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YU High School for Boys Sophomore Brings Shakespearean Objects to Life

Hillel Jacobson, a sophomore at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, faces challenges and acts on them.

Hillel Jacobson

Inspired by Shakespeare, YUHSB sophomore Hillel Jacobson built a stock similar to the one used in King Lear.

In his study of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Jacobson took a strong interest in the Globe Theater, where the plays were performed. Along with his father, Jacobson constructed a model of the theater, capturing the beauty and intricacies of the stages and seating as well as the area where the groundlings stood.

Recently, when studying King Lear in Harriet Levitt’s English Sophomore Honors class, Jacobson became fascinated by the stocks—a punishment apparatus used in the story to hold Kent. With the help of his father, Jacobson constructed a solid wood, five-foot structure, replicating the stocks used in King Lear.

“The study of Shakespeare is not limited to the famous lines,” said Levitt. “It incorporates all the stage devices that enlarge the imagination. Reading ‘Kent is put in the stocks’ is not as meaningful as actually seeing Kent put into stocks.”

She added, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, the actual object is worth many more.”

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Jacobson and Levitt