A new take on an icon you thought you knew
Shakespeare is a genius whose timeless works encapsulate the human condition like no other. Right? But is this Shakespeare? How well do you really know what Shakespeare was all about?
Inspired by her new book, This Is Shakespeare, Oxford academic Emma Smith presents an electrifying new take which thrives on revealing, not resolving, the ambiguities of Shakespeare's plays and their changing topicality. She introduces an intellectually, theatrically and ethically exciting writer who engages with intersectionality as much as with Ovid, with economics as much as poetry: who writes in strikingly modern ways about individual agency, privacy, politics, celebrity and sex.
Emma takes us into a world of politicking and copy-catting, as we watch Shakespeare emulating the blockbusters of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd, the Spielberg and Tarantino of their day; flirting with and skirting round the cut-throat issues of succession politics, religious upheaval and technological change.
The Shakespeare of this new interpretation poses awkward questions rather than offering bland answers, always implicating us in working out what it might mean.
Emma Smith is lecturer in English at the University of Oxford, Professor of Shakespeare Studies, and a Fellow of Hertford College. She has published widely on Shakespeare and on other early modern dramatists.
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