Of Human Kindness: What Shakespeare Teaches Us about Empathy
ISBN: 0300256418
EAN13: 9780300256413
Language: English
Pages: 176
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 9.00" L x 6.00" W
Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Format: Hardcover

Of Human Kindness: What Shakespeare Teaches Us about Empathy

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Book Overview
An award-winning scholar and teacher explores how Shakespeare's greatest characters were built on a learned sense of empathy Thoughtful, astute, invitingly readable--and uncommonly timely. Especially now that so many younger readers are casting suspicious glances at Shakespeare, Of Human Kindness shows with mind-changing clarity why his work has never been more relevant to our common problems.--Terry Teachout, drama critic, Wall Street Journal While exploring Shakespeare's plays with her students, Paula Marantz Cohen discovered that teaching and discussing his plays unlocked a surprising sense of compassion in the classroom. In this short and illuminating book, she shows how Shakespeare's genius lay with his ability to arouse empathy, even when his characters exist in alien contexts and behave in reprehensible ways. Cohen takes her readers through a selection of Shakespeare's most famous plays, including Hamlet , Othello , King Lear , and The Merchant of Venice , to demonstrate the ways in which Shakespeare thought deeply and clearly about how we treat the other. Cohen argues that only through close reading of Shakespeare can we fully appreciate his empathetic response to race, class, gender, and age. Wise, eloquent, and thoughtful, this book is a forceful argument for literature's power to champion what is best in us.

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