berlin quickly installed a system
for the ideological 'policing' of the populace, involving the
performance of Shakespeare's plays. A similar use of the Bard has proved
highly effective in Britain.  Certainly in the provinces, the merest
hint of a tour by The Royal Shakespeare Company usually results in a
drop in the crime rate as citizens cower in their homes, fearful of any
encounter with character development, thematic structure or, worse,
hendiadys.

Terence Hawkes
 

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