Being and Having in Shakespeare

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The book is based on a series of lectures, and it feels very close to that original purpose, tracking the idea of property in the plays, addressing other salient issues primarily in relation to property law and attitudes about property, and touching only lightly, for the most part, on the texts of the plays. Maus characterizes Shakespeare's treatment of property relations in his plays as a "poetics of property" 15 , shaped by the unreal and exaggerated elements of his dramatic art.

Back to the roots:Shakespeare and Popular Culture in the 20th and 21st centuries

We do not read literary works for their factuality, she explains apparently to the non-scholarly reader , but for the ways they can reveal social, cultural, or political thought despite their artful fictiveness. While materialist theory and property law may offer useful frameworks for analyzing the plays, to effectively engage with literary works in this way requires, as she emphasizes, careful, specific, and nuanced analysis and interpretation.


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Her project focuses "unabashedly" on human beings, subjects, and their social relationships, and undertakes, she says, a study "less of things than of relationships mediated by things" The first two chapters, engaging as they do with monarchy, deal with the conflation of property concerns and power relations, taking up questions of inheritance, legitimacy, monarchical prerogative, and monarchical will versus law.

The third chapter addresses the interesting problem of female inheritance and dowry in The Merchant of Venice, exploring the implications of dowry as a particularly disruptive mode of Being and Having in Shakespeare.

Food of Love

Author: Sandra Logan. Date: Jan.

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From: Shakespeare Studies Vol. Alejandro Dumas. Miguel de Unamuno.


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    Bill Clinton. Ernest Hemingway. Granada will always be more malleable than philosophical, more lyric than dramatic. William Shakespeare.

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