Friday, October 19, 2018

Book Note: The Bard and the Bible

Hostetler, Bob. The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional. Franklin, Tennessee: Worthy Inspired, 2016.

I was a bit skeptical of this book when I heard of it, but I'm quite impressed.

It's a daily devotion that quotes from Shakespeare, provides a relevant passage from the King James Version of the Bible, and then offers some commentary on either the one or the other or the way the two speak to each other.

I've been using it in my Shakespeare class this semester, and I think it went well. Before I realized how the book is organized, I was providing the reading for the day of the year.  Since the class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, that meant that I was skipping nearly every other day. It worked much better when I figured out that (generally) each play has its own grouped set of days and quotes from each play progress from early to late in the play. I realized that in time to focus on readings from King Lear during our class on King Lear, and I think that was quite effective.

Each reading concludes with an application question and some additional information—sometimes about Shakespeare's vocabulary, sometimes about modern responses to or versions of the plays, sometimes about the world around Shakespeare.

Here's a sample from early October with some words from King Lear:



I think I'll use this with a class again, but I'll ignore the days and stick to the plays (in other words, I'll read the Macbeth devotions even if it's February).

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest