The «Theatrum Mundi» of Melville's thought investigated in this work signifies the representational space of modern subjectivity, which posits a «world» of value for itself. The representational theatre of the will manifests itself through the governing discourses of politics, religion, and aesthetics as they are integrated into Melville's fiction.
Will and Representation focuses on
Moby Dick, revealing the Fundamental metaphysical dispositions illustrated through the historical discourses that
Moby Dick integrates and transforms. The metaphysical dispositions themselves determine Melville's reception of classical questions of politics, philosophy, and aesthetics, and his transformation of them.