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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Re: Death of Sam Schoenbaum
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0251.  Monday, 1 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Christine R. Gray <
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        Date:   Sunday, 31 Mar 1996 10:14:57 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0247 Re: Death of Sam Schoenbaum

(2)     From:   Helen Ostovich <
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        Date:   Sunday, 31 Mar 1996 12:18:21 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0247 Re: Death of Sam Schoenbaum


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine R. Gray <
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Date:           Sunday, 31 Mar 1996 10:14:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0247 Re: Death of Sam Schoenbaum
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0247 Re: Death of Sam Schoenbaum

I was saddened to hear of Professor Schoenbaum's death.  I can hardly believe
that I have even typed those words.  I too was influenced by him and his
generous nature.  In 1987, I took a graduate seminar with him on Lear, Hamlet,
and Macbeth at the University of Maryland.  There were only seven of us in the
class, which was to our advantage for we had full access to him several hours
each week.  I remember sitting in his office talking over various manuscripts
at the Folger that he said no one had looked at.  (I don't think anyone has to
this day.)

One event in particular stands out in my mind.  I was teaching a literature
survey in prison at the time I was attending Dr. Schoenbaum's seminar.  The
class was made up of inner-city men, mostly, who were doing time for serious
crimes.  The class asked me if my teacher would consider visiting the class.
Professor Schoenbaum agreed to.  I went to his house on Capitol Hill where he
gave me a tour, showing me much of what he had on Shakespeare--books,
sculptures, cards, drawings, dishes, etc.

We then drove to the prison where he discussed Othello with 20 men, who had
never heard of Professor Schoenbaum, for 2 1/2 hours.  I remember that one of
the men asked him why he had devoted his life to a "dead man." That was a cue,
it seems, for Professor Schoenbaum to speak about Shakespeare as a living
person.   He also spoke to them about Othello's blackness and about the theme
of jealousy.  Several of the men then "got" the play because he spoke to them
in their language, nothing stuffy or remote.  He read several passages from the
play.  He had a few men come up to act out various scenes with him.  It was a
peak moment for all of us--I would say even for him.

Christine Gray

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <
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Date:           Sunday, 31 Mar 1996 12:18:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0247 Re: Death of Sam Schoenbaum
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0247 Re: Death of Sam Schoenbaum

Thanks, Tad Davis, for sharing your memories.

Helen Ostovich
Department of English / Editor, _REED Newsletter_
 

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