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.
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