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Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics Paperback – May 14, 2019

4.6 out of 5 stars 386 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Greenblatt is especially fine on the mechanisms of tyranny, its ecology, so to speak, leaving one deeply moved all over again by Shakespeare’s profound and direct understanding of what it is to be human―which includes, alas, being a tyrant."
Simon Callow, New York Times Book Review

"Rarely have these blood-soaked creatures seemed so recognizably human and so contemporary."
John Lithgow

"Elegant and deftly written."
Eliot A. Cohen, Washington Post

"Greenblatt shows us not only that Shakespeare’s writings can serve as a brilliant guide to the mess of our current politics but also that he―Greenblatt, that is―is perfectly well able to give us an account of them."
Los Angeles Review of Books

"Shakespeare lived five centuries ago, yet Greenblatt’s book has the feel of a series of urgent and very contemporary dispatches."
Christian Science Monitor

"Mr. Greenblatt breaks with the traditional assumption that Shakespeare must have been an uncritical admirer of monarchy. The Shakespeare that this book reveals is not only able to tell a bad king from a good but willing to raise serious doubts about monarchy as a regime."
Wall Street Journal

"An engaging study of some of the most eloquent despots on stage."
Guardian

"In
Tyrant, Greenblatt demonstrates the enduring relevance of Shakespeare’s outlook as much as providing a commentary…Shakespeare’s voice rings down the ages, and, as with innumerable other human matters, we would do well to listen to it."
Independent

"[
Tyrant] is valuable less for what it has to say about Shakespeare’s plays than for how it applies the wisdom it has acquired through careful study of these works to the crisis roiling American democracy."
Los Angeles Times

"Shakespeare’s fascination with the tyrannical impulse, in domestic as well as political settings, is undeniable and is acutely observed by Greenblatt. The overlap between the private and public spheres is always catastrophic, as is the tyrant’s blind, psychotic fury at resistance when pure obedience is expected, an emotion the plays release and explore compulsively."
Literary Review (UK)

About the Author

Stephen Greenblatt (Ph.D. Yale) is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Also General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, he is the author of eleven books, including Tyrant, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve: The Story that Created Us,The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize); Shakespeare's Freedom; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World; Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture; and Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. He has edited seven collections of criticism, including Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. His honors include the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize, for both Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England and The Swerve, the Sapegno Prize, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, the Wilbur Cross Medal from the Yale University Graduate School, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (May 14, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0393356973
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0393356977
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.3 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 386 ratings

About the author

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Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and The Norton Shakespeare, he is also the author of thirteen books, including The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve; The Swerve: How the World Became Modern; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Practicing New Historicism; Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World; and Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture. He has edited six collections of criticism, is the co-author (with Charles Mee) of a play, Cardenio, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. He was named the 2016 Holberg Prize Laureate. Additional honors include the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize, for Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Philosophical Society.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
386 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2018
70 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2018
52 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2019
25 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2018
39 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Ms Louise Wilford
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting but too short
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2018
3 people found this helpful
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Chloe
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2018
4 people found this helpful
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von Nichthoven
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book about Trump
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2019
2 people found this helpful
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Geek Goddess
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting take on Shakespeare
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 28, 2019
3 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting and easily engaging book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 31, 2019
One person found this helpful
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