The Third Citizen: Shakespeare's Theater and the Early Modern House of Commons - Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society (Hardback)
  • The Third Citizen: Shakespeare's Theater and the Early Modern House of Commons - Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society (Hardback)
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The Third Citizen: Shakespeare's Theater and the Early Modern House of Commons - Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society (Hardback)

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£43.00
Hardback 328 Pages / Published: 19/02/2007
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The new practices and theories of parliamentary representation that emerged during Elizabeth's and James' reigns shattered the unity of human agency, redefined the nature of power, transformed the image of the body politic, and unsettled constructs and concepts as fundamental as the relation between presence and absence. In The Third Citizen, Oliver Arnold argues that recovering the formation of political representation as an effective ideology should radically change our understanding of early modern political culture, Shakespeare's political art, and the way Anglo-American critics, for whom representative democracy is second nature, construe both. In magisterial readings of Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, and the First Tetralogy, Arnold discovers a new Shakespeare who was neither a conservative apologist for monarchy nor a prescient, liberal champion of the House of Commons but instead a radical thinker and artist who demystified the ideology of political representation in the moment of its first flowering. Shakespeare believed that political representation produced (and required for its reproduction) a new kind of subject and a new kind of subjectivity, and he fashioned a new kind of tragedy to represent the loss of power, the fall from dignity, the false consciousness, and the grief peculiar to the experiences of representing and of being represented. Representationalism and its subject mark the beginning of political modernity; Shakespeare's tragedies greet political representationalism with skepticism, bleakness, and despair.

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN: 9780801885044
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Arnold's dense book explores the fertile ground left mostly unturned by new historicist approaches of early modern politics... Brilliant and well-documented analysis of Shakespeare's 'representational plays'. -- Marie-Dominique Garnier * Cercles *
A compelling historical refinement... Recommended. * Choice *
Remarkably scholarly... This seminal redrawing of power and politics in late Tudor and early Stuart England takes its authority from the tight analogies it makes between political events and governmental practice in Shakespeare's time and its detailed examination of key scenes in a half-dozen of his plays. In confronting our common assumptions of the period, it forces us to rethink our own historical beliefs. -- Arthur F. Kinney * Renaissance Quarterly *
Intelligent and important book... A bracing riposte to revisionist historians. -- Anne McLaren * English Historical Review *
A superb look at Shakespearean politics. * Studies in English Literature *
Promises a fresh and original approach. -- Richard McCoy * Comparative Drama *
Provides some needed and very stimulating ideas and evidence with which to develop scholarly analysis of the ways in which contemporaries thought about parliamentary representation, and about the problems involved in making such a system both meaningful and practicable. -- Jason Peacey * H-Net Reviews *
A serious book about an important subject and a work that anyone interested in Shakespeare's political thought should read carefully... I admire The Third Citizen. * Clio *
Arnold quite convincingly documents his major claim. -- Maurice Hunt * English Studies *

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