Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

King Lear: A Government Official's Perspective

3-KL6_windIn our most recent blog post, we featured a unit plan from our Shakespeare in American Life website about patriarchy in King Lear (onstage right now at Folger Theatre) and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.

Today, we return to Shakespeare in American Life for a look at some fascinating comments about King Lear by Janet Reno, who served as the U.S. Attorney General from 1993 to 2001.

Reno recalls how she organized a group reading of King Lear at the Department of Justice, and she offers insight about Shakespeare’s understanding of the human condition.

We’ll give you a small taste with these powerful words:

I don’t know of anybody that has so combined the power to express his thoughts as magnificently as Shakespeare, about human nature and all the challenges and the pitfalls that we face. I think he is for us all, I think he is for us all throughout the ages. I think every person can find something within the lines that Shakespeare wrote that applies to him.

These audio clips can serve as a jumping off point for a class discussion about how Shakespeare’s words affect us today, even at the higher levels of government.

Listen: Reading Lear at the Justice Department

Listen: Shakespeare and the Human Condition

 

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)