“Tragedy … Might be Triggering”: British Universities Add Warnings for Greek and Shakespearean Plays

The problem with universities overwhelmingly controlled by faculty on the left is that there are few to offer a dose of reality or rationality. Left to their own devices, some faculty seem to search for new ways to demonstrate woke priorities. British universities have long been ridiculed for policies controlling speech or symbols. Now, The Telegraph is reporting that British universities are adding trigger warnings to Greek and Shakespearean tragedies to protect students from being triggered by tragedy. Indeed, there are now warnings on other classics for everything from “ableism” to “depictions of rural life.”

One such warning stated, “Tragedy is a genre obsessed with violence and suffering, often of a sexual or graphic kind, and so some of the content might be triggering for some students.”

The University of Aberdeen in Scotland put a trigger warning on “Beowulf” due to its depictions of “animal cruelty” and “ableism.” Beowulf had to fear “a creature of darkness, exiled from happiness and accursed of God, the destroyer and devourer of our human kind.” However, Aberdeen students have the added fear that they may run across depictions from 975 which “place value on people’s bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normality, intelligence, excellence, desirability, and productivity.” [Notably, even that definition is preceded at Stanford by a trigger warning that “Content warning: The following page contains content including the historical context of ableism. It may be disturbing to those with a history of institutionalization or other negative experiences in the medical world concerning their specific disabilities.”]

Even the death of an albatross in “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” required a trigger warning at the University of Greenwich as “potentially upsetting.”

There is trigger warning imposed by the University of Warwick for Thomas Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crown” because of its depiction of “rural life.”

Of course, the British are not alone in such warnings. The National Archives recently moved to add trigger warnings to displays on our founders and founding documents.

Trigger warning: I am about to quote Shakespeare….

This all proves the Bard’s point that “Nothing routs us but the villainy of our fears.”

73 thoughts on ““Tragedy … Might be Triggering”: British Universities Add Warnings for Greek and Shakespearean Plays”

  1. The University of Aberdeen has also issued a warning for Stravinski’s ballet Petrushka, because the title character, a puppet is murdered. Interestingly, they forgot to issue a warning that he’s killed by a fellow puppet portraying, gasp, a Moor.

  2. Coddling crybabies. THAT’S the tragedy. More is never enough with these pablum addicts….and never will be.

  3. There is unanimous agreement between historians (right or left) that the Vietnam War was extended for purely political reasons. Military leaders had deemed no benefit continuing the war. By continuing to participate in this war, while lying to voters, about 3000 American military members lost their lives. Roughly the same number of lives lost on 9/11, but for political reasons.

    Some of these same type leaders, have no problem censoring that real violence (for purely political reasons) but now want to censor college students from seeing “rural life”?

    Meanwhile, there is graphic violence shown on network television daily, during hours when young children are watching. Usually for the goal of glamorizing military or police shows, violent content is fervently fine – no censorship at all.

    Simultaneously, Janet Jackson’s career was nearly destroyed for showing a “pasty” for about 1/10 of 1 second at the Super Bowl. Jackson and the networks were fined thousands of dollars by the FCC for showing what can be seen at any public family beach.

    1. A Z – You say: “There is unanimous agreement between historians (right or left) that the Vietnam War was extended for purely political reasons.” This statement doesn’t seem to say anything. All wars are fought for political purposes. Clausewitnz said: “War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.” If you are not fighting a war for a political purpose, why are you fighting it? Why were we fighting that war? To preserve the existence of South Vietnam as an independent, pro-Western state, This was both a noble and realistice goal. The failure of the Tet Offensivie, of 1968 showed that the combined forces of NV and the VC could not defeat the combined forces of the USA and S. Vietnam. The question in 1968-69 was whether we would continue to support S Vitenam. Due to he chandge in the public mood, esp. in the Democratic Party, Nixon decided that we would withdraw troops but continue military aid. If Nixon’s policy had been carried out, it is possible that S. Vietnam could have successfully resisted the N. Vietnam invasion of 1974. but we will never know since the Democrats, after having started the war, decided to end all to our ally. Of course, Cambodia fell as well, leading to the greatest genocide in human history.

      1. Edward, you are 100% correct. Ford and Kissinger begged Congress to continue funding the SV but the idiots on the left wouldn’t even give the South money to defend themselves. These are the same people that today argue that Ukraine should get a blank check. I am in favor of supporting Ukraine against Russia, but the left hates Russia today because they aren’t a threat to us, they loved the Soviets when they were actually a grave threat to us. China could invade Taiwan tomorrow and the left will not do a thing against them, because they are a threat to the United States. The left does whatever will harm the States.

