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Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics av Stephen…
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Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics (utgåvan 2018)

av Stephen Greenblatt (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
256877,917 (4.12)12
As an aging, tenacious Elizabeth I clung to power, a talented playwright probed the social causes, the psychological roots, and the twisted consequences of tyranny. In exploring the psyche (and psychoses) of the likes of Richard III, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolanus, and the societies they rule over, Stephen Greenblatt illuminates the ways in which William Shakespeare delved into the lust for absolute power and the catastrophic consequences of its execution.Cherished institutions seem fragile, political classes are in disarray, economic misery fuels populist anger, people knowingly accept being lied to, partisan rancor dominates, spectacular indecency rules--these aspects of a society in crisis fascinated Shakespeare and shaped some of his most memorable plays. With uncanny insight, he shone a spotlight on the infantile psychology and unquenchable narcissistic appetites of demagogues--and the cynicism and opportunism of the various enablers and hangers-on who surround them--and imagined how they might be stopped. As Greenblatt shows, Shakespeare's work, in this as in so many other ways, remains vitally relevant today.… (mer)
Medlem:vhl219
Titel:Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics
Författare:Stephen Greenblatt (Författare)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2018), Edition: 1, 224 pages
Samlingar:Owned
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Taggar:to-read

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Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics av Stephen Greenblatt

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Depressed by the election of the tyrant Donald Trump, Greenblatt took out his frustrations by writing a book that, without mentioning Trump by name, finds his character (or lack of it) portrayed across Shakespeare's own tyrants, from the English history plays to Lear, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, and Macbeth. It makes for painful reading. In Shakespeare's plays, tyrants eventually get their comeuppance. It remains to be seen whether Trump will get his. Life, unfortunately, does not imitate art. ( )
  datrappert | Apr 11, 2020 |
Greenblatt notes in the acknowledgments that this book came about because of his anxiety surrounding recent elections. I think this is a fantastic way of exploring those concerns - and is remarkably similar to what Shakespeare himself was doing. Greenblatt explains that Shakespeare used his historical plays to criticize and draw parallels while subverting contemporary treason laws; in this book, Greenblatt uses Shakespeare to criticize and draw parallels without naming names. (Of course, everyone knows exactly whom he's talking about.) ( )
  Midhiel | Mar 18, 2020 |
Excellent. Agree with earlbot88 regarding the section on Cade. What struck me hard about this book is the way it made me realize once again how thoroughly modern Shakespeare seems at times. By modern, I don't mean in the conventional sense of the 20th-century artistic movement, but in the sense that he would understand contemporary politics, sans our tech, with tremendous insight. I'm shocked by how relevant Shakespeare is to all of us. ( )
  bfsmith9 | Apr 13, 2019 |
Rarely have I enjoyed a piece of political commentary as much as I did Stephen Greenblatt’s Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics.

IIn William Shakespeare’s day, it wasn’t safe to disagree with power. Unlike today’s America, with the protections of the First Amendment, his world was governed by the near-absolute power of the monarch, the aging Queen Elizabeth. And speaking ill of the queen led to swift and often deadly punishment. Instead, the Bard through his plays would examine the ways and means of tyranny, delving into the past and into foreign lands to create his voices that could say what could not be said frankly (“Greenblatt is the Harvard Shakespeare expert who co-founded new historicism, the lit-crit practice that seeks to place works in their historical context.”)

In the vein of speaking obliquely, this is Greenblatt’s commentary on Donald Trump, though the president is not named in its pages. Instead, the Tyrant focuses on several of the same that appear in Shakespeare's plays, examining them in their foibles for the causes and results of their tyranny. The book is rooted in an article that Greenblatt wrote for the New York Times in 2016. At a friend’s encouragement, he expanded it to a full book. He focuses his examination on Macbeth, Richard III, Lear, Coriolanus and Leontes from A Winter’s Tale (notably leaving out Claudius, perhaps because he is more well-known than most).

While it is ostensibly a commentary on politics, it does not read like just another piece of political punditry or tribal drivel. On the contrary, Greenblatt makes Shakespeare accessible and, well, interesting, as well as providing principles that can be read and interpreted to apply to almost any power selfish politicians or businessman. Reading it is as enjoyable as watching Shakespeare performed well. As Constance Grady puts it in her review of the book, “There is a certain pleasure to watching Shakespeare’s tyrants work, to watching Richard III brazenly woo Lady Anne over the body of a man he killed or listening to Macbeth’s mournful, poetic speeches.”

Perhaps the biggest observation for me, and where the book most departs from other books that more directly take on Trump, is that Tyrant leaves the reader to make his own observations and conclusions. Here is what a tyrant does; is this what we are living through? ( )
1 rösta publiusdb | Apr 3, 2019 |
Timely and uncannily relevant. The chapter on Henry IV and the demagogue Jack Cade is so germane to the current times it gave me goosebumps. ( )
1 rösta earlbot88 | Jan 20, 2019 |
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As an aging, tenacious Elizabeth I clung to power, a talented playwright probed the social causes, the psychological roots, and the twisted consequences of tyranny. In exploring the psyche (and psychoses) of the likes of Richard III, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolanus, and the societies they rule over, Stephen Greenblatt illuminates the ways in which William Shakespeare delved into the lust for absolute power and the catastrophic consequences of its execution.Cherished institutions seem fragile, political classes are in disarray, economic misery fuels populist anger, people knowingly accept being lied to, partisan rancor dominates, spectacular indecency rules--these aspects of a society in crisis fascinated Shakespeare and shaped some of his most memorable plays. With uncanny insight, he shone a spotlight on the infantile psychology and unquenchable narcissistic appetites of demagogues--and the cynicism and opportunism of the various enablers and hangers-on who surround them--and imagined how they might be stopped. As Greenblatt shows, Shakespeare's work, in this as in so many other ways, remains vitally relevant today.

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