Bowdler's Day 2019 is on Thursday, July 11, 2019: What is a good quote from Macbeth that represents Shakepeares ability to appeal to the mind and
Thursday, July 11, 2019 is Bowdler's Day 2019. Thomas Bowdler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Title page of Bowdler's
I've always liked the quote near the end. Macbeth realizes that the predictions made by the women that he would spare him, offer no protection. Since he was told that he would only be killed by a man of woman born, he figured he was safe. Of course he forgot about c-sections.
Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
And thou opposed, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try the last. Before my body
I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'
Just a little story about the drunken porter. We had a famous Shakespeare Theater in Washington DC. One day a staffer from a conservative southern baptist state went to see Macbeth and was very upset by the crude sexual innuendo in that scene. She called the office the next day to express her disdain that they had "added" such a vulgar scene to Shakespeare. They had to assure the staffer that they were playing it the way it was written 4 centuries earlier.
There is a word that you should know. It is called "bowdlerizing". It is an eponym after Thomas Bowdler. Thomas and his sister went through all of Shakespeares plays and changed all of the naughty, vulgar, or sexual bits. The result was known as "The Family Shakespeare". For a long time almost everyone in America only read the sanitized version of his plays.
The statement "nothing is added to the original text; but those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family". The editions were actually edited by Bowdler's sister, Harriet. However, they were published under Thomas Bowdler's name, because a woman could not publicly admit that she understood Shakespeare's racy passages.
Although his actions are shocking by today's standards he probably did more to increase the popularity of Shakespeare than almost anyone else. His censored books made it morally acceptable to teach the plays to children 200 years ago.
Lewis Carroll's FAME'S PENNY TRUMPET Poem?
Carroll was seriously conservative - even reactionary - in his political and social views. He was an early champion of education for women, but at the same time was very disturbed by the notion that women should be allowed to vote (or even express opinions in polite society). He felt that England needed a strong central government, and a religious revival - at a time when most people were thinking in terms of extending voting rights and improving the squalid living conditions of the urban poor. He disliked talking to adults (preferring the company of children) and regularly quarreled with friends who suggested any criticism of the Anglican church (his father was an important minor theologian).
By modern standards Carroll was also obsessive compulsive. He always wore white cotton gloves, for fear of germs - and could throw a tantrum if his tea was made in the wrong teapot, or not given long enough to brew. It is difficult to be sure just how disturbed Carroll was; eccentricity was tolerated - even encouraged - among Oxford dons, and it is possible Carroll was just wallowing in a part he could identify with.
But Carroll certainly felt isolated from, and resentful of, the major social changes that were taking place in Victorian England. He constantly attacked and ridiculed the idea of scientific progress (both the White Knight and the Mad Gardner are made fun of for their habit of inventing things) and pined for the simplicities of strong government (praised in all three great fantasy novels), old-time religion (shown as the way forward in Sylvie and Bruno), and high culture (Hiawatha's Photographing ridicules Longfellow for having dared introduce a new metre into English poetry).
The many conflicts of Carroll's personality are summed up by considering that he attempted to write a prospectus for an edition of Shakespeare 'purged of all impure language' (Carroll knew and admired Bowdler's work, but thought things needed to go further); but at the same time spent most of his adult life photographing naked little girls. (The pictures of Carol Ethel Hatch are very strange).
Given Carroll's background and character it is unsurprising that he would be irritated by popular journalism, without exactly being able to say why. (This poem never quite says what it is objecting to).
Carroll is a great writer because he is a conflicted one. His books are full of messages which he would have been horrified by if he could have understood them. He is a great writer in spite of himself;- rather like Tennyson, or Herbert.