Virtue & Power
Reflect on the ethical dilemmas implied by the pursuit of power.
In the second week of Political Studies, we will consider Shakespeare’s depiction of tyranny and kingship, and how great literature can inform the study of politics.
Our first seminar will place Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Henry V in conversation with Machiavelli’s The Prince. Shakespeare’s treatment of princely rule broaches many of the themes discussed in The Prince, thus challenging us to consider how he might be testing the provocative claims of the notorious “Machiavel”—from the necessary qualities for a successful king to appearance vs. truth, the different demands of rulers in pagan and Christian times, and the role of war in domestic politics.
Our second seminar will focus on The Tempest, the story of how the Dukedom of Milan was lost and regained. Prospero’s study of the liberal arts contributes to his fall from power, but it also helps him preside over the small society of strange creatures on the remote island where the action of the play takes place. Through close study of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, students will meditate on the kind of education we need to engage well in political life.
Jenna Silber Storey on liberal education
This course is part of our residential Political Studies Program. Fellows participate in morning seminars and meet prominent men and women in public life over afternoon and evening sessions. Up to 32 fellows will be selected.
Vickie Sullivan is the Cornelia M. Jackson Professor of Political Science and teaches and studies political thought and philosophy. She also maintains teaching and research interests in politics and literature. She has published extensively on Montesquieu and Machiavelli and is the co-editor of Shakespeare’s Political Pageant.
Vickie Sullivan is the Cornelia M. Jackson Professor of Political Science and teaches and studies political thought and philosophy. She also maintains teaching and research interests in politics and literature.
She has published the monographs Montesquieu and the Despotic Ideas of Europe (2017); Machiavelli, Hobbes, and the Formation of a Liberal Republicanism in England (2004); and Machiavelli’s Three Romes: Religion, Human Liberty, and Politics Reformed (1996 and 2020). She is the editor of The Comedy and Tragedy of Machiavelli ; the co-editor of Shakespeare’s Political Pageant: Essays in Politics & Literature ; and the co-author of “Machiavelli’s Political Thought” in Oxford Bibliographies.
Her articles have appeared in The American Political Science Review, History of European Ideas, History of Political Thought, Political Theory, Polity, and Review of Politics.
Jenna Silber Storey is a senior fellow in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies department at the American Enterprise Institute. She is the co-author of a book with Benjamin Storey: Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment.
Jenna Silber Storey is a senior fellow in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies department at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she concentrates on political philosophy, civil society, classical schools, and higher education. She is also the co-organizer of a conference series on the future of the American university. Dr. Storey is concurrently a research professor at Furman University, where she was previously assistant professor in politics and international affairs and the executive director of the Tocqueville Program. For the 2022–23 academic year, Dr. Storey is also an alumni-in-residence at the University of Chicago.
In addition to Furman University, Dr. Storey has taught at the University of Chicago; the Buckley Program at Yale University; the Hertog Summer Studies Program in Washington, DC; and the Tikvah Fund in Princeton, New Jersey. Earlier she worked as executive assistant to the superintendent for the Boston University–Chelsea Schools partnership. She served as a board member of Veritas Preparatory School in Greenville, South Carolina, from 2019 to 2021.
Dr. Storey is the coauthor, with her husband, Benjamin Storey, of Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment (Princeton University Press, 2021). Together, the Storeys are working on a book titled The Art of Choosing: How Liberal Education Should Prepare You for Life.
Macbeth, Act I
Macbeth, Act II
Macbeth, Act III
Macbeth, Act IV
Macbeth, Act V
Henry V, Act I
Henry V, Act II
Henry V, Act III
Henry V, Act IV
Henry V, Act V
Gain a deeper understanding of our Constitution by studying the political debates surrounding its founding.
Benjamin Storey is a senior fellow in Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He recently co-authored a book with Jenna Silber Storey entitled Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment.
Bryan Garsten is Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He writes on questions about political rhetoric and deliberation, the meaning of representative government, the relationship of politics and religion, and the place of emotions in political life.
Robert C. Bartlett
Robert C. Bartlett is the Behrakis Professor of Hellenic Political Studies at Boston College. His principal area of research is classical political philosophy, with particular attention to the thinkers of ancient Hellas, including Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle. He is the co-translator of a new edition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.
Diana J. Schaub is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland and a member of the Hoover Institution’s task force on The Virtues of a Free Society. From 2004 to 2009 she was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.
Ryan P. Hanley
Ryan Patrick Hanley is Professor of Political Science at Boston College. His research in the history of political philosophy focuses on the Enlightenment. He is the author of Our Great Purpose: Adam Smith on Living a Better Life and Love’s Enlightenment: Rethinking Charity in Modernity.
Daniel Burns is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Dallas. His research in political philosophy focuses on the relation between religion and citizenship. He has recently served as a staffer for the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee and as a full-time contractor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. Mr. Olsen is an opinion columnist for The Washington Post, where he writes daily pieces focusing on politics, populism, foreign affairs and American conservative thought.
Flagg Taylor is an Associate Professor of Government at Skidmore College, and serves on the Academic Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. He is editor most recently of The Long Night of the Watchman: Essays by Václav Benda, 1977–1989. He is currently writing a book on Czech dissent in the 1970s and 1980s.
Charles Fain Lehman
Charles Fain Lehman is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, working primarily on the Policing and Public Safety Initiative, and a contributing editor of City Journal. His work on criminal justice, immigration, and social issues has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Tablet, among other publications.
Matthew Continetti is resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Prior to joining AEI, he was Editor in Chief of the Washington Free Beacon. His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
M. Anthony Mills
Anthony (Tony) Mills is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies the federal government’s role in scientific research and innovation as well as how to integrate scientific expertise into our governing institutions. Dr. Mills holds a PhD and an MA in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in philosophy, French, and comparative literature from Northwestern University.
Adam J. White
Adam J. White is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on American constitutionalism. Concurrently, he codirects the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.