Tag Archives: Twelfth Night

Shakespeare Hated Bullies

Tuesday Last week a reader accused me of anti-Semitism for defending Merchant of Venice. While I’m always willing to learn new things about myself—personally, I think I have more trace elements in my system of sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, and ableism than of anti-Semitism—the response sent me back to early recollections of the play. For […]

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How I Make Literary Connections

Wednesday A friend the other day asked where my ideas come from, especially when I apply a passage from one century to incidents in another. Yesterday, for instance, I said that Trump confidant Roger Stone reminded me of a passage in Herman Melville’s Confidence Man. So how did that enter my head? To answer, let […]

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Fielding (Henry), Melville (Herman), Pope (Alexander) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shakespeare Would Support Transgenders

As Donald Trump rolls back transgender protections, it’s worth going back to Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” which honors the sense that many have (not just transgender individuals) that they have the other gender hidden away beneath their exteriors.

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The Magic Spell Cast by Stories

In “1Q84” Murakami describes novels as holding out the promise to solve our problems only we can’t quite make them out.

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Shakespeare Understood Trumpism

According to Adam Gopnik, Shakespeare would have understood the rise of Donald Trump better than we do today. Whereas we see him as a historical oddity, Shakespeare would have seen him as the kind of evil that has always resided within humankind.

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In Defense of The Merchant of Venice

Percy Shelley believes that great art transcends the prejudices of its time, even when it is cloaked in them. If he is right, then “Merchant of Venice” is less of a problem play than many people consider it.

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Shakespeare Was Malvolio

Recent research shows how much of a social climber Shakespeare was. The knowledge gives us new insight into characters like Malvolio and Othello.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Marlowe (Christopher), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Defending the Canon vs. New Attacks

Yale English majors have been complaining about requiring them to study canonical writers. Here’s is why they are wrong.

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Stories Have Always Opened Up the Future

An anthropologist argues that human beings took over the world because they had the ability to compose fictions. Literature continues to point the way forward for us as a species.

Posted in Chaucer (Geoffrey), Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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