Sign up for our Email Newsletter Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Shakespeare and the Ethics of War

View Table of Contents

Volume 5

Shakespeare &

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Shakespeare and the Ethics of War

Edited by Patrick Gray

170 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-261-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2019)

ISBN  978-1-78920-262-5 $24.95/£19.95 Pb Published (September 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-263-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $24.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


How does Shakespeare represent war? This volume reviews scholarship to date on the question and introduces new perspectives, looking at contemporary conflict through the lens of the past. Through his haunting depiction of historical bloodshed, including the Trojan War, the fall of the Roman Republic, and the Wars of the Roses, Shakespeare illuminates more recent political violence, ranging from the British occupation of Ireland to the Spanish Civil War, the Balkans War, and the past several decades of U. S. military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Can a war be just? What is the relation between the ruler and the ruled? What motivates ethnic violence? Shakespeare’s plays serve as the frame for careful explorations of perennial problems of human co-existence: the politics of honor, the ethics of diplomacy, the responsibility of non-combatants, and the tension between idealism and Realpolitik.

Patrick Gray is Associate Professor of English Studies at Durham University. He is the author of Shakespeare and the Fall of the Roman Republic (Edinburgh University Press, 2018), co-editor with Lars Engle and William M. Hamlin of Shakespeare and Montaigne (Edinburgh University Press, 2020), and co-editor with John D. Cox of Shakespeare and Renaissance Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2014). His essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Textual Practice, Shakespeare Survey, Shakespeare Jahrbuch, Comparative Drama and The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Subject: Literary Studies Cultural Studies (General) Peace and Conflict Studies Media Studies


Chapter 1. Shakespeare and War: Honour at the Stake
Patrick Gray

Chapter 2. Shakespeare in Sarajevo: Theatrical and Cinematic Encounters with the Balkans War
Sara Soncini

Chapter 3. John of Lancaster’s Negotiation with the Rebels in 2 Henry IV: Fifteenth-Century Northern England as Sixteenth-Century Ireland
Jane Yeang Chui Wong

Chapter 4. Shakespeare’s Unjust Wars
Franziska Quabeck

Chapter 5. Sine Dolore: Relative Painlessness in Shakespeare’s Laughter at War
Daniel Derrin

Chapter 6. The Better Part of Stolen Valour: Counterfeits, Comedy and the Supreme Court
David Currell

Chapter 7. Hamletism in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39
Jesús Tronch

Chapter 8. Where Character Is King: Gregory Doran’s Henriad
Alice Dailey

Back to Top