Shakespearean tragedy and modern politics

April 28, 2017

An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on 27th January 2017, written by Stanley Wells, author of Shakespeare's Tragedies: A Very Short Introduction.

Shakespeare's Tragedies: A Very Short Introduction

"In his recent visit to England Barack Obama chose to tour Shakespeare’s Globe, on Bankside; and in the last days of his Presidency, when interviewed about his reading habits, he spoke touchingly and revealingly of his admiration for Shakespeare’s tragedies, and of what they had taught him. ‘I took this wonderful Shakespeare class in college’, he said, ‘where I just started to read the tragedies and dig into them. And that, I think, is foundational for me in understanding how certain patterns repeat themselves and play themselves out between human beings.’

Like Obama, another American President, Abraham Lincoln, greatly admired Shakespeare’s tragedies, especially Macbeth, ironically since he himself, like Duncan in that play, was to be the victim of an assassin..."

Discover more: Read the rest of the article on the OUPblog.


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