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Cover for The Tao and the Bard

The Tao and the Bard

A Conversation

Phillip DePoy


List Price: 12.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (5/1/2013)


Shakespeare and Lao Tzu match wits and wisdom in this playful encounter—a new take on the old dialogue between East and West.

The Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way of Virtue, is a touchstone of Eastern philosophy and mysticism. It has been called the wisest book ever written. Its author, Lao Tzu, is known as the Great Archivist, but some say he has never lived or is the synthesis of many people. Shakespeare, the Bard, was the West’s greatest writer and even invented human nature, according to some. The Tao and the Bard is the delightful conversation between these two unlikely spokesmen, who join in a free exchange of views in its pages.

Here, in his own words, Lao Tzu offers the eight-one verses that comprise the Tao, and, responding to each verse, the Bard answers with quotations from his plays and poems. In sometimes surprising ways, Shakespeare’s words speak to Lao Tzu’s, as the two trade observations on such topics as good and evil, love and virtue, wise fools and foolish wisdom, and being the “nothing from which all things are.” As moderator, Phillip DePoy sometimes adds his own helpful comments, and the reader is invited to take part—whether to parse the meanings closely or sit back and enjoy the entertainment!

Arcade, 9781628725889, 160pp.

Publication Date: April 12, 2016

About the Author

Phillip DePoy, a writer, composer, and nationally reviewed performance artist, is the former director of the theater program at Clayton State University and the author of thirteen novels. He received the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for best mystery play in 2002. It was while he was composing the score for the now classic Hamlet! The Musical! that the need for this conversation occurred to him. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.