How deep has your experience with reading William Shakespeare been? Is that experience tied to your formal education, the theater or movies, or your own personal reading? Do you prefer the comedies to the tragedies, or vice versa? Perhaps you love his sonnets best?

In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes Scott Newstok of Rhodes College to discuss his teaching experience and his new book, How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons on a Renaissance Education.


1- Why is Newstok such a strong advocate of teaching Shakespeare today? What is singular about the work of Shakespeare, according to Newstok, and what are we to take from it? To what extent does this align with your own experience of Shakespeare?


2- What does Newstok mean when he talks about the ongoing community of responses to Shakespeare? Why is this so important to him in the study of Shakespeare? (It may help to c0nsider the quote from Kenneth Burke near the 25 minute mark.)


3- What does Roberts find most appealing about Shakespeare? What sentiments or experiences do you share with him? Which Shakespeare plays have you read and/or see performed? How did they affect you? What did you learn from them?


4- What constitutes good teaching for Newstok? What role does drafting play in his teaching? (Think about how art, math, writing, etc. emerge.) How might this practice be put to good effect in your life?


5- What makes a conversation ideal? What does Roberts mean when he suggests that parents and teachers instruct young people on manners, but not conversation? To what extent is it possible to teach the art of good conversation, and how?