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After LaviniaA Literary History of Premodern Marriage Diplomacy$
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John Watkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501707575

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501707575.001.0001

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Shakespeare’s Adumbrations of State-Based Diplomacy

Shakespeare’s Adumbrations of State-Based Diplomacy

(p.143) Chapter 5 Shakespeare’s Adumbrations of State-Based Diplomacy
After Lavinia

John Watkins

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on William Shakespeare's plays, which expressed a negative view of interdynastic marriage as subservience to a foreign power that later dominated European politics. Shakespeare came of age after the failure of Elizabeth I of England in her bid to marry the French Duke of Alençon. The chapter analyzes two of Shakespeare's works, King John and Henry V. King John casts Eleanor of Aquitaine as a manipulator who orchestrates treaties that deprive a rightful heir of his claim to the English throne and put dynastic interest above the welfare of the English people. Henry V is an interrogation of just war theory in its conventional tripartite division: justice in waging, conducting, and ending war.

Keywords:   interdynastic marriage, William Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, England, King John, Henry V, Eleanor of Aquitaine, just war theory

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