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Plutarch Shakespeare translation

Coriolanus Before Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s chief source for his great Roman plays — Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus — was the writings of Plutarch, a Greek of the second century A.D. In the case of Coriolanus, Shakespeare drew solely, or nearly so, from Plutarch’s “Life of Caius Martius Coriolanus.”  (He may also have taken a detail or two from the […]

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Adams (Henry) literature political ethics political novels politics

“Democracy” by Henry Adams

Henry Adams’s Democracy: An American Novel, was first published anonymously in 1880.  Its author never publicly acknowledged it as his work.  (It goes unmentioned in Adams’s autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, published after his death in 1918).  One hundred thirty-five years later, it retains its hold on readers’  imagination, a classic of U.S. political fiction.  Just a few years ago, it was chosen […]

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Hegel philosophy quotations Wittgenstein

“I’ll Show You Differences”: Wittgenstein contra Hegel

“Hegel seems to me to be always wanting to say that things that look different are really the same. Whereas my interest is in showing that things which look the same are really different. I was thinking of using as a motto for my book a quotation from King Lear: ‘I’ll show you differences.’ [laughing:] […]