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Shakespeare and the Good Life: Ethics and Politics in Dramatic Form (Paperback)
  • Shakespeare and the Good Life: Ethics and Politics in Dramatic Form (Paperback)

Shakespeare and the Good Life: Ethics and Politics in Dramatic Form (Paperback)

Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 13/11/1997
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In this engaging and accessible book, distinguished scholar David Lowenthal demonstrates that each of Shakespeare's plays examines certain fundamental issues of moral and political life. Lowenthal discusses some of the Bard's best-known plays, and elicits the problem (and solution) occupying each one. Every component of a Shakespearean drama, argues Lowenthal, including plot, characters, and speeches, can be understood and explained as deriving from the particular issue that play examines. However, Shakespeare wanted to be known as a poet, not a philosopher. Lowenthal shows how and why Shakespeare achieved his goal, and in so doing he illuminates Shakespeare's artistry in a unique and compelling way. Anyone who has marveled at the beauty and complexity of the plays of Shakespeare will be grateful for Lowenthal's insightful exploration of their deeper meaning.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780847688456
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm

I share Lowenthal's view that a fascination with issues of ethics and politics propelled Shakespeare into some of his finest work. Lowenthal surely shows how deeply the plays are interested in the "political," in the broadest and most humane sense. He writes clearly in a way that makes the book accessible to many readers, and is not afraid to talk about 'meaning, ' as Harold Goddard did some decades ago.--Bevington, David
On a lazy summer afternoon, political theorists who love Shakespeare will enjoy perusing David Lowenthal's Shakespeare and the Good Life. They will find excellent prose, ideas from classical philosophy strikingly juxtaposed with Shakespeare's thought, and evidence of a keen intellect reading and rereading seven of Shakespeare's best known plays. . . . I reiterate that this book is delightful to read and I recommend it quite highly for its heuristic value. It will make every reader think again about Shakespeare.--J. Scott Johnson "American Political Science Review "
RQLowenthal's scholarship in this book is exemplary, often definitive. On most of the plays treated--The Tempest,Julius Caesar,King Lear,The Merchant of Venice--his contribution is unsurpassed.--Alvis, John
[Lowenthal] provides a healthy antidote to disturbing trends in contemporary Shakespeare criticism. . . . many Shakespeare critics today view the playwright as a mere child of his time, mired in a variety of Renaissance biases and prejudices. By contrast, Lowenthal is searching for what is timeless in Shakespeare, his insight into the perennial questions of philosophy. . . . One comes away from Lowenthal's book with a renewed respect for Shakespeare's artistry and for the profundity of thought embodied in the plays.--Cantor, Paul A. "Review Of Metaphysics "
Shakespeare and the Good Life is a rich contribution to the field of philosophical political Shakespeare interpretation.--Jeffrey Tessier

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