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MacBeth for Murderers Hardcover – November 30, 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (November 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413487432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413487435
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,612,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This thought-provoking and innovative book recounts the actual experience of two teachers, one a professor of English at a liberal arts college, the other a television producer, director, and writer, who brought Shakespeare and filmmaking skills to inmates in Washington State Penitentiary. The narrative moves back and forth between the two authors. We share in the initiation of Roberta Davidson into a teaching environment unlike anything her education at Princeton or her previous teaching experience at a private college had prepared her for. Davidson explains how she gradually developed her ability to use Shakespearean plays, with their insights into human nature, their examination of the individual psyche, and their exploration of the origins and effects of violence, to help inmates come to terms with their past and to work to create a more constructive future. At other times, through interviews John Kerwin carried out with many of the inmates, we are brought into the psychological world of individual prisoners, hearing both their accounts of the crimes they committed, and their assessment of their struggles to survive in prison. Kerwin, who taught filmmaking skills to inmates, also recounts his experience with a Native American powwow in the prison, powerfully narrating the role it played in helping prisoners reconfigure their lives. Readers will share in the many challenges the authors must face just to access the prison classroom, challenges that include dealing with a resistant prison administration and with students who behave in unanticipated ways.

Macbeth for Murderers pulls no punches. It directly faces and grapples with the crimes committed by the inmates the authors taught. It also openly discusses the difficulty of communicating under extremely adverse conditions.
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Format: Paperback
A fascinating account of sometimes terrifying experiences of two professors teaching inmates in a maximum security prison. The eagerness of these inmates, some of them murderers, and the easing, if only momentary, of their seething animosity toward each other, was a surprising outcome. Even more surprising was their keen understanding of Shakespeare's deeply analytical stories of human trials and tribulations. All of this in an atmosphere of ever-impending violence, fights, and riots.
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