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What’s In A Name? A Lot If Your Name Is Shakespeare

The English playwright speaks to American culture and ideals, past and present.


In the midst of conversations on political correctness, cultural appropriation and tyrannical leaders around the world, one historical voice remains remains relevant: Shakespeare. Kate Havard, research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Shakespeare enthusiast, gives her take on how Shakespeare fits into to American culture today.

Havard shares stories of Shakespeare plays and adaptations, the good and the bad. She also suggests that despite originating in England, Shakespeare is also intrinsically American.

“I think there is something very democratic about it and i think one common thread to all of Shakespeare’s writing is a particular hatred of tyranny,” she said. “There are tyrants and there are kings in Shakespeare and the Tyrants– they don’t fair well.”

Senior contributor at The Federalist and artistic director of Blue Box World, David Marcus, joins the Shakespeare conversation. With the news that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is translating its productions into present-day, modern English versions, Marcus asks what’s left of a Shakespeare play when you take out Shakespeare’s words?

“We have this wonderful advantage in being able to experience Shakespeare in his original language,” he said. “I don’t understand why a theatre would want to take all of those things out of a piece and that’s why I call it a de-flavorizing machine.”

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