        In the 80s the left supported a unilateral nuclear disarmament…because it would hurt us. The left demanded that we end nuclear power…because it would hurt us. Notice that today’s leftist demand that we stop coal, oil and nukes but yet they give China a pass. Why give China a pass? The fig leaf claim is that they are a “developing nation”. What a joke.

        In the 60s the Soviets infiltrated the peace movement as a way to harm us.
        In the 80s the Soviets infiltrated the nuke freeze movement as a way to harm us.
        in todays world the Chinese are the force behind the climate movement because a) it harms us and b) they profit off of it through minerals, solar and the weakening of the States.

  4. All educators of all levels of education would do well to read “ The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure”

  5. Quantity and Quality are always in dispute. When we expanded the size of universities in the 1950’s, we gauranteed that people who do not belong in higher education would become the dominating force.

  6. The irony is that even before these kids get to college their lives have likely been immersed in violence from TV, film, video games, rap music and the daily newspaper. Academics are just making fools of themselves and showing how out-of-touch they really are.

    1. GioCon,
      Isn’t that the point?
      Fear everything! Put your full trust in us, your betters, in the government! We know what is best for you! Do not think for yourselves! Do not question what we say! Obey!

  7. If the mere reading of Greek and Shakespearean tragedies can trigger these British and American snowflakes, I have been trying to imagine what type of employment waits for them when they graduate. We can rule out medicine, dentistry or being a veterinarian: too bloody; we can rule out law: too much conflict; we can rule out the ministry: the Old Testament makes Beowulf read like a comic book; we can rule out the military for obvious reasons; we could rule out having children: changing some diapers could trigger most of us; I think we even could rule out teaching since we now know that math and related fields (sorry, can’t use that word) are racist. About all that’s left is to live off their parents and perhaps government reparations for allowing them to be born into such misery.

  8. time to drastically LOWER government contribution to higher education…most isn’t HIGHER…it is basically state sponsored Terrorism

  9. Don’t even need to read the article. Just the headline. I bet these folks love Ibram X Kendi, but not Shakespeare. The Western World is finished when the elites run everything and they hate the culture.

  10. My wife maintains that our sons’ generation (now-in their 50s) is engineering this garbage, and opines that the fault is not their stars, but the fact that we did not beat them enough, and so on to the next.

    1. As a boomer, I grew up in a spoiled generation whose parents were first trifling with the likes of Dr. Spock. We were greedy little brats and we went wild in the 60’s and our offspring, for the most, are obnoxious, self-centered and ill-educated. I blame the boomers who were so self-consumed that they were ignorant of what was happening around them. If anything, Tail Gunner Joe was on to something and he was perfunctorily shut down by the very media that is enabling the destruction of our nation.

  11. Why read Thucydides or Herodotus when you can just read the historical works of Nicolle Hannah Jones. This is the “Classical” education that the left is giving us.

    For us older folks we should just try to enjoy knowing what we know and letting the world get dumber generation by generation.

    1. I cannot sit back and attempt to ignore the destruction since I have children, grandchildren and hopefully greatgrandchildren that will need live in this world. We are responsible for leaving them a world that is good, not damaged through our lethargy.

      1. Alma Carman,
        I have considered this in the past and posted that what we need is to form two separate societies that shall never meet.
        Would you agree or disagree with this course of action?

        1. That is an utopian dream but it is not functionable. Just look back to history – South Africa being one of the latest or perhaps Israel – to see that eventually one side will dominate and the other side will be out for retribution and a reversal will be bloody as it is in South Africa at this time. Think of islam – they have been hell-bent since their inception to conquer the world and bend it to their will. Our prog/left is the exact replication of that mindset – fanatical and self-possessed of the notion that only they understand and can implement the truth for the betterment of mankind. No – you cannot coexist with the prog/left – they will only settle for complete domination and to hope otherwise is a fool’s errand that attempts to evade the war that is coming, just as we are and always will be with fanatical islam. Just consider the WEF and Davos if you doubt this.

          1. I have to agree with you on the Leftists desire for complete and total power and domination. We see it with every attempt at censorship, their need to control the narrative, their need to try to control words, speech.
            I fear this will lead to real out right civil war.

            1. After studying history all my life, especially in college, I fear that this is the only solution as these mis-educated, brainwashed tools will never concede that they have been duped nor do they even begin to comprehend the basis of or reason for Western Civilization’s dominance in the world. They refute its very essence because those leading them realize that they cannot assume world domination until Western Civilization is eradicated.

