Dr. Hugh Grady, Professor of English, is a keynote speaker at the Contemporary Shakespeare Conference at Hildesheim University in Hildesheim, Germany, June 14-16. He will discuss Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and its parallels with Bertolt Brecht’s Der gute Mensch von Sezuan, variously translated as "The Good Person of Szechwan" or "The Good Soul of Szechwan."
His talk will discuss the plays' implied social criticism, stemming from a single line spoken by the comedic character, Pompey:
'Twas never merry world since, of two usuries, the
merriest was put down, and the worser allowed by
order of law.
Grady understands the “worser” usury as one who charges interest on loans and the “merriest” as an individual that engages in free love. He also draws connections to the usurers as they are presented in Dante’s Divine Comedy, as they shared a fate with the blasphemers and sodomites in the inner ring of the seventh circle of hell.
The Contemporary Shakespeare Conference is an international conference which invites scholars and theatre professionals to gather to discuss Shakespeare's impact on culture and literature today. Keynote speakers provide insights into Shakespeare's significance and the enormous scope of meaning of his works.
A specialist in Shakespeare and contemporary critical theory, Grady is the author of The Modernist Shakespeare: Critical Texts in a Material World (1991), Shakespeare's Universal Wolf: Studies in Early Modern Reification (1996), Shakespeare, Machiavelli and Montaigne: Power and Subjectivity from Richard II to Hamlet (2002), and Shakespeare and Impure Aesthetics (2009). He is editor of Shakespeare and Modernity: From Early Modern to Millennium (2000), and co-editor (with Terence Hawkes) of Presentist Shakespeares (2007).
Most recently, Grady edited and contributed to Great Shakespeareans: Empson, Wilson, Knight, Barber, Kott, which was published by Continuum in May 2012. Part of the Great Shakespeareans series, this edited anthology of critical essays focuses on Shakespeare’s reception by the major modern critics.