Shakespeare? Why not?

Ending is Despair

Creating a Shakespearean Echo Chamber


One of the great things about this class is we get to think about complicated, powerful, subtle, beautiful, or strange language everyday. On the best days Shakespeare echoes off the walls—of the classroom and of our own minds. I want to recreate these echoes on Wednesday in our Shakespearean Echo Chamber.


Please select a passage that you want to read to the class on Wed from any of the plays that we have read this summer. It can be long or short; this does not matter. After selecting the passage and typing it out on a blank piece of paper, you must then bullet point the reasons this passage is significant to you. What does it reveal that makes it resonate in your mind? Why have you returned to this passage as one of the most important quotations in the course? What theme does the passage suggest that links many of the plays that we have read this semester? In short, how and why does it speak to you? You should be able to explain your thought process to the class after we read each passage out loud.


My goal with this exercise is to get you to begin to think about how Shakespeare’s language affects your own literary imagination. I also want to end the course with samples of Shakespeare that matter to you. And finally I get to hear you defend your selection—a selection that in the end requires no defense.


I will have an Echo Chamber wiki so that you can post your responses after class on Wed. Just cut and paste your passage from “Shakespeare MIT ‘name of play,’” and then bullet point your reasons in your post.


Thank you for a memorable, smart summer term!