              1. Alma Carman,
                That is a sobering thought.
                I take comfort those tools lack real intestinal fortitude, hiding behind their safe spaces to be any real threat. Heck, they melt at the sight of a Pop-Tart chewed in the shape of a pistol.

            2. We might see a small war in 2024. Note the millions crossing our borders. Criminals and the mentally ill were let out of jail to enter through our southern border. Jihadists of all types have entered, and I don’t doubt many are here to cause violence, perhaps in the next election cycle. How many gang members and youth have come that attract others?

              Have we added a large group of violent people paid to disrupt the 2024 elections? If not then when?

              1. Whether we see a civil war depends on what you call a civil war.

                I see us as already in one. I see it as a bloody mess in that those on the left are willing to increase crime, violence, nurders, suicides, and drug overdoses to prevail – as well as murder police roiting etc.

                I do not foresee open armed conflict of any kind at all ever. That does not mean we are not already in a civil war.

                How will it all end ? I do not know for sure – though the odds of the left prevailing are small.

                The measures the left is using to tilt elections have ceilings to them that are lower than the number of voters they are driving away.
                So this could easily end at the ballot box – and if it does it will snowball – the methods the left is using to win elections. not only have a ceiling, but they fail entirely once they fail once.

                J6 was an early attempt at actual protests by the right. It was of critical importance to the left that was crushed.
                30, 40, 50 year olds protesting results in change. 20 somethings are meaningless.

                We have not seen further protests – though the motivation is present, specifically because the double standards have made it much harder for those ont he right to protest.
                It is possible that those ont he right will solve those problems – or frustration levels will reach the point they do not care.
                And that may bring about the end.

                Or the left jumps the shark one too many times.

                Regardless, we are already in the civil war.
                It is not going to be fought with AR-15’s or F15s.
                It is not going to be fought on battle fields.

                1. John, I agree though we can view what is happening in many ways. I don’t see it as a civil war since it likens WW3 without tanks, planes, and armies. It can also be called WW3 or, in reality, part three of WW1.

                2. I agree, our “civil” war started long ago when the transcendentalists attempted to consider life relative and negotiable rather than dealing with absolutes. Emerson, Thoreau, Woodrow Wilson, they opened the floodgates to enable this. It is a long history of artists, writers and other cultural entities loosening the strictures under which a functioning society can exist and it ends with such ridiculousness as this morning’s article by JT concerning the “dehumanizing” effect of the article “the”. We have entered Alice’s wonderland where up is down and right is wrong.

  12. How embarrassingly we have failed an entire generation of people with who knows how many to come. These are classics among classics, now in the burial heap of already cancelled classics. Finding fault with everything, means finding fault with nothing. Forget cultural greatness, what will be left of our culture at all?

    As Churchill paraphrased in his 1948 speech to the House of Commons, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” Those words seem particularly apropos in the Age of Rage and Wokeness Era. We are living through McCarthyism Redux as the Woke Warriors and PC Police tear down everything they disagree with. It’s an Orwellian nightmare that, sadly, likely wouldn’t surprise Orwell.

    If those terms seem dramatic, they are. If all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others, what’s next? Silver lining, it seems as though some are coming to their senses, but only some (and not enough) ….

    1. Churchill may have said that in the House of Commons but George Santayana wrote it in his The Life of Reason published in 5 volumes in 1905-1906. Of course, I would expect a classically trained scholar such as Winston Churchill to be familiar with such works. Unfortunately, classically trained scholars are a severely endangered specie that is not protected by PETA or the EPA.

  13. I am actually OK with this stupidity.

    “Never interrupt an enemy when he is making a mistake.”

    Every move just shows ordinary people how stupid the left is.

    Like Svelaz commenting; he feels good, but most most readers (those who actually read him) just smile and move on.

    1. That is true, in a sense, but they have not made mistakes in so far as they control most of America at this point so we cannot afford to sit back watch them do foolish things as those things are irreparably damaging our very nation and culture.

  14. If they must, now, go back to the very essence of Western Civilization and declare the culture of Ancient Greece to be triggering then we have reached the tipping point where the sepsis invasion of our culture must be irradicated before it is killed off. Time to take back control.

  15. If we ever get control of the border and education establishment, the people will get sick of this.

    If we don’t, it will get much worse, and at some point, the people won’t be able to even complain about it.

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