How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance education by Scott Newstok

by
September 2020, no. 424
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David McInnis reviews 'How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance education' by Scott Newstok

How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance education

by Scott Newstok

Princeton University Press, $49.99 hb, 203 pp

Buy this book

How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance education by Scott Newstok

by
September 2020, no. 424

In an early episode of the cult Canadian television series Slings & Arrows (2003), the director of the ‘Burbage Festival’ finds himself addressing a corporate audience, forced to teach management strategy through Shakespeare: ‘Do any of you seriously believe that you’re going to sell more plastics products to the construction industry by studying, say, the crisis management techniques of Claudius?’ Fortunately, Scott Newstok wouldn’t be answering that question in the affirmative. His How to Think Like Shakespeare doesn’t strain analogies or instrumentalise Shakespeare’s plays and characters to make Shakespeare seem relevant to patently unrelated contexts; rather, it explores both Shakespeare’s thinking and the ‘educational assumptions that shaped Shakespeare’ (since these frequently differ from our own system of education). At the heart of this book is Newstok’s conviction that ‘education must be about thinking – not training a set of specific skills’. After all, there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

David McInnis reviews 'How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance education' by Scott Newstok

How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance education

by Scott Newstok

Princeton University Press, $49.99 hb, 203 pp

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