Through close readings of a wide range of plays and poems, Kiernan Ryan's compelling polemic sets out to reclaim the idea of Shakespeare's timeless universality from reactionary and radical critics alike. Its argument is driven throughout by the belief that at this moment in history the need to recognise and activate the revolutionary potential of Shakespeare's drama is more urgent than ever.
This volume was shortlisted for the European Society for the Study of English 2016 Prize for the best critical study in the field of Literatures in the English Language.
'[Ryan] argues powerfully against the 'arid antiquarianism' of historicist scholarship, and offers instead a Shakespeare always out of sync with his own time and thus able to transcend it ... [A] highly readable book.' Around the Globe