Following a groundbreaking study, the nation’s literary theorists have reached the unanimous conclusion that everybody has just been pretending to enjoy the works of William Shakespeare for the past 400 years.
“Our findings are irrefutable,” stated Jim Belfast, who headed the study. “We read all 37 of Shakespeare’s known plays, and about halfway through the stack, we realized that not a single one of us actually wanted to be reading them.”
“It’s an example of what psychologists refer to as ‘groupthink,’” another researcher added. “I just assumed that all the other researchers were enjoying themselves, so I pretended that I was also having fun just so I would fit in. But I wasn’t. None of us were. Somewhere between pretending to know what the word ‘armgaunt’ meant and making up some reason why it was brilliant of Big Bad Bill to use it, I realized that I just wanted to go home and watch Seinfeld.”
Upon hearing the results of the experiment, local Barnes & Noble cashier Keegan Philmore expressed vehement disagreement.
“It’s a disgrace to the greatest writer of the English language who ever lived. The fact that you can’t appreciate his genius is a sign that you just don’t understand the nuanced brilliance of his work,” asserted Philmore, sweating profusely.
“We want to make it clear that we are not undermining the impact the Bard of Avon’s works have had on English literature as a whole,” Belfast explained at press time. “We just don’t think anybody has ever sat down and read a copy of Measure for Measure and actually enjoyed it more than they would’ve enjoyed going bowling or something.”