Over the last 20 years, the concept of 'economic' activity has come to seem inseparable from psychological, semiotic and ideological experiences. In fact, the notion of the 'economy' as a discrete area of life seems increasingly implausible. This returbans us to the situation of Shakespeare's England, where the financial had yet to be differentiated from other forms of representation. This book shows how concepts and concerns that were until recently considered purely economic affected the entire range of sixteenth and seventeenth century life.
Using the work of such critics as Jean-Christophe Agnew, Douglas Bruster, Hugh Grady and many others, Shakespeare and Economic Theory traces economic literary criticism to its cultural and historical roots, and discusses its main practitioners. Providing new readings of Timon of Athens, King Lear, The Winter's Tale, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and The Tempest, David Hawkes shows how it can reveal previously unappreciated qualities of Shakespeare's work.
About the Author
David Hawkes is Professor in the Department of English at the Arizona State University, USA.
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Preface
PART ONE Economics in History and Criticism
1 'Will into appetite': Economics and Chrematistics
2 'The future comes apace': The Birth of Restricted Economy
3 The Last of the Schoolmen: The Marxist Tradition
4 'The hatch and brood of time': Beyond the Economy
5 Money as Metaphor: The New Economic Criticism
PART TWO Economics in Shakespeare
6 'Going to the market-place': The Commons and the Commodity
7 'The soul of trade': Worth and Value
8 'Knaves of common hire': Wage Labour, Slavery and Reification
9 'Unkind abuse': The Legalization of Usury
10 'Lear's shadow': Identity, Property and Possession
Conclusion: Magic and Alienation