Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393635767

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

View: 9026

World-renowned Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt explores the playwright’s insight into bad (and often mad) rulers. As an aging, tenacious Elizabeth I clung to power, a talented playwright probed the social causes, the psychological roots, and the twisted consequences of tyranny. In exploring the psyche (and psychoses) of the likes of Richard III, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolanus, and the societies they rule over, Stephen Greenblatt illuminates the ways in which William Shakespeare delved into the lust for absolute power and the catastrophic consequences of its execution. Cherished institutions seem fragile, political classes are in disarray, economic misery fuels populist anger, people knowingly accept being lied to, partisan rancor dominates, spectacular indecency rules—these aspects of a society in crisis fascinated Shakespeare and shaped some of his most memorable plays. With uncanny insight, he shone a spotlight on the infantile psychology and unquenchable narcissistic appetites of demagogues—and the cynicism and opportunism of the various enablers and hangers-on who surround them—and imagined how they might be stopped. As Greenblatt shows, Shakespeare’s work, in this as in so many other ways, remains vitally relevant today.
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Tyranny in Shakespeare

Author: Mary Ann McGrail

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9780739104781

Category: Drama

Page: 192

View: 3949

Even the most explicitly political contemporary approaches to Shakespeare have been uninterested by his tyrants as such. But for Shakespeare, rather than a historical curiosity or psychological aberration, tyranny is a perpetual political and human problem. Mary Ann McGrail's recovery of the playwright's perspective challenges the grounds of this modern critical silence. She locates Shakespeare's expansive definition of tyranny between the definitions accepted by classical and modern political philosophy. Is tyranny always the worst of all possible political regimes, as Aristotle argues in his Politics? Or is disguised tyranny, as Machiavelli proposes, potentially the best regime possible? These competing conceptions were practiced and debated in Renaissance thought, given expression by such political actors and thinkers as Elizabeth I, James I, Henrie Bullinger, Bodin, and others. McGrail focuses on Shakespeare's exploration of the conflicting and contradictory passions that make up the tyrant and finds that Shakespeare's dramas of tyranny rest somewhere between Aristotle's reticence and Machiavelli's forthrightness. Literature and politics intersect in Tyranny in Shakespeare, which will fascinate students and scholars of both.
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Tyranny in Shakespeare

Author: Mary Ann McGrail

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9780739104781

Category: Drama

Page: 192

View: 9751

Even the most explicitly political contemporary approaches to Shakespeare have been uninterested by his tyrants as such. But for Shakespeare, rather than a historical curiosity or psychological aberration, tyranny is a perpetual political and human problem. Mary Ann McGrail's recovery of the playwright's perspective challenges the grounds of this modern critical silence. She locates Shakespeare's expansive definition of tyranny between the definitions accepted by classical and modern political philosophy. Is tyranny always the worst of all possible political regimes, as Aristotle argues in his Politics? Or is disguised tyranny, as Machiavelli proposes, potentially the best regime possible? These competing conceptions were practiced and debated in Renaissance thought, given expression by such political actors and thinkers as Elizabeth I, James I, Henrie Bullinger, Bodin, and others. McGrail focuses on Shakespeare's exploration of the conflicting and contradictory passions that make up the tyrant and finds that Shakespeare's dramas of tyranny rest somewhere between Aristotle's reticence and Machiavelli's forthrightness. Literature and politics intersect in Tyranny in Shakespeare, which will fascinate students and scholars of both.
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Will in the World

How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Author: Stephen Greenblatt,Stephen Jay Greenblatt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393050578

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 430

View: 2002

A portrait of Elizabethan England and how it contributed to the making of William Shakespeare discusses how he moved to London lacking money, connections, and a formal education; started a family; attempted to forge his career in the competitive theater world; grappled with dangerous religious and political forces; and rose to became his age's foremost playwright. 100,000 first printing.
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The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393634582

