Shakespeare's Political Realism: The English History Plays / Edition 1

Shakespeare's Political Realism: The English History Plays / Edition 1

by Tim Spiekerman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791448681

ISBN-13: 9780791448687

Pub. Date: 01/28/2001

Publisher: State University of New York Press

This book provides fresh interpretations of five of Shakespeare’s history plays (King John, Richard II, Henry IV, Parts I and II, and Henry V), each guided by the often criticized assumption that Shakespeare can teach us something about politics. In contrast to many contemporary political critics who treat Shakespeare’s political dramas as narrow…  See more details below

Overview

This book provides fresh interpretations of five of Shakespeare’s history plays (King John, Richard II, Henry IV, Parts I and II, and Henry V), each guided by the often criticized assumption that Shakespeare can teach us something about politics. In contrast to many contemporary political critics who treat Shakespeare’s political dramas as narrow reflections of his time, the author maintains that Shakespeare’s political vision is wide-ranging, compelling, and relevant to modern audiences. Paying close attention to character and context, as well as to Shakespeare’s creative use of history, the author explores Shakespeare’s views on perennially important political themes such as ambition, legitimacy, tradition, and political morality. Particular emphasis is placed on Shakespeare’s relation to Machiavelli, turning repeatedly to the conflict between ambition and justice. In the end, Shakespeare’s history plays point to the limits of politics even more pessimistically than Machiavelli’s realism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791448687
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
01/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
218
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Ch. 1Introduction: Shakespeare's Politics1
Ch. 2King John39
Ch. 3King Richard II59
Ch. 4King Henry IV, Parts 1 and 291
Ch. 5King Henry V125
Ch. 6Conclusion: Shakespeare and Machiavelli Revisited153
AppThe Omission of the Magna Carta in King John167
Notes171
Bibliography197
Index203

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