Stephen Greenblatt - Author

About the Author

Stephen Greenblatt is the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University and is the founder of the school of literary criticism known as New Historicism. As visiting professor and lecturer at universities in England, Australia, the United States and elsewhere throughout the world, he has delivered such distinguished series of lectures as the Clarendon Lectures at Oxford and the University Public Lectures at Princeton. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships and has been President of the Modern Language Association. Professor Greenblatt is the author and co-author of nine books and the editor of ten others, including The Norton Anthology of English Literature (7th edition) and The Norton Shakespeare.

Featured books by Stephen Greenblatt

Other books by Stephen Greenblatt

Tyrant Shakespeare On Power

Tyrant Shakespeare On Power

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/05/2018

'Brilliant' - Sunday Times How does a truly disastrous leader - a sociopath, a demagogue, a tyrant - come to power? How, and why, does a tyrant hold on to power? And what goes on in the hidden recesses of the tyrant's soul? For help in understanding our most urgent contemporary dilemmas, William Shakespeare has no peer. As an ageing, tenacious Elizabeth I clung to power, a talented playwright probed the social and psychological roots and the twisted consequences of tyranny. What he discovered in his characters remains remarkably relevant today. With uncanny insight, he shone a spotlight on the infantile psychology and unquenchable narcissistic appetites of demagogues and imagined how they might be stopped. In Tyrant, Stephen Greenblatt examines the themes of power and tyranny in some of Shakespeare's most famous plays -- from the dominating figures of Richard III, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Coriolanus to the subtle tyranny found in Measure for Measure and The Winter's Tale. Tyrant is a highly relevant exploration of Shakespeare's work that sheds new light on the workings of power.

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/09/2017

Selected as a book of the year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Humans cannot live without stories. But one story has proved itself the most durable and hauntingly real of all time. The mythic tale of Adam and Eve has shaped conceptions of human origins and destiny for centuries. Stemming from a few verses in an ancient book, it became not just the foundation of three major world faiths, but has evolved through art, philosophy and science to serve as the mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of our fears and desires. What is it about Adam and Eve's story that fascinates us? What does it tell us about how our species lives, dies, works or has sex? In a quest that begins at the dawn of time, Stephen Greenblatt takes us from ancient Babylonia to the forests of east Africa. We meet evolutionary biologists and fossilised ancestors; we grapple with morality and marriage in Milton's Paradise Lost; and we decide if the Fall is the unvarnished truth or fictional allegory. Ultimately, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve allows us a new understanding of ourselves.

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2017

Bolder, even, than the ambitious books for which Stephen Greenblatt is already renowned, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve explores the enduring story of humanity's first parents. Comprising only a few ancient verses, the story of Adam and Eve has served as a mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of our fears and desires, as both a hymn to human responsibility and a dark fable about human wretchedness. Tracking the tale into the deep past, Greenblatt uncovers the tremendous theological, artistic, and cultural investment over centuries that made these fictional figures so profoundly resonant in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds and, finally, so very real to millions of people even in the present. With the uncanny brilliance he previously brought to his depictions of William Shakespeare and Poggio Bracciolini (the humanist monk who is the protagonist of The Swerve), Greenblatt explores the intensely personal engagement of Augustine, Durer, and Milton in this mammoth project of collective creation, while he also limns the diversity of the story's offspring: rich allegory, vicious misogyny, deep moral insight, and some of the greatest triumphs of art and literature. The biblical origin story, Greenblatt argues, is a model for what the humanities still have to offer: not the scientific nature of things, but rather a deep encounter with problems that have gripped our species for as long as we can recall and that continue to fascinate and trouble us today.

Will In The World How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Will In The World How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World is widely recognised to be the fullest and most brilliant account ever written of Shakespeare's life, his work and his age. Shakespeare was a man of his time, constantly engaging with his audience's deepest desires and fears, and by reconnecting with this historic reality we are able to experience the true character of the playwright himself. Greenblatt traces Shakespeare's unfolding imaginative generosity - his ability to inhabit others, to confer upon them his own strength of spirit, to make them truly live as independent beings as no other artist has ever done. Digging deep into the vital links between the playwright and his world, Will in the World provides the fullest account ever written of the living, breathing man behind the masterpieces.

Will in the World How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Will in the World How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2016

A young man from a small provincial town moves to London in the late 1580s and, in a remarkably short time, becomes the greatest playwright not of his age alone but of all time. How is an achievement of this magnitude to be explained? Stephen Greenblatt brings us down to earth to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life, could have become the world's greatest playwright.