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 7017

Stephen Greenblatt—Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winning author of The Swerve and Will in the World—investigates the life of one of humankind’s greatest stories. Bolder, even, than the ambitious books for which Stephen Greenblatt is already renowned, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve explores the enduring story of humanity’s first parents. Comprising only a few ancient verses, the story of Adam and Eve has served as a mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of our fears and desires, as both a hymn to human responsibility and a dark fable about human wretchedness. Tracking the tale into the deep past, Greenblatt uncovers the tremendous theological, artistic, and cultural investment over centuries that made these fictional figures so profoundly resonant in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds and, finally, so very “real” to millions of people even in the present. With the uncanny brilliance he previously brought to his depictions of William Shakespeare and Poggio Bracciolini (the humanist monk who is the protagonist of The Swerve), Greenblatt explores the intensely personal engagement of Augustine, Dürer, and Milton in this mammoth project of collective creation, while he also limns the diversity of the story’s offspring: rich allegory, vicious misogyny, deep moral insight, and some of the greatest triumphs of art and literature. The biblical origin story, Greenblatt argues, is a model for what the humanities still have to offer: not the scientific nature of things, but rather a deep encounter with problems that have gripped our species for as long as we can recall and that continue to fascinate and trouble us today.
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Shakespeare's Freedom

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226306674

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 9793

With the elegance and verve for which he is well known, Greenblatt, author of the bestselling "Will in the World," shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to such absolutes as scripture, monarch, and God, and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them.
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Hamlet in Purgatory

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400848091

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 852

In Hamlet in Purgatory, renowned literary scholar Stephen Greenblatt delves into his longtime fascination with the ghost of Hamlet's father, and his daring and ultimately gratifying journey takes him through surprising intellectual territory. It yields an extraordinary account of the rise and fall of Purgatory as both a belief and a lucrative institution--as well as a capacious new reading of the power of Hamlet. In the mid-sixteenth century, English authorities abruptly changed the relationship between the living and dead. Declaring that Purgatory was a false "poem," they abolished the institutions and banned the practices that Christians relied on to ease the passage to Heaven for themselves and their dead loved ones. Greenblatt explores the fantastic adventure narratives, ghost stories, pilgrimages, and imagery by which a belief in a grisly "prison house of souls" had been shaped and reinforced in the Middle Ages. He probes the psychological benefits as well as the high costs of this belief and of its demolition. With the doctrine of Purgatory and the elaborate practices that grew up around it, the church had provided a powerful method of negotiating with the dead. The Protestant attack on Purgatory destroyed this method for most people in England, but it did not eradicate the longings and fears that Catholic doctrine had for centuries focused and exploited. In his strikingly original interpretation, Greenblatt argues that the human desires to commune with, assist, and be rid of the dead were transformed by Shakespeare--consummate conjurer that he was--into the substance of several of his plays, above all the weirdly powerful Hamlet. Thus, the space of Purgatory became the stage haunted by literature's most famous ghost. This book constitutes an extraordinary feat that could have been accomplished by only Stephen Greenblatt. It is at once a deeply satisfying reading of medieval religion, an innovative interpretation of the apparitions that trouble Shakespeare's tragic heroes, and an exploration of how a culture can be inhabited by its own spectral leftovers. This expanded Princeton Classics edition includes a new preface by the author.
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Macbeth

Author: Jo Nesbo

Publisher: Hogarth

ISBN: 0553419064

Category: Fiction

Page: 464

View: 6355

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A heart-pounding new thriller from the author of The Snowman and The Thirst Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo's Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way. Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.
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Shadowplay

The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare

Author: Clare Asquith

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1541774302

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 370

View: 4867

In 16th century England many loyal subjects to the crown were asked to make a terrible choice: to follow their monarch or their God. The era was one of unprecedented authoritarianism: England, it seemed, had become a police state, fearful of threats from abroad and plotters at home. This age of terror was also the era of the greatest creative genius the world has ever known: William Shakespeare. How, then, could such a remarkable man born into such violently volatile times apparently make no comment about the state of England in his work? He did. But it was hidden. Revealing Shakespeare's sophisticated version of a forgotten code developed by 16th-century dissidents, Clare Asquith shows how he was both a genius for all time and utterly a creature of his own era: a writer who was supported by dissident Catholic aristocrats, who agonized about the fate of England's spiritual and political life and who used the stage to attack and expose a regime which he believed had seized illegal control of the country he loved. Shakespeare's plays offer an acute insight into the politics and personalities of his era. And Clare Asquith's decoding of them offers answers to several mysteries surrounding Shakespeare's own life, including most notably why he stopped writing while still at the height of his powers. An utterly compelling combination of literary detection and political revelation, Shadowplay is the definitive expose of how Shakespeare lived through and understood the agonies of his time, and what he had to say about them.
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Shakespearean Negotiations

The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520061606

Category: Drama

Page: 205

View: 2030

Examines Shakespeare's plays in terms of Elizabethan society, analyzes exorcism, cross-dressing, colonial propaganda, and the law, and discusses Shakespeare's cultural influences
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Shakespeare and Tyranny

