In high school, we learn that Shakespearean plays are “bawdy,” which is a nice way of saying that they are downright filthy (so many vagina puns). Still, Shakespeare may have taken things a bit too far in a newly-authenticated and not particularly funny comedy called Double Falsehood, which includes a rape scene. The play follows Henriquez, the son of a Duke, who rapes a virtuous girl of humble birth named Violante. Spoiler alert: they get married by the end of the play, which is supposed to bring everything to a happy conclusion, but which actually makes the narrative all the more upsetting. Some scholars have theorized that Double Falsehood was suppressed because of the rape scene. Others believe that Shakespeare was complicit in the suppression because the play, to use a lofty academic term, was “shitty.”
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