Shakespeare's Curse: The Aporias of Ritual Exclusion in Early Modern Royal Drama

Shakespeare's Curse: The Aporias of Ritual Exclusion in Early Modern Royal Drama

by Björn Quiring

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Shakespeare's Curse: The Aporias of Ritual Exclusion in Early Modern Royal Drama by Björn Quiring

Conceptualizing the curse as the representation of a foundational, mythical violence that is embedded within juridical discourse, Shakespeare’s Curse:The Aporias of Ritual Exclusion in Early Modern Royal Drama pursues a reading of Richard III, King John, and King Lear in order to analyse the persistence of imprecations in the discourses of modernity. Shakespeare wrote during a period that was transformative in the development of juridical thinking. However, taking up the relationship between theater, theology and law, Björn Quiring argues that the curse was not eliminated from legal discourses during this modernization of jurisprudence; rather, it persisted and to this day continues to haunt numerous speech acts. Drawing on the work of Derrida, Lacan, Walter Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben, among others, Quiring analyses the performativity of the curse, and tracks its power through the juristic themes that are pursued within Shakespeare’s plays – such as sovereignty, legitimacy, succession, obligation, exception, and natural law. Thus, this book provides an original and important insight into early modern legal developments, as well as a fresh perspective on some of Shakespeare’s best known works.

A fascinating interdisciplinary study, this book will interest students and scholars of Law, Literature, and History.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781134491001
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 280
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Björn Quiring is Research Associate at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature, Freie Universitat, Berlin.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  Introduction  1. Richard III and the Ostracized Heritage of Theater  1.1 Anne and the Supplement of the Eucharist  1.2 Margaret and the Excommunication of the Old Liturgy  1.3 Edward IV, the Oath and the Performance of the Social Contract  1.4 Hastings and the Fateful Prophecy  1.5 Henry VI and the Standing Army of the Dead  1.6 Clarence and the Diabolical Allegory  1.7 Buckingham and the Grounds of Theater  2. King John and the Ordeal of the Bastard Commodity  3. King Lear and the Naturalized State of Exception  3.1 Cordelia and the Problem of Equity  3.2 Goneril and Regan within the Liberties of Nature  3.3 Kent in Internal Banishment  3.4 Edgar and the benedictio vacui  3.5 The Fool and the Bonds of Fate  3.6 Storm still and the Perpetual Downfall of the Last Judgment

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