Shakespeare's Politics is an invaluable introduction to the political world of Shakespeare's plays. It includes passages from the plays together with extracts from contemporary historical and political documents. The clear, jargon-free narrative introduces and explains the extracts and provides an overview of the key political issues that were debated in late Elizabethan and early Stuart England.
The introduction outlines the historical context in which Shakespeare wrote and explains the intellectual principles that informed early modern thinking about politics. By reading Shakespeare alongside contemporary documents students will be able to develop their own informed critical interpretations of the plays. Shakespeare's Politics is essential for anyone studying Shakespeare while tutors and postgraduate students will find the book's up-to-date survey of modern Shakespeare criticism useful and provocative.
"A new revised and enlarged edition of Robin Headlam Wells' book will be widely welcomed. It combines the features of a reader and a monograph, offering students long quotations from the non-fictional prose works that they (and to many of their teachers) never get around to reading Wells is no slave to fashion, and with Augustan assurance draws a cultural map that is refreshingly conservative, looking at Shakespearean texts in the light of sixteenth century debates, which have too often been ignored by scholars who want to see his plays refracted through the glass of twenty-first century theory."- Michael Hattaway, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University of Sheffield
'Shakespeare's Politics is a learned and insightful book.' - Around the Globe, 2010