Shakespeare as Political Thinker

John E. Alvis and Thomas G. West, eds., Shakespeare as Political Thinker (Wilmington, DE: ISI, 2000)

Summary from the Publisher:

The essays contained in this book proceed from the common conviction that Shakespeare’s poetry conveys a wisdom about politics commensurate with his artistry. Well-known thinkers discuss Shakespeare’s understanding of politics, the idea of the best polity, the relationship between character and political life, and the interpenetration of poetry, politics, religion, and philosophy. Contributors include: John Alvis, Laurence Berns, Allan Bloom, Paul Cantor, Louise Cowan, Leo Paul de Alvarez, Christopher Flannery, Robert Heilman, Harry Jaffa, Michael Platt, Dain Trafton, Barbara Tovey, Thomas West.

Table of Contents:

  • Introductory: Shakespearean Poetry and Politics / John E. Alvis
  • The Unity of Tragedy, Comedy, and History: An Interpretation of the Shakespearean Universe / Harry V. Jaffa
  • Richard II / Allan Bloom
  • God Will Save the King : Shakespeare’s Richard II / Louise Cowan
  • Shakespeare’s Henry IV: A New Prince in a New Principality / Dain A. Trafton
  • Spectacle Supplanting Ceremony: Shakespeare’s Henry Monmouth / John E. Alvis
  • The Two Truths of Troilus and Cressida / Thomas G. West
  • Troilus and Cressida: Poetry or Philosophy? / Christopher Flannery
  • Nature and the City: Timon of Athens / Leo Paul S. de Alvarez
  • Chastity as a Political Principle: An Interpretation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure / Harry V. Jaffa
  • Prospero’s Republic: The Politics of Shakespeare’s The Tempest / Paul A. Cantor
  • The Golden Casket : An Interpretation of The Merchant of Venice / Barabra Tovey
  • Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Machiavelli: How Not to Kill a Despot / John E. Alvis
  • Macbeth and the Gospelling of Scotland / Paul A. Cantor
  • Shakespearean Wisdom? / Michael Platt
  • Shakespearean Comedy and Tragedy: Implicit Political Analogies / Robert B. Heilman
  • Transcendence and Equivocation: Some Political, Theological, and Philosophical Themes in Shakespeare / Laurence Berns

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