Andrew Moore

Written by Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore is the Director of the Great Books Program at St. Thomas University. He is author of Shakespeare between Machiavelli and Hobbes (Lexington, 2016) and co-editor, with Sara MacDonald, of Mad Men: The Death and Redemption of American Democracy (Lexington, 2016).

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Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, written around 1592, is about as canonical as canonical gets. The play’s position in literary history (at the dawn of the Renaissance drama's golden age), along with its poetic inventiveness, and its thematic engagement with lofty ideas such as predestination, metaphysics, and morality have made it a fixture of college syllabi and a site of perennial…

No one would dispute that Shakespeare was interested in political questions. Much of his theatrical output focuses on medieval monarchs and ancient Roman civil wars. Plays such as The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure explicitly wrestle with political and legal dilemmas. Even Shakespeare’s more romantic and comical plots often revolve around crises of government, leadership, and citizenship. A…