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No HamletsGerman Shakespeare from Nietzsche to Carl Schmitt$
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Andreas Höfele

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718543.001.0001

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Little Otto

Little Otto

Carl Schmitt and the Moor of Venice

5 Little Otto
No Hamlets

Andreas Höfele

Oxford University Press

Carl Schmitt’s diaries of the 1920s, which are as yet only partially published, contain one reference to the ‘Germany is Hamlet’ topos, but they teem with references to Othello. In Chapter 5 these references are explored for the first time. Schmitt’s obsession with Othello is intensely personal, but also revealingly political. Othello is the ‘noble Moor’ and a figure of identification for both Schmitt himself (‘I must always be the betrayed one’) and the betrayed Germany. But he is also a figure of abhorrence and abjection, a black growth in his own body which he must expel if he wants to survive.

Keywords:   Carl Schmitt, Othello, concept of the political, the stranger, Weimar Republic, Hitler putsch, Benito Cereno, Herman Melville

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