Shakespeare's Political Wisdom

Overview

Shakespeare's Political Wisdom offers careful interpretations of five Shakespearean plays—Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and The Tempest—with a view to the enduring guidance those plays can provide to human, political life. The plays have been chosen for their relentless attention to the questions that, for Shakespeare, form the heart and soul of politics: Who should rule, and what is justice? Burbans provides an original reading of the plays through the lens of political philosophy ...

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Shakespeare's Political Wisdom

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Overview

Shakespeare's Political Wisdom offers careful interpretations of five Shakespearean plays—Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and The Tempest—with a view to the enduring guidance those plays can provide to human, political life. The plays have been chosen for their relentless attention to the questions that, for Shakespeare, form the heart and soul of politics: Who should rule, and what is justice? Burbans provides an original reading of the plays through the lens of political philosophy rather than Theatre or Renaissance Studies. Shakespeare's wisdom found in these five plays, Burbans concludes, provides a deeply relevant critique of our contemporary civic culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Burbans has written an illuminating study displaying an acute and informed intelligence." – John Alvis, Professor of English, The University of Dallas

"In his powerful treatment of five of Shakespeare's greatest works, Tim Burbans lays out with a remarkable clarity and elegance the political wisdom central to these particular dramas. In doing so, he shows us how Shakespeare allows us to recover a classical conception of politics from the distortions of a politicized Christianity and the unexamined prejudices imposed on us by modern liberal politics. But Burbans does more than just argue that Shakespeare's plays provide an occasion for serious moral and political reflection. His interpretations show how Shakespeare educates us through plays designed to purify our understanding of morality and of political life. Shakespeare's Political Wisdom is indispensable for all those who seek such understanding." - Bernard Dobski, Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science Department, Assumption College, USA

"In the nearly fifty years since Allan Bloom published his groundbreaking Shakespeare's Politics, many scholars have been inspired to unearth what others had succeeded in covering over: the poet's overarching intention to educate his audience, by speech and deed, in the moral and political concerns essential to a life worth living. Timothy Burbans's magisterial study of five Shakespearean plays - Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and The Tempest - seems to me the finest of the books inspired by Bloom's original inquiry. As its title suggests, Shakespeare's Political Wisdom takes seriously the possibility that Shakespeare was, not merely brilliant or creative or inspired, but wise; and in each essay, with extraordinary clarity and grace, Burbans puts before the reader irrefutable evidence of the Bard's depth of soul. An indispensable guide that delights as it instructs." - Robert C. Bartlett, Behrakis Professor of Hellenic Political Studies, Boston College, USA

"Burbans has managed to offer a series of political reflections of such profound insight that students of both politics and Shakespeare would be well advised to devote careful attention to his new book." – Wayne Ambler, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, USA

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137320858
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/4/2013
  • Series: Recovering Political Philosophy Series
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 1,154,936
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Burbans is Professor of Government at Skidmore College, USA. He is co-author (with Thomas L. Pangle) of Introduction to Political Philosophy, editor of After History? Francis Fukuyama and his Critics, and editor of Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle. He is translator of Marcellinus' "Life of Thucydides," and author of articles on Homer, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Hobbes, Shakespeare, Strauss, Fukuyama, Putnam, Chesterton, and modern liberal republican theory.

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Table of Contents

1. Julius Caesar: The Problem of Classical Republicanism
2. Macbeth: Ambition Driven Into Darkness
3. The Merchant of Venice: Roman Virtue in a Christian Commercial Republic
4. King Lear: The Question of Divine Justice
5. The Tempest: A Philosopher-Poet Educating Citizens

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