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Visions and Revisions

Studies in Literature and Culture


Edited By Grzegorz Czemiel, Justyna Galant, Anna Kędra-Kardela, Aleksandra Kędzierska and Marta Komsta

Collected under the theme of Visions and Revisions, the papers included in this volume examine different aspects of literature and culture of the Anglophone world. The first part gathers articles dealing with poetry of such epochs as the seventeenth century, the Victorian era and the modern times. Part two focuses on prose works representing such conventions and modes as the romance, the Gothic novel, the condition of England novel, Victorian and neo-Victorian fiction, the science fiction novel and gay fiction. Part three concerns various aspects of British and American culture, including the new media, drama and journalism, and advertising. In its diversity the volume reflects the dynamics of change in literature and culture, enabling the readers to investigate the multifaceted canon.
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The Political Siding of Thomas Hobbes: Revision of Power in Leviathan

← 270 | 271 →Paweł Kaptur


Written in the turmoil of the Civil War, Hobbes’s Leviathan still remains one of the most crucial political works ever written. Although the work offers a high level of complexity and ambiguity, its perception has been largely simplified throughout centuries. As it is generally believed, Hobbes’s idea of sovereign power was meant to support royalty and reinforce the position of the banished Prince Charles. Others claim that Hobbes’s masterpiece is deprived of any political bias as it only exemplifies the seventeenth-century political thought whose goal was to theorize about perfect social systems and perfect governments. It is quite difficult, though, to believe that such a highly politicized work written during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of England could remain fully objective and stand outside the political background of the time. The aim of the present article is to demonstrate that Leviathan cannot be read at a shallow level of interpretation and that the question of Hobbes’s allegiance is not as easy to answer as it might be expected.

Hobbes was connected with the Devonshires – one of the most influential royalist families in England. For over thirty years he was a servant to the Cavendish family being a tutor to William Cavendish, later Earl of Devonshire. As he was generally known a loyal royalist defending the divine rights of King Charles I, the prospect of the political crisis made him leave England and stay in Paris until 1652. One of the reasons for his escape...

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