Political science is becoming ever more reliant on abstract statistical models and almost divorced from human judgment, hope, and idealism. William Shakespeare offers the political scientist an antidote to this methodological alienation, this self-imposed exile from the political concerns of citizens and politicians. Shakespeare, the most quoted author in the English-speaking world, presents his characters as rulers, citizens, and statesmen of the most famous regimes, governed by their respective laws and shaped by their respective political and social institutions. The actions, deliberations, mistakes, and successes of his characters reveal the limitations and strengths of their regimes, whether they be Athens, Rome, or England. The contributors to this volume, esteemed scholars of political science, show us that Shakespeare's poetic imagination displays the very essence of politics and inspires valuable reflection on the fundamental questions of statesmanship and political leadership. Perspectives on Shakespeare's Politics explores such themes as classical republicanism and liberty, the rule of law and morality, the nature and limits of statesmanship, and the character of democracy.
Chapter 1 Poetry and Politics: An Introduction and Retrospective Chapter 2 Shakespeare's Henry V: From the Medieval to the Modern World Chapter 3 Shakespeare's Understanding of Liberty in the English Plays Chapter 4 The Domestic Politics of Shakespeare's Comedies Chapter 5 Is All the World a Stage? Marriage and a Metaphor in As You Like It Chapter 6 Vienna Vice: Invisible Leadership and Deep Politics in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Chapter 7 What is a Man? A Reading of Troilus and Cressida Chapter 8 Shakespeare's Politics Revisited