All's Well That Ends Will; FEELING DOWN AND DEPRESSED? THEN GO SEE DR SHAKESPEARE

Article excerpt

Byline: By LORNE JACKSON

HE was the greatest playwright the world has ever known.

But William Shakespeare wasn't merely a lord of language, a prince of plot and a champion of characterisation.

The Bard's work can also save your life.

Oxford University academic, Laurie Maguire, claims that the Midland genius gave us the best advice about how to deal with the daily problems we face.

That includes failed relationships and the death of loved ones.

Now the lecturer in English literature has written the ultimate self-help book.

Where There's A Will There's A Way is based on quotations from the Bard.

"I first realised that Shakespeare had medicinal properties when I moved to New York a few years ago," said Laurie.

"I had just been through a really traumatic split with a boyfriend.

My father was also dying. "It was a terrible period in my life.

"With all that to deal with I spiralled into major depression, and found myself haunting self-help book shelves, looking for a way to deal with all this unhappiness.

"I must have read literally hundreds of them.

"Many of them had helpful things to say. But suddenly I realised that all this advice, and more, could be found by reading Shakespeare.

"And, of course, he had a better turn of phrase.

"His use of language is more memorable, more profound, and ultimately more rewarding than anything you will find in any other self-help book on the shelves.

"So I decided to write a self-help book using the Bard's acute perception of human nature."

But why was Shakespeare so astute when it came to understanding how we tick?

Laurie, who lives in Oxford, says it was his natural genius, combined with the influence of the era in which he lived.

"Shakespeare was a man of the 16th century, which was a boom time for selfhelp literature," she explained. …