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Shakespeare and Economic Theory

David Hawkes

DOI: 10.5040/9781472577016

ISBN: 9781472576972

Over the last 20 years, the concept of 'economic' activity has come to seem inseparable from psychological, semiotic and ideological experiences. In fact, the notion of the 'economy' as a discrete area of life seems increasingly implausible. This returns us to the situation of Shakespeare's England, where the financial had yet to be differentiated from other forms of representation. This book shows how concepts and concerns that were until recently considered purely economic affected the entire range of sixteenth and seventeenth century life.

Using the work of such critics as Jean-Christophe Agnew, Douglas Bruster, Hugh Grady and many others, Shakespeare and Economic Theory traces economic literary criticism to its cultural and historical roots, and discusses its main practitioners. Providing new readings of Timon of Athens, King Lear, The Winter's Tale, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and The Tempest, David Hawkes shows how it can reveal previously unappreciated qualities of Shakespeare's work.