Shakespeare and Modernity
Shakespeare has variously been seen as the last great exponent of pre-modern Western culture, a crucial inaugurator of modernity, and a prophet of postmodernity. This exciting collection of essays probes these varying perceptions of Shakespeare’s relation to modernity and tracing the changing reception of Shakespeare over the past four hundred years. Along the way it provides fascinating insights into: * the nature of individuality, identity, and the self * the inter-relations of the rise of capitalism, nation-states, modern gender roles and secular culture * the development of art as a secular and critical mode of knowledge * the beginnings of Western colonialism, racism, and anti-Semitism. This fresh look at Shakespeare’s plays is an important contribution to the revival of the idea of ”modernity” and how we periodise ourselves, and Shakespeare, at the beginning of a new millennium.