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Shakespeare, Machiavelli, and MontaignePower and Subjectivity from Richard II to Hamlet$
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Hugh Grady

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257607

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199257607.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

The Discourse of Princes in Richard II: From Machiavelli to Montaigne

The Discourse of Princes in Richard II: From Machiavelli to Montaigne

(p.58) 2 The Discourse of Princes in Richard II: From Machiavelli to Montaigne
Shakespeare, Machiavelli, and Montaigne

Hugh Grady (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter is organized into two parts. Part 1 makes the case for Machiavelli as a conduit for instrumental reason in Elizabethan England, with emphasis on the specific aspects of The Prince which amounted to a doctrine of instrumental reason applied to politics, and contrasting and comparing The Prince and The Discourses on this issue. Part 2 discusses early modern subjectivity in Richard II. In this play, Shakespeare expresses the logic of an emerging modernity — characterized by fragmented, atomized belief systems, and instrumentalizing views of the natural and social worlds — by valorizing the subjectivity of the deposed Richard which was created in the vertiginous moment of ‘disinterpellation’ in the mirror and prison scenes.

Keywords:   Richard II, The Prince, instrumentalizing views, subjectivity, The Prince

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