Listen to Jeffrey Knapp‘s excellent talk on the Sovereignty of Reasons – here. Knapp discusses how the understanding the world and its reasons is linked to subjective sovereignty but also how the sovereign is dependent on their subjects or being subject to subjects. He connects these issues in Hamlet to the history plays, namely Richard II and Hal in Henry IV and Henry V exploring how the elite is linked to the multitude.
Jeffrey Knapp is the Eggers Professor of English at UC Berkeley. He received the campus’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002; he is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEH Fellowship. Knapp has published three books: An Empire Nowhere: England and America from Utopia to The Tempest (1992); Shakespeare’s Tribe: Church, Nation, and Theater in Renaissance England (2002); and Shakespeare Only (2009). Knapp recently completed his fourth book, Pleasing Everyone: Mass Entertainment in Renaissance London and Golden-Age Hollywood, which is his first on film as well as literature and theater. Read more in his profile.