Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Shakespeare's Warriors: Heroes and Fools for Our Time

Prof. David Zucker.

From Yorkist and Lancastrian warriors, destroyers and heroes, Shakespeare shows ambivalent dramatic views. From patriotism to deception, bravery to cowardice and betrayal. the Richards and Henrys present a thorough picture of Renaissance dividedness about classical virtues of the warrior. In the tragedies, and in the "tragical satire" of 'Troilus And Cressida', Shakespeare converts the warrior ethos into thorough social satire. With 'Hamlet', 'Macbeth', and 'Coriolanus' as further studies of the military-heroic attitude, the warrior ethos disintegrates further even as those plays show eruptions of a knee-jerk medieval celebration of the rites of manhood and blood. The Shakespearean celebration and debunking is alive today in American attitudes toward its warriors.


Prof. David Zucker  (United States)
Professor of English
College of Liberal Arts
Qunnipiac University

I teach courses in Shakespeare, Milton and 17th Century, Modern Poetry; Ph.D. from Syracuse Univ.; B.A. Oberlin College. Published on Shakespeare, Phillip Roth, contemporary American poetry.

  • Warrior ethos
Person as Subject
  • Shakespeare

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)