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The Tears of SovereigntyPerspectives of Power in Renaissance Drama$

Philip Lorenz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251308

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251308.001.0001

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Introduction: The Body Is Burning—Sovereignty, Image, Trope

Introduction: The Body Is Burning—Sovereignty, Image, Trope

(p.1) Introduction: The Body Is Burning—Sovereignty, Image, Trope
The Tears of Sovereignty

Philip Lorenz

Fordham University Press

… as though literature, theater, deceit, infidelity, hypocrisy, infelicity, parasitism, and the simulation of real life were not part of real life!

—Jacques Derrida, Limited Inc., 90

Sovereignty Is Burning

On December 1, 1613, England's King James I ordered that a book, A Defense of the Catholic Faith against the Errors of the Anglican Sect (Defensio fidei), by the Jesuit theologian and philosopher Francisco Suárez, be burned in front of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London.1 The Spanish Ambassador to England, Diego Sarmiento de Acuña (Count of Gondomar), described the scene to Spain's King, Philip III, in the following letter:

[T]oday at noon, by order of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has jurisdiction over London, a minister preached in the cemetery of St. Paul's Church and in the midst of his sermon produced the book of Father Suarez together with one of Becan [the Jesuit Van de Beeck] and one of Scioppius. After he had informed the people of the contents, he pitched the books down from the height of his pulpit and ordered them to be burned. Immediately on the spot two sacks of books were thrown into the flames.2

Prior to this event, a series of diplomatic exchanges between the English and Spanish courts had led up to James's order to burn Suárez's Defense. As Suárez's biographer, Joseph Fichter, recounts,

For almost two years the English ambassador at the court of Philip III in Madrid knew of the impending attack, and like a reliable military scout kept his monarch informed. If the element of surprise was thus eliminated from Suarez' assault, that of anxiety was steadily increased, and when it was finally accomplished it spread like the shrapnel of a high explosive in the camp of the enemy.3

Suárez's book landed in England like a bomb, not only challenging Royalist claims that James's power was directly derived from God but (p.2) also threatening to undermine the king's authority over the bodies and souls of his subjects.4 James responded with an equal display of violence, publicly condemning the Defense to the sacrificial flames of the pulpit.

Perhaps the most philosophically rigorous of numerous Catholic responses to James's 1606 Oath of Allegiance, Suárez's Defensio fidei incurred James's wrath by outlining the conditions under which it is licit to violently resist a king.5 In it, Suárez contends that “even a king who is supreme in temporal matters may be punished with deposition and sentenced to be deprived of his kingdom” and that “it is not sedition to resist a king who is ruling tyrannically.” The key passage reads:

But in the highest pope is this power, possessing in the case of superior [ranks] the jurisdiction for prosecuting even the highest kings, as much as he does in those below him, as is shown above. Wherefore if there are crimes [crimina] in spiritual matters, such as the crime of heresy, he can punish those crimes directly [directe] in the king's person, even to the point of deposing him from the kingdom, if the king's obstinacy and the providence of the common good of the Church so require it. But if the vices [vitia] are in temporal matters, insofar as they are sins [peccata], he can also prosecute those things through direct power [per directam potestatem]. So as far as such things are temporally noxious to the Christian republic, he will at least be able to punish those indirectly [indirecte] inasmuch as the tyrannical kingship of a prince is always destructive to the health of souls.6

Suárez's identification of different types of power and jurisdiction takes us straight to the heart of the problem of sovereignty as it was being reconfigured in the early seventeenth century. The explosive nature of the argument, as James clearly recognized, lay in the claim that popes had the power to depose kings, which is, in effect, the theoretical and theo-political precondition for justifying regicide (or “tyrannicide”). Although, as Suárez argues, many conditions for such an act have to first be present, the implications are nevertheless clear: In the extreme case, it may even be necessary to kill the king—if this killing is an act of self-defense. Invoking the authority of Thomas Aquinas, Suárez writes that in such a conflict “it is not the king or prince who is slain, but rather an enemy of the state.”7 For Suárez, the 1606 English Oath of Allegiance, along with James's later justification of it (De triplici (p.3) nodo, triplex cuneus [1608]), represent an arrogation of power the King does not possess: “To be sure, Paul said [Romans, Chap. xiii, v.1]: ‘Let every soul be subject to higher powers’; but nowhere did he add: Let all be subject even to powers that have been excommunicated or deprived [of their authority] by the Pope.”8 Suárez thus subordinates James's sovereignty to the Pope's jurisdiction—a conclusion he knows “will not be pleasing to the King of England.”9

Suárez's focus on the term “jurisdiction,” in particular, introduces a problem that is symptomatic of the difficulties facing any conceptualization of sovereignty in the early seventeenth century. “Jurisdiction” (jurisdictio) is not an easy matter to define here. The term identifies a particularly contested site in the wake of Reformation and Counter-Reformation struggles, as Catholic and Protestant princes alike sought to administratively align ecclesiastical jurisdictions with the territories over which they ruled.10 It does not refer primarily to territorial boundaries, as it would come to do in later understandings of sovereignty, but rather to the nature of the pope's power over Christian souls. The argument is complex, involving not only two forms of time (worldly and otherworldly, or temporal and eternal) but also two types of crime, or transgression. That neither can be subsumed to merely legal or political matters but also involve theological ones is made clear by Suárez's language. When he describes spiritual evils, Suárez speaks of “crimes” (crimina)—but when he discusses temporal evils he speaks of “sins” (vitia) instead—thus subtly blurring the distinction between the different kinds of time and crime and allowing popes to have jurisdiction over both.11 The Defense's crossing of terms from one domain to the other is central to Suárez's theoretical articulation of the nature of the pope's power. It is also a frontal attack on James's claim that his own sovereignty is directly derived from God and that all English subjects therefore owe their primary allegiance to the king: an act to which every English subject was obliged to acknowledge in writing, in a text that concluded with the phrase: “… heartily, willingly, and trewly, vpon the true Faith of a Christian. So helpe me GOD.”12 The crux of the theoretical battle over the changing concept of sovereignty in the early seventeenth century has to do with how we understand these terms and relations.

Suárez's text was hardly the first to justify violent resistance to the temporal sovereign. The Defensio fidei extends a trajectory of clerical and, in particular, Jesuit writings supporting what has come to be (p.4) known as “resistance theory,” including the Spanish Juan de Mariana's On the King and the Kings Education (De Rege Et Regis Institutione) (1599), the English Robert Parsons's A discussion of the answere of M. William Barlow (1612), and the Italian Jesuit Robert Bellarmine's De potestate summi pontificis (1610). Earlier Protestant tracts defending resistance to a ruler viewed as obstructing the path toward the true religion include the Vindiciae, contra tyrannos (1579), published under the name of Stephanus Junius Brutus, and the De jure regni apud Scotos (1579), by James's former teacher, George Buchanan.13 Resistance theory thus occupies a central position in the constitutional problematics of the early seventeenth century, as James himself well understood, writing in The Trew Law of Free Monarchies (1598) that even a wicked king cannot be resisted “but by sobbes and teares to God.”14

“Back in Coimbra,” Suárez's biographer, continues, imagining Suárez's view of the Oath of Allegiance controversy, “the source of all this agitation and international complication was placidly going about his duties of lecturing and writing.”15 As unperturbed by worldly events as he was devoted to spiritual ones, according to Fichter, Suárez himself was apparently most concerned with the unexpected side effects of the dissemination of his text:

A young cleric of Oporto had been receiving the pages of the work as it came from the printer, and had been helping Suarez in their correction. Without the author's knowledge this priest read the proofs to a young Englishman deeply interested in the controversy who was staying for a while at Oporto. The truth about the Catholic Church thus gradually unfolded before his eyes so that he came to Coimbra and asked to be received into the Church. Suarez took a childlike delight in telling Aquaviva about the conversion, remarking that good fruit had been produced from the work. “Our Lord has accorded me a very deep consolation, concerning a young Englishman from Oporto, a convert to our holy faith (who declared) that the reading of this book had made him understand where the truth was.”16

Fichter's biography of Suárez is far from impartial and has been described as “hagiographical.”17 Its ideological concerns are, in fact, part of the problems we will be encountering in the following pages. That is, while Fichter's account of the burning of Suárez's Defensio fidei is (p.5) not in itself particularly illuminating as far as seventeenth-century English and Spanish literary relations go, the trajectory it traces from immolation to conversion, on the other hand, as well as its own perspective of these events, introduce an array of historical and theoretical problems accompanying the formation of the concept of sovereignty at the threshold of European modernity. As a figure of these tensions, Suárez's burning text not only richly captures the state of hostilities between England and Spain, but it also marks the volatility of relations between religion and politics, authority and representation, sacrifice and subjection, underlying the construction of a new body-of-power at the turn of the seventeenth century.18 The effects of these developments would include one of history's most violent conflagrations, the Thirty Years War, in the early part of the seventeenth century, and begin to move Europe, in the latter part, toward the formation of what would eventually become a new political form: the nation-state.

