03 December 2009

Parenting Strategies in Elizabethan Drama and Its Sources

This was inspired by an email conversation among several colleagues about final paper topics for Shakespeare and His Contexts (the "feckless mice" course).

Parenting rule number one: Do not feed your children to your dinner guests
PR number two: Do not feed their children to your dinner guests
PR number three: Do not have sexual relations with any mysterious, beautiful stranger your child's age. It will turn out to be your child in disguise.
PR number four: Do not leave your children under a rock/on the top of a mountain. This will result in the ultimate violation of rules 1-3 in the distant future.
PR number five: Do not divide your kingdom among your descendants. Most of your children are greedy dirtbags. The only one who really loves you will end up dead if you do this.
PR number six: Do not lock your children up in towers. They didn't do it.
PR number seven: Conversely, do not allow your children to sneak out the bedroom window every night. They are up to no good with your sworn enemy.
PR number eight: Never, under any circumstances, brag that your children are better/prettier/stronger than (insert name of local deity here). It will just end badly.

In fact, perhaps it's just best to dispense with this "having children" nonsense altogether. It just leads to too much disruption of your tidy plans for world domination. Become a nun and lock yourself in a convent.

Oh wait. That leads to the same sorts of troubles, doesn't it. Maybe you should just bite off your own tongue and allow yourself to be tortured to death during a play for the royal palace to expose the murder of your sister.

1 comment:

bipolarbear said...

Conversely, you can live with several moderately-behaved cats and tot up the reasons why a) cats are far superior to children, and 2) there is no reason in the multiverse why everyone "needs" to have children to be fulfilled. I like to do this out loud. It is really so endearing.