The Tears of Sovereignty
Perspectives of Power in Renaissance Drama
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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This book has taken me a long time to finish. During the course of its writing and the many turns that have accompanied it, I have accumulated an enormous amount of debt—but some kinds of debt are good. It is a pleasure to be able to recognize and thank the extraordinary...
Introduction: The Body Is Burning—Sovereignty, Image, Trope
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On December 1, 1613, England’s King James I ordered that a book, A Defense of the Catholic Faith against the Errors of the Anglican Sect (Defensio fidei), by the Jesuit theologian and philosopher Francisco Suárez, be burned in front of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London.1 The Spanish Ambassador to...
1. Breakdown: Analogy and Ontotheology in Richard II
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Theory must move among the events,” Machiavelli writes in a 1503 letter to Piero Soderini. Ten years later, he writes to Soderini again: “. . . that man is fortunate who harmonizes his procedure with his time, but on the contrary he is not fortunate who in his actions is...
2Reanimation: The Logic of Transfer in Measure for Measure
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In the second installment of his “brain-dead trilogy,” Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother), Pedro Almodóvar tells the story of Manuela (Cecelia Roth), a mother and Transplant Coordinator at the Ramón y Cajal hospital in Madrid. Manuela’s job is to train doctors...
3. Resistance: Waiting for Power in Fuenteovejuna
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How to make politics sweet? Natural? Nourishing? Not only for the “good life,” but for all life? “How is it possible to ‘politicize’ [what Aristotle refers to as] the ‘natural sweetness’ of zoē?”1 These are among the questions Giorgio Agamben asks in his philosophical critique of...
4. Transformation: The Body Moves Out in Life Is a Dream
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Calderón de la Barca’s Life Is a Dream (La vida es Sueño) (1635) has been described as the “ultimate work of theatrical theology.”1 Considered one of the most philosophically complex works of the early modern period, Life Is a Dream not only raises theological and political...
5. Return: The “Wrinkles” of Mystery in The Winter’s Tale
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The representational shift, into the allegorical figures of the cipher and the image (cifras y estampas) staged in Life Is a Dream, appears to provide us with one form of an ending. By the time we arrive at Calderón’s dream play, the effects of sovereignty’s rupture from the...
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In lieu of a conclusion, I would like to consider what remains. What, in the end, do the “tears,” or tropes of sovereignty, come together to show? Throughout these pages, I have focused on both how the problem of sovereignty has been imagined by the great playwrights...
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Page Count: 392
Publication Year: 2013