In some ways, prefiguring these developments, the Oath of Allegiance controversy opens on to two conflicting stories about power, resistance, and theater. Binding them together is the image of Suárez's burning text itself—not only as the object of sovereign power but also as its staging, as the text in flames becomes the site and scene of sovereignty's performance. That is, on the one hand, it reveals sovereignty to be an act and actualization of power. By having Suárez's book publicly burned, James produces his own image of sovereignty, on a stage in which what counts is less the conceptual argument than the effective display of power that destroys it: that which resists sovereignty will be met with a certain violence. At the same time, by forcing James to respond, Suárez's text, on the other hand, also exerts its own form of sovereignty, in effect obliging the king to act. In this view, Suárez's text precedes and even takes a certain form of precedence over James's action. From this perspective, true sovereignty appears in the light of the flames of resistance to that which in the end is not sovereignty; Suárez's text negates through its own negation leaving us with an after-image of what James's sovereignty cannot contain or be. Both images produce the impression that the primary action of power is resistance to power.19 The destruction of Suárez's text thus brings into view a set of historical, political, and theological problems underlying and in some ways impelling the production of the English and Spanish plays I read in this book.

(p.6) Sovereignty

This is a book about Renaissance drama and the concept of sovereignty, a term that refers not simply to power in general, but rather to extraordinary power, that which is above, beyond, or outside all others—the highest power.20 Chiefly understood today as a political concept defining the state's jurisdiction, sovereignty in the seventeenth century was the product of an amalgamation of juridical and theological ideas.21 The king's, or the pope's, power was understood in terms of the position the sovereign occupied in relation to God—a theorization that (as the term “theory” itself suggests) operates by viewing and looking.22 How are we to see this “thing,” as Hamlet puts it, that is a king?23 The question is more complex than meets the eye, for a Renaissance king is a hybrid creature, at once a being, a body, and also an image of absolute power. How are we to understand the properties and capacities of this construct? On the one hand, the question is ontological, focusing on the dual—natural and political—status of the king's body, as it was theorized by early modern jurists and clerics.24 On the other hand, it is also representational, involving the sovereign figure's capacity to signify, and thereby effect, a number of crucial conceptual transpositions: from the particular to the universal, the temporal to the eternal, and the finite to the infinite body-of-power. The representational structure used to express the link between the sovereign's power and God's—a connection historically figured as a “body”—thus becomes increasingly important, as it is asked to bear the conceptual burden of actually performing these transpositions.25

The question of sovereignty is, additionally, a terminological and translational one that takes us straight to the heart of one of the increasingly difficult problems of late modernity: the relationship between secularization and political theology. For while the term “sovereignty” is a decidedly modern one, emerging at a crucial moment in the historical process of secularization, it is also the heir of a complex tradition of theo-political terms and tropes. As José Antonio Maravall has shown, in the gradual transition from medieval concepts of imperial rule and papal claims to unlimited jurisdiction, toward the assumption of total power by the governing head of secular states, the Pope's plenitudo potestatis gradually began to lose its strictly religious sense. Even as the old Latin terms of the plenitudo potestatis and imperium continued to be used to refer to the power of secular kings, the new word, “sovereighty” (p.7) appears, in 1576, with the publication of Jean Bodin's Six livres de la République, without clear etymological antecedents in a national idiom, French. Gaspar de Añastro's 1590 Spanish translation of Bodin's text does not use the word “sovereignty” (soberanía) once, as Añastro prefers to use the traditional forms instead. On the other hand, with the Spanish translation of Giovanni Botero's Della ragion di Stato (1589), the inverse occurs. While the new expression does not appear in the Italian original, the Spanish translator commissioned by Philip II, Antonio de Herrera, replaces the Italian, “sopranità,” which refers to royal power as “superiority” with “soberanía,”26 Related to these developments, and at least as important as its terminological transformations, is the central problem of sovereignty's representation. Because of its singular position above all other powers, the concept of sovereignty presents us with a set of philosophical, theological, and representational questions: How are we to understand its being, origin, pathways of derivation, and historical manifestations? What is its proper nature, structure, or form? Like the religious problem of the naming of God, with which it has much in common, the question of sovereignty is always at least a double if not a triple one, of designation, conceptualization, and representation. The following readings suggest that, in the case of sovereignty, these questions in effect converge, on-stage, in different ways, into one.27

Recent work on sovereignty has returned to a consideration of the concept's metaphysical structures and ontological relations.28 For Giorgio Agamben, “sovereignty is not an exclusively political concept, an exclusively juridical category, a power external to law (Schmitt), or the supreme rule of the juridical order … it is the originary structure in which law refers to life and includes it in itself by suspending it.”29 The fact that this “originary structure” is above all a structure of reference leads Agamben to formulate a series of historical and conceptual difficulties of sovereignty related to language. Agamben explores these by viewing them in the space of his recurring figure of the “zone” (zona). Beginning with the problem opened up by the two different Greek terms for “life”—zoē, or the simple fact of living, sometimes referred to as “bare life,” and bios, the way of living proper to an individual or group, the “good” or “political life”—Agamben approaches sovereignty genealogically and conceptually, situating it within a large trajectory of Western thought.30 Building on the work of Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt, Agamben's theories of sovereignty identify conceptual (p.8) borders between an inside and an outside of various orders—legal, logical, and metaphysical—only to then posit their collapse into “zones of indistinguishability,” in a movement that for Agamben is itself symptomatic of Western political philosophy. What Agamben calls the “paradox of sovereignty” is that the concept lies both inside and outside these orders at once, giving it, in effect, no stable, discernible place.31 For the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, on the other hand, sovereignty presents a different kind of paradox. For Nancy,

sovereign is the existent who depends upon nothing—no finality, no order of production or subjection, whether it concerns the agent or the patient or the cause or the effect. Dependent upon nothing, it is entirely delivered over to itself, insofar as precisely, the “itself” neither precedes nor founds it but is the nothing, the very thing from which it is suspended.32

Sovereignty, Nancy argues, necessarily and “essentially eludes the sovereign.” This is, in a sense, logical. For if it were otherwise, Nancy continues, “[i]f sovereignty did not elude it, the sovereign would in no way [en rien] be sovereign. The same condition that ensures that sovereignty receive its concept also deprives it of its power: that is, the absence of superior or foundational authority.” Sovereignty, to be sovereign, cannot depend on or follow a prior authority. Nor can it have a superior. It can only be “under” itself, a condition, Nancy argues, that contradicts its “self.” For Nancy, this is precisely the paradox of sovereignty: that “the sovereign authority must be essentially occupied with founding itself or with overcoming itself in order to legislate prior to or in excess of any law.”33 Nancy's paradox—the fact that sovereignty “essentially eludes the sovereign”—underscores the peculiar state of sovereignty as that which is at once everything (all power, the power above and beyond all others) and at the same time, nothing—empty. Like Hamlet's ghost, sovereignty in this view is, essentially, no thing; it has no being. What Nancy's description underscores is that in order for the concept to make logical sense, it has to be understood as that which cannot be founded or preceded in any way by another power, or caused to act, other than by its own will. Its conceptual consistency requires us to imagine a sovereignty that draws its basis, authority, and legitimacy only from itself in an act that both presents and negates it.

Sovereignty's conceptualization thus presents us with a set of challenges similar to those raised by the older theological problem of the (p.9) naming of God. As Ernesto Laclau points out, for a long tradition of Western theological thought, the only proper thing that can be said about God is that He is One. As soon as one starts attributing other qualities to God, one determines and differentiates and therefore limits God in some way.34 The problem of naming God is akin to the philosophical challenges involved in understanding sovereignty insofar as both hinge on the representational capacities of language to posit a singular being or power superior to all others. Sovereignty always speaks from the “God-place.”35 Sovereignty's twentieth-century theorists, from Laclau and Nancy through Claude Lefort, Louis Marin, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, and others, have all variously described this place as an “empty one.”36 One of the purposes of this study is to show how drama provides a particularly powerful vehicle for thinking through the problems of sovereignty. In the chapters that follow, I will consider how Renaissance (or what, for reasons that will become clearer, I will also refer to especially as baroque) drama, responds to the paradoxes, provocations, and problems of sovereignty's conceptual emptiness, precisely as problems for theater.

