Lincoln's Favorite Shakespeare

"I think nothing equals Macbeth," wrote Abraham Lincoln. Growing up on the prairie, Lincoln memorized Shakespeare to learn reading, writing, and oratory. Decades later, serving as president during the bloodiest war in American history, he turned to Shakespeare repeatedly—in both books and at the theater—for solace and inspiration.

In this event, actors perform the soliloquies that once comforted him, including his own perennial favorite, Macbeth. Historian Harold Holzer adds to the drama with anecdotes about Lincoln's love of actors, stabs at theatrical criticism, and impromptu Shakespearian recitation.

Harold Holzer, narrator
with actors Blair Brown, Stephen Lang, and Fritz Weaver

Recorded February 11, 2016

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