University of Chicago's Basic
Program of Liberal Arts Education
for Adults + Graham School
Cynthia Rutz
Shakespeare's War of the Roses:
The Original Game of Thrones

The lecture will focus on the six works that make up Chicago Shakespeare’s 2016 productions of Tug of War: Foreign Fire and Tug of War: Civil Strife. These plays, sometimes called Shakespeare’s “Wars of the Roses” plays, chronicle a tumultuous period in English history: a period rife with ambition, lust for power, betrayals and civil strife. The violence and pageantry of these plays take us from the soaring rhetoric of Shakespeare’s great heroic king, Henry V, to the wicked machinations of one of his greatest villains, Richard III. What lessons, if any, can we discern for our own time?