Cheers and Jeers

An open letter to the editors of the Carolina Review from the Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe.

In the Carolina Review’s [CRDaily’s] 01/20/2013 article, condemning the Daily Tar Heel for leaking a report detailing unacceptable levels of sexual violence at UNC and a university cover-up, the Carolina Review staff quoteD Shakespeare’s Hamlet: ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. This is in reference to the ‘rottenness’ of the DTH staff for trying to make this public.

By quoting Shakespeare, the staff of the Carolina Review have inadvertently touched on a similar issue: I hope that the CR editors will join me in condemning William Shakespeare for leaking the sensitive events which took place in the Danish capital, Elsinore, with no regard for the victims’ privacy.

Neither Hamlet Senior (deceased), Hamlet Junior (deceased), Orphelia (deceased), Laertes (deceased), Claudius (deceased), Gertrude (Deceased) nor Polonius (deceased), were consulted before Shakespeare printed the play. Shakespeare has ridden roughshod over their right to privacy.

I am sure the the staff of the Carolina Review will also agree with me that Shakespeare’s ‘rotten’ release of this publication – just to sell more plays – could potentially obstruct Prince Fortinbras’ private investigation into these matters.

Furthermore, given the nature of these “bloody, and unnatural acts” (Act V, Scene II), ‘there obviously is too much at stake to try this case in the court of public opinion’.

Indeed, it is certainly not in the public interest of the Danish people to know that their new King murdered their old King, married his wife, killed his wife, murdered his son and was killed by his son; who incidentally also murdered the King’s advisor, caused his daughter to commit suicide and accidentally killed his son too.

When contacted about the issue, the ghost of Hamlet Senior (deceased) had this to say; “But that I am forbid, To tell the secrets . . .  I could a tale unfold whose lightest word, Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood . . .  To ears of flesh and blood.” (Act I, Scene V)

The fact that the one survivor; Horatio, had already written an article about the tragedy for the Huffington Post, saying: “And let me speak to the yet unknowing world, How these things came about.” (Act V, Scene II) is not relevant here. Shakespeare still had no right to publish what everyone already knew.

So, I am sure that the staff of the Carolina Review will join me in condemning William Shakespeare as corrupt, opportunistic, immoral and not very good at writing plays anyway.


Christopher Marlowe

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