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Frazer, Elizabeth,

Shakespeare and the political way / Elizabeth Frazer. - Oxford ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2020 - viii, 265 p. ; 24 cm

Machine generated contents note: Politics and Politic in Shakespeare's Drama --
Shakespeare and the Political Way --
Political Readings of Shakespeare's Dramas --
1. Political Power and Othello --
Politics and Othello --
Political Power and Social Divisions --
Patriarchal Power --
Politic Government --
Sovereign Authority --
Machiavellian Trickery --
Public Speech --
Othello and the Political Way --
2. Political power and Measure for Measure --
Politics in Measure for Measure --
Of Government --
Sexual Politics --
Political Speech --
Measure for Measure and the Political Way --
3. Political and Military Power: Coriolanus --
Coriolanus and Politics --
Politics --
Body Politic --
Military Violence and the Political Way --
4. Violence and Political Authority: Romeo and Juliet --
Romeo and Juliet and Civil Power --
Sovereign Power --
Patriarchal Power --
Machiavellian Strategy --
Violence and Political Power --
Gender and Commerce --
Political Economy, Violence, and Emotion --
5. Sovereignty, Justice, and Political Power: King Lear --
Political Power and King Lear --
Sovereignty and Regime Change --
Sovereign and Social Violence --
Politics, Emotion, and Justice --
Violence, Passion, and the Political Way --
6. Friendship and Justice: Merchant of Venice and Timon of Athens --
Politics and Friendship --
Politics, Friendship, and Timon of Athens --
Economy, Friendship, and Justice in Merchant of Venice --
Patriarchy and Resistance --
State and Economy --
Justice and Friendship --
Political Economy and the Political Way --
7. Politics and Magic: Macbeth and Tempest --
Politics and Magic --
Macbeth, Sovereignty, and Magic --
The Tempest and Magic Rule --
Magic and Politics --
Theatrical Magic --
8. Politics and Theatre: Hamlet --
Political Theatre --
Hamlet and Politics --
Politics and Sovereignty --
Patriarchy and Misogyny --

"This book offers a sustained analysis of normative concepts and theories of political conduct and power, focussing on the question why we (should) value 'the political way'. It does this by examining William Shakespeare's dramatic treatments of the puzzles of domination and sovereignty, and the way the dramas explicitly pose questions of action and theatricality. Politics - in the broadest sense, as contestation over and for power to govern - is commonly associated with ethical dubiety, and much political thought has accordingly focussed either on the conditions of citizen and governor virtue and wisdom, or on the displacement of politics in favour of constitution and law, private exchange, or some other source of authority such as religion. Some, though, has focussed on the positive values of political action - its creativity, or its immanent values of commitment and forgiveness. Shakespeare's characters and plots for the most part treat political power either as a species of wickedness (in particular as 'machiavellian), ironically (with play on the idea of 'politic' action), or as ineffectual (compared with voluntaristic love, the power of money, patriarchal authority, or violence). But readings (sometimes against the grain of text, plot, and established interpretations of the psychology and ethics of the plays) which take into account the theatrical engagement of Shakespeare's drama with the politics and power of his time, produce complex accounts of the hope and promise of a political way of resolving human dilemmas and difficulties. The chapters develop an original approach to theories of political power, and show the particular value of examination of these issues through the frame of Shakespeare's drama"--

9780198848615 (hbk)

Political plays, English
Politics and literature
Political and social views
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616

822.33 / F8692
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