Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Shakespeare References in No Second Chance

Harlan Coben’s novel No Second Chance contains a couple of Shakespeare references. The first is both a mention of Shakespeare himself and a reference to a line from my favorite speech from Macbeth. Coben writes, “They reminded me of Shakespeare’s sound and fury signifying nothing” (p. 48). The “They” of that sentence are two investigators trying to find out what became of the protagonist’s missing daughter. At that point in the story, the two seemed to be talking a lot, but telling him nothing of importance. The reference is to Macbeth’s speech from Act V scene v, which reads, in part: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/And then is heard no more: it is a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing.” The other reference is to Hamlet. Coben writes, “And, ah, there’s the rub” (p. 71), a reference to Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy.

No Second Chance was published in 2003.

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