Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Shakespeare and Politics

"Each city has its manners and its gods; the very life of the city depends on this particularism: to live, it must defend its ancestral way, which is a combination of human accidents and special institutions adapted to the here and now. Good citizenship implies a devotion to those ways; a universality, a cosmopolitanism that devoted itself to the essence of man as he is eternally, would destroy those roots of affection which are necessary to political life." -- Allan Bloom, Shakespeare's Politics, p. 46

As I begin to study this topic, I am gobsmacked by how I had missed just how political a writer Shakespeare really is: which of his plays don't concern politics in some way? And, of the major plays, which of them do not have politics at its center?

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