I've had this in my inbox for about 6 months, but never got around to posting it. Follow the link and you'll find a lot of additional information on the right side.  - Dallas

 

How to Think Like Shakespeare: An Introduction

 

In April, Big Think will be hosting a series titled “How to Think Like Shakespeare.”  Like many of you, I grew up with a love of literature, and particularly of Shakespeare, that I set aside when I finished my liberal arts education. I went to law school because I took W.H. Auden’s dictum that “poetry makes nothing happen” at face value. (I would only later see that the line described the poet W.B. Yeats, who made a great deal happen!)  For many years, I focused happily on law, which undeniably makes things happen in our culture.

 

Over time, however, I became troubled by how much my profession and our culture as a whole favor narrow questions of law over broader questions of justice. I think I understand this preference—law is, after all, one of the few remaining shared languages our diverse society possesses. At the same time, I came to believe that a society that relies too much on law for its social cohesion is a sick one.

 

So I cast about for texts that were common enough and complex enough to sustain richer conversations about justice. Shakespeare, of course, came immediately to mind. I wrote a book titled A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare’s Plays Teach Us About.... As the title suggests, the book uses a dozen of Shakespeare’s plays to explore some of our most vexing contemporary dilemmas.

 

Continue on Big Think.

Tags: Shakespeare

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