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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shakespeare and Historical Accuracy

‘Let us sit upon the ground. And tell sad stories of the death of kings; how some have been deposed; some slain in war, some haunted by the fear of Brussels sprouts returning in the dead watches of the night.’

As the original Folio version of Shakespeare’s Richard II shows, the bard was much troubled by the role of Brussels sprouts in history, and concerned that their influence was much overlooked by those who would learn lessons from that history.

Of course, for those of us in later years the only lesson we ever seen to learn from history is the strange propensity for those in the field to have a predilection for leather elbow patches on their jackets, something which also applies to male history teachers too.

Still, as none of us can ever forget what we learnt in history, especially British history, even though we may be slightly hazy on some of the more recondite aspects of it, as Shakespeare himself showed – and contemporary Hollywood has adopted with glee bordering on the orgasmic - we should not let mere historical accuracy get in the way of making up a good story.

Still, though, we should always remember that Shakespeare was right about the sprouts.

 

[See also: Shakespeare and Advertising]

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