Regimes of Reading in Europe and Beyond

Author: Keith Gregor

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443867705

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 290

View: 9473

This book brings together a selection of essays on the reception and dissemination of Shakespeare’s plays in England and beyond from the 17th century to the present. Written from the perspective of a nation or cluster of nations in which Shakespeare has been used either to reflect, legitimize or challenge different versions of authoritarian rule, each of the chapters offers a picture of Shakespeare as unwitting commentator on some of the most significant and unsettling political events in Europe and elsewhere. Illustrating and analyzing changing attitudes to Shakespeare and his work in various tyrannical and post-tyrannical contexts in both Western and Eastern Europe, North Africa and South America, the volume provides insights into issues like the role of censorship and self-censorship in the revision and production of Shakespearean material; institutional controls on the dissemination and publication of Shakespeare’s work; assumptions and techniques in the staging of his plays; state intervention in the elaboration of a Shakespeare “canon”; the role of Shakespeare in the construction of identity under tyranny; and the pertinence or otherwise of the subversion/containment paradigm following events such as the collapse of communism and the so-called “Arab Spring”.
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Shakespeare's Roman Trilogy

The Twilight of the Ancient World

Author: Paul A. Cantor

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022646251X

Category: History

Page: 308

View: 588

Paul A. Cantor first probed Shakespeare’s Roman plays—Coriolanus, Julius Caeser, and Antony and Cleopatra—in his landmark Shakespeare’s Rome (1976). With Shakespeare’s Roman Trilogy, he now argues that these plays form an integrated trilogy that portrays the tragedy not simply of their protagonists but of an entire political community. Cantor analyzes the way Shakespeare chronicles the rise and fall of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Roman Empire. The transformation of the ancient city into a cosmopolitan empire marks the end of the era of civic virtue in antiquity, but it also opens up new spiritual possibilities that Shakespeare correlates with the rise of Christianity and thus the first stirrings of the medieval and the modern worlds. More broadly, Cantor places Shakespeare’s plays in a long tradition of philosophical speculation about Rome, with special emphasis on Machiavelli and Nietzsche, two thinkers who provide important clues on how to read Shakespeare’s works. In a pathbreaking chapter, he undertakes the first systematic comparison of Shakespeare and Nietzsche on Rome, exploring their central point of contention: Did Christianity corrupt the Roman Empire or was the corruption of the Empire the precondition of the rise of Christianity? Bringing Shakespeare into dialogue with other major thinkers about Rome, Shakespeare’s Roman Trilogy reveals the true profundity of the Roman Plays.
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Beckett's Political Imagination

Author: Emilie Morin

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110841799X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: N.A

View: 5761

Beckett's Political Imagination uncovers Beckett's lifelong engagement with political thought and political history, showing how this concern informed his work as fiction author, dramatist, critic and translator. This radically new account will appeal to students, researchers and Beckett lovers alike.
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Shakespeare's Politics

Author: Allan Bloom,Harry V. Jaffa

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226060415

Category: Drama

Page: 150

View: 7582

Taking the classical view that the political shapes man's consciousness, Allan Bloom considers Shakespeare as a profoundly political Renaissance dramatist. He aims to recover Shakespeare's ideas and beliefs and to make his work once again a recognized source for the serious study of moral and political problems. In essays looking at Julius Caesar, Othello, and The Merchant of Venice, Bloom shows how Shakespeare presents a picture of man that does not assume privileged access for only literary criticism. With this claim, he argues that political philosophy offers a comprehensive framework within which the problems of the Shakespearean heroes can be viewed. In short, he argues that Shakespeare was an eminently political author. Also included is an essay by Harry V. Jaffa on the limits of politics in King Lear. "A very good book indeed . . . one which can be recommended to all who are interested in Shakespeare." —G. P. V. Akrigg "This series of essays reminded me of the scope and depth of Shakespeare's original vision. One is left with the impression that Shakespeare really had figured out the answers to some important questions many of us no longer even know to ask."-Peter A. Thiel, CEO, PayPal, Wall Street Journal Allan Bloom was the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor on the Committee on Social Thought and the co-director of the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy at the University of Chicago. Harry V. Jaffa is professor emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate School.
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Shakespeare and Politics

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

Author: Bruce E. Altschuler,Michael A. Genovese

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317252187

Category: Education

Page: 212

View: 1885

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:
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The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393083381

