How Shakespeare Changed Everything
In this wickedly c ...more
But he opens his first chapter with the Paul Robeson quote, “Othello has taken away from me all kinds of fears, all sense of limitation, and all racial prejudice. Othello has made me free.” And then he proceeds to insist, “Othello was a ...more
Appartently having sisters play both parts was also common. I wasn't the only one who found Romeo to be a bit of a wuss.
This book explains and examines the influence that Shakespeare has had not only on literature and language, but on society in general. Some of the facts, I already knew, such as the connection to starlings. Some I didn't or at least didn't really think about - Shakesp ...more
Although, I have thought that this reading was a little complicated to me (I'm Brazilian, my mother tongue is Portuguese) with all these sentences in ancient English (circa 1500 English) the book shows us a Shakespeare that we don't see everyday, like:
- birds that are overflowing New York city or;
- the name Jessica (that was used for the first time in "The Merchant of Venice") and became an epidemy in Brazil in the 90's;
- cer ...more
I should have realized by the sensationalist title that this book wasn't going to be my cup of tea. Everything. That's a big word with a lot of meaning, but Marche truly seems to believe that Shakespeare did change everything. He divides the chapters into separate sections of what Shakespeare changed--racism, vocabulary, sex, etc. The idea the book is based on is wonderful, but in the end it fails; the sensationalism from the title carries on into the book, to the point of the ridiculous.
Marche begins by writing "William Shakespeare was the most influential person who ever lived." An arguable assertion at best. One that dovetails with his book's title, "How Shakespeare Changed Everything." Really - Everything? Marche, a college professor who received his doctorate in Shakespearean studies at the University of Toronto, is a Shakespeare enthusiast. His enthusiasm is infectious; his classes mus ...more
Here, in this book, Mr. Marche sets out to prove how Shakespeare left his stamp on everything, from speeches in politics to the way we view and think about sex. While some of Mr. Marche’s statements can be quibbled with (he claims Shakespeare n ...more
I can't say I particularly enjoyed reading this one ...more
The second chapter about Shakespeare's influence on language looks more promising.
Finished: I’ll start with the positive. There were interesting factoids about Shakespeare and related cultural influences in every chapter. I liked the chapter t ...more
Shakespeare shouldn't be a slog or a highbrow pursuit, people; accordingly, the first few chapters of HOW SHAKESPEARE CHANGED EVERYTHING were a blast. It's clear that the author LOVES his Bard. His enthusiasm is infectious! Who would have thought that an African-American actor in the 1830s(!), Ir ...more
"William Shakespeare", he goes, "was the most influencial person who ever lived. He shaped our world more than any political or religious leader, more than any explorer or engineer."
This is one of the dumbest, most absurd statements ever printed. Sometimes an idea is so poorly formed that it's difficult to know even where to start as a response.
Marche could have qualified his opening statement of Shakespeare being the most influ ...more
He changed the nature of adolescence. When he wrote "Romeo and Juliet", most children (whether rich or poor) were expected to become apprentices at around the age of 10 or 12. It was Shakespeare who described roving bands of young people, thugs and mall rats, and the impact of raging hormones. Essentially, he invented teenagers a ...more
If you're interested in reading more about the ways in which Shakespeare and his works have impacted our language, our history, and our culture, read Stephen Marche's How Shakespeare Changed Everything, a delightful collection of essays masquerading as chapters. From race (Othello) to teenagers (Romeo and Juliet and, surprisingly, Hamlet) to sex (almost everything Shakespeare wrote) to the links between Julius Caesar and Lincoln' ...more
Having now fi ...more