Macbeth is a common text used in prisons because it exposes the inner conflict of a killer who at the beginning of the story is not a bad person. Each prisoner stayed in his own cell and communicated through a slot in the door. Of course, none of this would have been possible were it not for the remarkable courage and determination of his teacher, the author of this book, Laura Bates, who gives us clues to what is possible even in the most hopeless of situations. She is the author of “Shakespeare Saved My Life”: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard (Sourcebooks, 2013). So I was forced to look into a mirror, basically, at myself, give these things real meaning to me. Why does he give in to peer pressure?”. SELF-HELP. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom. For more than 25 years, Laura Bates has worked in Indiana state prisons as a volunteer and as a professor of English literature. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. His insights into Shakespeare, partly due to his own life experiences and partly because of his native intelligence, make him an inspiration for those who have screwed up royally but still want to make a life for themselves. These prisoners spend nearly 24 hours a day in windowless, concrete isolation cells for years. Laura Bates enjoys teaching a wide range of courses, from Children's Literature to World Literature, Shakespeare, and Crime and Punishment. Of the hundreds of prisoners who have been in the program—some for months, some for years—not one violent offense was committed. And maybe, just maybe, it is because he’s reading Shakespeare that he is not crazy, or dangerous. In his own words, Larry says, Shakespeare “saved” his life. Laura Bates: The Bard Is Still Saving Lives. (Video) Benvolio: Snap out of it, man. Out of solitary confinement, he and Laura were able to talk for the first time without a steel door between them. With a PhD (University of Chicago, 1998) in Comparative Literature, her academic training involved classic world literature alongside contemporary texts … It’s not just the idealized lovey dovey story. More questions than answers--can career criminals be rehabilitated? She created the world’s first Shakespeare program in Supermax—the long-term solitary confinement unit. If you know your Shakespeare this will provide amazing, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2015, An absorbing account of the author 's experience teaching Shakespeare in a high security wing of a US prison. So of course that peaked my curiosity, and I asked for permission from the administration. Marion Wiesel, by I gave it four stars because I thought the focus jumped around more than necessary. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. Like “What a child experiences between the ages of seven and ten will determine his actions as a teenager and an adult.” I” Interesting view of how in,sets survive in prison. A group of prisoners, led by Larry, wrote an original adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. HISTORY | Have already recommended this book to several friends and purchased another copy for family. Who ever would have thought Shakespeare would generate so much discussion amongst those in solitary confinement! I learned more about prisons in the US and the reality of solitary confinement is this book than in any of book I have read about the system. “Oh, man, that is crazy!”. That, overall, changed the way I thought entirely about everything, about myself, about others, about these characters. As one way to share those insights to benefit others, Laura and Larry created several workbooks together: Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, The History Plays, and A Guide to the Complete Works. It turned out Larry was not transferred right away and was allowed to continue in the program. So we did that; we sent it back in there, and I, basically, just wanted them to do the same thing. “My first thought was to work with first-time offenders,” she says. Retrieve credentials. Laura Bates Her work has been featured in local and national media, including two segments on MSNBC-TV’s Lock Up. "Shakespeare Saved My Life" to restart your heart. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2016. That’s because they were connecting their own lives to Shakespeare. They often wrote volumes. In solitary confinement, with little else to fill the days, mental illness or purposeful meaning through education are two choices explored. I didn’t have to be some fake guy that my buddies wanted me to be. BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR, by