The Tyrant has in Shakespeare a special quota of presence: just to name the most eminent members of this abject category: Richard III, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolan. But since they are not the same type of tyrant, nor are they moved by impulses of equal nature, it is interesting to see how Greenblatt -the ultimate Bard specialist- succeeds in building the tyrannical “corpus” in Shakespeare.

Perhaps the only two critiques one can make to this excellent book are capricious, but I will now be capricious: first, one can understand that the scandal of having elected Trump is sending Anglo-Saxons to certain soul-searching procedures that the rest of the world may look with sympathy, but at a distance; second, Shakespeare quoting, so precise and well timed, ends up bleeding quotes out: out of context, the writer’s infinite grace and wit, becomes too mundane, I do not like it. On the positive side, a physical effect: this book effectively gets you in contact with the tyrant. And it sends shivers down your spine.