Why did I never hear that Eric Harris, one of the Columbine school shooters, quoted Shakespeare all over the place?
The first reference is a quotation from The Tempest: “Good wombs have born bad sons.” Eric wrote this in his school planner on the day marked “Mother’s Day” (he also reportedly recited the line on a video he made about the upcoming attack).
The article in general I think is a little weak, I’m more interested in the Shakespeare connection. Oh, he has an overachieving brother so you think that maybe he’s referring to himself as the bad son, that maybe he’s got some image issues, feels like he disappointed his mother? You need a degree to read that into it?
Then the article takes a bit of a leap, though, with the second reference:
Eric also made another reference to The Tempest. He complained about people who “criticize anyone who isn’t one your social words, ‘normal’ or ‘civilized’ – see: Tempest and Caliban.”
What the article does not mention (does anybody know the answer to this?) is whether, being a high school student, Harris had in fact just read The Tempest? It’s not uncommon – just watch Twitter – for kids in the middle of their literature homework to identify with aspects of the particular story, whatever it may be. If you tell me he was an overachieving kid in his own right who was never assigned Shakespeare, but who read it of his own accord and made the connections himself, I’ll find it fascinating. But if he’s quoting The Tempest just because it was on his homework that week, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal any more than if he’d had Cheerios that morning and commented on those.