Why Shakespeare Would Not Work in Brave New World

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Love, A Midsummer Night's Dream Pages: 2 (649 words) Published: April 28, 2013
Why Shakespeare would not work in the N.W.S?
Throughout this novel, it is evident that not only is Shakespeare prohibited in the new world but it would also not work. For example, in chapter 12, John reads passages from Shakespeare to Helmholtz. Helmholtz enjoys the poetry, but when John reads a passage taken from Romeo and Juliet, Helmholtz starts laughing even though it is inappropriate to do so. “When Juliet said this, Helmholtz broke out in an explosion of uncontrollable guffawing.” (Huxley 161). In this passage, Juliet’s parents are trying to convince Juliet to marry Paris. Not only does Helmholtz find it funny that in Shakespeare, characters have mothers and fathers, but he also finds it hilarious that Juliet’s parents are actually trying to convince her to marry a specific man. This scene demonstrates how strong conditioning really is. Helmholtz is unable to appreciate the drama of Juliet’s parents trying to convince her to marry Paris because of his conditioning. Later in the novel in chapter 16, Mond explains why Shakespeare is prohibited. He first explains that great literature tends to last, even when it becomes old. Mond explains that in this society, based on consumerism, there needs to be citizens who want new things. He explains that Newness is more important than intrinsic value. Mond then explains another reason why Shakespeare is forbidden. He explains that the citizens of the new world wouldn’t understand Shakespeare because the stories he writes are based on experiences and passions that do not exist in the World State. In conclusion, Shakespeare wouldn’t work in the N.W.S because Shakespeare deals with things that are two complex for the citizens of the New world. Shakespeare has been banned in the World State for being subversive and this is one of the sacrifices that the society in the N.W.S has to face if they want to have a Utopia, an ideal state. If Romeo and Juliet is the bright side of Romantic love, what other Shakespeare...
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