In January 1994, 400 years after its original performance, Romeo and Juliet hit the headlines as one of the most controversial texts of the 1990s. A furore developed concerning its political correctness, thanks to a headmistress in a primary school in Hackney. Even today, the story (which probably has been long forgotten) makes bizarre reading. It teaches us that (1) Shakespeare makes national headlines; (2) his ‘sacredness’ is an issue which, for the most part, goes beyond argument; and (3) it is the representation (or reputation) of Shakespeare — rather than Shakespearean textual evidence — that is at stake.
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