Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.

The grim reality of Shakespeare’s ideas

Samuel Tracey (Romeo) and Laura Lake Adebisi (Juliet) in Romeo and Juliet at Southwark Playhouse, London, January 2022.
A play for all seasons: Samuel Tracey (Romeo) and Laura Lake Adebisi (Juliet) in Romeo and Juliet at Southwark Playhouse, London, January 2022. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

Katharine Birbalsingh says that “the ideas in Shakespeare are universal” and should continue to be taught in the classroom (UK’s ‘strictest headmistress’ fears schools will stop teaching Shakespeare, 22 May). Urban riots, lying to parents, faking one’s own death, underage sex and suicide (Romeo and Juliet). Fleeing enforced marriage, date rape drugs, bestiality and sex trafficking (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Regicide, mass murder, infanticide and a beheading (Macbeth). A cultural icon truly not of an age, but for all time.
Austen Lynch
Garstang, Lancashire

• Children are now 11 before they are allowed to play outside; their parents played out aged nine (Adventurous play boosts children’s mental health, study finds, 20 May). I, a 78-year-old, played outside aged four. There were no parked cars and very little traffic. Adults’ dependence on cars is, sadly, very bad for their children.
Steve Loveman
Sheffield

• Could we please stop throwing people “under a bus” and go back to throwing them to the wolves (Johnson faces fresh claims he lied to MPs as new Partygate photos emerge, 23 May)?
Andrew Johnstone
Dundee

• Re letters in support of the monarchy (20 May), would you want your brain surgeon to have been appointed solely because they were the first-born of a previous brain surgeon?
Catherine Wykes
Derby

• I can’t imagine that I will ever want to travel from Reading to Shenfield. However, it is reassuring that billions has been spent on the Elizabeth line to make this journey a little easier just in case.
Michael Cunningham
Wolverhampton

Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.