Monday, April 23, 2012

Shakespeare and the Presidents : John Adams

Continuing my mashup of presidents and Shakespeare, let's look at John Adams.  Once again, this information all courtesy Folger's Shakespeare in American Life series.

“Let me search for the clue which led great Shakespeare into the labyrinth of human nature. Let me examine how men think.”

Compared to Washington, John Adams appears to have been all about the Shakespeare.  He and his wife Abigail frequently quoted Shakespeare in their letters to each other, and in 1786 Adams went to Shakespeare's birthplace along with Thomas Jefferson (who we'll look at in a separate post).  Adams was disappointed, writing that
The house was “as small and mean as you can conceive,” wrote Adams in his diary. “There is nothing preserved of this great genius... which might inform us what education, what company, what accident turned his mind to letters and drama.” 
 Bummer. What did Jefferson think?  Well, that's another post. :)

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1 comment:

amybillingham said...

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Shakespeare's birthplace a few years ago. I recall not being as impressed by the site itself, as by the list of people (Thomas Jefferson, etc) — giants of history — who felt it necessary to make their own pilgrimage there!