The Tainted Muse: Prejudice and Presumption in Shakespeare and His Time


Product Details

Yale University Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author

Robert Brustein was founding director of the Yale Repertory Theatre and of the American Repertory Theatre and was drama critic for the New Republic for almost fifty years. He is the author of six plays, eleven adaptations, and sixteen books, including The Theater of Revolt and Millennial Stages: Essays and Reviews, 2001-2005, published by Yale University Press. He lives in Cambridge, MA.


"As a panoramic view of Shakespeare's universe as it evolved from the early history plays and Marlowe imitations to mature comedies, searing tragedies, and relatively benign, autumnal romances, this book is an unalloyed pleasure."--Morris Dickstein, Graduate Center of the City University of New York--Morris Dickstein

"Readers of Robert Brustein's books will welcome this tough-minded analysis of Shakespeare's plays and the prejudices of his age. Brustein's bold and brilliant book is must reading for Shakespeare's most ardent admirers as well as for those who are troubled by some of Shakespeare's views on sex, race, and religion."--Robert Pack, author of Willing to Choose: Volition and Choice in Shakespeare's Plays

--Robert Pack

"A wonderful book--once again Robert Brustein gives us fresh insights and new information in a most entertaining way."--Christopher Walken, actor

--Christopher Walken

"Brustein's lucid and immensely readable study invites us to encounter Shakespeare's plays as reflections of a man wrestling both with his society and with the failures and longing of his own spirit."--Carey Perloff, Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theater

--Carey Perloff

"The Tainted Muse is an untainted lens through which to see Shakespeare as never before--what sets him firmly apart from us, and also what makes him more ours than ever. An elegant argument, a profound elucidation, and a stirring appreciation--yet another indispensable Brustein achievement."--James Carroll, author of House of War

--James Carroll
"By exploring the possibility of Shakespeare's own personal prejudices, Robert Brustein pulls off the miracle of making him even more human in our eyes."--Bill Rauch, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

--Bill Rauch

"Brustein's great strength is his historical approach to Shakespeare . . . When [he] focuses on the recurring prejudices in Shakespeare's works and in his time, his readings of these cankerous and often eruptive moments are astute, witty, political, modern, inspired, and brilliant."--Colleen E. Kennedy, Theatre Journal--Colleen E. Kennedy "Theatre Journal"

"An exemplary work of criticism and appreciation"--Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University

--Stephen Greenblatt
"Especially smart, provocative, and engaging....readers can enjoy the author's wicked political wit....[and his] tough but nuanceed commentary." --Dramatics-- "Dramatics Magazine" (10/1/2009 12:00:00 AM)
"[A] thoughtful analysis of perennially provocative issues."--Amy Arden, Folger Magazine--Amy Arden "Folger Magazine"
"Fascinating to read."--Gerald Weales, American Theater--Gerald Weales "American Theater"