Shakespeare ‘racist’? All the craziness of the politically correct

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Shakespeare ‘racist’?

Who has never heard of the so-called ‘politically correct’? Practically no one. As a matter of fact, this creed is spreading out not only across the United States, where most of the episodes related to this phrase occurred, but the entire world. And while the society is more and more frequently dealing with lies, the supporters of political correctness strike where there is more lack: the knowledge of the history. From the statues to entertainment, to a ‘harasser’ prince to a ‘racist’ Shakespeare: here is where this ‘correctness’ is striking.

What is the politically correct doing?

The ‘politically correct’ is almost brakeless. Initiatives related to the so-called cancel culture are throwing down practically most of the strongholds of the modern society. After mass protests, those organized by Black Lives Matter after Floyd’s murder, burst out for a just cause, the excess in terms of following a cancel culture has spread. This craziness started with the demolition of statues across the United States, as well as in the rest of the world. But history has to be studied, in order not to repeat the same mistakes our ancestors made in the past, and not to be demolished or banned.

Examples of political correctness have been then seen within the world of entertainment, especially within Disney. Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, the Aristocats, Peter Pan, Donald Duck and Goofy, Robinson, the Jungle Book and Lady and the Tramp would be considered as racist and discriminatory. Always concerning Disney, the #MeToo movement has even launched a theory according to which the Prince is a harasser because his kiss to Snow White was ‘not consensual’.  

Shakespeare ‘racist’? The political correctness affects literature

This ‘politically correct’ has now entered literary works. Writers such as Mark Twain and Ovid were banned from school programs since they are considered racist or antisemitic. It is possible to define this as the censure of the major authors which tries to cancel under false accusations the best of culture. The aim of a politically correct endorser is either to withdraw these works or to write them back into a ‘moderner’ context. The cancel culture now reaches William Shakespeare, now considered a ‘racist’. According to many, in fact, the playwright’s “Midsummer’s Night Dream” cannot start with the phrase “Fair Hippolyta” because it is sexist. Critics also argue beautifulness is always associated with the white, so has to be classified as racism. In short, several steps of some of the Shakespeare’s greatest works suit only a little to this ‘very politically correct’ era.

The problems of the cancel culture

The problem is not, however, antisemitism, racism or sexism, but the necessity and capability to contextualize some attitudes without judge them basing on today’s parameters, which do not have any sense if connected with those characterizing centuries ago. According to the politically correct, in this way more than a half of the entire culture would be canceled. A politically correct makes phrases and situations pass for racism and sexism, even if it is not the reality. To fight for equality is fair, a just cause, but exaggeration is not the right way to obtain the success as regards these issues. Acting following that way will only bring to wrongdoings. In a time when lies are progressively becoming part of the nowadays society, to tell the truth is a revolutionary act.


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