Thursday, April 11, 2013

Alyssa Rosenberg is a terrible writer, and Slate pays her to write

Slate paid an absurd person to trash ROMEO & JULIET.

Rosenberg makes a big deal about Juliet's age, and the fact that the play is not kitchen-sink enough for her tastes. And apparently the play isn't good enough for black actors either.

Romeo and Juliet's exact ages are not important to the plot. The important thing is that because of the blood feud between two groups, their children end up dead. This kind of thing does happen which is why it resonates enough to be in continual performance for over 400 years.

More importantly, Juliet was going to be married off to Paris - instead she marries a man of her own choosing. It's absurd to compare Juliet's situation to a young woman in the present time who has the luxury of waiting until she's 18 to marry whomever she wishes. And that's only in industrial societies - girls who are 13 years old and younger are sold into marriage by their families, often to much older men, right in the present time in some parts of the world.

But it's not like I expect Slate writers to be scholars with enough ambition to research such things - all she had to do was watch Shakespeare in Love, which not only presents bits of R&J but also makes it clear that Viola must marry a man chosen for her by her parents. As virtually all young women of the time, and most especially well-born ones, did.

Clearly Slate writers don't get paid for breadth of knowledge nor for depth of thought nor ambition of scholarship. I guess half-assed rants get more hits.