Angelica Maria Aguilera – “Dear Shakespeare”

Professor tells us to clear our desks in order to make room for the greatest writer
that has ever lived. I tuck away my worn copy of Borderlands, as a brick of white men proverbs
entitled The Best of Shakespeare is cemented onto my desk instead. In the first sonnet we read,
Shakespeare refers to women as a deceiving hell
that all men are led to. Hey, thanks, Shakespeare! How did you know
“Deceiving Hell” was my nickname? I tattooed it on my lower back and now it’s how I sign all of my emails! Thanks for the quick response! Totally looking forward
to meeting you in person. Sincerely yours, Deceiving Hell “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” “Thou art more lovely and more temperate.” Dear Shakespeare, Why don’t you compare me to the sun? Because, if you touched me,
I would kill you. Hamlet, Scene 3, one of Shakespeare’s
most famous lines reads: “The lady doth protest
too much, methinks.” Really? Because, actually, methinks
the lady “doth not protest” enough, Shakespeare. Methinks the lady is still protesting
300 years after your work was published. Methinks why am I forced to sit in a class
that acknowledges your work but not the imperialism
or sexism it’s built on?” Methinks why is it
when Cardi B makes up a word, she gets called ratchet? Meanwhile, your plays
are comprised of literal gibberish and you’re named a literary genius. It’s wild how you died 400 years ago,
but are still somehow the loudest, whitest voice
in the classroom. If all of the world is a stage,
who are the conductors of our curriculum? Methinks it’s about time
to flip the script, Shakespeare. Thank you. (cheers and applause)

35 thoughts on “Angelica Maria Aguilera – “Dear Shakespeare”

  1. I may love May love Shakespeare’s work, but he was really sexist and that annoys me.

  2. Omg so true.

    Dear Shakespeare,
    I’m over all that sexist stuff so why is your crap still here

  3. Studying litterary classics is important to understand litterature in general, they have their places in the curriculum.

    However, teachers do a bad job if they don't contextualize that litterature, if they don't invite their students to take it with a grain of salt, to debate it and if they don't also show the litterature of today (including hip hop and spoken word) and the snuffed out voices of the past, women, minorities, etc.

  4. Fuck yeah, borderlands is amazing! And, it’s always frustrated me that Shakespeare, Emerson, Thoreau, and other famous white guys are always seen as the pinnacle of western literature. So, methinks this poem was on point.

  5. Shakespeare’s not great bc of the sexism and imperialism. His works are great bc they portray some of the deepest human emotions through theatre. I think we should appreciate his works greatness with criticising the outdated views he also conveyed

  6. Yes Shakespeare was sexist but who wasn't in the 17th century? He should still form part of the literary canon, he was a great author. If that was writen now, It would be criticized and with reason as we have come a long way. I think it is important to know that his reflections on society and equality were not a correct way of thinking but that does not take away his unique ability of writing. We must always contextualise literature.

  7. I’m 100 percent against sexism, but it saddens me that Shakespeare is targeted so unforgivingly in this piece. He wrote in a way that was progressive and resonated with the people and his skill with the quill is still unquestionably legendary.

    Cardi B hasn't exactly been the best role model for women in her early days, but she also has a great deal talent which I respect.

    It just seems a little hypocritical to overlook her flaws, but then condemn an equally flawed man.

  8. Shakespeare: starts writing King Lear and sets up a great scene where Cordelia could be an awesome female protagonist
    also Shakespeare: has her get banished for the vast majority of the play and then executed when she finally shows up again, focuses instead on her evil sisters as the women who get the most stage time

  9. The reason why Shakespeare “got away” with making up new words is because during the time that he was alive is when the English language was starting to become more concrete with dictionaries and such. There’s just… so much wrong with this.

  10. The ignorance towards his milieu bothers me. What we know and value now is different from Shakespeare’s era. If you actually think about it, he was kind of…progressive.

    He was the one who questioned the chain of being, through his works. Women were originally inferior, submissive, but works like Macbeth shook it up (which is why it was so famous). He took a female character (Lady Macbeth) and gave her depth, influence, and power.

    He made up words because this was during the Age of Enlightenment, the age of new ideas. People were willing to learn, it was a pivotal period.

    If people are so bothered by him calling a woman “delightful” or “a summer’s day”, then they’re violating his freedom to express himself. Its HIS view on his lover. People need to learn how to respect people’s views, perspectives, and not try to be so captious about things. Yes, I’m a woman.

  11. this is overlooking the importance of this literature also its not even close to jibberish it is Modern English witch in the form of the English language spoken since the Great Vowel Shift in England, which began in the late 14th century and was completed roughly in the 1550s. you would know this if you had listened to your English teacher in high school instead of getting off on being a overdrmtic feminist who makes argument over a dead man's writing.

  12. Shakespeare is one of the most relevant and incredible writers of all time. Despite some of his ideas being slightly outdated or controversial, he wrote with an eloquence more profound than any other writer of his time and his plays were taboo for their time period

  13. Damn y’all really deepthroating shakespears boot
    She has beef with him who cares he is dead
    Y’all acting like this poem is gonna take all his work and burn it out of existence

  14. This poet has clearly read Christopher Moore, paraphrasing a line from The Serpent of Venice. 🙏🏼

  15. Yo people barely know Shakespeare now, y’all think he great cause media tells u to lol, but he made some decent words so, cheers Shakespeare but there is always good and bad to everyone 👌

  16. Who wants to be the one to tell her that “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” was written from Shakespeare to a man he was into becaaaause-

  17. Shakespeare is a literary genius. A man who wasn't well educated and created work, a name for himself anyways. I love his work, it's genius. To say it is gibberish tells me you haven't read it !! I get the point of the poem but it takes a long time to 'get' it. People study for years and don't get it all. I also think sonnet 18 is about a man actually!

  18. Despite what you may think Shakespeare was ahead of his time. He wrote in a way everyone could understand. What about 12th Night? He wrote an entire play of a woman going against the norms of women. He was really the first to have this idea of gender bendering. His mistress was described as a "dark lady" and he wrote sonnets basically making fun of how people then would view women, especially those of a different race. You can't exactly fault him for not being ultra feminist in a time where you would be killed for it.
    And we can't just outlaw it from school systems in general. If we did that with every piece of literature that contradicted today's society no one would have general knowledge of the past. His work is important.
    Also he made up words because it's middle English. People making up words is how we have our form of English now. When Cardi B does it we just understand she doesn't have a proper education meanwhile Shakespeare was extremely educated

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