Theory of the King's Two Bodies in the Age of Shakespeare

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Makes available for the first time the texts from which scholars have drawn to discuss the theory of the king’s two bodies. This study shows that the present-day discussions of monarchal power in the Renaissance have constructed a simplistic opposition between metaphysical, or so-called absolutist theories of kingship, and more materialistic theories of power.


Selected Excerpt
“ ... Most of those discussing the king’s two bodies have assumed, in short, not only is it an absolutist doctrine, but also that all Renaissance writers who discussed it reiterated Plowden’s position. This is true even of those who deny that Renaissance thinkers accepted its validity and of those who argue that particular thinkers called attention to contradictions within it in order to debunk absolutist ideology ...”

Table of Contents

Reassessing the Theory of the King’s Two Bodies
From the Commentaries or Reports of Edmund Plowden
The Case of the Duchy of Lancaster at Serjeant’s-Inn
The Pleadings: Willion v. Berkley
A Comparative Discourse of the Bodies Natural and Politique by Edward Forset

Other Literature - Renaissance Books

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