- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Topic - Garry Wills
First, let's acknowledge that Garry Wills' book-length discussion of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" is full of useful information and likely to be an indispensable companion to students of the play in years to come. It collects in one place much of what you need to know about Shakespeare's knowledge of the classical world and, up to a point, offers a useful account of what he was doing with it in the play.
Well, you're standing on the stage listening to Beverly Sills' mother coach the great soprano in Russian dialect, and somehow you wind up at a birthday party for her - the mother, that is - and eventually you get to know Beverly very well, to the point of lunching with and receiving correspondence from her, as well as various confidences, and so it goes, apparently, if you're Garry Wills.
That was the testimony of Ben Jonson, who was a much more learned classicist than Shakespeare, as this implied censure would suggest, but who, Mr. Wills says, lacked Shakespeare's gifts of synthesizing his learning for the popular stage.
At one point, for instance, Mr. Wills digresses from his account of "Julius Caesar" to characterize Menenius' famous parable of the belly in "Coriolanus" as an early example of "trickle-down theory" - even though, he says, "Menenius is a better propagandist than most trickle-down theorists."