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 4618

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Non-Fiction One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it. Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius—a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions. The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.
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How Shakespeare Put Politics on the Stage

Power and Succession in the History Plays

Author: Peter Lake

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300222718

Category: History

Page: 688

View: 6657

A masterful, highly engaging analysis of how Shakespeare's plays intersected with the politics and culture of Elizabethan England With an ageing, childless monarch, lingering divisions due to the Reformation, and the threat of foreign enemies, Shakespeare's England was fraught with unparalleled anxiety and complicated problems. In this monumental work, Peter Lake reveals, more than any previous critic, the extent to which Shakespeare's plays speak to the depth and sophistication of Elizabethan political culture and the Elizabethan imagination. Lake reveals the complex ways in which Shakespeare's major plays engaged with the events of his day, particularly regarding the uncertain royal succession, theological and doctrinal debates, and virtue and virt� in politics. Through his plays, Lake demonstrates, Shakespeare was boldly in conversation with his audience about a range of contemporary issues. This remarkable literary and historical analysis pulls the curtain back on what Shakespeare was really telling his audience and what his plays tell us today about the times in which they were written.
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Shakespeare and the Resistance

The Earl of Southampton, the Essex Rebellion, and the Poems that Challenged Tudor Tyranny

Author: Clare Asquith

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1568588119

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 8068

Shakespeare's largely misunderstood narrative poems contain within them an explosive commentary on the political storms convulsing his country The 1590s were bleak years for England. The queen was old, the succession unclear, and the treasury empty after decades of war. Amid the rising tension, William Shakespeare published a pair of poems dedicated to the young Earl of Southampton: Venus and Adonis in 1593 and The Rape of Lucrece a year later. Although wildly popular during Shakespeare's lifetime, to modern readers both works are almost impenetrable. But in her enthralling new book, the Shakespearean scholar Clare Asquith reveals their hidden contents: two politically charged allegories of Tudor tyranny that justified-and even urged-direct action against an unpopular regime. The poems were Shakespeare's bestselling works in his lifetime, evidence that they spoke clearly to England's wounded populace and disaffected nobility, and especially to their champion, the Earl of Essex. Shakespeare and the Resistance unearths Shakespeare's own analysis of a political and religious crisis which would shortly erupt in armed rebellion on the streets of London. Using the latest historical research, it resurrects the story of a bold bid for freedom of conscience and an end to corruption that was erased from history by the men who suppressed it. This compelling reading situates Shakespeare at the heart of the resistance movement.
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The Norton Shakespeare

Author: Stephen Greenblatt,Walter Cohen,Jean E. Howard,Katharine Eisaman Maus,Gordon McMullan,Suzanne Gossett

Publisher: W. W. Norton

ISBN: 9780393934991

Category: Drama

Page: 3400

View: 5900

Both an enhanced digital edition—the first edited specifically for undergraduates—and a handsome print volume, The Norton Shakespeare, Third Edition, provides a freshly edited text, acclaimed apparatus, and an unmatched value.
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Worlds Elsewhere

Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe

Author: Andrew Dickson

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 080509735X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 512

View: 5147

A book about how Shakespeare became fascinated with the world, and how the world became fascinated with Shakespeare Ranging ambitiously across four continents and four hundred years, Worlds Elsewhere is an eye-opening account of how Shakespeare went global. Seizing inspiration from the playwright’s own fascination with travel, foreignness, and distant worlds—worlds Shakespeare never himself explored—Andrew Dickson takes us on an extraordinary journey: from Hamlet performed by English actors tramping through the Baltic states in the early sixteen hundreds to the skyscrapers of twenty-first-century Beijing and Shanghai, where “Shashibiya” survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution to become a revered Chinese author. En route, Dickson traces Nazi Germany’s strange love affair with, and attempted nationalization of, the Bard, and delves deep into the history of Bollywood, where Shakespearean stories helped give birth to Indian cinema. In Johannesburg, we discover how Shakespeare was enlisted in the fight to end apartheid. In nineteenth-century California, we encounter shoestring performances of Richard III and Othello in the dusty mining camps and saloon bars of the Gold Rush. No other writer’s work has been performed, translated, adapted, and altered in such a remarkable variety of cultures and languages. Both a cultural history and a literary travelogue, Worlds Elsewhere is an attempt to understand how Shakespeare has become the international phenomenon he is—and why.
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