Shakespeare and Superheroes
Title
Shakespeare and Superheroes
Price
€ 63,99
ISBN
9781942401780
Format
eBook PDF (Adobe DRM)
Number of pages
104
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
Show Table of ContentsHide Table of Contents
Introduction I have shot mine arrow over the house, / And hurt my brother: Death and Redemption in Hamlet and Arrow Of Guise and Gals: Wonder Woman and Shakespearean Cross-Dressing Tonight at the Improv: Comedians Slay! Two Drink Minimum Postscript
Also available as
Hardback - € 63,95

Reviews and Features

Listen to the interview here.

What do Shakespeare and superheroes have in common? A penchant for lycra and capes? A flair for the dramatic? Well, according to Shakespeare scholar, English Professor and comic-book fan Jeffrey Kahan, the connection between Batman and the Bard runs much deeper. In his new book, Shakespeare and Superheroes (ARC Humanities Press, 2018), Kahan argues that Shakespeare’s work and the popular superhero comics of the past century are actually engaged in a meaningful dialogue with each other. Rather than simply exploring the influence of Shakespearean drama on the superhero genre or analysing the many comic-book adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, Kahan instead tackles the much more profound question of how these diverse canons engage with broader philosophical and cultural issues. In doing so, he draws highly original parallels between their respective ethical and epistemological stances. Over the course of three chapters, Kahan dissects the shared approach to issues of morality and free will evidenced in Hamlet and CW’s Arrow, analyses the figure of Wonder Woman through the lens of Shakespearean crossdressing, and explores the existential meta-humour of Othello’s Iago and Marvel’s Deadpool. Refusing to adhere to conventional academic hierarchies, Shakespeare and Superheroes provides new insights and fresh perspectives that will appeal equally to scholars of Early Modern literature and twentieth-century popular culture.

In a truly fascinating interview, Kahan discusses the thematic parallels between popular comic books and Shakespeare’s plays, the benefits of reading distinct literary works intertextually, and the role of academia in the current political climate.

Kahan encourages acts of heroism in daily life on his FB page BE SUPER!

"In Shakespeare and Superheroes, Kahan considers the resonances between the ways in which Shakespeare and Marvel Comics have each populated the fantasy worlds of millions. Kahan offers a powerful analysis — quite possibly while leaping tall buildings at a single bound." - Michael Dobson, Shakespeare Institute

Jeffrey Kahan

Shakespeare and Superheroes

This short book offers a series of thought experiments and invites Shakespeareans to rediscover the wonders and pleasures of fandom. Shakespeare Studies conferences and Comic-Cons are celebrations, unless, of course, the participants involved forget the nature of play. And that, in the instance of formal literary study, is arguably what has happened. Shakespeare and Superheroes does not argue that comic books can or should replace Shakespeare. The goal is to explore both, to think of comics as allusively Shakespearean, telling similar stories, expressing similar concerns, exploring similar values. Readers of Shakespeare and Superman alike may need to re-evaluate their assumptions and hierarchies; Shakespeare and Superheroes encourages all readers to engage in and to respond to literary arguments using their own personal tastes, interests, and experiences. The author argues that the more readers trust themselves, the more they bring of themselves to the text or texts, the greater the rewards.
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Author

Jeffrey Kahan

Jeffrey Kahan is the author of several books on Shakespeare and has been a featured speaker on BBC TV and NPR. He is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne and comic book nerd.