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15970Banning Shakespeare or Tolkien and Lewis

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  • Jay Hershberger
    Dec 7, 2005
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      KT: Rather than ban it outright how about encouraging discussion of the
      issue
      instead? I think that's much more helpful and thoughtful, especially
      since
      Shylock's monologue, no matter what else is in the play is one of the
      greatest entreaties AGAINST prejudice and racism in history. Especially
      since there's an interesting history lesson here, there's a lot to study
      about the status of Jews in England at the time this play was written
      and to
      compare it to society today and the status of various races.

      But, no, let's just ban it, instead.

      -kt

      JH: Well, Katie, your problem is that you are bringing logic and
      principled reason to bear upon all of this. That sort of thing seems in
      short supply in many academic discussions of such things. That there
      really is a view in the academy about the Merchant of Venice being so
      odious on the issue of anti-Semitism as to merit censure tells one more
      about the state of the academy than anything else. All we need do is
      follow Toynbee's and Pullman's logic (dubious use of the word, I dare
      say) to its conclusion and one may arrive at censure and ban for Tolkien
      and Lewis.

      I think your solution-discussion and critique-is constructive, useful,
      and proper.

      Cheers,

      Jay Hershberger
      Associate Professor of Music
      Concordia College, Moorhead, MN


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