This in-depth collection of essays traces the changing reception of Shakespeare over the past four hundred years, during which time Shakespeare has variously been seen as the last great exponent of pre-modern Western culture, a crucial inaugurator of modernity, and a prophet of postmodernity. This fresh look at Shakespeare's plays is an important contribution to the revival of the idea of 'modernity' and how we periodise ourselves, and Shakespeare, at the beginning of a new millennium.

chapter |19 pages


Shakespeare and modernity
ByHugh Grady

chapter |20 pages

(Post)modern Elizabeth

Gender, politics, and the emergence of modern subjectivity
ByStephen Cohen

chapter |21 pages


Towards a theory of early modern audience response
ByCharles Whitney

chapter |24 pages

Shakespeare, modernity and the aesthetic

Art, truth and judgement in The Winter's Tale
ByJohn J. Joughin

chapter |20 pages

Measure for Measure and modernity

The problem of the sceptic's authority
ByLars Engle

chapter |17 pages

‘Jew. Shylock is my name'

Speech prefixes in The Merchant of Venice as symptoms of the early modern
ByJohn Drakakis

chapter |20 pages

The Merchant of Venice

‘Modern' anti-Semitism and the veil of allegory
ByLisa Freinkel

chapter |26 pages

Jewish invader and the soul of state

The Merchant of Venice and science fiction movies
ByEric S. Mallin

chapter |21 pages

Shakespeare and the end of history

Period as brand name
ByDouglas Bruster

chapter |22 pages

The Hamlet formerly known as Prince

ByLinda Charnes