Michael Slater on Charles Dickens’ Shakespeare

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Plays: 60

In April 2011, distinguished biographer Michael Slater delivered a talk in our Books & Bagels series on Charles Dickens’ love of Shakespeare.

Dickens hailed Shakespeare as the “great master who knew everything,” and considered himself a devoted, lifelong follower, “tracking out his footsteps at the scarcely-worth-mentioning little distance of a few millions of leagues behind.” Quotes from Shakespeare’s plays pervade Dickens’ novels, with Macbeth and Hamlet topping the list.

In this clip, Professor Slater gives a comedic reading of the scene from Chapter 31 of Great Expectations when Pip and Herbert see Mr. Wopsle in a rundown production of Hamlet.