Learning to Curse Essays in Early Modern Culture

Learning to Curse Essays in Early Modern Culture

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/12/2015

Stephen Greenblatt argued in these celebrated essays that the art of the Renaissance could only be understood in the context of the society from which it sprang. His approach - 'New Historicism' - drew from history, anthropology, Marxist theory, post-structuralism, and psychoanalysis and in the process, blew apart the academic boundaries insulating literature from the world around it. Learning to Curse charts the evolution of that approach and provides a vivid and compelling exploration of a complex and contradictory epoch.

The Norton Shakespeare Romances and Poems

The Norton Shakespeare Romances and Poems

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/10/2015

These individual volumes extracted from The Norton Shakespeare bring to readers a meticulously edited new text that reflects current textual-editing scholarship and introduces innovative teaching features. The print and digital bundles offer students a great reading experience in two ways-printed volumes for their lifetime library and digital editions ideal for in-class use. Every introduction, note, gloss and bibliography has been reconsidered in light of reviewers' suggestions, and new textual introductions and performance notes reflect the extensive new scholarship in these fields. The ebooks are accessed with The Norton Shakespeare Digital Edition registration code included in the print volumes.

The Norton Shakespeare

The Norton Shakespeare

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/09/2015

The Norton Shakespeare brings to readers a meticulously edited new text that reflects current textual-editing scholarship and introduces innovative teaching features. The print and digital bundle offers students a great reading experience in two ways-a printed volume for their lifetime library and a digital edition ideal for in-class use. Every play introduction, note, gloss and bibliography has been reconsidered in light of reviewers' suggestions, and new textual introductions and performance notes reflect the extensive new scholarship in these fields.

The Norton Shakespeare 3E Comedies

The Norton Shakespeare 3E Comedies

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/09/2015

These individual volumes extracted from The Norton Shakespeare bring to readers a meticulously edited new text that reflects current textual-editing scholarship and introduces innovative teaching features. The print and digital bundles offer students a great reading experience in two ways-printed volumes for their lifetime library and digital editions ideal for in-class use. Every introduction, note, gloss and bibliography has been reconsidered in light of reviewers' suggestions, and new textual introductions and performance notes reflect the extensive new scholarship in these fields. The ebooks are accessed with The Norton Shakespeare Digital Edition registration code included in the print volumes.

The Norton Shakespeare 3E Four Voluume with Registration Card

The Norton Shakespeare 3E Four Voluume with Registration Card

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/09/2015

These individual volumes extracted from The Norton Shakespeare bring to readers a meticulously edited new text that reflects current textual-editing scholarship and introduces innovative teaching features. The print and digital bundles offer students a great reading experience in two ways-printed volumes for their lifetime library and digital editions ideal for in-class use. Every introduction, note, gloss and bibliography has been reconsidered in light of reviewers' suggestions, and new textual introductions and performance notes reflect the extensive new scholarship in these fields. The ebooks are accessed with The Norton Shakespeare Digital Edition registration code included in the print volumes.

The Norton Shakespeare 3E Tragedies

The Norton Shakespeare 3E Tragedies

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2015

These individual volumes extracted from The Norton Shakespeare bring to readers a meticulously edited new text that reflects current textual-editing scholarship and introduces innovative teaching features. The print and digital bundles offer students a great reading experience in two ways-printed volumes for their lifetime library and digital editions ideal for in-class use. Every introduction, note, gloss and bibliography has been reconsidered in light of reviewers' suggestions, and new textual introductions and performance notes reflect the extensive new scholarship in these fields. The ebooks are accessed with The Norton Shakespeare Digital Edition registration code included in the print volumes.

The Norton Shakespeare

The Norton Shakespeare

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Other digital Release Date: 28/07/2015

The attractive print and digital bundle offers students a great reading experience at an affordable price in two ways-a hardcover volume for their dorm shelf and lifetime library, and a digital edition ideal for in-class use. Students can access the ebook from their computer, tablet, or smartphone via the registration code included in the print volume at no additional charge. As one instructor summed it up, It's a long overdue step forward in the way Shakespeare is taught.

Reynard the Fox A New Translation

Reynard the Fox A New Translation

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/03/2015

James Simpson's translation of the late-middle-English version restores Reynard as part of a tradition that extends to Animal Farm. With all new illustrations, Reynard the Fox is the animal fable's version of Homer's Odyssey (Stephen Greenblatt).

