Shakespeare and Early Modern Political Thought

Overview

This is the first collaborative volume to place Shakespeare's works within the landscape of early modern political thought. Until recently, literary scholars have not generally treated Shakespeare as a participant in the political thought of his time, unlike his contemporaries Ben Jonson, Edmund Spenser and Philip Sidney. At the same time, historians of political thought have rarely turned their attention to major works of poetry and drama. A distinguished international and interdisciplinary team of contributors ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $67.39   
  • New (4) from $90.68   
  • Used (3) from $67.39   
Sending request ...

Overview

This is the first collaborative volume to place Shakespeare's works within the landscape of early modern political thought. Until recently, literary scholars have not generally treated Shakespeare as a participant in the political thought of his time, unlike his contemporaries Ben Jonson, Edmund Spenser and Philip Sidney. At the same time, historians of political thought have rarely turned their attention to major works of poetry and drama. A distinguished international and interdisciplinary team of contributors examines the full range of Shakespeare's writings in order to challenge conventional interpretations of plays central to the canon, such as Hamlet; open up novel perspectives on works rarely considered to be political, such as the Sonnets; and focus on those that have been largely neglected, such as The Merry Wives of Windsor. The result is a coherent and challenging portrait of Shakespeare's distinctive engagement with the characteristic questions of early modern political thought.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume is one of the most important new studies of Shakespeare to have appeared this century. It takes the discussion of Shakespeare and early modern political thought to a hitherto unseen level of sophistication. For the first time, we are offered a serious and sustained reading of Shakespeare in the light of the "Cambridge school" of work on the language of political theory that is associated above all with Quentin Skinner, who provides a magisterial afterword. What is remarkable about the collection is the way in which its contributors come from diverse perspectives — here we have distinguished philosophers and historians of ideas as well as the distinctive voice of Stephen Greenblatt — and yet they create a strikingly unified image of a Shakespeare who is at once a deep political thinker, a consummate master of rhetoric and a wily refusenik when it comes to orthodox positions. With great originality, the contributors show that even a work as apparently slight as The Merry Wives of Windsor has a powerful political dimension. This is a book that deserves a prominent place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in Shakespeare — more than that, of anyone interested in the interplay between literature and the history of political thought.
Jonathan Bate, Professor of Shakespeare & Renaissance Literature, University of Warwick

"Students and scholars of Shakespeare will find much of interest in Shakespeare and Political Thought."
-Paulina Kewes,Jesus College, University of Oxford

"How did Shakespeare regard the great political issues and controversies of his day, and where did his own political sympathies ultimately lie? The contributors to this outstanding collection - literary critics, political theorists, historians of the early modern period - provide a subtle and provocative set of answers to these familiar questions. Wary of the notion that Shakespeare endorses, either tacitly or explicitly, any specific system of government, they propose none the less a writer whose intense political consciousness is evident even in such hitherto unsuspected areas of his work as the Sonnets and The Merry Wives of Windsor; a writer sharply observant of current political practices and dilemmas, sceptical about the common uses of power, and skilled in the flexible rhetorical practices of the day. Inspired in part by the Cambridge school of intellectual history, in part by other recent revisionist work in the early modern field, the book represents a new synthesis of method and approach, and the definitive starting point for any future exploration of the 'political' Shakespeare."
-Ian Donaldson,University of Melbourne

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521768085
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/10/2009
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

David Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University.

Conal Condren is a Scientia Professor Emeritus at the University of New South Wales and an Honorary Professor at the Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland.

Andrew Fitzmaurice is Associate Professor of History at the University of Sydney.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction David Armitage, Conal Condren and Andrew Fitzmaurice; Part I. Contexts: 1. Shakespeare's properties David Armitage; 2. The active and contemplative lives in Shakespeare's plays Cathy Curtis; 3. Shakespeare and the ethics of authority Stephen Greenblatt; 4. Shakespeare and the politics of superstition Susan James; Part II. The Court: 5. Counsel, succession and the politics of Shakespeare's Sonnets Cathy Shrank; 6. Educating Hamlet and Prince Hal Aysha Pollnitz; 7. The corruption of Hamlet Andrew Fitzmaurice; 8. Unfolding 'the properties of government': the case of Measure for Measure and the history of political thought Conal Condren; 9. Shakespeare and the politics of co-authorship: Henry VIII Jennifer Richards; Part III. The Commonwealth: 10. Putting the city into Shakespeare's city comedy Phil Withington; 11. Talking to the animals: persuasion, counsel and their discontents in Julius Caesar David Colclough; 12. Political rhetoric and citizenship in Coriolanus Markku Peltonen; 13. Shakespeare and the best state of a commonwealth Eric Nelson; Afterword: Shakespeare and humanist culture Quentin Skinner.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)