i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Shakespearean Socialism?

February 26, 2005

In Intro to Literary Study we are discussing Shakespeare's The Tempest. We read two articles this week: one which is a blasting critique of the New Historisism movement; the other that seems to support the concept.

I'm not sure that I fully followed the point being made by Paul Cantor in "Shakespeare -- 'For all time?'." It seemed very political in intent, comparing New Historicism with Marxism blasting both in the process, all the while complaining about the politicalism of Shakespeare. I just kept thinking, "You are doing the same thing!" and getting irritated. Maybe I was just feeling feisty that day?

Leslie writes, "The contemporary teachings of Shakespeare are scrutinized in this article as being sometimes radical as they are taught by "radical" professors. This has a lot to do with the idea of teaching opinions rather than fact. There is no doubt going to be a skewed view presented about an issue if it is taught by a certain type of person. Ideally a professor or teacher should present an unbiased view but this simply isn't the case."

Teachers are people, too. Right? Or maybe! Maybe teachers are really just android robots designed by the head-honcho of the New Historicism movement in order to spread the evil word of Marxism into the nubile young minds of America? Um. Ignore me.

This article did, however, inspire me to learn more about Marxism (which I'm quite certain was not the author's intent!):

The Wikipedia entry on the subject states:

Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels.


Since Marx's death in 1883, various groups around the world have appealed to Marxism as the intellectual basis for their politics and policies, which can be dramatically different and conflicting. (Hmm... couldn't you argue the same thing about religious beliefs?)


Class analysis

Marxists believe that capitalist society is divided into two powerful social classes:

Marx predicted that the petty bourgeoisie would eventually be destroyed by the constant reinvention of the means of production and the result of this would be the force movement of the vast majority of the petty bourgeoisie to the proletariat. An example of this would be many small business giving way to fewer larger ones. (like Wal-Mart perhaps?)


Marx's Theory of Alienation is an interesting one.


Now, I'm not saying that I'm about to run off and become a socialist, but I think this is all very interesting. I mean, socialism seems to be anti-capitalism, which is a-okay with me. Maybe one day I'll be inspired to learn more... but today is not that day.

If you're more curious than me: Socialist Party USA

Moira at 08:53 PM :: Comments (1) :: ::

Yes! Someone sees the same thing I see! I'm not crazy, I tell you! I'm not... Anyway, this is exactly what I am planning to do for Ex. 1-6. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks Shakespeare was some kind of early English communist... like me!

Posted by: Evan at February 27, 2005 02:03 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?