One answer to that question has been put forth, in the twentieth century, by the controversial, arch-Conservative jurist Carl Schmitt. For Schmitt, enemy of liberalism, “godfather of political theology,” and “Crown Jurist” of the Third Reich, that answer involves a complex understanding of the relationship between history and representation.37 Perhaps surprisingly, one place Schmitt sees that relation most illuminatingly revealed is in early modern drama, and, specifically, Shakespeare. While the constitutional law scholar is certainly known more for his sovereignty theory than for his Shakespeare scholarship, it was through an unusual reading of Hamlet that Schmitt formulated a compelling account of the relationship between history, sovereignty, and theater.38

In his 1956 essay Hamlet or Hecuba, Schmitt identifies an “irruption” (Einbruch) of historical time into “the time of the play.”39 Reading the drama in relation to historical events surrounding the life of England's King James I, particularly the murder of his father followed by his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots' marriage to the murderer, the Earl of Bothwell, Schmitt focuses on the inside-outside dynamic of literary and political-historical relations as these are marked by the space of the stage. Although “it would be absurd,” Schmitt writes, “to be distracted by the historical circumstances,” his reading of Hamlet (p.10) nevertheless centers largely on these—or, more specifically, on the way that Shakespeare responds to them. As James waited to succeed Queen Elizabeth during her last years, which are also the years that Hamlet was produced and performed (roughly 1599–1603), the question of the play—what Schmitt calls the “taboo of the Queen”—becomes a key index of the permeable border between history and theater in the early seventeenth century. For Schmitt, the double imperative with which the play confronts its audience—to recognize both the Queen's complicity in the murder of her husband (and marriage to his killer), and, at the same time, not criticize it—haunts both Hamlet and James. This contradictory double demand is intensified in relation to the historical Elizabeth's claim that she had no role in the death of Mary, Queen of Scots.40 Although Schmitt argues that the “rift” between literary history and political history, Hamlet and James, is “too deep” to bridge, he nevertheless identifies two moments when history indeed “breaks into” (“irrupts”) the play. These occur in what Schmitt calls the “Hamletization” of the hero, and in the play within the play, known as the “Mousetrap.” Despite his claims of the deep “rift,” Schmitt ultimately sees behind the figure of the revenge hero, the historical King James, whose own family drama, in effect, forms “the substance” of that which is re-played on stage. As Jennifer Rust and Julia Reinhard Lupton have shown, Schmitt reads the play as a “play” (Spiel) of immediate historical presence—literally as a “piece” (Stück) of time.41 In the end, although these “intrusions” “disturb the unintentional character of pure play,” and, are therefore a “minus,” they are also what make it possible for Schmitt to see the figure of Hamlet as a “truth myth,” which then (in his eyes) “elevates” the play to a tragedy.42 Schmitt's reading of Hamlet as a “true myth” is connected, as we shall see, to his view of history as rooted in legal substance. The literary myth's function in relation to historical reality, according to Schmitt, is not so much to “interpret” reality, as it is to remind it of what it really consists.43 I will return to Schmitt's view of reality in relation to theater and law in Chapters 3 and 4.

While his writings have sparked a widespread debate, particularly with regard to his “concept of the political,” based on its antithesis of friend and enemy, Schmitt's work has also taken on an enormous importance among twentieth and twenty-first century thinkers on both the right and the left, for its theorization of power. For some theorists, in the wake of the Cold War, neither liberalism's reliance on law nor (p.11) Marxism's critique of the production and distribution of wealth could account for a political order in which a new form of violence poses the real possibility of total global destruction.44 In the face of these inadequacies, Schmitt's work has been seen by some to provide an important critical corrective.

In works such as Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (1922), Roman Catholicism and Political Form (1923), and The Nomos of the Earth (1950), Schmitt presents a conceptual genealogy of sovereignty within a larger framework of what, at times, appears to be an almost mythological narrative of legal history. Schmitt describes this history in The Nomos of the Earth (1950) in quasi-Heideggerian terms of cultivation, containment, and differentiation, in which the law inscribes itself into the earth in three distinct phases. “In mythical language, the earth became known as the mother of law. This signifies a threefold root of law and justice”:

First, the fertile earth contains within herself, within the womb of her fecundity, an inner measure, because human toil and trouble, human planting and cultivation of the fruitful earth is rewarded justly by her with growth and harvest … Second, soil that is cleared and worked by human hands manifests firm lines, whereby definite divisions become apparent. Through the demarcation of fields, pastures, and forests, these lines are engraved and embedded…. Third and last, the solid ground of the earth is delineated by fences, enclosures, boundaries, walls, houses, and other constructs. Then the orders and orientations of human social life become apparent … In this way, the earth is bound to law in three ways. She contains law within herself, as a reward of labor; she manifests law upon herself, as fixed boundaries; and she sustains law above herself, as a public sign of order.45

While there is much to say about Schmitt's mythology of the earth (including its awkward gendering, in which after “she” is publicly bound and contained, the earth provides “rewards”), for the purposes of introduction I would like to merely note how it presents a concise account of Schmitt's view of history.46 For Schmitt, the engine of history is law, and historical development is driven by legal processes of division, inscription, and binding to the earth. The earth's relationship with law is itself conceived of in terms of bonds: “the earth is bound to law …” The importance of the earth's relation to law in Schmitt cannot be overstressed. It is at the heart of his sovereignty theory, and it is (p.12) also, as we shall see, a crucial starting point for thinkers from Walter Benjamin through Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben, who have all returned to Schmitt's work in order to understand contemporary problems of sovereignty and political theology. Each of Schmitt's stages, from the earth's rewarding of human labor with the gift of law, through the “clearing” of soil and “divisions” of labor, to the “delineation by fences, enclosures, boundaries, walls, houses, and other constructs,” marks a different aspect of these bonds, as they come together to form the historical ground of geopolitical thought. It is precisely this ground and its legal layering that, for Schmitt, orders the world—prior to any sociological or psychological determination.47 Schmitt's language reinforces his hierarchical gendering of the earth (“within the womb of her fecundity,” “she contains,” and so on) by indicating the positions where these borders are inscribed—within, upon, and above. What slowly starts to emerge, in Nomos of the Earth in particular, is a spatial order created and structured by the originary force of law. It is above all through law, for Schmitt, that the “orientations of human social life” become legible. In order to bear out this view of the relationship between legal history and life forms (“orientations”), Schmitt advances a novel conceptual methodology.

“Sociology of Concepts”

Although he published his study of political theology in a Festschrift for the sociologist Max Weber, Schmitt goes to great lengths to distinguish his own form of juridical “sociology” from Weber's.48 For Schmitt, a legal-theoretical understanding of history is different from a psychological one, reliant on the category of “motivation.” It is also distinct from a sociology that focuses on “specific types,” which is more or less what “brilliant literary criticism” does.49 Against these, what matters for Schmitt is the “juristic construction.” For Schmitt, it is the legal, not the social or psychological, layering that underlies and determines history. In order to demonstrate this, Schmitt turns toward a theory of comparison and what he calls “radical conceptualization” governed by the operation of “correspondences.” A sociology of concepts

aims to discover the basic, radically systematic structure and to compare this conceptual structure with the conceptually represented social structure of a certain epoch. There is no question here of (p.13) whether the idealities produced by radical conceptualization are a reflex of social reality, or whether social reality is conceived of as the result of a particular kind of thinking and therefore also of acting. Rather this sociology of concepts is concerned with establishing proof of two spiritual but at the same time substantial identities.50

Rather than seeing historical realities “reflected” in concepts, Schmitt's sociology identifies correspondences between, for example, the status of a political form, such as monarchy, and a “general state of consciousness.” Between political status and subjective consciousness, form and thought, lie organizational structures that shape historical periods. Schmitt's analyses hinge on the way one conceives of the relationship between legal and political structures and various—social, spiritual, metaphysical, and aesthetic—forms of life. Understanding the nature of the relationship and the logic of the correspondences lies at the heart of Schmitt's methodology.

Schmitt's sociology of concepts raises as many questions as it provides answers for the problem of sovereignty. How, for example, does one recognize “structural correspondences” between juridical, theological, economic, or aesthetic forms? How does one compare a “conceptual” structure with a social one? And how does a “historical-political status” correspond with a “general state of consciousness”—especially in cultures where legal history and even conceptualization itself may take on different forms? What structural or “logical” sense does Schmitt's “correspondence” theory make? In order to answer such questions, Schmitt repeatedly insists on the “systematic” nature of the correspondences—a feature he identifies, perhaps surprisingly, in the form of what he refers to as a “metaphysical image” (das metaphysische Bild):

The metaphysical image that a definite epoch forges of the world has the same structure as what the world immediately understands to be appropriate as a form of its political organization. The determination of such an identity is the sociology of the concept of sovereignty.51

Somewhat akin to his contemporary, Martin Heidegger, and his notion of a “world picture” (Weltbild), Schmitt's “metaphysical images” have structures that reflect “substantial identities”—above all, in Schmitt's case, ones that can be recognized in political forms. This structuring logic of the image lies at the heart of a “systematic” methodology that attempts to account for the way material and conceptual history meet at the level of representation.52

(p.14) A different kind of “image” emerges in the work of Schmitt's surprising—for some, even shocking—interlocutor on these questions, Walter Benjamin.53 Benjamin's study of the German baroque “mourning play” (Trauerspiel) provides an inverse theoretical perspective to Schmitt's. For Benjamin, too, the question of methodology is inseparable from the practice of criticism (what Schmitt refers to as “scientific” investigation).54 It is precisely the question of method that Benjamin works out most fully in his study of baroque drama. There, Benjamin—unlike Schmitt, who sees his work as a systematic investigation of radical structural correspondences—describes his own research method not in terms of correspondences, but rather as a process of detours. “Method,” for Benjamin, “is a digression” (Methode ist Umweg).55 In the “Epistemo-Critical Prologue” to The Origin of German Tragic Drama (1928), he links this indirect way of proceeding to the problem of representation (Darstellung) in general:

Representation as digression—such is the methodological nature of the treatise. The absence of an uninterrupted purposeful structure is its primary characteristic. Tirelessly the process of thinking makes new beginnings, returning in a roundabout way to its original object.56

Benjamin explains this notion of method as “digression” by comparing it with the mode of presentation used in the scholastic treatise. Here, the “truth-content” of the work is “only to be grasped through immersion in the most minute details of subject-matter.”57 Immersing oneself in the details of the form is central to an immanent criticism in which the interpreted object's availability to knowledge depends on understanding both the internal relation of its elements to each other, and also their relation to the act of interpretation itself.58 It is interpretation that sets ideas in motion. Interpretation, in effect, stages thought.59 As Benjamin explains and develops in some detail in The Origin of German Tragic Drama (often referred to as the “Trauerspiel book.”—Trauer plus Spiel designating “plays of mourning” or of “tragical history”60), this double movement of identification and interpretation does not merely “describe” the object it contemplates. Rather, it participates in the actual production of its meaning. It is the object that determines the mode of interpretation, not the other way around.

