Shakespeare’s Political Pageant: Essays in Politics and Literature

Joseph Alulis and Vickie Sullivan, eds., Shakespeare’s Political Pageant: Essays in Politics and Literature (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996)

Summary from the Publisher:

Literary works, through their very personal means of characterization, reveal the direct effect of politics on individuals in a way a political treatise cannot. The distinguished contributors to this volume share the belief that Shakespeare is the author who most effectively sets forth the multifarious pageant of politics. Shakespeare’s rich canon presents monarchy and republic, tyrant and king, thinker and soldier, and Christian and pagan. The twelve essays in Shakespeare’s Political Pageant discuss a broad range of Shakespeare’s dramatic poetry from the perspective of the political theorist. This innovative book demonstrates the immense value of seeing Shakespeare’s plays in the context of political philosophy. It will be an important source for students and scholars of both political science and literature.

Table of Contents:

Part I: Comedies

  • The New Medea: On Portia’s Comic Triumph in The Merchant of Venice / Michael Zuckert
  • Fathers and Children: Matter, Mirth, and Melancholy in As You Like It / Joseph Alulis
  • Wisdom and the Law: Thoughts on the Political Philosophy of Measure for Measure / Barbara Tovey
  • The Portrait of Athens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream / David Lowenthal

Part II: Histories

  • Coming Home: The Political Settlement in Shakespeare’s King John / Christopher Colmo
  • The Education of Hal: Henry VI, Parts One and Two / Tim Spiekerman
  • Princes to Act: Henry V as the Machiavellian Prince of Appearance / Vickie Sullivan

Part III: Tragedies

  • “This is Venice”: Politics in Shakespeare’s Othello / Pamela K. Jensen
  • King Lear: The Tragic Disjunction of Wisdom and Power / Paul A. Cantor
  • The Relation of Thought and Action in Macbeth / Timothy Fuller
  • Courage and Impotence in Macbeth / Michael Davis
  • “With Himself at War”: Shakespeare’s Roman Hero and the Republican Tradition

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