Los Angeles Times

In 'Tyrant,' Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt turns to Shakespeare for answers to Trump

"Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics" by Stephen Greenblatt; W.W. Norton & Co. (212 pages, $21.95)


Donald Trump may go unmentioned in Stephen Greenblatt's "Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics," but our divisive, norm-trampling president haunts nearly every page of this slim and stirring, if understandably hurried, book.

The work, the fruit of a discipline that might be described as applied Shakespeare, joins a growing body of intellectual journalism that has sought guidance in literature after one of the more baffling turns in American political history.

What can Shakespeare or Plato or Machiavelli or Herman Melville teach us about Trump? This genre, which I have contributed to myself in an essay in these pages that turned to "Julius Caesar" and "Coriolanus" during the incendiary 2016 Republican primary, will

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times4 min read
LZ Granderson: Sports Can't Be The Fantasy World We Use To Avoid Reality
LOS ANGELES - Before talking about Dan Le Batard's recent comments regarding ESPN's apolitical stance post-Jemele Hill, I first want to share a story about my friend Gwen Ifill, who passed away from cancer shortly after the 2016 election. The last ti
Los Angeles Times2 min readFood & Wine
For A Taste Of The Mediterranean At Home, Try This Vegan Lentil Salad Recipe
Are you pedaling a bike through the fields of Provence? Strolling a village in Spain? Me neither. But this dish makes me feel like I'm getting a taste of that life. French le Puy lentils stay nice and firm even after they're cooked through, making th
Los Angeles Times5 min read
Puerto Ricans Press For Gov. Rossello's Resignation Ahead Of Major Protest Monday
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Alexa Padilla stood near the Puerto Rico governor's official residence, a historic 16th century structure known as La Fortaleza, on Saturday checking her phone for any word on whether Ricardo Rossello would resign. Nothing. "I