Like Schmitt, Benjamin's critical method gives central place to what he refers to as “image” (Bild). Like Schmitt, too, Benjamin's theory of (p.15) the “image” lies at the heart of his understanding of historical consciousness. In a famous passage of Benjamin's “Arcades Project” (Das Passagen-Werk) Benjamin describes the relationship between what he calls the Then (das Gewesene) and the Now (das Jetzt) in terms of an instantaneous “flash” (blitzhaft):

It's not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present [casts] its light on what is past; rather, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash [blitzhaft] with the now to form a constellation. In other words, image is dialectics at a standstill. For while the relation of the present to the past is a purely temporal, continuous one, the relation of what-has-been to the now is dialectical: is not progression but image, suddenly emergent.—Only dialectical images are genuine images (that is, not archaic); and the place where one encounters them is language. ɁAwakeningɁ61

Benjamin's “semi-concept” of the dialectical image has sparked an enormous amount of critical commentary in the twentieth century in disciplines ranging from philosophy and political theory, to theology and psychoanalysis.62 Included among Benjamin's many critical targets here is an understanding of history and historical representation in terms of development and progress. Specifically, Benjamin is countering both a Hegelian conception of world-historical movement and particular aspects of Martin's Heidegger's theory of historicity.63 Against both of these, Benjamin's “image” posits a materialist conception of history in which what is accessible to thought is a “ruin,” the historicity of which is made momentarily visible through the abrupt effects of an interpretive collision. “Not progression but image,” Benjamin writes, is what the fleeting encounter between the Then (das Gewesene) and the Now (das Jetzt) produces. The place where this collision and its illuminating consequences occur, as Benjamin suggests, and as Anselm Haverkamp stresses and develops, is language. “More precisely,” Haverkamp writes,

the paradigmatic instance of the dialectical image's existence in language is citation: language reused and reread. One might be tempted to go so far as to say that the word image is the metaphor—and a very suggestive one—for citation, while the word “dialectical” has to be taken as “reading.” The expression “dialectical image” has to be translated into and put to use as “reading citation.”64

(p.16) The temporality of this “reading” unfolds in a non-linear manner, moving according to a more irregular and iterative, even violent, rhythm. It tears the object away from a history that would situate it within a wider narrative of progress.65 While Benjamin's theory of the image reaches its mature form in his Arcades project, it is in his earlier study of baroque drama—focusing particularly on Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, and Calderón de la Barca—that he begins to formulate his complex view of the relationship between history, language, and time.66 It is the Benjamin of the Trauerspiel book that I grapple with here.

Benjamin's rich formulation of the connection between baroque culture and twentieth-century modernity guides me throughout these pages, as I draw on his study to understand how baroque drama continues to inform our thinking about the problems of sovereignty and political theology today.67 One of the theoretical and methodological gains suggested by the dialectical image is that it provides a complex and compelling way of thinking about the relationship between conceptual and material history. While the figures I pursue in the following readings are by no means offered as simple illustrations of dialectical images (nor are they taken from Benjamin's own examples, such as the lightning-like flash [blitzhaft], or the frozen image of arrested movement), they nevertheless suggest similar operations of historical and theoretical mediation. It is precisely in their capacity to bridge the early and post-modern problematics that the tropes of sovereignty take center stage. Along with Schmitt's “metaphysical image,” then, I take Benjamin's “dialectical image” as a second point of orientation from which to follow the tropological formation of sovereignty on the baroque stage.

Benjamin identifies a strong epistemic link between the seventeenthcentury baroque and twentieth-century modernity. This connection has to do in part with the kinds of problems sovereignty poses in both periods. In both the seventeenth and twentieth (and one might now add twenty-first) centuries, some of the conditions that frame these problems include the resurgence of political theology; the development of unprecedented military power, including the technological capacity for world destruction; a constantly present anxiety over the question of security; military, economic, and legal developments related to the administration of global empire; the spatialization of power; a virtualization of politics; and an ongoing theological and political (p.17) rhetoric of sacrifice.68 In addition to these crises of sovereignty, each period also bears witness to a general awareness of, and sophisticated relation to, sovereignty's staging conditions.69 Both periods share a complex relationship to the—equally complex—sign-systems of sovereign power. If, in the seventeenth century, the epistemological problems involved in this crisis are explicitly theological ones, they are also, in both periods, what Hent de Vries refers to as “mediatic” ones.70 That is, both periods undergo intense philosophical and political-theological crises of the sign. In order to better understand this claim, as well as the complex relationship between sovereignty and its mediation, I rely throughout this book on Schmitt's juridical investigations, as well as Benjamin's still extremely suggestive work on the baroque. For both thinkers, the historical and conceptual problems of the baroque move in tandem with the constitutional and theological staging of sovereignty. For both, too, the crisis of sovereignty is also a crisis of representation.71

The Tears of Sovereignty follows this interplay of historical and conceptual crises as it is registered in the drama of the leading playwrights of the early modern period: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), Lope de Vega (1562–1635), and Calderón de Barca (1600–1681). Specifically, it focuses on representational operations performed on the “body-of-power” in the form of five “events”: the staging of sovereignty's collapse in Richard II (Chapter 1); a reanimation via an “organ transplant” in Measure for Measure (Chapter 2); an autoimmune response to that operation, in Lope de Vega's Fuenteovejuna (Chapter 3); a reconstitution of sovereignty in the form of “ciphers and images” (cifras y estampas) in Calderón's Life is a Dream (Chapter 4); and, finally, a return (with a twist) to a new body-of-power in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale (“wrinkles”) (Chapter 5). Collectively, these moments do not form a history of sovereignty's development, so much as they present a set of scenes of its deformation, reformation, and transformation, staged as a series of shifting metaphorical movements.

Each of these movements is a “tear” of sovereignty in a different sense. From the royal tears through which we initially view sovereignty's departure in Richard II, tears situate us in relation to sovereignty in a second sense, as a figure of the resistance theory against which divine-right kingship defines itself. (As James asserted, a wicked king cannot be resisted “but by sobbes and teares to God.”72) The figure of the “tear” also opens onto a third set of problems, regarding the rise of (p.18) the modern subject, so frequently associated with literature and art of the early modern period, in general, and writers such as Shakespeare, in particular.73 For Jacques Derrida, for example, providing his own pun and drawing on the work of Andrew Marvell, the “tear” is a figure of that which is “proper to the eye/I.”74 At least one part of this pun, however, the “eye,” is unable, on its own, to take in the meaning of “tear,” in yet a fourth sense—that of the rip, or the cut—in which the term must be heard as well as read, in order to take in its violence. Here, the “tear” functions in the manner of what the Renaissance rhetorician George Puttenham calls an auricular figure, a pun, simultaneously conveying the optical and destructive senses of the term. In my chapter on Richard II, the secretive and destructive aspects of the tear take center stage, capturing a key element of what I argue to be the epistemological and political conditions in which one always views sovereignty.75 Finally, but by no means least important, the tear is a figure of mourning, an emblem of the Trauerspiel or “tragical history” that, for Benjamin, marks our historical entrance into an ongoing, baroque modernity.

The Tears of Sovereignty traces the theatrical arrangements and derangements of these figures and forms into some of the displacements, disavowals, and continuing challenges that the concept of sovereignty confronts us with. Against a view of sovereignty's history in terms of chronological development, the readings presented here move more according to the “logic” of the rhetorical trope of metalepsis or transumption, which, as Leonard Barkan puts it,

is a figure of rhetoric that also becomes a figure of history. In its rhetorical mode, which one might call synchronic, it refers to the movement, or slide among different tropes: say, a kind of domino effect from one metaphor to another instead of the direct reversion from the metaphorical to the literal. In its historical mode, which one might call diachronic, it refers to relations among different planes of time that operate not by direct transmission but by the slide from one figure or motif or anecdote to another. These relations do not conform to the rigors of Socratic thinking but operate by pun, by misreading, by free association (which is never free), by condensation and displacement—choose whatever illogical logic you will.76

My pursuit of the tropological relations involved in the representation of sovereignty follows its own “slide” from figure to figure. At the same (p.19) time, the picture of sovereignty presented here is not one that opens on to a history of rhetoric or rhetorical traditions in England and Spain. Neither does it present a general or intellectual history of the concept.77 Instead, what The Tears of Sovereignty attempts to make visible is a series of co-implications between sovereignty's baroque stagings and its contemporary (both seventeenth and twenty-first century) theorizations. My readings, therefore, are not restricted to the historical context of the early seventeenth century—even as I argue that the tropes produced on stage during this period are themselves historical events. Taken as a whole, the “illogical logic” of these events suggests less a narrative of historical “development” than an allegory of sovereignty's ongoing migrations and deformations, as the concept moves from early to late modernity. One general trajectory these follow is from sovereignty's representation in the symbolic body of the sacred king, into increasingly fragmented, abstract, and disembodied forms.78 Accompanying these representational movements are corresponding conceptual shifts in philosophy, in which questions about a being's essence gradually begin to cede to those of its function, and, in theology, in which, understandings of the absolute begin to move away from the notion of “body” and into more diffuse spatialized and decorporealized forms.79

