Stage of Exception: Politics and Theater in Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida
Exploring a previously neglected mutual avoidance between two key characters in Troilus and Cressida, this essay contributes to the discourse of political theory and the state of exception in Shakespeare studies. Whereas scholars have shown Hamlet and Richard II to challenge Carl Schmitt’s and confirm Giorgio Agamben’s analyses of sovereignty, respectively, on philological and aesthetic grounds, this essay claims that Troilus and Cressida pushes Shakespeare’s critique of sovereignty even further. What's more, the play unfolds a performative critique of power and reveals the ultimate collusion between politics and theatricality.
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