BookRiot recently had an article listing five questions one should ask when picking what to take to the beach: http://bookriot.com/2017/07/12/answer-these-5-questions-to-pick-your-next-beach-read/.
Some people might never consider reading a Shakespeare play while on holiday, but a writer for Signature makes a strong case for choosing one of the Bard’s dramatic offerings. “While others are engrossed in plots about assassinations, thwarted love, cheating cheaters, and political intrigue written in the empty-calorie style of a cookie cutter kind of paperback writer, you can read those same plots in the gorgeous words of Shakespeare” (http://www.signature-reads.com/2017/07/shakespeare-perfect-beach-read/?ref=BEBF7DBE6741).
And if you do opt for a Shakespeare play, why not consider The Merchant of Venice? In a recent issue of The New Yorker, Stephen Greenblatt wrote about how that particular play is a cure of xenophobia. Greenblatt writes, “this is a playwright who could depict on the public stage a twisted sociopath lying his way to supreme authority. This is a playwright who could have a character stand up and declare to the spectators that “a dog’s obeyed in office.” This is a playwright who could approvingly depict a servant mortally wounding the realm’s ruler in order to stop him from torturing a prisoner in the name of national security” (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/10/shakespeares-cure-for-xenophobia). Yes, indeed, perhaps Shakespeare is the writer to read in this first summer of Donald Trump’s presidency.