Unsex Me Here // On the Power of ‘Evil’ Women in Macbeth

‘Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty’ (Act 1, Scene 5, lines 39-41)

Halloween is here and something wicked this way comes. B discusses the real power of ‘evil’ women in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is not only a gritty and gruesome drama perfect for spooky autumn nights, it’s a performance of male versus female ambition and how their differences are praised and punished. Macbeth’s main theme is the destruction wrought by unchecked ambition, which is most powerfully expressed in the dichotomy between Macbeth and his female counterparts: Lady Macbeth and the three witches. Intriguingly, female ambition and male ambition is depicted differently and seem to fall into two separate definitions. Macbeth’s portrayal of masculine ambition revolves around cruelty and an insatiable desire for power. While the women of the play also desire power, their ambition reveals itself through their cunning and calculated machinations. They’re far more sophisticated than the troubled Macbeth himself, and yet their cleverness is overlooked and they are remembered in history as being evil. This 17th-century play grimly reveals the conflation between powerful women and evil women.

Ellen_Terry_as_Lady_Macbeth.jpg
Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, by John Singer Sargent (1889). On display at Tate Britain.

Continue reading “Unsex Me Here // On the Power of ‘Evil’ Women in Macbeth”

Remembering September 11th // 16 Years Later

Sixteen years ago today, on the morning of September 11, 2001, four coordinated terror attacks carried out by al-Qaeda changed the world forever.

For the millennial generation, the subsequent War on Terror became the frightening backdrop for our childhoods; we grew up in the shadow of terror, in the aftermath of a tragedy that punctuated our lives. Around the world, in the years after 9/11, we unwillingly inherited a zeitgeist of fear, intolerance, anti-Muslim sentiment, strained international relations and fraught nationalism that continues to permeate Western culture today.

Nearly two decades later, we can look back to see that in the narrative of our lives exists a clear demarcation of who we were before 9/11 and who we became after. The staff at Boshemia took a moment to remember their experiences of 9/11. We have included the city they resided in on that day for understanding of the global impact.

Flight_93_Field-of-Honor.jpg
The Field of Honor—Flight 93 National Memorial // photo by NPS

Continue reading “Remembering September 11th // 16 Years Later”

Remembering Charlottesville: Notes from the Frontlines

Guest writer Khristian Smith shares his experience as a counter-protester of the ‘Unite the Right Rally’ at Charlottesville on August 11 – 12, 2017. 

igor-ovsyannykov-223082 (1)

Late in the evening on August 11, I turned away from my work to find that hundreds of real-life Nazis had descended onto the Grounds at the University of Virginia. I honestly wish I could say I was surprised by their clandestine march or the fact that they were wielding torches, but given the City of Charlottesville’s, UVA’s, and Thomas Jefferson’s histories, pretending to be surprised would be dishonest and as much an assent to the violence that inevitably followed as, say, a condemnation of violence “on many sides.” Fortunately, I was not alone in my lack of surprise.

As hundreds of torch-wielding white supremacists marched their way across the lawn to the Rotunda, 20+ third and fourth year students created a wall around the Rotunda’s statue of Jefferson. These students linked arms, held signs, and met “you will not replace us” and “blood and soil” with “Black Lives Matter” and civil disobedience. Their nonviolent determent of (mostly) white men retained even when “blood and soil” transformed into “we have the right to beat you.”

Continue reading “Remembering Charlottesville: Notes from the Frontlines”

Flag Race // A Queer History of the Rainbow Flag

Happy Pride everyone! I hope everyone reading this is decked out head to toe in glitter, rainbows and body paint. To mark the momentous occasion, there has been a victory within the gay community; the pride react button is back on Facebook. Truly, this is an event up there in the pantheon of queer successes along with gay marriage, the return of Will & Grace and this.

Everyone loves rainbows right? They’re fun and colourful and 9/10 times there’s an untouched pot of gold at the end; surely that should be reason enough for the LGBTQ+ flag to be a rainbow right? And what’s up with the recent brown and black additions? What kind of rainbow has brown and black stripes? Let’s have a look at a brief history of the most fabulous flag the world has seen.

gayflag1

Continue reading “Flag Race // A Queer History of the Rainbow Flag”

Brexit & Trump; A Victory for the Disenfranchised?

Today’s guest writer is a scholarly friend of the blog. John is a DPhil Theology student at the University of Oxford who is specialising in fourth-century Christianity. His key interests are intersectional feminism, the history of European philosophy and left-wing politics.

_

Only a couple of days after Donald Trump’s presidential victory, a photo was released showing Trump and Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (not, as FOX would have you believe, the leader of the opposition) in a lift, wearing expensive suits, surrounded by polished marble and filigreed metal. We’ve all seen it. Considering their backgrounds, this is to be expected – Trump is a billionaire born to the ultra-rich, and Farage is a privately-educated ex-city trader born to a city trader. They are every bit the essence of privilege – white, older rich men. Yet both their recent campaigns tried to replace their privilege with compassion, declaring Brexit and Trump to be the manifestations of the will of the “left behind.”

113550697_farage_trump-large_transeo_i_u9apj8ruoebjoaht0k9u7hhrjvuo-zlengruma

Continue reading “Brexit & Trump; A Victory for the Disenfranchised?”

One For the ’90s Kids || Anticipating Nostalgia

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

You’ve seen the Facebook pages dedicated to them. You’ve seen high street brands ridiculously jump on the bandwagon and print cringeworthy t-shirts of oh-so-relatable slogans about them. You’ve heard (and probably made) the jokes about them.

‘90s kids’: totally and utterly obsessed with nostalgia for their birth or childhood decade. Why? Why are those darn millennials always harping on about the past? I can certainly hazard some guesses.

90scollage-660x330

Continue reading “One For the ’90s Kids || Anticipating Nostalgia”