The practical and theoretical place of theater is implied in these questions all along. Historically, from ancient tragedy, through the allegorical drama of medieval Mystery plays, to the public theaters of Western Europe in the Renaissance, which have often reinforced the imperial or centralizing policies of what will become the modern state, the institution of theater has played an enormous role in the dissemination of various political theologies. The present study, however, is not a historicist one. Instead, it focuses on a different sense, in which the specific representational capacities of theater as a medium participate in the historical formation of the concept of sovereignty. Here, as I hope to show, theater brings into dynamic view our ongoing entanglement in sovereignty's conceptual logics. Thus, while the following chapters do not offer an intellectual history of sovereignty, they nevertheless aspire to make visible (at least) one aspect of early modern theater's involvement in that history.80 In the course of attempting to do so, I do not position the plays with or against much of the critical literature concerning British or Spanish theatre history, much less “Renaissance drama” or the comedia as a whole.81 Nor do I address Italian (p.20) commedia tradition or French court and theater.82 Neither does The Tears of Sovereignty situate the plays in relation to archival material, or the playwrights in relation to their minor interlocutors. Finally, even as it draws extensively on the various writings of Francisco Suárez to provide the conceptual and philosophical framework of the early modern problem of sovereignty, I do not, here, explore Suárez's complex relation to his contemporaries, such as Jean Bodin, in France, or other School of Salamanca theorists.83

What Tears does do, on the other hand, is seek to address an urgent problem that arises at the juncture of political philosophy and literary and cultural studies, in the wake of the return to Schmitt. As Jacques Lezra has shown, the problem concerns two of Schmitt's chief claims: one, that the state inherits its concepts from theology (historical argument), and, two, that sovereignty ultimately legitimates itself in a nonsecularized conception of time. Schmitt's sovereignty theory itself is thus double, and divided, providing, as Lezra argues, both a tenacious historical description of the theologico-political transition to modernity, and at the same time showing that this entire process relies on a structural exception to the historical.84 Tears of Sovereignty focuses on the manner in which theater captures and complicates this dual development. How do Shakespeare's seminal sovereignty and political theology plays, Richard II and Measure for Measure, stage these divisions? How do the equally paradigmatic Spanish plays by Lope de Vega, the revolutionary Fuenteovejuna, and Calderón, the philosophical Life Is a Dream, respond? And, finally, how do the political and religious divides separating the two great national theaters not only mark a key moment in the history of sovereignty, as it begins to move into its modern forms in the early seventeenth century, but also expose its conceptual and representational logics?85

One of the theoretical premises of this study is that these logics are always metaphor-logics. Tears focuses on the production and effects of these logics as they are generated and released on stage. On the way, it explores the close connection between what Benjamin called baroque drama and a modernity that political-theological sovereignty continues to haunt. Thus my readings not only focus on the ways that sovereignty is staged by the leading playwrights of England and Spain in works that have become centerpieces of research on the topic, but it also considers how current theorizations, including those by Derrida, Schmitt, (p.21) and Agamben, might be considered in a new light when viewed through the logics of tears.


The readings that follow are informed in different ways by the work of Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, Carl Schmitt, and Jacques Derrida. The book's tropological method, in particular, draws on Hans Blumenberg's theories of metaphorology and non-conceptuality. Blumenberg's wide-ranging studies explore the philosophical and historical challenges to representation posed in particular by phenomena whose truth status cannot be directly verified.86 In his Paradigms for a Metaphorology, Blumenberg provides a theoretical account of different kinds of metaphors. While some metaphors are used to represent entities that are accessible, and whose truth status can be verified, others are employed for that which cannot be directly or fully experienced. In the latter case we use what Blumenberg calls “absolute metaphors”: metaphors, including images, that function to make “the maximal abstraction of such concepts as ‘Being,’ ‘History,’ [and] ‘World,’” accessible.87 “Absolute metaphors” themselves are not conceptual but rather “theoretical” terms. That is, they don't present us with knowledge so much as they provide us with a “point of orientation” in relation to that which cannot be verified. Not unlike Kant's theory of symbols, absolute metaphors are pragmatic tools. They “give structure to a world, representing the nonexperienceable, nonapprehensible totality of the real.”88 Like many theological and metaphysical theories, absolute metaphors are, in this regard, pre-and meta-conceptual.89 Blumenberg goes on to characterize absolute metaphors as “‘translations’ that resist being converted back into authenticity and logicality.”90 That is, they cannot be brought back into literal language. “That these metaphors are called ‘absolute,’” Blumenberg writes, “means only that they prove resistant to terminological claims and cannot be dissolved into conceptually, not that one metaphor could not be replaced or represented by another, or corrected through a more precise one. Even absolute metaphors therefore have a history.”91 In his later work, Blumenberg moves from a discussion of absolute metaphors in relation to “metaphorology,” to a consideration of their place in a theory of what he refers to as “nonconceptuality.” Here, the focus shifts from the metaphors themselves (p.22) to the question of the “life-world” that generates them. In this latter aspect of his project, metaphor is no longer the sole subject but now also includes other tropological forms.92

Like Schmitt, then, Blumenberg sees history in terms of its representation. Unlike Schmitt, however, Blumenberg doesn't link his theories of metaphor directly to specific social issues or political forms. He does not see law as the motor of life. Nor does he focus on the “correspondence” between a period's metaphysical images and its political structures. Rather, for Blumenberg, it is a deep linguistic rather than juridical layering that organizes the “life-world.” Against Schmitt's mythological legal “soil” (Boden), the “metaphorological” strata that Blumenberg focuses on present us with a different view of history's ground. Metaphors, Blumenberg says, are “fossils that indicate an archaic stratum of the trial of theoretical curiosity—a stratum that is not rendered anachronistic just because there is no way back to the fullness of its stimulations and expectations of truth.”93 The pre-conceptual function of absolute metaphors, then, makes them similar, in some respects, to certain aspects of Michel Foucault's notion of “archaeology.” Just as the four components that for Foucault constitute “discourse”—concepts, objects, ways of describing, and the position of subjects—relate subjects to concepts in a formal way, Blumenberg's absolute metaphors similarly attempt to grasp the sub-structures of conceptuality.

Nonconceptuality's turn toward the terrain that produces the terms, images, and tropes through which we grasp “maximal abstractions” is a productive starting point for metaphorological study of sovereignty.94 In early modern Europe, one of the institutions largely responsible for the generation of such terms is theater. At the same time, the readings that follow do not only operate, strictly speaking, in metaphorological terms, in Blumenberg's sense. They could also be viewed, loosely following Foucault, as “archaeological,” or archaeotropological investigations of some of the key metaphors baroque drama has reconstituted for the concept of sovereignty.95 How do the tropes produced by Shakespeare, Lope, and Calderón figure and reconfigure sovereignty's conceptual logics? How do exegetical tropes perform? In order to answer these questions, literary history itself might hold a special, even privileged, position in relation to other kinds of historical and intellectual discourse. The plays read here not only stage the “body-of-power,” but they also generate terms that repeatedly retrope (p.23) the concept of sovereignty apart from any particular staging. In this light, the theater's production of sovereignty tropes could itself be viewed as both a conceptual performance and a historical event at once.96 We think sovereignty, I argue throughout these pages, with and through its tropes.

Perhaps the most recurring of these tropes is the figure of the “body.” Historically speaking, sovereignty's reliance on the “body” metaphor appears in theorists from Plato and Aristotle, through Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Gilles Deleuze, Antonio Negri, and Michael Hardt. In these and other thinkers, sovereignty is repeatedly understood in relation to the body. This is not accidental. Perhaps the conceptual crux of sovereignty is the problem of embodiment—both at the level of the concept viewed as a “body” of power, and also at that concerning the collective or individual bodies subordinated or subjected to it. As religious studies scholars have pointed out, we tend to think of “maximal abstractions” such as sovereignty in terms of a “body” because we ourselves are and have bodies.97

Early modern theater has a special, even burning, relation to these “bodies.” One of the objectives of this book is to show how the canonical dramatists of the early modern period provide us with an archive of thought-figures for imagining the body-of-power at a crucial moment in sovereignty's conceptual history. In their works, Shakespeare, Lope, and Calderón have produced a reservoir of tropes that continues to inform our understanding of the nature and operations of sovereignty.98 Following this line, I argue that the paradigmatic plays considered here can be seen to respond to and even—in a paradoxical and anachronistic sense that we will return to—inform the theorization of sovereignty posed by thinkers such as Agamben, Derrida, and Nancy. Consequently, I read early modern theater and late-modern theory together, pursuing their co-implications at the level of metaphor. How, for example, do the metaphysical and juridical relations captured by Agamben's figure of the “zone” appear in the “law voids” differently staged by Shakespeare, in Measure for Measure, or Lope de Vega, in Fuenteovejuna? What happens when the body-of-power falls into a crisis of indistinguishability on stage? How does the famous monsterscape of Calderón's dream work appear in relation to Nancy's paradox of an always self-eluding sovereignty? How do these canonical baroque plays both mark and expose the conceptual problems of sovereignty (p.24) that Schmitt, Benjamin, Foucault, and Derrida have singled out as constitutive of modern life?

