Woke Shakespeare

In keeping with the need to woke the world. I give you, Woke Shakespeare. Stripped of all those now unacceptable terms which so terrorize, diminish, and traumatize us. I should add a trigger warning, but wouldn’t the word “trigger” also cause a “trigger” response to the idea of violence?

It is a conundrum. How to woke the world without sending it into convulsions.  

Sonnet 118 by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee  she/he/they to a summer’s day?
Thou They art more lovely and more
temperate: (in a non-threatening non-sexual connotation unless there is a free, articulable, and willful acceptance of such an overture)
Rough winds do shake the darling buds  Strong winds do move the emerging flowers of
And summer’s   the warm seasonal lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven   warm the sun shines,
And often is his  their gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines  chronological, but meaningless, age finds us all
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy  he/she/they eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair  pleasant and non-judgmental appearance thou ow’st;
Nor shall deaththe end brag thou wander’st in his shade, come unpleasant
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st
So long as men people can breathe or eyes can seeand perceive the world regardless of any disabilities,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee she/he/they.

This rush to ameliorate reality by masking it does us no good and serves to diminish us all. That words can hurt is not in doubt, but only if we give them the power to do so.  Where will such nonsense lead us?

And by proclaiming I am now a We, does it truly alter the reality. Like our friend Shakespeare also (kind of) wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a  rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Historical note, while the quote is accurate, it is only part of the full speech by Juliet to Romeo. She was referring to him as a Montague and, Romeo responds, if he were not a Montague she could marry him with any hinderances. So I may be guilty of cherry picking a quote. Nothing is ever simple.)

Antigonish by William Hughes Mearns

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there!
He wasn’t there again today,
Oh how I wish he’d go away!

Whenever someone declares he or she is a we or they, I think they are meeting the man on the stairs…and running away in terror.

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