Top critical review
AN ASS THAT WILL NOT MEND HIS PACE WITH BEATING
on December 15, 2000
My one star is not directed toward OTHELLO, which is one of Shakespeare's greatest dramatic achievements, but is directed toward Ms. Sean Ares Hirsch, who is either one of the dumbest readers I know of or one of the most facetious (I pray the latter). She refers to this minor piece as "Shakespeare's slump" and elaborates by saying that the play's characters, minus Iago, are flat. Looking at the fairly impressive amount that Ms. Hirsch has read (possibly in the WORLD CLASSICS FOR CHILDREN series), it is unthinkable to conclude that she is actually as mentally challenged as she appears. She contradicts nearly 400 years of criticism in slighting OTHELLO, something that I recall a couple of well-known drug users in one of my high school English classes doing 25 years go. I must admit that I occasionally become concerned that Ms. Hirsch is actually being candid when reading her reviews, which are rather unimaginative and when grouped into three categories (works she doesn't like, works she likes fairly well, and works she loves) and then read, all begin to repeat themselves in trite groups of three. Yet, considering the fact that if Ms. Hirsch were to turn in one of her reviews (especially the ones on OTHELLO and TWELFTH NIGHT, which is, though AS YOU LIKE IT is a close second, probably Shakespeare's greatest comedy) to even a kindergarten teacher, she (Ms. Hirsch) would be thoroughly laughed at, I must conclude that these reviews are largely sarcastic-possibly clever parodies of those of the average construction-worker critic. OTHELLO is, as I am sure Ms. Hirsch actually believes, one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, though not, of course, quite matching LEAR or HAMLET. I would like to try my hand at one of Ms. Hirsch clever parodies. Don't judge me too harshly. Be kind. I am not as skilled as she is. Here we go: ............. Review of AS YOU LIKE IT: "My only complaint about this play is that Shakespeare overtly forced himself to include Rosalind, Jacques, Touchstone, Orlando, Duke Senior, and above all Phebe. Had he excluded the aforementioned figures from the action, he could have indeed much improved this so-called "problem play". Although this play lacks the hilarious tone of Webster's WHITE DEVIL or the superb construction of Carlos Williams's RED WHEELBARROW, it is a fine play. Duke Senior's defiant usurpation of the woodlands and Rosalind's atavistic reversion to conspicuous, though hardly narcissistically cogent, transvestitism do not effect the play's nefarious, wholly phallic destruction. The play's conclusion at the joyous feast of Hemline rectifies all wrongs and negates our suspicions concerning Shakespeare's sexual unrest or "rough and all-unable pen" (certainly a Freudian reference). If you read this, knowing not to expect a virile Bard, you may find it a very pleasant play."
David Lawrence, D.D.T. (email@example.com)