Shakespeare's Knowledgeable Body (Studies in Shakespeare) Review

Shakespeare's Knowledgeable Body (Studies in Shakespeare)
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Shakespeare's Knowledgeable Body (Studies in Shakespeare) ReviewDiede introduces a compelling insight into Shakespeare's use of "the body" of the monarchial state, derived from St. Paul (1 Cor. 12:12-31) using the metaphor of the parts of the body and their functional roles, to represent those who make up the political body. For example, a ruler (such as Julius Caesar) may play the functional role of the "eye" of the kingdom, but also needs advisors who can compensate for the other necessary functions (hearing, speaking) that Caesar might not be able to adequately perform for the body politic. Diede argues that not only did Shakespeare appropriate this Pauline concept and use it in certain plays, but so did Queen Elizabeth and King James in reality. Diede's revelation and explication of this metaphorical vision and the utilization of the same by both playwright and rulers is cogently argued and extremely well-researched. This scholarly work can be of value to English, Drama, and History scholars (and upper-level to graduate students in those disciplines), and to those who are interested the influence of Pauline New Testament analogies. Finally, Shakespeareans who invest time in the perusal of this work would be well-rewarded. Recommended for all academic libraries where Shakespeare is taught.Shakespeare's Knowledgeable Body (Studies in Shakespeare) OverviewTaking a new approach to the metaphor of the political body, this book examines Shakespeare's representation of that body as possessing epistemological faculties. The theater is one of these faculties, and is, therefore, essential to the health and survival of the Early Modern state. By depicting the theater as an essential faculty of the body politic, Shakespeare offers a defense of the theater against anti-theatrical critics.Students and teachers interested in the body and its representations in literature will find this text illuminating as will those scholars whose work focuses on knowledge, its relationship to the body, ways of knowing, and anti-theatrical prejudice.

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