Yet here she is allow’d her virgin crants, Her maiden strewments and the bringing home Of bell and burial.

I know, I know it was another time.
But I have reached my limit with all this virgin, maiden stuff in general. I cannot stand anymore the bits about women’s chastity being their honor, about their virginity being their virtue, about their unstained maidenhood being their honesty.
I absorbed all of that for decades and I absorbed a LOT of it, due to my lifelong love of Shakespeare, but I just can’t stomach it anymore.

I saw a production of A Winter’s Tale recently and had the same reaction I did to the last production of Othello I saw – and that was, “I’d be alright if this was the last production of this play I ever saw.”
I mean – Winter’s Tale has a LOT to offer.
The language is beautiful.
Paulina is fierce.
There’s a bear in it.

But the central premise is that the king thinks his wife is unfaithful and he’s wrong and everyone goes round explaining how he’s wrong but it doesn’t matter – because he thinks he’s not wrong.

And the whole time I’m thinking – So? What if she DID sleep with the King of Bohemia? It’s not actually that terrible. Not so terrible that the Oracle needs to be called and then have her put in prison and so forth.
I mean, sure, it would be terrible personally for the guy she cheated on – but – otherwise? A woman’s chastity is not a concern for the entire country.

Anyway – Ophelia’s virginity and maidenhood is striking me the same way right now.
There’s a special garland for virgins?
Special virgin flowers?
I mean, really?
We got to broadcast this girl’s sexual status at her funeral?! Ugh.


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