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Shakespeare and Politics

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex) explores the political concerns relevant to Shakespeare’s plays. In the first module, we explore the political landscape of Shakespeare’s day, especially the right of the people to depose a bad monarch. In the second, we look at ‘the English scene’ in Macbeth, and the necessary virtues of a good monarch. In the third, we examine the use of rhetoric in Richard III, and the ways in which it can be used for evil. We continue to look at rhetoric in the fourth module, as it appears in Brutus’ speech in Julius Caesar, and the symptoms of the decline of the Roman Republic. In the fifth, we consider Hamlet and the question of tyranny. Finally, in the sixth, we bring these themes to a conclusion.

About the Lecturer

Professor Andrew Hadfield is Professor of English at the University of Sussex. His research and teaching focuses on Early Modern Literature. His publications include Lying in early modern English culture: From the oath of supremacy to the oath of allegiance (2017) and Shakespeare and Republicanism (2005).