Hamlet in Purgatory Expanded Edition

Hamlet in Purgatory Expanded Edition

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/10/2013

In Hamlet in Purgatory, renowned literary scholar Stephen Greenblatt delves into his longtime fascination with the ghost of Hamlet's father, and his daring and ultimately gratifying journey takes him through surprising intellectual territory. It yields an extraordinary account of the rise and fall of Purgatory as both a belief and a lucrative institution--as well as a capacious new reading of the power of Hamlet. In the mid-sixteenth century, English authorities abruptly changed the relationship between the living and dead. Declaring that Purgatory was a false poem, they abolished the institutions and banned the practices that Christians relied on to ease the passage to Heaven for themselves and their dead loved ones. Greenblatt explores the fantastic adventure narratives, ghost stories, pilgrimages, and imagery by which a belief in a grisly prison house of souls had been shaped and reinforced in the Middle Ages. He probes the psychological benefits as well as the high costs of this belief and of its demolition. With the doctrine of Purgatory and the elaborate practices that grew up around it, the church had provided a powerful method of negotiating with the dead. The Protestant attack on Purgatory destroyed this method for most people in England, but it did not eradicate the longings and fears that Catholic doctrine had for centuries focused and exploited. In his strikingly original interpretation, Greenblatt argues that the human desires to commune with, assist, and be rid of the dead were transformed by Shakespeare--consummate conjurer that he was--into the substance of several of his plays, above all the weirdly powerful Hamlet. Thus, the space of Purgatory became the stage haunted by literature's most famous ghost. This book constitutes an extraordinary feat that could have been accomplished by only Stephen Greenblatt. It is at once a deeply satisfying reading of medieval religion, an innovative interpretation of the apparitions that trouble Shakespeare's tragic heroes, and an exploration of how a culture can be inhabited by its own spectral leftovers. This expanded Princeton Classics edition includes a new preface by the author.

The Norton Anthology of English Literature

The Norton Anthology of English Literature

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Other digital Release Date: 14/02/2013

The ninth edition offers more complete works, more teachable groupings than ever before and the apparatus teachers trust. Read by more than 8 million students, The Norton Anthology of English Literature sets the standard. New longer texts include: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in Simon Armitage's new translation, Sidney's Defense of Poetry, Wycherley's The Country Wife, Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and Beckett's Waiting for Godot (exclusive to Norton).

The Norton Anthology of English Literature

The Norton Anthology of English Literature

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Other digital Release Date: 11/02/2013

The Ninth Edition offers more complete works and more teachable groupings than ever before, the apparatus you trust, and a new, free Supplemental Ebook with more than 1,000 additional texts. Read by more than 8 million students, The Norton Anthology of English Literature sets the standard and remains an unmatched value. The Norton Anthology of English Literature is now available as an interactive ebook, at just a fraction of the print price.

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Major Authors

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Major Authors

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2013

The Major Authors Ninth Edition provides new selections and visual and media support, plus a new, free Supplemental Ebook. Firmly grounded by the hallmark strengths of all Norton Anthologies, and with the apparatus you trust, The Norton Anthology of English Literature sets the standard and remains an unmatched value.

The Swerve How the Renaissance Began

The Swerve How the Renaissance Began

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2012

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2012 Almost six hundred years ago, a short, genial man took a very old manuscript off a library shelf. With excitement, he saw what he had discovered and ordered it copied. The book was a miraculously surviving copy of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things by Lucretius and it changed the course of history. He found a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas - that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion. These ideas fuelled the Renaissance, inspiring Botticelli, shaping the thoughts of Montaigne, Darwin and Einstein. An innovative work of history by one of the world's most celebrated scholars and a thrilling story of discovery, The Swerve details how one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, made possible the world as we know it. Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction

Shakespeare's Freedom

Shakespeare's Freedom

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/01/2012

Shakespeare lived in a world of absolutes - the absolute authority claimed for God over the world, for the holy scriptures over the faithful, monarchs over subjects, fathers over wives and children, men over women, the old over the young, and the gentle over the baseborn. With the elegance and verve for which he is well known, Stephen Greenblatt, author of the best-selling Will in the World , shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to such absolute claims and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them. Greenblatt explores this rich theme by addressing four of Shakespeare's preoccupations across all the genres in which he worked: beauty, hatred, authority, and autonomy. He considers Shakespeare's challenge to the cult of featureless perfection, his sense of the inherent limits of murderous hatred, his awareness of the ethical ambiguity of power, and his doubt that artists, guided by distinctive forms of perception, were at liberty to create without constraints of any kind. A book that could only have been written by Stephen Greenblatt, Shakespeare's Freedom is a wholly original and eloquent meditation by the most acclaimed and influential Shakespearean of our time.

