Tag Archives: Romeo and Juliet

Lit Frees Us from Our Mental Ghettos

In a fine “New Yorker” article, Shakespearean Stephen Greenblatt argues that Shakespeare was incapable to showing anything less than the full humanity of his characters, even the villains. He thereby liberates us from our “mental ghettos.”

Posted in Eliot (T.S.), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Hellish Child-Parent Relationships

Top 10 Literary Parent-Child Relationships from Hell.

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

A Plague on BOTH Houses? No, Only One

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

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Shakespeare with a Smart Phone

The plays would have been different if Shakespeare’s characters had had access to social media.

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Teaching Kids to Stand Up to Bullies

Michael Gerson writes that “Lord of the Flies” gives kids a picture of the bullying they experience and “To Kill a Mockingbird” the courage to stand up to it.

Posted in Golding (William), Lee (Harper), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicago’s Roman de la Rose

What’s in a name? Would Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Posted in Shakespeare (William), Stein (Gertrude) | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

A Plague on Both Your Houses!

“A plague on both your houses!” So I found myself venting at both Christian and Muslim zealots as I heard the recent news in Afghanistan. In this case, the Montagues were Pastor Terry Jones and his fundamentalist followers who burned a Koran in South Carolina while the Capulets were the fundamentalist Muslims (a crowd exiting a mosque) who attacked and killed United Nations workers in Afghanistan.

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American TV, the World’s English

Image from Poltergeist  I am pleased that Jason Blake, who teaches English at the University of Ljubljana, is becoming a regular contributor to this website. As an English speaker living in Slovenia, Jason is particularly sensitive to questions of language. In the following essay he triggers memories for me when he talks about how television, […]

Posted in Mikes (George), Nabokov (Vladimir), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

After the Mess, Can Obama Be Fortinbras?

I’ve been thinking recently about how every Shakespearean tragedy concludes with a restoration of order.  The stage may be strewn with corpses and the spectator’s heart may have broken into a thousand little pieces, but (as though to provide some reassurance) someone steps forward at the end to set things straight. In Hamlet it is […]

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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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