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Living With Shakespeare

Have you ever paused to think how Shakespeare's works continue to influence our lives to this day?

We've selected our favorite discussions of Shakespeare's influences from our catalog for you here. If you are interested in finding these books in electronic format please visit our Shakespeare To Go page.



Neil D. Says: Living with Shakespeare
Amazon Says: Why Shakespeare? What explains our continued fascination with his poems and plays? In Living with Shakespeare, Susannah Carson invites forty actors, directors, scholars, and w more...
Amazon Says: Why Shakespeare? What explains our continued fascination with his poems and plays? In Living with Shakespeare, Susannah Carson invites forty actors, directors, scholars, and writers to reflect on why his work is still such a vital part of our culture. We hear from James Earl Jones on reclaiming Othello as a tragic hero, Julie Taymor on turning Prospero into Prospera, Camille Paglia on teaching the plays to actors, F. Murray Abraham on gaining an audience’s sympathy for Shylock, Sir Ben Kingsley on communicating Shakespeare’s ideas through performance, Germaine Greer on the playwright’s home life, Dame Harriet Walter on the complexity of his heroines, Brian Cox on social conflict in his time and ours, Jane Smiley on transposing King Lear to Iowa in A Thousand Acres, and Sir Antony Sher on feeling at home in Shakespeare’s language. Together these essays provide a fresh appreciation of Shakespeare’s works as a living legacy to be read, seen, performed, adapted, revised, wrestled with, and embraced by creative professionals and lay enthusiasts alike. F. Murray Abraham ● Isabel Allende ● Cicely Berry ● Eve Best ● Eleanor Brown ● Stanley Cavell ● Karin Coonrod ● Brian Cox ● Peter David ● Margaret Drabble ● Dominic Dromgoole ● David Farr ● Fiasco Theater ● Ralph Fiennes ● Angus Fletcher ● James Franco ● Alan Gordon ● Germaine Greer ● Barry John ● James Earl Jones ● Sir Ben Kingsley ● Maxine Hong Kingston ● Rory Kinnear ● J. D. McClatchy ● Conor McCreery ● Tobias Menzies ● Joyce Carol Oates ● Camille Paglia ● James Prosek ● Richard Scholar ● Sir Antony Sher ● Jane Smiley ● Matt Sturges ● Julie Taymor ● Eamonn Walker ● Dame Harriet Walter ● Bill Willingham ● Jess Winfield less...
Amazon

Neil D. Says: Shakespeare Saved My Life
Amazon Says: A female professor, a super maximum security prisoner, and how Shakespeare saved them both Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. more...
Amazon Says: A female professor, a super maximum security prisoner, and how Shakespeare saved them both Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before - supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars. A testament to the power of literature, Shakespeare Saved My Life is a remarkable memoir. Fans of Orange is the New Black (Piper Kerman), A Place to Stand (Jimmy Baca) and I Couldn't Help Myself (Wally Lamb) will be be inspired by the story of the most unlikely friendship, one bonded by Shakespeare and lasting years-a friendship that would, in the end, save more than one life. What readers are saying about Shakespeare Saved My Life"I was tremendously moved by both the potential impact of Shakespeare and learning on human beings and the story of this one man.""This is one of the most extraordinary books I've ever read.""I have never read a book that touched me as much as this memoir.""It is a challenging and remarkable story.""I loved this book so much. It changed my life." What reviewers are saying about Shakespeare Saved My Life"You don't have to be a William Shakespeare fan, a prisoner, or a prison reformer to appreciate this uplifting book. "Shakespeare Saved My Life" also reveals many important truths ... about the meaning of empathy in our dealings with others"-Finger Lake Times"Shakespeare Saved My Life touches on the search for meaning in life, the struggles that complicate the path to triumph and the salvation that can be found in literature's great works ... An inspiring account."-Shelf Awareness"Opening the mind's prison proves enormously gratifying, not to mention effective ... brave, groundbreaking work"―Publishers Weekly"An eye-opening study reiterating the perennial power of books, self-discipline, and the Bard of Avon."-Kirkus"A powerful testament to how Shakespeare continues to speak to contemporary readers in all sorts of circumstances."-Booklist less...
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Neil D. Says: Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human
Amazon Says: Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of Harold Bloom's life's work in reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. It is his passionate and convinci more...
Amazon Says: Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of Harold Bloom's life's work in reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. It is his passionate and convincing analysis of the way in which Shakespeare not merely represented human nature as we know it today, but actually created it: before Shakespeare, there was characterization; after Shakespeare, there was character, men and women with highly individual personalities--Hamlet, Falstaff, Iago, Cleopatra, Macbeth, Rosalind, and Lear, among them. In making his argument, Bloom leads us through a brilliant and comprehensive reading of every one of Shakespeare's plays. According to a New York Times report on Shakespeare last year, "more people are watching him, reading him, and studying him than ever before." Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is a landmark contribution, a book that will be celebrated and read for many years to come. It explains why Shakespeare has remained our most popular playwright for more than four hundred years, and in helping us to understand ourselves through literature, it restores the role of critic to one of central importance to our culture. less...
Amazon

Neil D. Says: Shakespeare and Modern Culture
Amazon Says: From one of the world’s premier Shakespeare scholars, author of Shakespeare After All (“the indispensable introduction to the indispensable writer”–Newsweek): a magist more...
Amazon Says: From one of the world’s premier Shakespeare scholars, author of Shakespeare After All (“the indispensable introduction to the indispensable writer”–Newsweek): a magisterial new study whose premise is “that Shakespeare makes modern culture and that modern culture makes Shakespeare.” Shakespeare has determined many of the ideas that we think of as “naturally” our own and even as “naturally” true–ideas about human character, individuality and selfhood, government, leadership, love and jealousy, men and women, youth and age. Yet many of these ideas, timely as ever, have been reimagined–are indeed often now first encountered–not only in modern fiction, theater, film, and the news but also in the literature of psychology, sociology, political theory, business, medicine, and law. Marjorie Garber delves into ten plays to explore the interrelationships between Shakespeare and twentieth century and contemporary culture–from James Joyce’s Ulysses to George W. Bush’s reading list. In The Merchant of Venice, she looks at the question of intention; in Hamlet, the matter of character; in King Lear, the dream of sublimity; in Othello, the persistence of difference; and in Macbeth, the necessity of interpretation. She discusses the conundrum of man in The Tempest; the quest for exemplarity in Henry V; the problem of fact in Richard III; the estrangement of self in Coriolanus; and the untimeliness of youth in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare and Modern Culture is a tour de force reimagining of our own mental and emotional landscape as refracted through the prism of protean “Shakespeare.” less...
Amazon

Neil D. Says: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599
Amazon Says: 1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and EnglandShakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Haml more...
Amazon Says: 1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and EnglandShakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen.James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare’s staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history. less...
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