Dr. Thomas Fleming, “Shakespeare: The Antidote to Progress” (MP3 Download)


Run Time: 47 minutes

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The story of history told in our day is usually told as part of a narrative of progress, but Shakespeare’s History Plays contain a premodern narrative about the conflicts of history. In plays such as Richard II, the Bard teaches us to see beyond the progressive narrative of “Whig history,” and turns our attention to concepts such as the reality of honor, legitimacy, and treason. While the Whig historians identify past conflicts to present political concerns, the Bard recreates the particular pressures of his historical drama, inserting his audience into a different world than their own. According to Dr. Fleming, Shakespeare is “a fresh wind in a world of ideological history.”

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