Intelligence Squared has released a podcast of a 'debate,' Shakespeare vs Milton: The Kings of English Literature, chaired on June 22nd 2014 by Erica Wagner between Professor James Shapiro (Columbia University) and Professor Nigel Smith (Princeton University), extolling Shakespeare and Milton, respectively . It is accessible at:

Advocate for Shakespeare
James Shapiro
Professor of English at Columbia University and author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare.

Advocate for Milton
Nigel Smith
Professor of Ancient and Modern Literature at Princeton University and author of Is Milton better than Shakespeare?

Erica Wagner
Former literary editor of the Times. She is Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2014 and a judge of this year’s Man Booker Prize.

Pippa Nixon
A rising star who has played Titania / Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ophelia in Hamlet, and Rosalind in As You Like It. The Guardian wrote that she ‘joins Vanessa Redgrave, Adrian Lester and the late Susan Fleetwood in the select pantheon of memorable Rosalinds … It is a captivating, wittily androgynous performance that ushers Nixon to the threshold of stardom.’

Harriet Walter
Actress highly acclaimed for her work on stage, screen and television. Of her many roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company where she is an Associate Artist, the most recent have been Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra alongside Patrick Stewart, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Lady Macbeth opposite Anthony Sher. She has published three books: Other People’s Shoes and Macbeth for the Faber series ‘Actors on Shakespeare’ and Facing It.

Sam West
Actor and director who has played the title roles in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Richard II and Hamlet. He has written essays on both plays for the Cambridge University Press and on “Shakespeare and Love” for BBC Radio 3.