Liberty and Responsibility in Plutarch and Shakespeare


This conference explored the dynamics between liberty, responsibility, and personal ambition in Shakespeare’s three Roman plays, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus, as they relate to his chief source, Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans. Both writers focus on leaders within a republic, either newly instituted or in its waning stages, who are conquerors turned statesmen.


Conference Readings

William Shakespeare. Julius Caesar. Edited by William and Barbara Rosen. New York: Signet Classic, 1986.

William Shakespeare. Antony and Cleopatra. Edited by Barbara Everett. New York: Signet Classics, 1988.

Plutarch. Plutarch Selected Lives. Edinburgh: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 1998.

Shakespeare, William. Coriolanus. Edited by Jonathan Crewe, A. R. Braunmuller, and Stephen Orgel. New York: Penguin Group, 1999.