“Yet you can quote Shakespeare, at the Drop of a Pin”: Shakespearean Riffs in Leon Forrest’s Divine Days

  • Peter Erickson


Shakespeare’s presence is felt from the very beginning in Leon Forrest’s first novel, whose narrator concludes the opening paragraph with the announcement that his father “steeled me with Frederick Douglass and Shakespeare.” The Shakespearean strand continues to the very end, where in the final pages of his last book, Meteor in the Madhouse, completed as he was dying of cancer, Forrest turns once again to the model of Hamlet: “But then I was drowning and gasping for breath now out of the man from Hamlet’s last dying plateaus of righteous reaching-grieving riffs.”


Black Folk Final Page Black Artist Educational Access Performance Rise 
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© Peter Erickson 2007

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  • Peter Erickson

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