Shakespeare's Freedom

Shakespeare's Freedom

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/11/2010

Shakespeare lived in a world of absolutes-of claims for the absolute authority of scripture, monarch, and God, and the authority of fathers over wives and children, the old over the young, and the gentle over the baseborn. With the elegance and verve for which he is well known, Stephen Greenblatt, author of the best-selling Will in the World, shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to such absolutes and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them. Again and again, Shakespeare confounds the designs and pretensions of kings, generals, and churchmen. His aversion to absolutes even leads him to probe the exalted and seemingly limitless passions of his lovers. Greenblatt explores this rich theme by addressing four of Shakespeare's preoccupations across all the genres in which he worked. He first considers the idea of beauty in Shakespeare's works, specifically his challenge to the cult of featureless perfection and his interest in distinguishing marks. He then turns to Shakespeare's interest in murderous hatred, most famously embodied in Shylock but seen also in the character Bernardine in Measure for Measure. Next Greenblatt considers the idea of Shakespearean authority-that is, Shakespeare's deep sense of the ethical ambiguity of power, including his own. Ultimately, Greenblatt takes up Shakespearean autonomy, in particular the freedom of artists, guided by distinctive forms of perception, to live by their own laws and to claim that their creations are singularly unconstrained. A book that could only have been written by Stephen Greenblatt, Shakespeare's Freedom is a wholly original and eloquent meditation by the most acclaimed and influential Shakespearean of our time.

Renaissance Self-fashioning From More to Shakespeare

Renaissance Self-fashioning From More to Shakespeare

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/10/2005

Renaissance Self-Fashioning is a study of sixteenth-century life and literature that spawned a new era of scholarly inquiry. Stephen Greenblatt examines the structure of selfhood as evidenced in major literary figures of the English Renaissance - More, Tyndale, Wyatt, Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare - and finds that in the early modern period new questions surrounding the nature of identity heavily influenced the literature of the era. Now a classic text in literary studies, Renaissance Self-Fashioning continues to be of interest to students of the Renaissance, English literature, and the new historicist tradition, and this new edition includes a preface by the author on the book's creation and influence.

The Greenblatt Reader

The Greenblatt Reader

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/12/2004

Stephen Greenblatt is one of the most influential practitioners of new historicism. This Reader makes available in one volume Greenblatt's most important writings on culture, Renaissance studies, and Shakespeare. It also features occasional pieces on subjects as diverse as story-telling and miracles, demonstrating the range of his cultural interests. Taken together, the texts collected here dispel the idea that new historicism is antithetical to literary and aesthetic value.

The Greenblatt Reader

The Greenblatt Reader

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/12/2004

Stephen Greenblatt is one of the most influential practitioners of new historicism. This Reader makes available in one volume Greenblatt's most important writings on culture, Renaissance studies, and Shakespeare. It also features occasional pieces on subjects as diverse as story-telling and miracles, demonstrating the range of his cultural interests. Taken together, the texts collected here dispel the idea that new historicism is antithetical to literary and aesthetic value.

New World Encounters

New World Encounters

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/1993

The discovery of the Indies, wrote Francisco Lopez de Gomara in 1552, was the greatest event since the creation of the world, excepting the Incarnation and Death of Him who created it. Five centuries have not diminished either the overwhelming importance or the strangeness of the early encounter between Europeans and American peoples. This collection of essays, encompassing history, literary criticism, art history, and anthropology, offers a fresh and innovative approach to the momentous encounter.

Redrawing the Boundaries

Redrawing the Boundaries

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/01/1992

In this collection of essays, twenty-four leading scholars examine the major developments that have expanded the horizons of English and American literary studies during recent decades.Redrawing the Boundaries reviews the significant scholarship for major historical periods and surveys new directions in literary criticism and in composition studies. Each essay is accompanied by an annotated list of suggestions for further reading; the book concludes with an extensive list of works cited and a name index.For scholars, teachers, and students of literature, this remarkable work provides an essential overview of traditions and innovations that make up English and American literary studies today.

Redrawing the Boundaries The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies

Redrawing the Boundaries The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies

Author: Stephen Greenblatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/01/1992

This admirable compilation . . . invites the reader to spy upon, with full impunity, all that has been going on in literary studies in recent years. -American Studies International

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