In suggesting that Washingtonians accept Marion Barry at face value, Suzi Gookin and Safiya (The Mail, 6/6 & 6/20) actually prove only that high schools and universities need to require the study of Shakespeare. Hamlet himself summed up the situation nicely: “O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain! My tables—meet it is I set it down, that one may smile, and smile, and be a villain; at least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark.”

Essay question (be brief): “Do

you think this type of genial maleficence only occurs in Scandinavia?

Give examples.”

American University Park

via the Internet