Whose Shakespeare? MAGA, social media, and the Alt-Right

Marina Gerzic, Anna Quercia-Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the phenomenon of citing Shakespeare within online communities with extremist and Alt-Right views. This chapter will draw on recent work on Shakespeare, race and fan studies, as well as studies of the appropriation of medievalism and early-modernism by the Alt-Right. Looking at examples from social media, such as the Proud Boy’s online manifesto which cites Shakespeare’s Richard III, the alleged letter sent to Folger Shakespeare Library by rioters prior to the recent Capitol building riots in Washington DC on 6 January 2021, and social media posts by self-appointed #MAGA supporters on social media platforms such as Twitter, we will examine how extremists attempt to reclaim work from the (white) Western Canon (such as Shakespeare) from those they consider ‘woke’, liberal, and left-wing. Their act of “speaking for Shakespeare'' through the citation of quotations from his work, is both a means of possessing social capital and authority online, but also more significantly an attempt to imbue their manifestos of fascism and white supremacy with Shakespeare’s apparent cultural capital and authority.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShakespeare and anti-fandom
EditorsJonathan Pope, Kavita Mudan Finn
Publication statusIn preparation - 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Whose Shakespeare? MAGA, social media, and the Alt-Right'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this