Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blame Shakespeare For The Stabbings?

So apparently this Boris Johnson fellow, the mayor of London or some such, said that knife crime should not be looked upon with the glamorous image that is currently has thanks to Shakespeare characters such as Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet.

I'm a little confused by the reference, since he was asked to explain who Mercutio was.  (If this was happening in America his response would have been, predictably, "Mercutio.  You know, the black guy from Lost.  He played DiCaprio's gay friend at the party.")  If nobody understands the reference, then can it really be said to have a "glamorous" image?

I appreciate a politician trying to seriously work in an actual Shakespeare reference, and not just a random quote, however.

1 comment:

Alan K.Farrar said...

You know, the same connection with Elizabethan England was made early on by my good self (I blogged in May on Marlowe's death) - it is an obvious one to make.
Boris made a reference to R&J whilst talking to a 'Common's cttee, and wasn't asked to explain who the characters were (although with MPs asking the questions you never know) but to explain what he meant by the comment.
He is right- Mercutio and Romeo are both seen as 'good' vs Tybalt 'bad' and the fight is frequently read and portrayed as exciting and glamorous.
I, like Mr Johnson, think teaching the play (and cricket) is a much better antidote to the crime and should be part of the punishment for anyone convicted of carrying a knife in the UK.