ABSTRACT

This paper was originally written for a plenary session at a meeting of the Shakespeare Association in 1994, Indeed, its delivery there was recently noted in an essay by Cynthia Marshall, who takes me to task for my mode of delivery, for some of the language used in this essay, and for my distribution on that occasion of an image that, she reports, "clearly shocked some members of the audience."1 While I have not included the supposedly offensive image here (and Marshall might be shocked to discover that a woman drew it), the text of this essay remains close to the original version as delivered.2 Uncensored, this paper probably cannot receive the G rating that Marshall seems to think appropriate for texts or images aimed at adults (in this, she resembles other regulators worried about the Internet and TV, and incapable of distinguishing violence from sexuality); nonetheless, it may yet register as a necessary intervention in Shakespeare studies.