SHOULD SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS BE CUT FOR MODERN AUDIENCES? Terry Teachout begins this post by noting something that I posted on here in commenting on the great television series The Rockford Files. (“Those were simpler times. The show had charm, but the plot was simple compared with the multiple plot lines that we are accustomed to today.”) Teachout points out how slow-moving the sitcoms of the 50’s and 60’s were and says that audiences have changed: “The leisurely expositions of yesteryear, it turns out, aren’t necessary: You can count on contemporary audiences to get the point and see where you’re headed….”
Teachout then throws in a provocative aside: “Just as most of Shakespeare’s plays can and should be cut in performance….”
I’ll give my response to this aside and tell how I think Shakespeare might respond in a couple days.