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BORN READY EP 8 – Shakespeare Battle Royal w/ Steve Boyle

BORN-READY-Steve-BoyleWebWelcome to the eighth episode of BORN READY, our Shakespeare Battle Royal featuring Shakespearean director and general expert Steve Boyle.

Inspired by Ira Glass’ tweet that “Shakespeare sucks.” And the (inevitable) subsequent freakout that happened online, we get into how and why Shakespeare’s plays are so widely produced and some issues that go along with that.

Steve explains the Humanist Mythology, and why Shakespeare has been elevated to something like a Prophet, and how his plays have become a point of shared experience and a cultural touchstone. Rob cites some Shakespeare producing stats, asks about not understanding some of the text, and why this once rowdy culture around his plays has turned intellectual and academic…and Steve has answers for all of it (and he quotes Tocqueville).

As always, thanks for listening, and if you’re digging the show please don’t hesitate to share it with everyone you’ve ever met.

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  1. Shakespeare does not suck. Shakespeare informs many, many modern plays .he Shakespeare festival in Ashland includes many modern plays like Stop Kiss and others. That being said I saw a very confusing version of Macbeth: it used one person to play all the roles and they made it about lesbians. It was very hard to keep track of things, much like the plays in which several people are named Henry. I think the language is easily overcome- the version of Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio using Miami as the setting also was effective. I really can never admire Ira Glass in the same way given his disdain for fiction, which is truly idiotic and his distaste for Shakespeare. Maybe he has a processing problem. However the episode of This American Life entitled “The Cruelty of Children” is excellent and I sent a copy of it to my eldest son as a reminder of how he abused his younger brothers.


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