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Playing Shakespeare's Villains

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Edited By Louis Fantasia

The essays in Playing Shakespeare’s Villains trouble our assumptions of what—and who—constitutes "villainy" in Shakespeare’s works, through probing and provocative analyses of the murky moral logics at play in the Bard’s oeuvre. Shakespeare spreads before us a panoply of evil, villainy, and amorality—of characters doing bad things for good reasons, bad things for bad reasons, and bad things for no reason at all. How does Shakespeare handle culpability and consequence? How much does he justify his villains’ actions? How much do we enjoy watching people get away with murder and mayhem? What are we to make of the moral universe that Shakesperare presents: a universe in which some villains are punished and others seem to be rewarded; where mischief can quickly turn violent; and where an entire world can be brought down by someone’s willful insistence on having one’s way? Questions like these animate the discussions in this lively volume, the second in the Playing Shakespeare’s Characters series.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Fantasia, Louis, editor. Title: Playing Shakespeare’s villains / Louis Fantasia. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2019. Series: Playing Shakespeare’s characters; vol. 2 ISSN 2575-9191 (print) | ISSN 2575-9205 (online) Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2019005213 | ISBN 978-1-4331-5327-3 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-5328-0 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-5329-7 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-5333-4 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616—Characters—Villains. Villains in literature. Classification: LCC PR2992.V5 P55 2019 | DDC 822.3/3—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019005213| DOI 10.3726/b15455 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

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