Invited research talk
IMG_Conejero_FAG 07.05.2019  -  III Setmana de la Recerca: Dr Luis J. Conejero-Magro, Universidad de Extremadura.

16 May 2019, 13pm, Room 214

From the school of Salamanca to the theatres of London:
Shakespeare and the politics of the Renaissance

There appears to be no direct evidence to link Shakespeare and Spain, apart from the plethora of characters from Spain the Elizabethan playwright portrayed and depicted in his plays –Armado, in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Don John, in Much Ado about Nothing or the Queen herself, Katherine of Aragorn, in Henry VIII. However, this presentation draws a parallel between the theories upon kingship and power developed in the School of Salamanca, almost half a century before the success of Shakespeare’s plays, and the historical contexts and the tensions of the nobility represented in the London theatres. Whether Shakespeare had access to Francisco de Vitoria’s relectiones or not is still unknown. The way around this conundrum is to juxtapose Shakespeare’s texts –some fragments from Hamlet will be studied– with Vitoria’s first relectio, De potestate civili (1528). Vitoria’s relectio, probably delivered in the form of a lecture in Salamanca and Paris, modified the mediaeval idea of the divine origin of kingship, and generated a discussion on the origin of royal power which is so central to the plot of Shakespeare’s play. This presentation concludes that Vitoria’s ideas not only had an important bearing on the design and plot of some of Shakespeare’s works, but also influenced the formation of a new identity in Early Modern Drama. And it demonstrates that, thirty years after their publication and dissemination, Vitoria’s theories were probably in circulation throughout England. His ideas are therefore likely to have been familiar to humanists and in circles where Shakespeare moved. The evidence for these Anglo-Iberian relations will be further explained in this presentation. 
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