# of Words: 282
A mother slits her baby girl's throat because she has this deranged notion that she is saving her daughter from a fate worse than death. Sounds like one of those crazy mothers who ends up on the day news, right? Close. It's actually a real story: back in 1856, a runaway slave named Margaret Garner murdered one of her kids--a two-year-old girl--with a butcher knife, to be able to keep her away from slave catchers. She'd have murdered her other children and himself, too, but she was captured......Read More
Now's the time to ask yourself what you really know about heroes. No, really: what do you know to be true about them? Got it? Now collect all that up into a little mental sack and throw it from your mind. Inside this Grendel, Gardner--a pretty challenging guy in real life, too--compels us to look closely at what we've believed about noble behavior since the earliest of times. And what better means to do this than to go back to Beowulf, the earliest epic poem composed in (what passes for)......Read More
Henrik Ibsen is sort of a big deal. Following William Shakespeare, he is the most frequently produced dramatist ever in history. A Norwegian playwright writing in the last half of the 19th century, Ibsen is known as "the father of modern drama." Because he wrote in a then new realist fashion -- covering everyday topics and ordinary folks -- he set the platform for many realist authors to come, among them the very famous Anton Chekhov. Ibsen demonstrated that with quite realistic settings,......Read More
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