Introduction
in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
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This book analyses King Richard II, Coriolanus and King Lear, three Shakespearean plays that particularly deal with abusive forms of banishment. In these plays, the abuses of power are triggered by fearless speeches that question the legitimacy of power and are misinterpreted as breaches of allegiance; in these plays, both the bold speech of the fearless speaker and the performative sentence of the banisher trigger the relentless dynamic of what Deleuze and Guattari termed ‘deterritorialisation’. This book approaches the central question of the abusive denial of territory from various angles: linguistic, legal and ethical, physical and psychological. It also explores various strategies of resistance: illegal return, which takes the form of a frontal counterattack employing a ‘war machine’; ruse and the experience of internal(ised) exile; and mental escape, which nonetheless may lead to madness, exhaustion or heartbreak.

Shakespeare and the denial of territory

Banishment, abuse of power and strategies of resistance

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