The Compass

Shakespeare and the American Dream - Part One

The Compass

Robert McCrum travels to the United States in search of Shakespeare and the American Dream and hears how he became part of the very fabric of early American life soon after the colonists arrived in New England and has remained an important cultural reference point for Americans. Robert’s journey takes him to New York, Washington and Nashville to speak to various Americans who use Shakespeare as a way of addressing issues such as race and politics. As author James Shapiro puts it “Americans use Shakespeare to talk about the things that divide us or that we don’t want to talk about”. (Photo: Members of an amateur dramatic society rehearse Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in Queens, New York City circa 1950. Credit: Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

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