Drawing on the works of Shakespeare and American screenwriter Joss Whedon, this study in narrative ethics contends that Whedon is the Shakespeare of our time. The Bard wrote before the influence of the modern moral philosophers, while Whedon is writing in the postmodern period. It is argued that Whedon's work is more in harmony with the early modern values of Shakespeare than with modern ethics, which trace their origin to 17th and 18th-century moral philosophy. This study includes a detailed discussion of representative works of Shakespeare and Whedon, showing how they can and should be read as forms of narrative ethics.
J. Douglas Rabb is a professor emeritus of philosophy at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and an executive member of the Centre for Health Care Ethics, also at Lakehead University.J. Michael Richardson lives in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.