To the Editor:
Professor Maynard Mack had many gifts as a scholar, and as a great teacher, he gave many gifts to a long parade of delighted, grateful students at Yale.
Mack gave Shakespeare to us — and thereby gave us to Shakespeare. He gave insight and delight and some early understandings of Shakespeare’s own gifts through a series of lectures — replete with vital passages acted out as only a natural ham would allow himself to enjoy.
Mack’s lectures were too interesting and too much fun to be so short as an hour, and his course too richly endowed with his talents to last only two semesters.
Mack’s only recognizable limit as a teacher was that so many Yale students arranged their schedules to include his Shakespeare course that only a very few admiring auditors could be accommodated in Yale’s largest lecture hall. Even in that large space each of us enjoyed a singular, private experience of learning with a very great teacher.
Fortunately, anyone at any time can join Professor Mack for several joyous hours simply by opening up on his numerous books: “Everybody’s Shakespeare.”
Charles D. Ellis ’59
March 20, 2001
The writer is a member of the Yale Corporation.