Richard Wilson
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book talks about art and power on William Shakespeare's stage, and how the sovereignty of the playwright is complicated by his service as a player. It argues that his plays are systematically engaged in untying freedom from royalty by dismantling sovereignty in all its forms. The book describes the Hamlet as the great refusal of the absolutist system symbolized by such triumphal facades. King Lear is its author's profoundest critique of his own Ubu- like 'abject position', of the perverse power of weakness, the queer art of failure, and the absolutism of the autonomous artwork. As a King's Man, Shakespeare may himself have 'borne the canopy' on one of the triumphal arches at King James's coronation in 1604.

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Free Will

Art and power on Shakespeare’s stage


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