I explore answers to these questions through readings of plays of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries: Shakespeare's Richard II (1597), Measure for Measure (1604), and The Winter's Tale (1609–11); Lope de Vega's Fuenteovejuna (1612); and Calderón de la Barca's Life Is a Dream (La Vida es Sueño (1635)—each of which presents its own paradigm of the representation of political-theological sovereignty. I borrow the term “paradigm” here from Agamben to refer to a particular kind of example. What distinguishes a “paradigm” is that it “make[s] intelligible [a] series of phenomena whose kinship had eluded or could elude the historian's gaze.”99 Paradigms, in this view, don't discover origins in time. Rather, they mark “crossings” of diachrony and synchrony.100 Agamben's definition of a paradigm is indebted to Benjamin's notion of the “dialectical image.”101 Following Benjamin, Agamben argues that “the historical object is never only in the past and never only in the present. It lies in a constellation formed by both: it is there where past and present meet.”102 In this dual (synchronic and diachronic) sense of the meeting place, the plays analyzed here, I argue, are historical objects with respect to sovereignty. Each is paradigmatic, in Agamben's sense, of a particular problem involved in its staging, both “Then and Now” (as Benjamin puts it). Each, too, is governed by a controlling figure, one that comes with its own logic, operations, and implications.103 Taken together, the readings repeatedly underscore different aspects of sovereignty's conceptual dependence on its theoretical—i.e., metaphorical—machinery.

Each of the plays read here either already holds a prominent place in a tradition of sovereignty criticism, or has become a new site in the burgeoning field of theoretical writing on political theology. All of them remain compelling to scholars interested in the historical, philosophical, and political problems posed by sovereignty. Perhaps the most well-known instance of such a turn to theater to theorize sovereignty is Ernst Kantorowicz's reading of Richard II, in his foundational study, The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology. Shakespeare's exploration of political theology is pursued in another direction by Debora Shuger, in a major study of the play in relation to sexuality and English religious history. In other arenas, Measure for Measure appears, re-troped, in forms as diverse as Wagner's opera Das Liebesverbot and even (for some critics) cultural events such as the (p.25) Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas trial;104 Similarly, innumerable critics and producers have turned to Lope's Fuenteovejuna to support wildly contradictory positions with respect to sovereignty, from seeing the play as the embodiment of radical democracy, including Lorca's revolutionary re-writing, to totalitarian and fascist appropriations and interpretations. Life Is a Dream, too, can be recognized in countless reiterations and adaptations in forms as diverse as Hugo von Hofmannsthal's Der Turm and the films The Matrix and Vanilla Sky. And, finally, The Winter's Tale has not only become the object of much intensive recent Shakespeare criticism of a theoretical and political-theological nature, but its experimental form has also been identified as informing works as diverse as Jane Austen's Persuasion and Pedro Almodóvar's Volver.105

At the same time, even as I underscore the substantial place each of these plays already holds in cultural and intellectual history in relation to sovereignty, my intention is not merely to view them as reminders of a tradition that is past. Rather, my contention is that in terms of the tropological machineries they produce and disseminate for sovereignty, we have in a sense never left them. That is, in addition to the rich place each play already holds within Shakespeare or Golden Age studies, each is also paradigmatic precisely for the way it reveals our ongoing relation to the problem of sovereignty. We are still thinking about sovereignty through their logics, viewing it through their baroque tropes, or “tears.” This book explores the different “logics” of these tropes at the level of their linguistic and conceptual staging. Each chapter pursues the staging of a different sovereignty “event,” from the concept's collapse (“tears”), through its reanimation (“transplant”), resistance, transformation (cifras y estampas), and return (“wrinkles”). Collectively, the “tears,” or tropes of sovereignty viewed here function in the manner of what the scholastics referred to as “syncategoremata,” words that alone do not form subjects or predicates, but that collectively can form an argumentative proposition. The proposition here concerns the different (representational and conceptual) ways of imagining sovereignty as a body-of-power, and the argument is that baroque drama provides constituent metaphors for understanding the workings of that “body.” Sovereignty depends on the tropes of its stagings.106 Without these terms, there is no sovereignty. Sovereignty is troped, or it is not at all.107

This is a comparative study, called for not only by the historical nature of the seventeenth-century sovereignty crisis, but also by the (p.26) role played by the two great national theaters of Spain and England in articulating it. The early modern constitutional problematic of sovereignty is international from the start. Not only does it emerge from the Reformation–Counter-Reformation reconfiguration of Europe along confessional lines, but it is also an epistemic “event” in Foucault's sense, involving the development of new languages for conceiving of what are increasingly becoming global relations of power. As Schmitt shows, both Spain and England play determining roles, especially at the juridical and conceptual levels, in the formation of these modern languages of power. These early modern geopolitical events correspond with the rise of the institution of theater in England and Spain as the dominant popular art form in both countries. Not only does theater play a significant role in the formation of the public spheres of each country—a development that leads in different directions—but the “paradigmatic plays” read here also respond to the early modern sovereignty crisis in ways that have lasting conceptual effects.108

The Problem of Political Theology

Political theology is a bridge discourse. It articulates the relation between the political and theological life-worlds, variously imagining them as independent and co-dependent at once. As an explanatory discourse, it focuses in particular on questions of authority, legitimacy, representation, and mediation. One of the most common features of Western political theology is its recurring attempt to construct an “analogy between God and sovereignty, which permits the earthly sovereign to be conceived as the representative of the divine, the lieutenant of God.”109 In this way, it strives to present a coherent conceptual account of the relation of each term to the other. The nature of this relation is, of course, an old problem, differing understandings of which can be found in the Western tradition in a wide range of sources, from Plato's Laws, through the Stoic writings, to Hebrew, Christian, and Islamic sacred texts, and beyond. Classical accounts of political theology often begin with Marcus Terentius Varro, whom Saint Augustine discusses in The City of God.110 All of these writings posit and elaborate complex structures of power. In this general sense, then, political theology's objective is to tell the story of the right role of earthly power in relation to its transcendent source(s).

(p.27) The problem of political theology has reappeared with a burning intensity in the twentieth century in relation to the work of Carl Schmitt. According to Heinrich Meier, Schmitt takes the term “political theology” not from Varro or Augustine, with whom its beginnings are often associated, but rather from the Russian anarchist, Mikhail Bakunin. For Schmitt, Meier argues, political theology is a “weapon in a war in which two irreconcilable armies face one another, one under the banner of Satan, the other under the sign of God.”111 In his well-known formulation, Schmitt defines political theology as the consequence of the transfer of theological concepts to the political sphere:

All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts not only because of their historical development—in which they were transferred from theology to the theory of the state, whereby, for example, the omnipotent God became the omnipotent lawgiver—but also because of their systematic structure, the recognition of which is necessary for a sociological consideration of these concepts. The exception in jurisprudence is analogous to the miracle in theology. Only by being aware of this analogy can we appreciate the manner in which the philosophical ideas of the state developed in the last centuries.112

Schmitt's analysis of the conceptual and juridical processes through which the state inherits theological concepts has become a cornerstone of many debates about secularization and the theologico-political transition to modernity.

Today there is an understandable resistance to the connection between sovereignty and political theology.113 To many, it appears as a disavowal, if not an outright avoidance of responsibility, to turn from the inheritance of Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Smith, and Kant, back to a “religious” dependence, in which modern, secular life reverts to the irrational fetters, fantasies, and destructive pursuits of its theological origins. For these scholars, it goes against an entire legacy of Enlightenment thought. At the same time, for a wide range of other critics, including but not limited to those indebted to psychoanalytic theory and deconstruction, this legacy itself is unthinkable apart from its ability to question its own relation to its theological origins.114 Historically and theoretically, then, political theology can be seen as one of sovereignty's necessary, if problematic, siblings, bound to it in different structural and conceptual ways.115 Both discourses require us to think relationally, (p.28) demarcating zones above and below, inside and outside the various orders and structures of power. The critical question regarding these spheres is not so much whether one believes in them, but rather how they function implicitly or explicitly to help us understand relations of power.116

