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Playing Shakespeare’s Monarchs and Madmen


Edited By Louis Fantasia

Playing Shakespeare’s Monarchs and Madmen is the third volume in the Peter Lang series, Playing Shakespeare’s Characters. As in the previous volumes, a broad range of contributors (actors, directors, scholars, educators, etc.) analyze the concepts of monarchy, leadership, melancholy and madness with not only references to Elizabethan and Jacobean studies, but also to Trump, Brexit, cross-gender and multi-cultural casting. What does it mean to “play the king” in the 21st century? What is the role of an “all-licensed” Fool in the age of spin? Who gets to represent the power dynamics in Shakespeare’s plays? This volume looks at the Henrys, Richards, Hamlets, Lears and various other dukes and monarchs and explores the ways in which men—and women—approach these portrayals of power and the lessons they hold for us today.

Louis Fantasia: Introduction: A Mad World, My Masters! – Heather James: The Crack-Up: Modernity and the Mind of Richard II – Chris Anthony: Shakespeare’s Henry IV: Youth and Veterans – Janna Segal: Re-"Claiming from the Female": Shakespeare’s Henry V – Terri Power: Once More into the ‘Breeches’: Female Portrayals of Shakespeare’s Monarchs – Elaine Turner: Measure for Measure – Michael Peter Bolus: Fortune’s Knave: Sex, Politics and Machiavellian Doctrine in Antony & Cleopatra – Jessie Lee Mills: My Poor Fool: A Case for and against Double Casting Cordelia and the Fool in King Lear – Timothy Harris: Through Hamlet’s Eyes – Louis Fantasia: A Hamlet Autopsy – List of Contributors.