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Shakespeare and America
Shakespeare’s plays present a perspective necessary for the study of American politics first of all because they encompass an array of regimes: Greek and Roman (from republic to empire); Christian and barbarian; and monarchic, tyrannic, aristocratic and commercial. In addition, unlike the authors of classical antiquity, Shakespeare presented in his writings a detailed thought-provoking account of the relationship between Christianity and politics, a relationship central to American politics. Finally, Shakespeare offers an unsurpassed commentary on the character of monarchy, the form of governance against which the American political order was founded. In so far as the momentum of that founding still governs American politics, it is critical to understand what set it in motion.