Being and Having in Shakespeare by Katharine Eisaman MausBeing and Having in Shakespeare by Katharine Eisaman Maus

Being and Having in Shakespeare

byKatharine Eisaman Maus

Hardcover | March 7, 2013

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What is the relation between who a person is, and what he or she has? A number of Shakespeare's plays engage with this question, elaborating a 'poetics of property' centering on questions of authority and entitlement, of inheritance and prodigality, and of the different opportunities affordedby access to land and to chattel property. Being and Having in Shakespeare considers these presentations of ownership and authority Richard II and the Henry IV plays construe sovereignty as a form of property right, largely construing imperium, or the authority over persons in a polity, as a form of dominium, the authority of thepropertyholder. Nonetheless, what property means changes considerably from Richard's reign to Henry's, as the imagined world of the plays is reconfigured to include an urban economy of chattel consumables. The Merchant of Venice, written between Richard II and Henry IV, part 1, reimagines, in comic terms, some of the same issues broached in the history plays. It focuses in particular on the problem of the daughter's inheritance and on the different property obligations among kin, friends, businessassociates, and spouses. In the figure of the 'vagabond king', theoretically entitled but actually dispossessed, Henry VI, part 2 and King Lear both coordinate problems of entitlement with conundrums about distributive justice, raising fundamental questions about property relations and socialorganization.
Katharine Eisaman Maus is James Cabell Professor of English at the University of Virginia. She has published widely on English Renaissance literature, especially drama. Maus has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, and Leverhulme Foundation. One ...
Title:Being and Having in ShakespeareFormat:HardcoverDimensions:152 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0 inPublished:March 7, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199698007

ISBN - 13:9780199698004


Table of Contents

1. Being and Having in Richard II2. Prodigal Princes: Land and Chattels in the Second Tetralogy3. Heirs and Affines in The Merchant of Venice4. The Properties of Friendship in The Merchant of Venice5. Vagabond Kings: Entitlement and Distribution in Henry VI and King Lear