Category Archives: Shakespeare (William)

Literature as a Social Experience

Sharing newspaper clipping about Shakespeare is one way to share one’s love for the Bard.

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Are Liberals Killing the Arts? Uh, No

A “New Republic” article attacks liberals for killing the arts. I disagree.

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Can Fed Keep Going? The Bard Weighs In

I fear that, in the upcoming U.S. Open, Roger Federer will be like Gremio in “Taming of the Shrew.”

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Obama Is No King Lear (Thank Goodness!)

Those who want more militaristic posturing in our foreign policy should contemplate King Lear’s posturing.

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Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18–Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day–can be read as a power move.

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Reading Lit through the Eyes of Others

Reading literature through the eyes of others brings special pleasures and insights.

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Spain No Longer a Soccer Colossus

Spain, which once did bestride the soccer world like a colossus, has been ousted from the World Cup.

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Art Is the Path to Liberation

Nick Brown, a very bright philosophy and English double major, reflects on how to live a worthwhile life. An aesthetic approach to life is at the core of his argument.

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NBA Playoffs: Daphne Chases Apollo

Like the topsy-turvy forest in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the NBA playoffs are witnessing strange reversals.

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The Bard Could Improve Lawyer Behavior

A judge makes his case about how Shakespeare can improve lawyer professionalism.

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Shakespeare in the Courtroom

A Georgia judge is guided by Shakespeare and sometimes cites the Bard in his rulings.

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Top 10 Hellish Child-Parent Relationships

Top 10 Literary Parent-Child Relationships from Hell.

Also posted in Aeschylus, Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Euripides, Lawrence (D. H.), O'Connor (Flannery), Plath (Sylvia), Roth (Philip K.), Shelton (Richard), Sophocles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Grandchild Born under a Dancing Star

To celebrate the birth of my new granddaughter, I turn to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Shakespeare.

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Fantasy Provides Aid for Life’s Storms

As a child who grew up immersed in fantasy fiction, I knew, as deeply as I knew anything, that these books put me in touch with something that was deep and true. As I grew up, of course, I learned that I had to move beyond fantasy just as I had to move beyond childhood. […]

Also posted in Keats (John) | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Using Lit to Predict the Weather

Last week, while discussing “The Tempest,” we experienced a literal tempest. Expect cold temperatures today as I’m teaching “Eve of St. Agnes.”

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Prospero’s Magic, a Model for Fantasy Lit

“The Tempest” fits magically into a fantasy course.

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The Skater below the Ice

This wonderful Dacey poem about skating captures the other self we feel is just beyond the horizon–or beneath the ice.

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The World’s a Stage–Choose Your Part

In his senior project, one of my students uses literature to examine life and literature to engage with it.

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Is Peyton Manning Pitted against Puck?

Tomorrow’s Super Bowl drama may be forces of order vs. forces of chaos. Or it may involve Denver trying to outwit a trickster Puck-like team.

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Lit Helps Father Support a Sick Child

Jason Blake found himself playing literary roles when his daughter underwent major surgery.

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Fighting Lit’s Culture Wars Again?!

A recent Wall Street Journal column is attempting to revive the 1990s culture wars over literature.

Also posted in Chaucer (Geoffrey), Dante | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sad Christie Knows Nothing

Chris Christie has resorting to plausible deniability such as that discussed in Shakespeare’s “Richard II” and “Antony and Cleopatra.”

Also posted in Eliot (T.S.) | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Bard as Couples Counselor

Shakespeare charts the way to new kinds of relationships in his cross-dressing comedies.

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Mandela Inspired the World

An Elizabeth Alexander poem to remember Nelson Mandela and a past post on how he turned to Shakespeare in prison.

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Debating Whether Lit Is Useless

I take issue with a “New Yorker” blog on whether or not literature can be considered “useful.”

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Haiyan, Climate Change Denial, & Lear

“King Lear” gives us language to describe Typhoon Haiyan and also a framework to understand climate change denialism.

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My Father Moved through Dooms of Love

At my father’s memorial service, we read poems by e.e. cummings, Shakespeare, Jacques Prévert, and my father himself.

Also posted in Bates (Scott), cummings (e.e.) | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Disaster Ahead, No More Fantasizing

Can the Tea Party move beyond fantasies and deal with the world as it really is? Shakespeare and Yeats weigh in.

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A Plague on BOTH Houses? No, Only One

“A plague on both your houses” doesn’t work for Mercutio or for citizens today.

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Government Shutdown? Call in the Bard

Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” offers a wish fulfillment that we can apply to the government shutdown.

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Beagles, a Wellspring of Poetry

Two dogs we were keeping recently ran off, triggering a flood of anxiety and poetry.

Also posted in Beckett (Samuel), Kipling (Rudyard), Stein (Gertrude) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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