No, cancel culture has not come for William Shakespeare. The Great White Bard is not a takedown of Shakespeare’s most famous works, but instead a near-forensic audit of his plays through a racial lens. “To love Shakespeare means to know him,” Farah Karim-Cooper writes. Instead of “worshiping his words,” she believes that interrogating them “allows us to confront crucial questions of our day.” Through rigid and nuanced analysis, the co-director of education at Shakespeare’s Globe theater and noted Shakespeare scholar argues that the bard helped shape the Elizabethan and Renaissance ideals of race, but not for the better. As she finds examples of racial prejudice, misogynoir, and anti-semitism in Shakespeare’s plays, she hopes that readers can recognize his flaws as a way to afford themselves a deeper understanding of his work. —Shannon Carlin
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