Family and the State in Early Modern Revenge Drama: Economies of Vengeance

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-12-22
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book considers Early Modern revenge plays from a political science perspective, paying particular attention to the construction of family and state institutions. Exploring whether or not the plays see revenge as justified, McMahon argues that they suggest the private family should become an informal state apparatus, and considers the pertinence of this conclusion for contemporary politics. By mapping transactions of capital in and around the plays, this book discovers new ways of looking at traditional problematics. Considerations of plays such as The Spanish Tragedy, Hamlet, and The Revenger's Tragedydepart from the tradition of moral criticism by taking an anthropological stance, mapping capital transactions to come to a better understanding of the plays in all their brilliance and complexity. McMahon responds to deconstructionist, Marxist, and feminist readings as he studies symbolic and material forms of capital in exemplary Early Modern plays.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Family and Judiciary in The Spanish Tragedyp. 44
Competition and Grace in Hamletp. 70
Surveillance and Consumption in The Revenger's Tragedyp. 105
Education and Autocracy in The Malcontentp. 31
Meritocratic Reform in The Duchess of Malfip. 154
Conclusionp. 191
Notesp. 203
Bibliographyp. 231
Indexp. 241
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