“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. It has been discovered in dogs that exposing a young litter to very brief stressors helps them develop into dogs better able to handle stress as adults. Breeders remove one puppy at a time from the litter, just for a minute, or they place them on a chilled towel, and then promptly return them their dam and litter. In this manner, the puppies learn that stress is transitory, and that all will be well soon. A pup who has never experienced anything unsettling may panic as an older puppy or dog when left alone, for example.

    People can benefit from learning how to handle stressors, like the tragic occurrence of someone disagreeing with them.

  2. “…based on societally constructed ideas…”

    Yep, Lord knows we don’t need any of those. Let us instead adhere to the nonsensical babbling of a small group of anemic, weak-kneed sissies. Humanity will be so much improved.

  3. I hope this is faculty being worried on *behalf* of students and not actually students being triggered. A lot of the degradation of our society has been done on behalf of others who probably wouldn’t have cared.

  4. Ironic considering that anyone capable of being triggered by Shakespeare lacks the cognitive capacity to have even a tenuous grasp of the material. I am so, so tired of stupid people being celebrated.

  5. Poor babies. Life can be hard. I hate to break it to these kids, but there’s a 1:1 life to death ratio.

  6. How can the poor dears ever reach socialist perfection if they are being told about the true nature of ma. How can they ever gain Utopia if they have to grasp reality. They just can’t stomach the fact that someone might have left their cake out in the rain and exposed the truth that their perfect society will never come to fruition. Woe is me they protest. Can’t you see that my heart is being broken on the stone because I had no warning that man can not be perfected. The profits such as Shakespeare spoke to us so that we might be aware of the danger and that we might gird our loins in resistance to the controllers. So then they hide beneath a leaf when a strong wind blows.

  7. Trigger Warning! No, just a “Typo Alert”: Far From the Madding ̶C̶r̶o̶w̶n̶ I think you meant “Crowd?” 🙂 Anyway, I love your blog, thank you for the breath of fresh air & crucial insight you bring to every discussion! Cheers!

  8. I suppose we all have our opinions about how the classics should be presented, but to me it seems unnecessary for woksters to have inserted a tragic sword-fight ending to Hamlet in place of the original comedic pie fight. In my opinion, it changes the whole flavor of the play.

    1. Ralph de Minimis,
      While I do appreciate a good pie fight, I think the Blazing Saddles version was much better! 😉

  9. One has to have some real life experiences in order to fully benefit from literature.

    Maybe what kids and young adults really need first, is to perform some blue collar work or manual labor to counter the elitism?

    Why couldn’t elementary and secondary education offer credits for summer jobs, like cleaning houses, mowing lawns, etc? Right now kids could be earning money shoveling snow (maybe the parents could buy them a bike helmet and safety gear in case they fall).

    Whether these kids become managers, supervisors, college professors or government officials – there is a vital need for kids to see how the other side works and survives. It would make them better adults and better able to deal with other people and have a much better understanding of literature (usually based on real life circumstances).

    1. Ashcroft’s Zersetzung,
      I can speak to this.
      My parents, not white, chose the place of our upbringing off of school performance. Despite the racist real estate agent who only showed my parents (before I was born) properties that were in the local ghetto, my parents wised up and selected a small, but conservative, school system. There both myself and my sister did well.
      However, most of those students did not work a after school job. Very few of us did and those that did, most were of the lower socio-economic class. I did have a few co-workers whom were from well off families who insisted their children know the experience of what it is like to be a grocery store cashier. To know and understand what the value of money is.
      Today’s Leftists and liberals do not understand that kind of thinking.
      Just, what can you taxpayers give me!

    2. Unfortunately, you make too much sense for academia.
      Professors = learned people who remain ignorant.

  10. For the delicate victims who are cruelly and visciously being exposed to the classics:
    Perhaps this will help to deflect the slings and arrows of outrageous literature.

    1. Hi Cindy 🙂

      Still a bit jacked tonight.

      Your post/video was great. LOl

      It caused my to recall, here in the thick of it all, in deep winter’s grip, that it lets us all know for sure we are truly alive & then we can be right back to Andy & Mayberry RFD if we demand it.

      I don’t remember ever thing but I remember my music teacher’s name. Ms Kirk, that taught me to play the guitar.

      I still to this day regret I felt felt I was to busy to pursue that interest.

      I everyday is a gift from God, that’s why we call it the Present. Gnite 😉

  11. How on earth can the poor dears cope with a typical television show? There the triggering image is not in the form of the more tame written word, subject to interpretation, but instead displayed in the fullness of its graphic glory.

  12. As usual, the Bard predicted these fools and their folly as no evil is truly original or even hidden from the honest man:

    “I love him for his sake;
    And yet I know him a notorious liar,
    Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
    Yet these fix’d evils sit so fit in him
    That they take place when virtue’s steely bones
    Looks bleak i’ th’ cold wind; withal, full oft we see
    Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.”

    ~ All’s Well That Ends Well, Act I, Scene 1

    And, of course, he understood the upside down world these fools both desire and engender:

    “But I remember now
    I am in this earthly world, where to do harm
    Is often laudable, to do good sometime
    Accounted dangerous folly.”

    ~Macbeth Act 4, Scene 2

  13. Whatever do parents do in communist modernity?

    “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

    – Vladimir Lenin

  14. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do with the Bible.
    ” Jesus was hiking to a United Brotherhood of Carpenters meeting and unfortunately, tripped and fell on a box of nails.”

  15. I get that the teachers are out of touch with the real world, but I suspect 90% of the students are not, in fact if they are not already telling jokes about it, I would be disappointed!

  16. The problem with Greek plays is that they show human nature, warts and all. Same with the rest of western classics.

    Human nature, the end point of ~350 million years of evolution culminating with H. sapiens, competes with the collectivist ideal of a perfect society, to be achieved through strong-armed governmental control.

    You cannot eliminate the tendencies/emotions of human nature such as fear, hope, confirmation bias, the satisfaction of conforming, love, hate, desire for power, faith in something intangible, etc.

    In short, the power of unacknowledged emotions/psychollogical tendencies to influence or overcome reason are extremely powerful.

    The founding fathers knew this full well and tried to balance human nature against human nature.

Leave a Reply