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Shakespeare's Body Parts – Figuring Sovereignty in the History Plays - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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Shakespeare's Body Parts: Figuring Sovereignty in the History Plays

Huw Griffiths


This book provides a sustained, formalist and theoretically-informed reading of the multiple body parts that litter the dialogue and action of Shakespeare’s history plays, including Henry V, Richard II, Richard III, King John, and the Henry IV plays. Starting with a literary critical analysis of these dislocated bodies, the book follows Shakespeare’s own relentless pursuit of a specific political question: how does human flesh, blood, and bone relate to sovereignty? Shakespeare’s treatment of the body is also read against two other bodies of work: early modern political writing, and twentieth- ... More

Keywords: Shakespeare, Sovereignty, History Plays, The Body, Metaphor, Early Modern Politics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781474448703
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474448703.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Huw Griffiths, author
University of Sydney