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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Vacation Reading: Some Shakespeare Perhaps?

It’s summertime and people are going on vacation.  Whether heading to a beach or elsewhere, readers have to pack at least one book.  The decision as to what to take can be stressful.

BookRiot recently had an article listing five questions one should ask when picking what to take to the beach:

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” ( 

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” (  Yes, indeed, perhaps Shakespeare is the writer to read in this first summer of Donald Trump’s presidency.