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How to Think Like Shakespeare

by Scott L. Newstok

  • Paperback
PUBLISHED: 1st June 2020
ISBN: 9780691207872
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  • Paperback
PUBLISHED: 1st June 2020
ISBN: 9780691207872

Publisher Description

A lively and engaging guide to vital habits of mind that can help you think more deeply, write more effectively, and learn more joyfully How to Think like Shakespeare offers an enlightening and entertaining guide to the craft of thought - one that demonstrates what we've lost in education today, and how we might begin to recover it. In fourteen brief, lively chapters that draw from Shakespeare's world and works, and from other writers past and present, Scott Newstok distills vital habits of mind that can help you think more deeply, write more effectively, and learn more joyfully, in school or beyond. Challenging a host of today's questionable notions about education, Newstok shows how mental play emerges through work, creativity through imitation, autonomy through tradition, innovation through constraint, and freedom through discipline. It was these practices, and a conversation with the past - not a fruitless obsession with assessment - that nurtured a mind like Shakespeare's. And while few of us can hope to approach the genius of the Bard, we can all learn from the exercises that shaped him. Written in a friendly, conversational tone and brimming with insights, How to Think like Shakespeare enacts the thrill of thinking on every page, reviving timeless 'and timely' ways to stretch your mind and hone your words.

Author Biography

Scott Newstok is professor of English and founding director of the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment at Rhodes College. A parent and an award-winning teacher, he is the author of Quoting Death in Early Modern England and the editor of several other books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.


"Insightful and joyful, this book is a masterpiece. It invokes and provokes rather than explains. It reminds rather than lectures. It is different than any book I have ever read. And it works. Drawing on the past in the best sense of the term, it reminds us that we are part of a long tradition. Few books make the case for liberal education as creatively as this one does." - Johann N. Neem, author of What's the Point of College? Seeking Purpose in an Age of Reform "Ranging widely from the classics right up to the present with apt quotations, all in service of ideas we lose at our peril, How to Think like Shakespeare winningly blends respect for tradition with thoughtful steps toward a more equitable society. It is the work of a Renaissance man in both senses." - Robert N. Watson, author of Cultural Evolution and Its Discontents: Cognitive Overload, Parasitic Cultures, and the Humanistic Cure

Product Details

Scott L. Newstok
Princeton University Press
Publication Date
Country of Publication
United States
Lessons from a Renaissance Education
20 b/w illus.
Short Title
How to Think Like Shakespeare
Princeton ANZ Paperbacks