Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Rethinking Shakespeare's Political PhilosophyFrom Lear to Leviathan$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alex Schulman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682416

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682416.001.0001

Show Summary Details



(p.1) Introduction
Rethinking Shakespeare's Political Philosophy

Alex Schulman

Edinburgh University Press

This book asserts that William Shakespeare's plays and poems possess elements of politics and political philosophy, or, more specifically, the rise of modern secular nationalism. Such a phrase can be defined as the decline in the political legitimacy of warrior and priestly castes, and the rise of government as a specialised domain serving utilitarian purposes. The first part of the book examines Shakespeare's depiction of ancient Greco-Roman politics, mainly in Antony and Cleopatra , Julius Caesar , Coriolanus, and Troilus and Cressida. The second part discusses major concepts of early modern political philosophy — the state of nature and social contract theory, secular nationalism as a solution to sectarian conflict, the decline of corporatist feudalism and the rise of market individualism — through Shakespeare's plays,Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, Henriad, and King Lear.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, modern secular nationalism, Greco-Roman politics, modern political philosophy, state of nature, social contract, corporatist feudalism, market individualism

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.