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Shakespeare Unlimited podcast

Stephen Greenblatt on Shakespeare's Tyrants

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 100

“How is it possible for a whole country to fall into the hands of a tyrant? That’s a deeply unsettling question that Shakespeare grappled with again and again.”

Stephen Greenblatt’s new book Tyrant explores tyranny in Shakespeare’s plays. In the 100th episode of Shakespeare Unlimited, we talk with the eminent Shakespeare scholar about characters like Richard III and Macbeth; how societies allow tyranny to pop up; and how and why Shakespeare used its depiction in his work to stir the audiences of his time.

Stephen Greenblatt is the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Tyrant was published in 2018 by W. W. Norton & Company. Greenblatt is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

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From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published June 12, 2018. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. “He Affects Tyrannical Power” was produced by Garland Scott. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. Esther French is the web producer. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Evan Marquardt at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California, and Graham Ball at Harvard University’s office of Public Affairs & Communications.