Shakespeare and the Invention of the Supervillain

Presented with Strand Bookstore

Neilson Barnard/New Republic

Ancient mythology had its share of gods, monsters, and witches, and allegorical Christian plays had their allegorical bad guys. But the modern supervillain has one single pure origin: Shakespeare’s Iago, an ordinary person whose multiple motives conceal his essential drive for, and unrestrained theatrical enjoyment of chaos and evil for the sake of evil. 


Join us for a look at where he comes from (Chaucer’s Pardoner), what makes him so terrifying, and where he goes — Milton’s Satan, Cormac McCarthy’s Judge, Hannibal Lecter, the Joker, and the Amazing Amy Dunne. 





Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue, the walls lined with leather-bound treasures from a book hand printed in 1480 to a limited edition Ulysses signed by Henri Matisse, the illustrator, and by James Joyce. 


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Other upcoming Olios


Nov 26

*Olio Seminar* The Evolution of Racism

Taught by Angie Beeman
3 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $50

Nov 29

Asteroids Approaching: Delivering Life & Death

Taught by Michael Hamburg
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

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Dec 4

*Olio Seminar* The Rise and Fall of the American Republic

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at Strong Rope Brewery

Sign Up - $60


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