Watch an online version of the lecture presented in-person in January 2023.
Discover references to the canon in soldiers’ letters home, in politicians’ speeches, and in newspaper cartoons, and from Abraham Lincoln!
In an encore presentation to our 2019 presentation, Gordon Gidlund, amateur historian, provides a survey of the Shakespearean influences during this critical period in our history. Special attention will be devoted to fanboy Abraham Lincoln.
During the Civil War, familiarity with Shakespeare’s works was considered essential to an educated person’s cultural literacy, both North and South. References to the plays and sonnets appear in soldiers’ letters home, in politicians’ speeches, and in newspaper cartoons.
Perhaps the most dramatic illustration of this state of affairs is the fascination that Abraham Lincoln had for the Bard, often giving impromptu recitals from memory. But the tragic side of the coin was that he was killed by a noted Shakespearean actor.
This event was a collaboration with the San Diego Civil War Round Table.
Gordon Gidlund, Society Secretary and author of the Mock Trials. A tax attorney, Gordon is concerned with the intersection of Shakespeare and the law. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching English in the Republic of Korea. Appropriately to this event, he has had a long association with the local Civil War Round Table. He has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota.