What do we mean by a hero and where does our understanding of the ‘heroic’ idiom come from?
In this lecture, Jonathan Bate will show how Shakespeare’s idea of the hero was shaped by the classical tradition, going back to the ancient tale of Troy and Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid. But in Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida we meet a Shakespeare who was profoundly sceptical about the heroic ideal.
Professor Bate was Gresham Professor of Rhetoric from 2017-19. He is a British academic, biographer, critic, broadcaster, novelist and scholar. He specialises in Shakespeare, Romanticism and Ecocriticism. He is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, Provost of Worcester College, Oxford, and Honorary Fellow of Creativity at Warwick Business School.