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.”