Monday, December 1, 2014

What struck me most about the Jenkins article, "Never Trust a Snake," was one of the quotes cited at the beginning of the piece:
"There are people who think that wrestling is an ignoble sport. Wrestling is not a sport, it is a spectacle, and it is no more ignoble to attend a wrestled performance of Suffering than a performance of the sorrows of Arnolphe or Andromaque."
- Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling"
What is so striking is that Barthes is making wrestling comparable to something like Shakespeare. It is a spectacle, a performance, a morality play, yes. But it is also a play of Suffering. In the same way that Shakespeare writes some of the most heartbreaking and tragic stories, so does wrestling. It is a continuous story of the underdog versus the oppressor. And that's why wrestling is so vastly popular, why Shakespeare has remained relevant and transcendent for centuries now. It's the same story, the same tragedy, being told in a ring instead of a stage -- being told with fists instead of sword fights.

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