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Self-help General

Where Theres a Will

Or Everything I Needed To Know In Life I Learned From Shakespeare

by (author) Laurie Maguire

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Nov 2006
General, Social Psychology, Shakespeare
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2006
    List Price

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When life becomes one big drama … let history’s greatest life coach help you rewrite it.

"Shakespeare is not just a poet and playwright: he’s a psychologist…. In today’s school curriculum crisis, where Shakespeare’s relevance is increasingly questioned and attacked, we overlook this crucial fact: Shakespeare’s plays show us human lives in all their perplexing and unpredictable variety. They show us choices, good and bad; they show us predicaments, tragic and comic; they show us characters, complex and shallow…. Ultimately, Shakespeare helps us take control of the plot in our own life; he helps us discover our self."
—Laurie Maguire, from her Introduction

If you’ve ever fallen in love with the wrong person, been held back by your insecurities, endured the pressures of family, dealt with the loss of a loved one, or fought to overcome obsessive behaviors in yourself or in others, then you’ve participated in the folly of life. In other words, you’ve undertaken a role in the high drama—and comedy—of a Shakespeare play.

In this learned and illuminating book, Laurie Maguire brings her deep knowledge and love of Shakespeare’s plays to bear on the great questions, challenges, and choices we face in life. The bard’s classic tragedies, comedies, and histories still invite us to explore our emotions, and both challenge and reaffirm our judgments about love and sex, death and grief, rebellion, midlife crises, racism, religion, war and politics, marriage, family, and friendships. They also offer suggestions for change. They comfort, encourage, and provide the solutions that Maguire convincingly argues are as wise and compelling today as they were when they were written. They help us take control over the plot of our own lives, and embody a code of conduct in which Shakespeare lays out the basic principles for living.

To read Shakespeare is to understand what it means to be human: To read Where There’s a Will There’s a Way is to better understand how to deal with it.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Laurie Maguire is a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where she teaches English literature. She has written numerous articles on Elizabethan drama, women's studies, and theater, and has lectured throughout the United States.