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Blago and the Bard

The former governor wants to teach Shakespeare in prison

Illustration from istockphoto

Rod Blagojevich, who compared himself to Othello and King Lear in his 2009 memoir, The Governor, wants to teach Shakespeare to his fellow inmates at Englewood, the federal penitentiary in Colorado where he’s serving his 14-year sentence for various misdeeds. Or so said Sam Adam Jr., the imprisoned pol’s former lawyer, in the Sun-Times in June.

Barbara Gaines, the artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater, isn’t sure which of the Bard’s characters Blago resembles, but it’s not one of his clowns or fools because, she says, “most of them are wise.” Quoting from Hamlet, she advises the ex-gov: “‘To thine own self be true.’ Of course,” she added, “the character who says this is a politician who has little understanding of the truth but says all the right words.”

 

Photograph: Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune; Illustration: istockphoto

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