Political theology poses conceptual challenges to which the literary sphere in particular has responded in significant and influential ways. How, for example, is the difference between political and theological life to be imagined? Are the political and theological worlds autonomous realms? The question is especially one of mediation: how to think the link between the political and the theological? Is the relation to be imagined, as Schmitt argued, as one of “transfer”? Or, on the other hand, is it what Hans Blumenberg describes as a “reoccupation”?117 Is it an antithesis? A dialectical supersession (Hegel)? An inevitable co-implication (Lefort, Legendre, Jean-François Courtine)? Or the ghostly remainder and reminder of a premature interring (Lefort, Derrida, De Vries, Lezra, Mark Taylor)? In each of these cases, political theology not only explains the relation between the two terms, but it also, more significantly, attempts to account for our attachment to that relation. In this regard, political theology operates similarly to ideology, in Louis Althusser's well-known definition: a formation in which that which captures the subject is not the object itself—the real—but always one's imaginary relation to it. Viewed in this light, political theology moves from being understood not only as a strictly conceptual problem but also as what Hent de Vries calls a mediatic one.118 At the same time, it is not—at least not necessarily—a dogmatic one. Rather, as a critical problem, political theology could be viewed to begin with as a question that has as much to do with conceptual positioning as belief.119 Just as sovereignty historically opens onto the representational problem of the God-place, so, too, does political theology challenge us to imagine both an inside as well as a place outside of the normal orders of being and power. By doing so, it inserts us into its own political-theological imaginary.120 Historically, the theo-political imaginary has proven to be a rich and productive theater. Political theology provokes the institutional imagination, which has responded by producing an array of fictions and figures, many of which have taken on surprising and unpredictable after-lives. The philosophical, anthropological, epistemological, and representational questions that political theology raises have elicited a wide range of responses. As the seminal (p.29) work of Ernst Kantorowicz has shown, the desire for political-theological answers to the question of the “beyond” has transformed the most prosaic of texts into rich and mobile “archives” of social and political history.121

At the same time, the poetic birth of such creatures gives voice to different kinds of historical anxieties. Related to the fecundity of its imagery, political theology also awakens a corresponding sense of incompleteness, emptiness, and absence. Paradoxically, this sense of emptiness is precisely the condition that sets the representational machinery of political theology in motion in the first place, according to many of its theorists. One way to understand this “machinery” is to see it in relation to what Jacques Lezra has described as the “uneven” and “incomplete” processes of secularization and modernization themselves. For Lezra, political theology raises the question of the historical remains left over by the uncompleted processes of modernization: “What residues of an incomplete secularization, and an incomplete desacralization of the sovereignty's body, haunt European modernity?”122 Along with theology, two of the institutions that have responded most fully to this question are the theater and the law. Each produces its own form of “answer” to Lezra's “haunting” question. And for each, too, that answer comes in the form of a certain kind of “body.”

Francisco Suárez (1548–1617)

To return to Suárez's burning text: Suárez is not just a pivotal figure in the history of sovereignty; in different ways, his diverse writings also bridge early modern England and Spain at the conceptual level, formulating many of the juridical, political, and philosophical problems facing the rising and falling empires at the threshold of modernity. Born in Granada to a wealthy family, Suárez entered the recently founded Society of Jesus in 1564, the year of Shakespeare's birth. Although he was initially rejected for reasons of insufficient intellect (as well as “poor health”), he would eventually be admitted to the order with the status of “indifferent,” before proceeding to become the most prominent Jesuit theologian and philosopher of the early modern period.123 At the University of Salamanca, one of the most important in Europe at the time, and an institution that would play an unparalleled role in the development of many of the legal and economic concepts (p.30) underpinning the systems of modern empire, Suárez would study theology and later teach philosophy.124 Today, the Doctor eximius ac pius (“Eminent and pious Teacher”), as he is known by the title given to him by Pope Paul V, is recognized as a landmark figure in the history of Western philosophy.125 Suárez's writings provide us with a unique historical and conceptual archive of early modern thought—particularly with respect to the juridical and ontological terms that are so important to theorists such as Schmitt, Heidegger and Agamben. Consequently, it is to Suárez, rather than to the more familiar figures of Machiavelli, Bodin, or Hobbes, that I continually turn in the following pages, not only for the ways Suárez's work represents the philosophical and epistemological landscape of the early modern sovereignty debate, a terrain itself divided, or even trifurcated into metaphysics, theology, and law, but also for how Suárez's “baroque modernity” continues to illuminate the problem of sovereignty today.126 Suárez will occupy a central place in the pages that follow, rounding out the “perspectives of power” opened up by Shakespeare, Lope, and Calderón.

“Last of the schoolmen,” “father of scientific Mariology,” “founder of modernity,” Suárez is a “privileged witness” of the problems and processes involved in the formation of sovereignty and political theology and the resistances they produce.127 Although he is often characterized as a “synthesizer” and “systematizer” of classical and medieval philosophy, Suárez does significantly more than merely summarize. As Suárez's reception history is increasingly showing, he is not only a key transitional figure in the movement from medieval to modern forms of thought but also an important participant in the terminological reconfiguration of that thought. Over the course of a lifetime, during which he would produce a literary corpus consisting of over twenty-one million words, Suárez's texts perform subtle but important conceptual translations in the areas of metaphysics, law, and theology, the effects of which carry over from a world fast receding into one that would soon become our own.128 His influence in the seventeenth century cannot be overstated. His best-known work, the Metaphysical Disputations (1597), spread from the Catholic countries of Spain, Portugal, and Italy to Northern European countries. It became a textbook in many Protestant universities, particularly in Germany, where it would greatly influence Wilhelm Leibniz, Christian Wolff, and Arthur Schopenhauer. In the years between its initial publication in Salamanca in 1597, and (p.31) 1636, it went through seventeen editions, in Venice, Mainz, Paris, Cologne, and Geneva, a publication history that some consider to be “unique in the history of philosophy.”129 For Jean-François Courtine, Suárez's Metaphysical Disputations is a “work of passage”; for Heidegger, Suárez is, of all the Scholastics, “the thinker who had the strongest influence on modern philosophy.” “Descartes,” Heidegger writes, “is directly dependent on him, using his terminology almost everywhere; and it is Suárez who for the first time systematized medieval philosophy and above all ontology.”130

Largely unknown in Shakespeare studies, apart from his role in the Oath of Allegiance controversy, Suárez himself seems singularly unaware of the fact that drama is Spain's most vibrant genre during his own lifetime. While this can be partially explained by a lifetime spent more in Rome, Salamanca, Valladolid, and Coimbra than in Madrid or Valencia, it is nevertheless striking that the term “theater” (teatro, theatrum) is virtually absent from Suárez's immense body of writings.131 Absence itself, of course, does not mean that it's not there, as critics from Freud and Lacan to Blumenberg would all point out. Perhaps paradoxically, then, Suárez is, in some ways, ideally situated to provide the epistemological ground for a study of sovereignty and theater in the age of Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, and Calderón—as well as that of Benjamin, Schmitt, and Agamben. Suárez's diverse writings in philosophy, theology, and law are not only themselves seminal events in the history of each discipline, but they also provide us with a conceptual apparatus for traversing those fields, even as they are in the process of being formed. The diversity of Suárez's texts itself indicates the divisions implicit to the early modern period's understanding of “sovereignty” (for which Suárez still uses the older vocabulary of “imperium,” “imperio politico,” “potestas,” “suprema potestas,” and “majestas”) in relation to its origins, derivations, and representations.132 Together, Suárez's metaphysical, juridical, theological, and political writings constitute an entire apparatus for understanding relations between law and life in the period, as these are staged and imaginatively played out in various institutional formations.133 Suárez's work provides a significant view of the “horizon” of philosophical and conceptual thought in the seventeenth century.134 Thus, I take Suárez as both a pivotal and a paradigmatic figure of the sovereignty situation in the early seventeenth century, his texts not merely “theorizing” but also (p.32) performing sovereignty's ongoing divides between politics and theology, metaphysics and law, literature and philosophy. Along with Benjamin and Schmitt, then, Suárez provides a third lens through which to view the interplay between the theater and theory of sovereignty in the seventeenth century and today.


(1) . The full title of the work (from the 1613 Coimbra edition by Gomez de Loureyro, carried forward verbatim in the only modern edition) is Defensio fidei Catholicæ apostolicæ adversus Anglicanæ sectæ errores, cum responsione ad apologiam pro juramento fidelitatis, et praæfationem monitoriam serenissimi Jacobi Magnæ Britanniæ Regis (henceforth DF). Citations are to the modern edition: Opera omnia, ed. Charles Berton (Paris: L. Vivès, 1856), vol. 24.

(2) . Joseph Henry Fichter, S.J., Man of Spain: Francis Suarez (New York: Macmillan, 1940), 300. As Carlos Noreña notes, subsequent to this event, the French Parliament also “ordered in June 1614 the public burning of the Defensio fidei, but Papal intervention succeeded in preventing the execution of a decree that seemed intolerable in a Catholic realm.” Noreña, “Suárez and the Jesuits,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 65, no. 3 (Summer 1991): 286.

(3) . Fichter, Man of Spain, 299.

(4) . On the differences between Catholic and Royalist theory, see J. P. Sommerville, “From Suarez to Filmer: A Reappraisal,” The Historical Journal 25 (1982): 525–40.

(5) . Suárez's Defense of the Faith was published in 1613 in Coimbra, following the work of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine and others, thus making Suárez and “Suárezian thought” late, but “key,” participants in the oath of allegiance controversy. On the historical and conceptual implications of the exchange, see Bernard Bourdin, The Theological-Political Origins of the Modern State: The Controversy between James I of En gland & Cardinal Bellarmine, trans. Susan Pickford (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2010).

