1st Edition

Shakespeare and Politics
What a Sixteenth-Century Playwright Can Tell Us about Twenty-First-Century Politics

ISBN 9781612051598
Published March 30, 2014 by Routledge
212 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

William Shakespeare, more than any other author, was able to capture the essence of human nature in all its manifestations. His political plays offer enduring insights into our humanity, our vanity, our noble and baser drives, what makes us great, and what makes us loathsome. He tells us about ourselves and about our world. This volume gleans valuable lessons from the writings of William Shakespeare and applies them to contemporary politics. Original chapters covering over a dozen different plays take up perennial political themes including power and leadership, corruption and virtue, war and peace, evil and liberty, persuasion and polarization, and empire and global overreach.Features of the text:


“Anyone interested in Shakespeare’s views on empire, corruption, murder, greed, rulership, and war will find these close readings a delight. Anyone teaching a seminar on great books, a course on presidential power and leadership, or lecturing on political theory, would find students enriched by being exposed to the theoretical prisms and deep insights of this extraordinary volume.”
—Richard M. Pious, Columbia University

“Bruce Altschuler and Michael Genovese have assembled a compelling collection of essays that apply Shakespeare’s sixteenth-century excursions in human motivation to the contemporary political landscape. The experts in this volume interrogate an array of political topics through the Bard’s best known and less known plays. This rich blend of theater and politics also illuminates the complex politics of Shakespeare’s work and will be of interest to students and scholars in both fields.”
—Caroline Heldman, Occidental College

“Altschuler, Genovese, and their collaborators demonstrate conclusively that an Elizabethan-era English bard can cast light on contemporary politics in general and those of America in particular. This excellent volume should be required reading not only for all students of politics but also for practicing politicians because its exploration of power, ambition, and tyranny offers a salutary warning that men are not angels and the res publica requires a vigilant, engaged, and rational citizenry.”
—Iwan Morgan, University College London

“This well-written, beautifully crafted volume brings together smart and scholarly examinations of the Bard’s plays and power plays. Shakespeare and Politics is an engaging book that will inspire literature aficionados and political junkies alike.”
—Alison Dagnes, Shippensburg University