Shakespeare and the Body Politic

Shakespeare and the Body Politic

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The chapters in Shakespeare and the Body Politic examine the tensions between the passion and ambition of individuals and the limits of the political communities that encompass and inform them. Shakespeare provides his audiences and readers both timely and timeless political lessons through his diverse portraits of the body politic in his plays and poetry-from ancient city-states of Greece and Rome to the early modern cities and kingdoms of his own time.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 286 pages
  • 160 x 232 x 28mm | 579.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739170953
  • 9780739170953

Review quote

[T]he articles provide interesting and instructive perspectives. Teachers and students within the undergraduate forums of several disciplines should find ideas to explore here, as well as a useful bibliography. Sixteenth Century Journal "The abundance of fresh insights in this collection owes to the contributors' uncommon familiarity with issues that distinguish early modern from classical political thought." -- John Alvis, professor and director, American Studies Program, University of Dallas "This lively collection of essays, assembled by Bernard J. Dobski and Dustin Gish, organizes its contents under three rubrics: the heart, the limbs, and the head. The book is an insightful exploration of one of Shakespeare's most enduring metaphors: that of the political state as a sentient body whose parts, in Menenius's memorable fable in Coriolanus, correspond to the human frame, with the belly as the senators of Rome, sending nourishment through the "rivers" of the blood to all "the cranks and offices of man" only to meet with the insolent defiance of the "mutinous members," the populace, the outward limbs. This concept, explored with fresh analysis and fruitful observations in this collection, gives us much to think about in Shakespeare's world where princes, statesmen, nobles, clergymen, and commoners are all political actors. The body politic, in the words of this volume's editors, is 'perhaps the most vivid and enduring image in speech describing political community ever proposed.'" -- David Bevington, Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, University of Chicagoshow more

About Bernard J. Dobski

Bernard J. Dobski is Associate Professor of Political Science at Assumption College, where he teaches courses in international relations, American politics and political philosophy, including a course on Shakespeare's politics. He received his BA from Boston College and his MA and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He is the contributing co-editor of Souls With Longing: Representations of Honor and Love in Shakespeare (Lexington Books, 2011) and of "The Political Thought of William Shakespeare" (special issue of Perspectives on Political Science, 2012). He has published book chapters, articles, reviews and review essays on Thucydides, Xenophon, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, American foreign policy and just war theory in POLIS: The Journal For Ancient Greek Political Thought, Perspectives on Political Science, The Review of Politics, Interpretation, Society and The Review of Metaphysics. Dustin Gish has published articles, book chapters, review essays, and reviews on a wide range of topics in the history of political philosophy, including the political thought of Homer, Xenophon, Plato, William Shakespeare, and Thomas Jefferson. He is the contributing co-editor of Souls With Longing: Representations of Honor and Love in Shakespeare and of The Political Thought of Xenophon; his work has appeared in The Journal of Politics, History of Political Thought, Perspectives on Political Science, Polis, The Review of Politics, and Bryn Mawr Classical Review. He currently teaches ancient and early modern constitutionalism as Lecturer in the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage at the University of Oklahoma.show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Preface Chapter 1: Shakespeare and the Body Politic Bernard J. Dobski and Dustin Gish Part One: The Heart Chapter 2: "The Very Heart of Loss": Love and Politics in Antony and Cleopatra Joseph Alulis Chapter 3: Julius Caesar: The Problem of Classical Republicanism Timothy Burns Chapter 4: Who is Shakespeare's Julius Caesar? Nasser Behnegar Chapter 5: Love, Honor,and Community in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Pamela Jensen Part Two: The Limbs Chapter 6: At War 'Twixt Will and Will Not: Government, Marriage, and Grace in Measure for Measure Peter Meilaender Chapter 7: Trojan Horse or Troilus' Whore? Pandering Statecraft and Political Stagecraft in Troilus and Cressida Nalin Ranasinghe Chapter 8: Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece: Honor and Republicanism Robert Schaefer Chapter 9: Hotspur and Falstaff vs. The Politicians: Shakespeare's View of Honor Timothy Spiekerman Part Three: The Head Chapter 10: Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, and Philosophy: A Preliminary Inquiry George Anastaplo Chapter 11: Taming the Shrew: Shakespeare, Machiavelli, and Political Philosophy Dustin Gish Chapter 12: The Education of Edgar in Shakespeare's King Lear Laurence D. Nee Chapter 13: Shakespeare and the Comedy and Tragedy of Liberalism David K. Nichols List of Contributors Indexshow more

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