Synopses & Reviews
From one of the worlds premier Shakespeare scholars, author of Shakespeare After All
(“the indispensable introduction to the indispensable writer”–Newsweek
): a magisterial new study whose premise is “that Shakespeare makes modern culture and that modern culture makes Shakespeare.”
Shakespeare has determined many of the ideas that we think of as “naturally” our own and even as “naturally” true–ideas about human character, individuality and selfhood, government, leadership, love and jealousy, men and women, youth and age. Yet many of these ideas, timely as ever, have been reimagined–are indeed often now first encountered–not only in modern fiction, theater, film, and the news but also in the literature of psychology, sociology, political theory, business, medicine, and law.
Marjorie Garber delves into ten plays to explore the interrelationships between Shakespeare and twentieth century and contemporary culture–from James Joyces Ulysses to George W. Bushs reading list. In The Merchant of Venice, she looks at the question of intention; in Hamlet, the matter of character; in King Lear, the dream of sublimity; in Othello, the persistence of difference; and in Macbeth, the necessity of interpretation. She discusses the conundrum of man in The Tempest; the quest for exemplarity in Henry V; the problem of fact in Richard III; the estrangement of self in Coriolanus; and the untimeliness of youth in Romeo and Juliet.
Shakespeare and Modern Culture is a tour de force reimagining of our own mental and emotional landscape as refracted through the prism of protean “Shakespeare.”
About the Author
Marjorie Garber is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English and American Literature and Language, and Chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, at Harvard University. Shakespeare After All was named one of the five best nonfiction books of 2004 by Newsweek and received the 2005 Christian Gauss Book Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Shakespeare and Modern Culture
1. The Tempest, or the Conundrum of Man
2. Romeo and Juliet, or the Untimelieness of Youth
3. Coriolanus, or the Estrangement of Self
4. Macbeth, or the Necessity of Interpretation
5. Richard III, or the Problem of Fact
6. The Merchant of Venice, or the Question of Intention
7. Othello, or the Persistence of Difference
8. Henry V, or the Quest for Exemplarity
9. Hamlet, or the Matter of Character
10. King Lear, or the Dream of Sublimity
Afterword: The Rest Is Shakespeare