Shakespeare, Poet and Citizen
In this book the distinguished historian Victor Kiernan makes a case for seeing Shakespeare as a writer profoundly sensitive to the great social and political upheavals through which he lived. Shakespeare's poetic and dramatic achievement, Kiernan argues, was not something which transcended his environment but was directly enlarged by his civic consciousness and his critical reactions to a changing social fabric.
Shakespeare's phase of dramatic activity coincides with the first challenges to the institution of monarchy. Kiernan analyses the cycle of History plays in the light of the demise of feudal allegiances and the emergence of the modern state apparatus. He shows how the far-reaching transformations in social hierarchy which simultaneously began to take place are crucial to an understanding of the Comedies, in which confusion of identity, disguise and cross-dressing are central. And he examines the ways in which women's roles are affected by this nascent individualism, especially in relation to the ideas of romantic love around which the Comedies revolve.
Shakespeare: Poet and Citizen draws a vivid portrait of the outstanding dramatist of modernity. Lucid, scholarly and absorbing, it will be a rich resource for both students and the general reader.
What people are saying - Write a review
Shakespeare, poet and citizenUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Kiernan (modern history, Univ. of Edinburgh) explores "the connecting threads between what Shakespeare wrote and the environment whose air he breathed.'' This work deals mainly with the histories and ... Read full review
Shakespeare and the Theatre
Shakespeare and English History
The Comic Realm
Chance and Destiny Fate and Accident
Towards the Tragic
Other editions - View all
appear army audience become belongs better blood bring brother called century characters civil close Comedies comes common court death drama duke early Elizabethan England English expected fall Falstaff father fear feeling feudal fight follow force France French give hand hear Henry Histories honour Hotspur human ideas interest John keep kind king later least leave less lines living London look Lost marriage means mind moral nature never once opening play poet political poor Prince ready Richard romantic says scene seems sense Shakespeare shows side social society soldiers sonnets soon sort speech spirit stage taken talk tells theatre things thought true turn Venice wants woman women writers young