How 90’s Cinema Revolted Against ‘High Culture’ Shakespeare, by Lucy Agate

In Shakespeare’s day, theatre was intended for all realms of society; the upper and lower classes experienced the same masterpiece, albeit through financially segregated seating zones. Strangely, with the birth of cinema and the inevitable birth of Shakespearean cinematic depictions, this intentional accessibility vanished – Shakespeare became a product of high culture, intended for a demographic of well-cultured thespians and critics. Perhaps due to presumptions about the capability of the uneducated population to understand Elizabethan theatre, individuals outside of these parameters were no longer expected to enjoy Shakespeare.

However, 90s cinema sought to challenge this.

The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Christian influence on witch persecution, by Eleanor Maher

The study of the persecution of witches is not a new idea – the almost morbid fascination with women’s persecution in the form of witch trials has permeated our imaginations for decades. Indeed, the image of the witch has long been a figure of literature and art: from folkloric tales, to modern day films. Yet beneath the comical and exaggerated depictions in popular media and children’s literature lies a very real history, with arguably quite disturbing ties to medieval Christianity and the persecution of women more generally.

Bloody Mary: is this a name she justly deserves? By Rebecca Smith

The phrase “Bloody Mary” typically pertains to either the Tudor Queen, murderous ghosts in mirrors, or the eponymous drink. The first of these reigned over England from 1553-58 and remains a controversial figure today due to the roughly 300 Protestants she burned for heresy – a fate that earned them instant martyrdom. The condemnation of such a person as “bloody” when presented with this does appear logical. However, arguably, Mary was given this nickname not solely due to these burnings. The following centuries of English religion and the implications of her gender must be considered when deciding whether “Bloody Mary” is a just name.

‘Revolting Prostitutes’: The Exploitation of Els von Eystett in 15th Century Germany, by Lewis Jones

This article will feature in Issue 37: Oppression and Resistance The year is 1471, and sitting in the middle of Germany’s Romantic Road is a tranquil village – Nördlingen. Yet, like most German towns, Nördlingen was home to a licensed brothel. The brothel wasn’t just the home of 12 prostitutes, it was of substantial economic Continue Reading

Oliver Cromwell: Liberator or Cruel Dictator? By Alexandra Luxford

It is widely argued that Oliver Cromwell was simply a ‘king in all but name’ and no better than the tyrannical regime he helped overthrow. His army credentials served to enforce the idea that the English Republic was a military dictatorship characterised by the banning of Christmas, strict Puritanism and widespread oppression, particularly in Ireland.