Can Shakespeare Make You a Better Person?

With all due respect to Hamlet, there are more questions than “To be or not to be.” That’s a good one, for sure, but another is this: Can Shakespeare make you a better person?

That is, can watching, listening, reading, and enjoying Shakespeare’s plays and poetry actually improve you in some ways?

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It will surprise no one that I think the answer is yes. In fact, I think a familiarity with and appreciation for Shakespeare’s work can make you better in at least seven ways: Continue reading

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Roses and Thorns, Wheat and Tares

This week on The Bard and the Bible Podcast we offer a reprise (here) of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 35 (“No more be grieved”) and Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 in the King James Version of the Bible. Ratings and reviews on iTunes are much appreciated. You can also easily subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to ensure that you never miss an episode.

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Reviewsday: #ShakespeareSunday

If you follow @bardandbible on Twitter (and why wouldn’t you?), you’ve seen many tweets with the hashtag #shakespearesunday. But did you know…

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Podcast: Futility and Mortality

This week’s episode on The Bard and the Bible Podcast pairs Macbeth’s famous soliloquy (“Tomorrow and tomorrow”) and words attributed to King Solomon from Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 in the King James Version of the Bible..

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Poison to My Blood

With this post, The Bard and the Bible blog is changing things up a bit. Rather than “insult Mondays,” we will alternate insults with other posts, all appearing on Tuesdays. Podcasts will still appear every Friday, however. So, today being Tuesday, it’s a fine day for another insult from a master of the art, William Shakespeare.

Cymbeline

Today’s insult is from Act 1, Scene 1, of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, in which Cymbeline, king of Britain, exiles his daughter Imogen’s sweetie, Posthumus:

Away! Thou’rt poison to my blood (Cymbeline, 1.1.128).

The insult has a richer meaning in the play since the only daughter of a king should marry only someone of royal blood, which Posthumus is not. But it works pretty well even for us commoners. Try it, you’ll see.

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Villain of the Earth, Chief of Sinners

A new episode (here) on The Bard and the Bible Podcast pairs Enobarbus’s lament (“I am alone the villain of the earth”) from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra with Paul’s “Chief of Sinners” passage from 1 Timothy 1:12-17 in the King James Version of the Bible. Ratings and reviews on iTunes are much appreciated. You can also easily subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to ensure that you never miss an episode.

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My Favorite Shakespeare Villains

Last week, this blog featured an infograph of literary villains in which Shakespeare’s characters figured prominently. So that started me thinking about my favorite (i.e., most deliciously villainous) of the Bard’s bad guys.

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So here’s the list (and the plays in which they figure):

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