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Love and Violence: Insights from Shakespeare on Ethics, Psychology, Theater and Law

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Title: Love and Violence
Subtitle: Insights from Shakespeare on Ethics, Psychology, Theater and Law
Subject Classification: Law and Legal Ethics, Arts, Society and Culture, Psychology
BIC Classification: JKV, DSGS, JM
BISAC Classification: SOC051000, PSY031000, PHI005000
Binding: Hardback, pp.(to be confirmed)
Planned Publication date: December 2023
ISBN (printed book): 978-1-80441-127-8
ISBN (web pdf): 978-1-80441-128-5

Price: £79.99

Post publication, e-books above will be available for libraries from Proquest and EBSCO 

For larger orders, or orders where you require an invoice, contact us admin@ethicspress.com


The book offers both a philosophical and psychological theory of an aspect of human love,  first noted by Plato and used by Freud in developing psychoanalysis, namely,  lovers as mirrors for one another, enabling them thus better to see and understand themselves and others. Shakespeare’s art makes the same appeal -  theater as communal mirror - expressing the artist holding a loving mirror for his culture at a point of transitional crisis between a shame and guilt culture. 

The book shows how Shakespeare’s plays offer insights into the behavior of violent men; develops a theory of violence based on the moral emotions of shame and guilt; and a cultural psychology of the transition from shame to guilt cultures (reflected in Shakespeare’s tragedies). The work argues that violence arises from patriarchally inflicted cultural injuries to love, and that only a therapy based on love can address such injuries, replacing retributive with restorative justice. 

Inspired by and developing this insight, the book argues that love, thus understood, underlies a range of apparently disparate phenomena: not only the appeal of theater as a communal art,  but also the role of law in democratic cultures (both developing and developed) as both a mirror and critique of such cultures and,  finally,  the basis of an egalitarian ethics of human rights (inspired by Kant and developed, more recently, by John Rawls).


Author: David Richards is Edwin D. Webb Professor of Law at New York University, USA


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 

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