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Hamlet’s MomentDrama and Political Knowledge in Early Modern England$
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András Kiséry

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746201.001.0001

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Some Travellers Return

Some Travellers Return

Diplomatic Writing, Political Careers, and the World of Hamlet (p.89)

2 Some Travellers Return
Hamlet’s Moment

András Kiséry

Oxford University Press

Diplomacy, and the ways in which foreign intelligence is gathered, transmitted, and used at home, is a major preoccupation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Using documents related to Daniel Rogers’s 1588 embassy to Denmark, I establish the play’s debt to the textual products of diplomatic service: to the genre of ambassadorial relazioni, descriptions of foreign states written by diplomats as well as would-be diplomats on their return from foreign states. Since diplomatic service was the main training field of people entering political careers, the production and circulation of such documents was a crucial way of claiming the professional expertise necessary for gaining advancement or employment. Hamlet both represents the secretive world of diplomacy for the play’s public, and joins other publications in divulging information derived from the textual products of this world.

Keywords:   Hamlet, Denmark, Daniel Rogers, diplomacy, ambassadors, relazioni, politics as profession, Shakespeare

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