'Shakespeare Saved My Life' Excerpt: Laura Bates's Tale Of How The Bard Helped A Solitary Confinement Prisoner

The following is an excerpt from Laura Bates’s Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard. Bates taught Shakespeare to solitary confinement prison inmates. She befriends a convicted murderer named Larry. The following is the story of their budding friendship:

“Oh, man, this is my favorite freakin’ quote!”

What professor wouldn’t like to hear a student enthuse so much over a Shakespeare play—a Shakespeare history play, no less!—and then to be able to flip the two-thousand page Complete Works book open and find the quote immediately:

“’When that this body did contain a spirit, a kingdom for it was too small a bound!’”

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