Is Shakespeare All That? This simple question gets a very lengthy answer, including quotes from Keats, Coleridge and Herman Melville, a shout out to Harold Bloom, and a good summary of something I’ve always said: It’s long been observed that one of the best measures of literature is when you can discuss the characters of a story, or play, as if those characters were real people: when you can talk about their personalities ; when you can psychologize over them, their choice of careers and deeds; when you can pick their brains and discuss their addictions and predispositions, as if these characters were actual human beings. I never really thought about it being “long observed”, but that certainly gets to the heart of what I get out of Shakespeare.

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