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What Hath Shakespeare to Do with Socrates?

What Hath Shakespeare to Do with Socrates?

In his play Hamlet, Shakespeare has his protagonist attempt to determine whether the king, his uncle, is guilty of killing his father by organizing a play in which the events of his father’s murder are cast in another setting so that he may observe his uncle’s reaction. This “play within a play” (titled “The Mouse-trap”) […]

Why Read Literature?

Why Read Literature?

Amidst the gushing river of popular culture, the turbulent climate of politics, media bias, and misinformation, the tornadic winds of modern educational theories, and the volcanic eruption of screens and technology, a pertinent set of questions exists: Why read literature? Of what value is literature? It is helpful to think about the role of literature […]

There is a Special Providence

Special Providence

“The time is out of joint,” utters Prince Hamlet to his close friend Horatio after encountering the Ghost of his recently deceased father, King Hamlet, on the battlements of Elsinore. Hailing from a purgatorial realm, the Majesty of Buried Denmark has come to inform Hamlet of the true nature of his death—that he was murdered […]

A Long Day’s Journey Into Paradise

Journey Into Paradise

In the Winter 2018 issue of The Classical Teacher, I wrote about the notion of the journey, suggesting that how we get to any worthy destination may in fact be the most important part of the experience. The journey is not always about the future destination; sometimes it is about the inner growth that takes […]

Four Stages to the Central One Idea

Discovering and internalizing the Central One Idea in a great work is vital for proper reading and for cultivating wisdom and virtue.1 There are four stages of acquisition and expression that can be used to lead the student (and teacher) to this Central One Idea. The four-stage sequence is rooted in the trivium—grammar, logic, and […]

The Saving Power of Story

Saving Power of Story

“Great works of art pass through us like storm winds, flinging open the doors of perception, pressing upon the architecture of our beliefs with their transforming powers …” – George Steiner One of life’s great little mysteries, if not ironies, remains the unpredictability of what children will grow up to do for their life’s work. […]

Shadow & Substance

Why Read Shakespeare

The contrast between shadow and substance singularly interested Shakespeare, as did the very nature of things themselves. He even makes use of profound concepts in logic, such as difference, property, and essence. In rhetoric, these are the topics of invention, for they concern the act of defining. So, then, let us define why we should […]

The Freedom to Fail

In classical rhetoric, the divisio is the section of a persuasive speech that presents the division, the point at which the topic is divided into two opposing perspectives. Granted, many differences exist between traditional and modern education, yet where do the most fundamental of these divisions lie? What is the divisio when it comes to the topic (or “issue”) of education? I […]

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