Forthcoming: Shakespeare and Moral Agency

Forthcoming from Continuum, in February: Shakespeare and Moral Agency, edited by Michael D. Bristol (English, McGill University). To visit the press’ webpage for this title (which includes a PDF preview), please click here.

Here is the publisher’s description of the book:

Shakespeare and Moral Agency presents a collection of new essays by literary scholars and philosophers considering character and action in Shakespeare’s plays as heuristic models for the exploration of some salient problems in the field of moral inquiry. Together they offer a unified presentation of an emerging orientation in Shakespeare studies, drawing on recent work in ethics, philosophy of mind, and analytic aesthetics to construct a powerful framework for the critical analysis of Shakespeare’s works.

Contributors suggest new possibilities for the interpretation of Shakespearean drama by engaging with the rich body of contemporary work in the field of moral philosophy, offering significant insights for literary criticism, for pedagogy, and also for theatrical performance.

And here is the table of contents:

Introduction: Is Shakespeare a Moral Philosopher? Michael Bristol (McGill University, Canada)
Part I: The Agency of Agents
1. Moral Agency and Its Problems in Julius Caesar: Political Power, Choice, and History, Hugh Grady (Arcadia University, USA)
2. A Shakespearean Phenomenology of Moral Conviction, James A. Knapp (Eastern Michigan University, USA)
3. Wordplay and the Ethics of Self-Deception in Shakespeare’s Tragedies, Keira Travis (St. Francis Xavier University, Canada)
4. Excuses, Bepissing, and Non-Being: Shakespearean Puzzles about Agency, Richard Strier (The University of Chicago, USA)
Part II: Social Norms
5. Conduct (Un)becoming or, Playing the Warrior in Macbeth, Sharon O’Dair (University of Alabama, USA)
6. To “Tempt the Rheumy and Unpurged Air”: Contagion and Agency in Julius Caesar, Jennifer Feather (University of North Carolina, USA)
7. Moral Questions and Questionable Ethics in Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice, Kathryn R. Finin, (SUNY—Oneonta, USA)
8. “The oldest hath borne most”: the Burdens of Aging and the Morality of Uselessness in King Lear, Naomi C. Liebler (Montclair State University, USA)
Part III: Moral Characters
9. Quoting the Enemy: Character, Self-Interpretation, and the Question of Perspective in Shakespeare, Mustapha Fahmi(Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Canada)
10. The Fool, the Blind, and the Jew, Tzachi Zamir (The Hebrew University, Israel)
11. Agent-Regret in Shakespearean Tragedy, Andrew Escobedo (Ohio University, USA)
12.Agency and repentance in The Winter’s Tale, Gregory Currie (University of Nottingham, UK)
13. What’s Virtue Ethics Got to Do With It: Shakespearean Character as Moral Character, Sara Coodin (McGill University, Canada)

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