Shakespeare and the denial of territory

Banishment, abuse of power and strategies of resistance

By Pascale Drouet

Shakespeare and the denial of territory


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4404-1
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: November 2021
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Theatre Studies, Literary studies: plays & playwrights, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: plays & playwrights, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literature & literary studies / Shakespeare studies & criticism


This book analyses three Shakespearean plays that particularly deal with abusive forms of banishment: King Richard II, Coriolanus, and King Lear. In these plays, the abuses of power are triggered by fearless speeches that question the legitimacy of power and are misinterpreted as breaches of allegiance; in these plays, both the bold speech of the fearless speaker and the performative sentence of the banisher trigger the relentless dynamics of what Deleuze and Guattari termed 'deterritorialisation'. This book approaches the central question of the abusive denial of territory from various angles: linguistic, legal and ethical, physical and psychological. Various strategies of resistance are explored: illegal return, which takes the form of a frontal counterattack employing a 'war machine'; ruse and the experience of internal(ised) exile; and mental escape, which nonetheless may lead to madness, exhaustion or heartbreak.



Part I: The dynamic of deterritorialisation in King Richard II, King Lear and Coriolanus
1 Swearing allegiance or questioning power
2 Abuse of power and banishment: from 'effet de retour' to unnaturalness
3 The talion effect: deterritorialisation for deterritorialisaion

Part II: The dynamic of riposte in King Richard II and Coriolanus
4 The politics of illegal return
5 The necessity of the 'war machine'
6 Alternatives to the 'war machine'

Part III: The experience of internal(ised) exile in King Lear
7 Dissembling and avoiding banishment
8 Assuming otherness, or the spiral of degradation
9 Home as a foreign elsewhere

Part IV: The dialectic of endurance and exhaustion in King Richard II and King Lear
10 Mental spaces and types of interiority
11 The limits of endurance and the signs of exhaustion
12 Maps of emotions



Pascale Drouet is Professor in Early Modern British Literature at the University of Poitiers in France

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