1st Edition

Shakespeare and Terrorism

By Islam Issa Copyright 2022
    234 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Shakespeare and Terrorism delves into how extremists have responded to Shakespeare – whether they’ve attacked him or been inspired by him – and investigates what the playwright and his works can tell us about the nature, psychology, and consequences of terror.

    Literary critic and historian Islam Issa takes readers on a journey from Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and London to a variety of locations: from Western Europe to the Balkans to the US, from North Africa to the Persian Gulf to Central Asia, and from the theatre to the digital world. Considering incidents from Shakespeare’s time through today, including the Gunpowder Plot and 9/ 11, as well as pivotal figures from Hamlet and Macbeth to Hitler and Bin Laden, this book brings to light new ideas about key characters, events, and themes both in Shakespeare’s plays and the world around them.

    A thrilling and accessible read, this ground-breaking book will enlighten and engage students, researchers, and general readers interested in Shakespeare, social sciences, history, and the complex relationships between life and art.

    Introduction: Terror: Identity, Freedom, Symbolism  1. "Danger from the east unto the west": The Tragedy of Comedy  2. "To me it is a prison": Freedom and Principled Violence  3. "Though this be madness, yet there is method in it": Performing Ideology and Power  4. "As he was ambitious, I slew him": Identity and Assassination  Epilogue: Life Imitates Art


    Islam Issa is Reader in Literature and History at Birmingham City University, UK. He is a multi-award-winning writer, curator, and broadcaster. His books include Milton in the Arab-Muslim World and he has presented such documentaries as Cleopatra and Me: In Search of a Lost Queen.

    "A valuable guide to important modern global developments not always appreciated by Shakespeare studies" - Andrew Hadfield - Times Literary Supplement

    'Islam Issa is one of the stars of his generation. Fluent and equable, original and sage, his work floods the topics he turns to with startling, exhilarating light.'

    Ewan Fernie, Fellow and Chair, The Shakespeare Institute

    'I have long been a serious fan of Islam Issa and his fresh, open and unflinching perspective on Shakespeare. The illuminating clarity he brings to Shakespeare’s resonance and difficulty across cultures and histories is making an essential contribution to twenty-first-century Shakespeareans.'

    Erica Whyman OBE, Deputy Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company

    'Islam Issa has a profound understanding of the relationship between culture and our intellectual, social, and political values. His groundbreaking work has important significance for the development of international understanding and for the furtherance of humane values.'

    Sir Stanley Wells, Honorary President, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

    "He may be our greatest writer, but Shakespeare has inspired some of history's worst people"


    "This is a lively, vibrant, deeply intelligent book, which offers many rich and rewarding readings"

    Peter Kirwan -The Pedlar

    "Fascinating reading of Hamlet - just gripping, as gripping as the play itself"

    Paul Edmondson - The Shakespeare Birthplace Podcast

    "A nuanced insight into Shakespeare’s legacy" 

    Miranda Fay Thomas - Shakespeare Survey