Theatre

Why Are So Many Fictional Utopias as Terrifying as Dystopias?

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I’ve never been good with numbers, but it’s not hard to determine that if you combined the history of utopian and dystopian art in a single equation, your end result would be certain doom. Despite utopia’s definition as “an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect,” both are completely bleak as portrayed across the arts. Dystopias are incredibly common centerpieces in all forms of art — and they’re rarely created with an optimistic ending in mind. More often than not, a dystopian scenario involves an attempted rebellion that is quashed by the seamless evils of The System in place, asserting that uprisings are futile and that insurgents are ultimately indoctrinated or killed. When they succeed, it’s only a matter of time before they create a mirror society to that which they were fighting.
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How Shakespeare’s Heroines Evolved From One-Dimensional to Feminist

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It’s the Bard’s birthday! Some celebrate the day by inserting “thee”s and “forsooth”s into their speech, and others by gathering Shakespeare’s quips and aphorisms. But there’s another way to honor his legacy, and that is to take a look at his treatment of women, which might be very instructive to some of our more boorish and misogynist culture creators today. Shakespeare was once just like them, but he evolved into something far greater.
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From Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ to ‘It Follows’: Tracing the Evolution of STD as Metaphor

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When Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts — whose main characters include adulterers, syphilitics, and, worst of all, cowardly priests — first premiered in 1882, it elicited an uncannily perfect critical response. The play, which is a virulent attack on the hypocritical moralities of the devout Victorian Norwegian bourgeoisie, had detractors competing to embody that which it critiqued: the surprisingly uncritical rush to stifle public (and blasphemous forms of private) sexuality. These responses to the play were so condemnatory that you’d think Ibsen had catapulted used, syphilis-smeared condoms into the audience.
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