Shakespeare Saved My Life
Ten Years in Solitary With the BardeBook - 2013
Chapter 19: "To Know My Deed"Chapter 20: CSI: Muncie, Indiana; Chapter 21: Death Penalty; Chapter 22: Escape Artist; Chapter 23: The Dagger I See before Me; Chapter 24: The Shower: Newton; Chapter 25: The Shower: Me; Chapter 26: All Hands on Deck; Chapter 27: The Boat; Chapter 28: New Directions; Chapter 29: Sensory Deprivation; Chapter 30: Isolated...and Alone; Chapter 31: Ghosts in the Cell; Chapter 32: Insanity; Chapter 33: More House Calls; Chapter 34: Administrative Segregation versus Disciplinary Segregation; Chapter 35: Killer Dog; Chapter 36: Extraction; Chapter 37: B-East
Chapter 38: This Prison Don't MatterChapter 39: Meeting of the Minds; Chapter 40: Dr. Newton; Chapter 41: The Picture; Chapter 42: "That's Freedom"; Chapter 43: Another Door Opens; Chapter 44: Killer Dog Comes Inside; Chapter 45: "Shakespearean Considerations"; Chapter 46: Hamlet: to Revenge or Not to Revenge; Chapter 47: Othello: Girl Meets Boy; Chapter 48: "Shakespeare Saved My Life"; Chapter 49: Shakespeare Saved My Life; Chapter 50: Shakespeare Could Save Your Life Too; Chapter 51: Doing Life; Chapter 52: Romeo and Juliet; Chapter 53: Romeo and Juliet for Youth Incarcerated as Adults
Chapter 54: BalanceChapter 55: Tybalt Must Die!; Chapter 56: Killer in the Classroom; Chapter 57: Hands that Kill Can Also...Sew?; Chapter 58: Fears and Phobias; Chapter 59: Sociopath or...; Chapter 60: Socrates; Chapter 61: Doing Good for Bad Done; Chapter 62: Correctional Education; Chapter 63: "Cool!"; Chapter 64: Timeline of Anxiety; Chapter 65: Media Celebrity; Chapter 66: Cell Phone in the Cell; Chapter 67: Back to Seg; Chapter 68: Remembering the Victims; Chapter 69: Full Circle; Chapter 70: Tragic Kingdom; Chapter 71: "Stay Strong"; Chapter 72: Closing Doors; Chapter 73: The Letter
Chapter 74: Powering through with ShakespeareChapter 75: Revelation; Chapter 76: Footprint in the World; Chapter 77: Mother's Day; Chapter 78: Five Steps; Afterword; Reading Group Guide; Acknowledgments; About the Author; Back Cover
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Is Shakespeare still relevant? Professor Laura Bates and convict Larry Newton would both answer a resounding yes. In this powerful book, Bates discusses her years of teaching Shakespeare in prisons, a program that drew Newton out of his years of silence in solitary confinement. At first, Bates wasn’t sure that she could work with Newton -- at 17, he murdered another young man, and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. But he responded immediately to the excerpt Bates shared with those interested in the program: Richard II's speech beginning “I have been studying how I may compare / this prison where I live unto the world.” Shakespeare clicked with Newton, and he became her star pupil, and the focus of this book. Bates not only discusses Shakespeare, she also examines the American prison system. The interaction of the details of daily life in prison with the words of Shakespeare is powerful. Newton draws stark and direct links between the mistakes he and other prisoners have made and the psychological insights in Shakespeare. His life changes with this new focus, and he becomes acknowledged as the local expert, sharing teaching duties. As he writes in the introduction to The Prisoner's Guide to the Complete Works of Shakespeare (a workbook that Bates is trying to have published): “What I can tell you is that ANY serious reader of Shakespeare is going to experience an evolution! ...It is not Shakespeare's offering that invokes this evolution. The secret, the magic, is YOU! Shakespeare has created an environment that allows for genuine development.” In the examples Bates shares, the idea that Shakespeare can change lives is made real. As prisoners confirm when she asks, reading Shakespeare has literally saved lives, as students have become more self-aware. And it has also saved the wasted lives of those like Newton, giving them new purpose, focus, and understanding. To read this book is to believe that literature can change lives.
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