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19th April 2016

Four in ten Brits don’t like or understand Shakespeare (

Shakespeare, now just puffing in the wind at home?
Shakepeare, now just puffing in the wind at home?
“He may be the crowning jewel in Britain’s cultural crown, with commemorative events to mark to the 400th anniversary of his death dominating museums, galleries, television and theatre for months. But British people understand and like the works of William Shakespeare significantly less than those abroad, a survey has shown.”

Which I think is the real tempest Prospero, the sorcerous rightful Duke of Milan, actually brought forth and left us with, seemingly the same stereotypical allusion that has those on American shores fawning for servant-serving Downton Abbey and anything royal while convinced we all speak like Dick Van Dyke while sweeping chimney and fighting off Jack the Ripper in pea-soup fog. I tell no lie, I once had someone assure me I was wrong that I do not talk like that on a web cam site for which I used to do portraiture caricature while-u-wait with great disappointment expressed that I was not wearing a top hat. But is that the reason why Brits quite obviously mistakenly suggest they are not as keen on their Bard?

“Four in ten Britons claim they do not think Shakespeare’s works are relevant to the modern day, simple enough to grasp or even enjoy, according to the study for the British Council. The YouGov poll, commissioned to find the economic boost Shakespeare gives to Britain, found countries including India, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and China have significantly higher appreciation for the Bard than his British homeland.”

Indeed, the “economic boost” of the arts trumping any moral, ethical or existential pathos, but, if it is just about the economy we may be waving a sword when a wand may be more economically bountiful, with even the Bard usurped by thaumaturge Harry Potter with wistful membership of Hogwarts, Gryffindor or Hufflepuff being far more social mediae “relevant” in India, Mexico, Brazil et al. than “which Shakespeare character are you?”

“The British Council concluded the popularly of Shakespeare in emerging economies, such as India and Mexico, would have a ‘direct impact on the future stability, prosperity and influence of the UK’.”
Royal Gryffindor

Yeah, but as said, perhaps time to have greater “impact on the future stability, prosperity” by perhaps revealing Prince William, Duchess Kate and Pippa Middleton’s bottom all graduated from Gryffindor (in preference to Hogwarts or Hufflepuff with regards said socialite and Duchess’ sisters’ bottom).

But, regardless of any apathy of modern Brits displayed while they download Kanye “I’m going after Shakespeare” West’s (Pick of the Week 21st Jun. 2014) Pablo’s Much Ado About Nothing some still think Laurence Olivier is delivering expletive-ridden soliloquy and bouncing poor Yorick at current state of “future stability, prosperity and influence of the UK”:

Ten ways in which Shakespeare changed the world (

Hamlet, The Panama Papers
Laurence Olivier as Hamlet. Org. photograph © Ronald Grant
“This week marks 400 years since the death of our national poet. And yet his characters, the worlds he created, the thoughts he expressed—some raw, fashioned in fire, some exquisite and turned in silk—are for all people and all time. … Every generation continues to be in his debt. Shakespeare’s plots, which are brilliantly polyvalent, continue to inspire ceaseless adaptations and spin-offs. His unforgettable phrase-making recurs on the lips of millions who do not realise they are quoting Shakespeare: ‘a fool’s paradise’; ‘the game is up’; ‘dead as a doornail’; ‘more in sorrow than in anger’; ‘cruel, only to be kind’; and dozens more.”

“Unforgettable phrase-making” in everyday useage rasing as much “you don’t say, he wrote that” and lil’ to do with the Bard—or Hogwarts and Gryffindor’s—“economic boost” appeal I’d bet.

It’s… musical break time (remember to stop by the souvenir shop on your way out). The victors of the opium wars / Now take their trips and open doors / They stand upon the actual floors / Actual floors, actual floors / It makes them proud to be around / And take their summer piccies / To drink at night in Soho bars / And end up feeling sickie / More money, more money

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Illustrations, paintings, and cartoons featuring caricatured celebrities are intended purely as parody and fantasised depictions often relating to a particular news story, and often parodying said story and the media and pop cultural representation of said celebrity as much as anything else. Who am I really satirising? Read more.

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