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By Katharine Eisaman Maus

What's the relation among who anyone is, and what she or he has? a couple of Shakespeare's performs interact with this query, elaborating a 'poetics of estate' centering on questions of authority and entitlement, of inheritance and prodigality, and of the various possibilities afforded by means of entry to land and to chattel estate. Being and Having in Shakespeare considers those shows of possession and authority Richard II and the Henry IV performs construe sovereignty as a kind of estate correct, mostly construing imperium, or the authority over individuals in a polity, as a sort of dominium, the authority of the propertyholder. still, what estate potential alterations significantly from Richard's reign to Henry's, because the imagined international of the performs is reconfigured to incorporate an city financial system of chattel consumables. The service provider of Venice, written among Richard II and Henry IV, half 1, reimagines, in comedian phrases, a few of the comparable matters broached within the background performs. It focuses specifically at the challenge of the daughter's inheritance and at the diverse estate duties between relations, neighbors, enterprise affiliates, and spouses. within the determine of the 'vagabond king', theoretically entitled yet truly dispossessed, Henry VI, half 2 and King Lear either coordinate difficulties of entitlement with conundrums approximately distributive justice, elevating basic questions about estate family members and social association.

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This seems to be the “farming” that Richard has in mind, Being and Having in Richard II 23 as his further comments reveal. On the verge of leaving for Ireland, he announces: “Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters. 4. 47–50). In Richard’s cavalier formulation, the tax farm seems to become a technically legal form of theft. So in Richard II, the word “farm” actually indicates two distinct endeavors, which have in common that they seem to be forms of shady practice deployed to increase the king’s revenue stream by delegating his traditional prerogatives.

Later, in conversation with his father, Prince Hal memorably imagines himself as a business principal who has sent an agent abroad to transact on his behalf. He tells King Henry: Percy is but my factor, good my lord, To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf; And I will call him to so strict account That he shall render every glory up . . 147–50) Prodigal Princes 49 Whereas in the parable of the prodigal son the young man runs off to foreign parts and squanders his goods, in Henry IV Part 1 the young voyager, Hotspur, “engrosses,” or accumulates at wholesale rates, “glorious deeds” that he will need to relinquish to his superior upon his return.

Later in the article, Cohen argues that many of the political powers of feudal landowners persist, in occluded form, in modern times among large property owners, heads of corporations, and the like. 32 Technically any felon’s lands “escheated” to his overlord (that is, his rights in the land were terminated). ” Since the felon was sentenced to death in either case, the loss of land rights affected not him personally but his heirs. Moreover, since the vast majority of common felons had no land to give up, the penalty of confiscation fell heaviest on those convicted of high treason, who typically hailed from circles close to the monarch.

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