Was Shakespeare a doper?
March 1, 2001 11:20 PM   Subscribe

Was Shakespeare a doper? It doesn't matter. But it's in the news because it's not often you can dig up (literally) some juicy celebrity gossip involving mood-altering substances.
posted by pracowity (9 comments total)
Supposedly Jesus used pot. So why not ole Billy? I don't think it's all that surprising to find that anyone from the past used drugs.
posted by crushed at 4:31 AM on March 2, 2001

I think the scientists who deliberately courted publicity with this oh-so-typical bit of flackery are the real stoners.
posted by holgate at 5:03 AM on March 2, 2001

This is a very dubious claim. The pipe was found near Shakespeare's home, therefore he must have been a crack-head? Even an American judge couldn't make that one stick.

Quite a funny article though.
posted by MarkC at 5:06 AM on March 2, 2001

I don't get the CNN article, it's acting as if this has a huge impact on how we see Shakespeare. The woman at the end was like, "People love to come up with reasons for saying Shakespeare was not a genius." How would this do that?
posted by dagnyscott at 5:42 AM on March 2, 2001

I recall a teacher of drama had pointed out that whereas other drmatists of the period often wrote about sordid and kinky things, Shakespeare by contrast "took the high road."
posted by Postroad at 5:43 AM on March 2, 2001

Postroad: That's amusing. I had some teachers who believed Shakespeare was a relative saint, too...

Of course he was one of the most popular dramatists of his time. Then, as now, you couldn't appeal to the unwashed masses without sex and/or violence. Most people today just don't "get" the bawdy jokes, innuendos, and subtexts in his work.

That's why there have been several books written on the subject, not to mention innumerable scholarly papers, and websites that feel they must preface their content thus:

WARNING! Shakespeare's works contain references to adultery, incest, and premarital sex, and is replete with bawdy humor and double entendres. And don't forget the violence. Don't even get me started on the violence...
Of course, that's probably old news to almost everyone here... but your comment nearly made me snort black tea out my nose, so I had to respond. :)
posted by champignon at 8:09 AM on March 2, 2001

I love it..."I'm not saying that Shakespeare would never have drunk, or eaten, or smoked marijuana, because it was used as a medical remedy at the time. But we have no evidence that he ever used it for pleasure,"
posted by metasak at 3:50 PM on March 2, 2001

Next they'll be trying to tell us that Dylan Thomas drank too much or something.
posted by Skot at 3:59 PM on March 2, 2001

dagny: How does this prove WS wasn't a genius? Well, it gave him the energy he otherwise wouldn't have had to write the complete works and it also strengthened his reasoning and ability to make connections between disperate concepts.

I would have thought that was obvious. :)
posted by vbfg at 8:09 AM on September 5, 2001

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