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

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