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Geopolitical Shakespeare : Western Entanglements from Internationalism to Cold War - Erica Sheen

Geopolitical Shakespeare

Western Entanglements from Internationalism to Cold War

By: Erica Sheen

Hardcover | 22 June 2024

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Geopolitical Shakespeare: Western Entanglements from Internationalism to Cold War examines the entanglement of Shakespearean culture in the geopolitical dynamics of the post-war West. Taking its cue from a speech given by Albert Einstein in London in 1933, in which Shakespeare is cited as an example of the Western value of personal and intellectual freedom, this book explores a series of events between 1945 and 1955 featuring key historical figures--scientists, international lawyers, diplomats and politicians, writers, actors, and filmmakers--who experienced the tensions of the early Cold War through Shakespeare, or called on him to articulate this new post-war world. Erica Sheen examines political, diplomatic, cultural, and economic interactions within 'core' Western power relations--the USA, UK, and Europe, with particular reference to Germany--in which Shakespeare, or the idea of Shakespeare, was entangled in the struggle for new ideas and social structures.

The subjects of this book include John Humphrey and the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Nuremberg Trials and the foundation of West Germany; Noel Annan and the Berlin Elizabethan Festival; an American production of Hamlet in Elsinore; Laurence Olivier, David Selznick, and the Shakespeare film in post-war Hollywood; Graham Greene and The Third Man; and Carl Schmitt and Salvador de Madariaga on Hamlet in post-war Europe. In each of these case studies, Sheen discovers a Shakespeare for our time: engaged in contestations of territoriality in cultures of international law and human rights, theatre, film, and literature.

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