RIT Lecture Series Looks at Shakespeare’s Politics

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Shakespeare winks at posterity

William Shakespeare’s plays can reveal as much about today’s political leadership and statesmanship as a modern-day newspaper.

Shakespeare’s Politics, a lecture series hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of Political Science, will examine the actions, deliberations, mistakes and successes of Shakespeare’s characters and policy makers. The series, free and open to the public-, starts this month on the RIT campus with:

  • Shakespeare’s Republicanism, by John Alvis, professor of English at the University of Dallas, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, Carlson Building, room 1125.
  • Queen Elizabeth: The Rhetorical Foundations of Politics, by George Anastaplo, professor of law at Loyola University Chicago, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, Carlson Building, room 1125.

    "At a time when the international political arena is characterized by uncertainty, I can think of nothing more important than reflecting upon the nature of statesmanship and political leadership," says Sean Sutton, professor of political science. "For those interested in practical politics, the plays provide an opportunity to reflect upon the actions and deliberations of Shakespeare’s characters.

    The plays are useful preliminaries for discussing the fundamental question of political leadership and statesmanship: Given the circumstances, what is the best course of action to take?"

    Anastaplo’s lecture is part of Humanities Month, sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the presence of the humanities in New York state’s cultural and intellectual life.