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Authority and Desire

Crises of Interpretation in Shakespeare and Racine


Andrew W. Hiscock

Authority and Desire focuses on the complexity of political discourse in a selection of Shakespeare's Jacobean dramas and Racine's tragedies. Particular attention is paid to the relations dramatised between the transforming communities of the governing and the governed in these plays. This wide-ranging study reveals how the formulation of such relations is profoundly involved with the cultural theorising of authority (linked to the legitimising forces of caste, kinship, gender expectation, sanctification and so on), and with the politics of human desire stimulated by the cultural spectacles of power assertion.