Category Archives: Shakespeare (William)

An Incel Killer and an English Major

Maura Binkley was an English major killed by an incel killer in a Tallahassee yoga studio. Her department chair turned to Shakespeare in his grief.

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Blackburn Unsexes Herself over Guns

Tennessee Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn’s insensitivity towards gun victims invites comparisons with Lady Macbeth.

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Sen. Flake Is No Hamlet

Comparisons of Sen. Flake to Hamlet over the Brett Kavanaugh is an insult to Hamlet.

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Baldwin on Making Education Relevant

Baldwin’s “Essays to Teachers” reminds them of what education should really be about.

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What Lit Is Good For–A Debate

Thursday Tim Parks has written a provocative essay for The New York Review of Books, asking, Is literature wise? In the sense, does it help us to live? And if not, what exactly is it good for? If you follow this blog, you already know my answers: –Yes, literature is wiser than we are (and […]

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Fishing in the Mind

Thursday Can art be so vivid that it supersedes actual experience? Billy Collins makes such a claim in “Fishing on the Susquehanna in July,” where he conjures up images that may resonate with those who fish, even though Collins isn’t among them. His own experience, he freely admits, comes from museum paintings. Art precedes life, […]

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Iago Trump Whispers Poison into Our Ears

Of all Shakespeare characters, Trump, driven by racial resentment and thriving on chaos, may most resemble Iago.

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Mike Pence=Elmer Gantry + Uriah Heep

Columnist George Will calls Mike Pence a cross between Elmer Gantry and Uriah Heep. I see the two and raise to a Dante sycophant and Shakespeare’s Cassius.

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Trump, Like Macbeth, Does Murder Sleep

“Macbeth,” a psychological study of a tyrant, also illumines aspects of Donald Trump.

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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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