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Friday, September 3, 2021

Censorship and Bowdlerize – Literary Terms

Censorship and Bowdlerize, Literary Terms, What is Censorship, what is Bowdlerize

Censorship and Bowdlerize – Literary Terms

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To remove immoral or indecent passages from a NOVEL, PLAY, or other piece of writing. The practice is named after Thomas Bowdler, who in 1818 published an edition of William Shakespeare's plays called The Family Shakespeare. Bowdler's editing of Shakespeare included removing whatever he thought was “unfit to be read by a gentleman in a company of ladies."



 Suppressing or deleting portions of books, PLAYS, films, newspapers, magazines, radio and television programs, and other art forms or communications media that are considered irreligious, immoral, or politically dangerous. Most obvious during wartime, in puritanical societies, and under totalitarian governments, where even personal letters are inspected by an official censor, censorship is also at work in subtle ways in freer times and places, often with profit as the motive. Movie producers, for example, sometimes remove potentially objectionable material from scripts to make sure the movie will receive a PG rating and the greater money-making potential the PG brings with it. Newspaper and magazine publishers and radio and television producers practice a similar form of self-censorship to avoid losing advertisers; book publishers are wary of manuscripts that may offend a large portion of their market.

Censorship has had a long and sporadic history. Many authors, ranging from Aristophanes in the fifth century B.C. to Salman Rushdie in the twentieth century, have fought for the freedom of expression against the threat of censorship. The most famous argument against the suppression of books is contained in a few lines from John Milton's ESSAY on censorship, Areopagitica:

As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself. See BOWDLERIZE, PORNOGRAPHY.

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