400 years after his death, Shakespeare is more politically charged than ever.
Shakespeare and Trump navigates the sustained encounter between the most important writer in the history of the English language and the most powerful person alive today. It begins with Steve Bannon writing two ridiculous Shakespeare adaptations in the 1990s. Then comes political torpedoes from Shakespeare scholars in the New York Times, students at Penn protesting Trump by trashing a monument to Shakespeare, and ultimately the assassination of a Trump-esque Julius Caesar in Central Park.
Revealing the modernity of Shakespeare’s politics, and the theatricality of Trump’s, this book brings a literary critic’s sensibility to our interpretation of the nightly news. There will be villainy. There will be comedy. And there will be tragedy. Through it all, Shakespeare brims with urgency, not the relic of the past some historicists want him to be. But this is not a political statement. It is an analytical statement, holding nostalgically to the notion that literature can help us understand life. Helping us place our moment in the larger themes of Western culture, Shakespeare and Trump shows what happens when a modern world working toward prosperity, equality, and justice for all confronts a medieval king claiming to be above the law and willing to do anything to save the old systems of power and wealth.