Most students in middle and high schools wished a pox upon William Shakespeare’s house at some point on another. His wording can confound at times, but few would dispute his immense contributions to literature in world history.

Some students at Penn didn’t seem to get the memo. A portrait of Shakespeare has hung for years in the building housing the English Department. However, the English faculty voted to remove his portrait a few weeks ago and replace him with someone more inclusive. This was not hasty enough for some students, who, “as a way of affirming their commitment to a more inclusive mission for the English department,” removed it from the wall and replaced it with a portrait of Audre Lorde, the African-American feminist writer.

The offending Shakespeare portrait. Image via The Daily Pennsylvanian.
The offending Shakespeare portrait. Image via The Daily Pennsylvanian.

As Campus Reform points out, Penn’s Code of Conduct requires students “to refrain from stealing, damaging, defacing, or misusing the property or facilities of the University or of others.”

Maybe these students were inspired by Edmund Blackadder taking Shakespeare to task on behalf of “every schoolboy and schoolgirl for the next 400 years.”

Who’s next? Walt Whitman at UChicago?

It's not every day you get to say you had a staring contest with Walt Whitman. He won.

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