Shakespeare, Machiavelli, and Montaigne: Power and Subjectivity from Richard II to Hamlet

Hardcover | January 1, 2002

byHugh Grady

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From 1595-1600 Shakespeare dissected the workings of political power in the four histories of the Henriad and in Hamlet in ways which were remarkably parallel - and were perhaps influenced by - the ideas of the father of modern political analysis, Niccolo Machiavelli. However, the very sameplays simultaneously explored the dynamics of self- and identity-formation under new conditions of secular modernity, in the process producing such memorable characters as Richard II, Prince Hal, Falstaff, and Hamlet. Hugh Grady argues that in analyzing modern subjectivity, Shakespeare re-producednot the ideas of Machiavelli, but those of Michel de Montaigne, that Renaissance definer of shifting identities and subjectivities and of complexly formed, sceptical knowledge. In so doing, Shakespeare in effect contributes to the theoretical debates over power and subjectivity in literary andcultural studies at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

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From 1595-1600 Shakespeare dissected the workings of political power in the four histories of the Henriad and in Hamlet in ways which were remarkably parallel - and were perhaps influenced by - the ideas of the father of modern political analysis, Niccolo Machiavelli. However, the very sameplays simultaneously explored the dynamics of ...

Hugh Grady is a Professor of English, Arcadia University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:302 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.82 inPublished:January 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199257604

ISBN - 13:9780199257607

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Table of Contents

IntroductionHistoricism and the Cultural Present in Shakespeare Studies: Subjectivity in Early and Late Modernity1. A Shakespeare Machiavellian Moment, 1595-1600: An Overview2. The Discourse of Princes in Richard II: From Machiavelli to Montaigne3. Montaigne, Shakespeare, and the Construction of Modern Subjectivity4. The Resistance to Power in 1 Henry IV: Subjectivity in the World5. The Reified Worlds of 2 Henry IV and Henry VConclusionHamlet and The Tragedy of the SubjectBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Grady provides an important reevaluation of the relevance of Machiavelli and Montaigne to the drama Shakespeare wrote from 1595 to 1600. Grady again has made a genuine contribution to current criticism of Shakepeare and critical theory.