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Theatricality and power : politics and ’play-acting’ in the European Renaissance

Jeff Barja Diamond

Barja Diamond, Jeff, "Theatricality and power : politics and ’play-acting’ in the European Renaissance", thèse en science politique, Université McGill, 1992.


In and around the princely courts of Europe, Renaissance humanists drew upon the teachings of classical antiquity, often reinterpreting them to suit their own intellectual and ethical needs. One such need concerned balancing notions of achievement predicated upon gaining others’ favor, with ideals of constancy and integrity. Evidence of this dilemma can be found in the works of Niccolo Machiavelli, Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas More, and Michel de Montaigne. In each of these cases, the attachment to differing conceptions of accomplishment and human dignity resulted in contradictions in their writings, and in their lives.

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