Strolling in Stratford, Startled by Shakespeare
Diane Paolicelli (Steve Phillips)
Like many in the class, Steve and I travelled to Oxford in part to escape for a while the upsetting stream of disturbing presidential tweets and frightening political revelations.
So on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Stratford, we enjoyed ducking into gift shops and strolling the banks of the Avon with Jeff and Kathy Palmer, watching children and dogs play, as swans floated by. This was followed by a thoroughly pleasant (and delicious) class dinner, and I so enjoyed getting to know Diana Budzanoski and Arthur Cambouris a bit better.
Then came the rather jarring play, Titus Andronicus… rape, dismemberment, tongue gouging, torture, slit throats, and blood, blood, blood – so much so that it became almost farcical. It was good to have learned from Oxford English tutor Richard Rowley that this was a very early effort of the young Shakespeare (and maybe not even entirely his own work). Happily, Shakespeare matured, and I for one won’t hold the play against him.
But now, back in the USA, this morning’s headlines concern Trump’s inexcusable misogynistic tweets about Mika and blood. Art imitates life?
Click here to return to the full list of essays.