(6) . Suárez's Latin reads, “At Vero in Summo Pontifice est hæc potestas tanquam in superiori habente jurisdictionem ad corripiendum reges, etiam supremos, tanquam sibi subditos, ut supra ostensum est. Unde si crimina sint in materia spirituali, ut est crimen hæresis, potest directe illa punire in rege, etiam usque ad depositionem a regno, si pertinacia regis et providentia communis boni Ecclesiæ ita postulant. Si vero vitia sint in materia temporali, quatenus peccata sunt, etiam potest illa corripere per directam potestatem; quatenus vero fuerint temporaliter nociva reipublicæ Christianæ, indirecte saltem poterit ea punier, quatenus tyrannicum regimen temporalis principis semper etiam est saluti animarum perniciosum.” Opera omnia, ed. Charles Berton (Paris: L. Vivès 1856), vol. 24, bk. 6, ch. 4, p. 680. For the published English translation, see Selections from Three Works of Francisco Suárez, S.J., trans. Gwladys L. Williams with Ammi Brown and John Waldron (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1944), vol. II, 719. Subsequent references to this text will appear as Selections. While I rely on Williams for most of the English translations, I occasionally modify them, as in this case. I have also consulted the bilingual (Latin-Spanish) editions of books III and VI of the Defensio fidei, published separately as Principatus Politicus and De Iuramento Fidelitatis, by E. Elorduy and L. Pereña, eds., Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Corpus Hispanorum de Pace, vol. II and XIX, 1965 and 1978: 88.

On Suárez's theory of papal deposing power, see Harro Höpfl, “The Papal potestas indirecta,” Jesuit Political Thought: The Society of Jesus and the State, c. 1540–1630 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), ch. 14, esp. 351. As Höpflpoints out, the notion of a “potestas indirecta” is “manifestly not scriptural” (352). Against the older expression, “potestas ex consequenti, by entailment,” the newer term, potestas indirecta, “seems to have crept in without anyone noticing,” and is a product of the specific historical, political, and theoretical conditions of the Reformation. Its purpose was to mediate between two incompatible and extreme positions that emerged out of Reformation and Counter-Reformation polemics in early modern Europe: the first, that the pope has total supremacy over the secular world; the second, that the pope has no authority over this world. As Höpflpoints out, it was up to the Jesuits, such as Bellarmine and Suárez, to “produce the Golden Mean” of the potestas indirecta. (350).

The distinction between direct and indirect power can be confusing, given that what Suárez refers to as the Pope's “direct power” has subsequently come to be known as “indirect deposing temporal power”—the papal potestas indirecta. The difference is an important one. As the (p.249) constitutional historian J. N. Figgis notes, the “doctrine of the direct power of the papacy is expressed, e.g., in the Unam Sanctam of Boniface VIII, or in the writings of Augustinus Triumphus or Bozius, who asserts that the State is a part of the Church, and that kings are servants of the papacy. The doctrine of the indirect power proclaimed by Bellarmine and Suarez [on the other hand] allows the State an independent existence … but [also] claims an indirect power for the Church in cases in which its own interest might be concerned”—that is (to put it in a modern idiom) in states of exception. Unlike the medieval theories, Suárez's thinking “looks forward to the modern separation of Church and State.” J. N. Figgis, in James Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. XI, p. 650.

(7) . “Ratio ergo est, quia tunc non occiditur rex aut princeps, sed hostis reipublicæ.” Suárez, Opera omnia, ed. Charles Berton (Paris: L. Vivès 1856), vol. 24, bk. 6, ch. 4, p. 677. Selections, 711. Suárez is very careful to specify the “limiting conditions” under which this “self-defense” is permitted. Opera omnia, vol. 24, bk. 6, ch. 4, pp. 677–8. Selections, 712–13.

(8) . “Certe licet Paulus dixerit: omnis anima potestatibus sublimioribus subdita sit, nunquam addidit: Etiam potestatibus excommunicatis vel deprivatis a Papa omnes subditi sint; neque unum ex alio colligi potest, cum sint longe diversa, ne dicam veluti opposita, nam rex deprivatus jam non est sublimior potestas.” Opera omnia, ed. Charles Berton (Paris: L. Vivès 1856), vol. 24, bk. 6, ch. 4, p. 682. Selections, 723. Although Suárez's Defense was not published in Coimbra until 1613, reports of its contents reached James beforehand from his English agent in Madrid, Sir John Digby. See Fichter, 293. The full title of James's defense of the Oath was De triplici nodo, triplex cuneus. Or an Apologie for the Oath of Allegiance. It was addressed to the Catholic theologian Cardinal Robert Bellarmine and published in 1608. For a discussion of the reception of Suârez's text in France, see Eric Nelson, The Jesuits and the Monarchy: Catholic Reform and Political Authority in France (1590–1615).

(9) . Suárez, Opera omnia, vol. 24, bk. 6, ch. 4, p. 679. Selections, 717.

(10) . Harro Höpfl, Jesuit Political Thought: The Society of Jesus and the State, c. 1540–1630 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 340.

(11) . I am grateful to my colleague, Andy Galloway, here and throughout, for helping me with Suárez's Latin and for calling my attention to this crossing of terms in particular.

(12) . “Triplici nodo,” King James VI and I: Political Writings, ed. Johann P. Sommerville (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 89.

(13) . For a discussion, see J. P. Sommerville, Royalists and Patriots: Politics and Ideology in England, 1603–1640 (New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 1999). On the Vindiciae contra tyrannos, see Andrew Hadfield, Shakespeare and Renaissance Politics (London: Arden, 2004). On the difference between James's Divine Right theory and Catholic political theory, Annabel Brett points out that against Divine Right, “Catholic political theorists … build up the political community from nature and … derive the ruler's power from the human community rather than immediately from God, and therefore put a natural limit on legislation and the power of the prince.” See Brett, “Scholastic Political Thought and the Modern Concept of the State” in Rethinking Foundations of Modern Political Thought, ed. James Tully Brett and Holly Hamilton-Bleakley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 137.

(14) . For James's speech, see The Trew Law of Free Monarchies (1598) in King James VI and I: Political Writings, ed. Johann P. Sommerville (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 72.

(15) . Fichter, Man of Spain, 302.

(16) . Ibid., 302–3.

(17) . Fichter's is the only English biography to date. It is an abridged and, as Sydney Penner notes, occasionally “hagiographical” version of the definitive biography by Raoul de Scorraille, François Suárez de la Compagnie de Jesus, 2 volumes (Paris: Lethielleux, 1912–13). See Sydney Penner, whose website is an excellent resource for material on Suárez and contains reliable and up-to-date links to a wide range of Suárez's texts: http://www.sydneypenner.ca/suarez.shtml. More scholarly discussions in English than Fichter's can be found in Jorge J. E. Gracia, “Francisco Suárez: The Man in History,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly (p.251) 65 (1991): 259–66; Carlos Noreña, “Suárez and the Jesuits,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 65, no. 3 (Summer 1991); John Doyle, “Francisco Suárez, His Life, His Works, His Doctrine, and Some of His Influence,” Collected Studies on Francisco Suárez, S.J. (1548–1617), ed. Victor M. Salas (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2010); and Daniel Schwartz, ed. Interpreting Suárez: Critical Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

(18) . In hyphenating the phrase, I am following the practice of Louis Marin, whose work on the representation of political-theological sovereignty informs my thinking throughout. See Louis Marin, Portrait of the King, trans. Martha M. Houle (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988) as well as “The Body-of-Power and Incarnation at Port Royal and in Pascal—or—Of the Figurability of the Political Absolute” in Fragments for a History of the Human Body: Part Three, ed. Michel Feher, Ramona Naddaff, and Nadia Tazi (New York: Zone Books, 1989), 421–47.

(19) . For a discussion of the priority of resistance to power within the context of modern imperial struggles, see Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), esp. at 360ff. Hardt and Negri draw on Gilles Deleuze's Foucault, trans. Seán Hand (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988).

(20) . According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the English word “sovereign” is derived from the thirteenth-century Middle English “soverain,” from the popular Latin, superanus, from Latin, “super,” “over,” “above.” The OED provides numerous definitions (including some irrelevant to my purposes, such as a variety of pear); the most pertinent are, “One who has supremacy or rank above or authority over others, a superior; a ruler, governor, lord, or master (first use 1290); Freq. Applied to the Deity in relation to created things” (first use 1297), and “The recognized supreme ruler of a people or country under monarchical government; a monarch; a king or queen” (first use 1297). The term “sovereign” has been used to refer to “a husband in relation to his wife” (first use 1390), “a free citizen or voter of America” (1846), the “superior of a monastery” (1450), and “a gold coin minted in England from the time of Henry VII to Charles I” (1503). The OED defines the term “sovereignty” as “Supremacy or pre-eminence in respect of excellence or efficacy” (first use 1340), as well as “Supremacy in respect of power, domination, or rank; supreme dominion, authority, or rule” (1374). In Spanish, the word “soberano” also emphasizes the sovereign's position above all others. In what is considered to be the first Spanish-language (p.252) dictionary, Sebastián de Covarrubias Horozco's (or Orozco's) Tesoro de la Lengua Castellana O Española (1611), the entry for “soberano” reads “el altísimo y poderosisísimo que es sobre todos.” See Tesoro de la Lengua Castellana O Española, ed. Ignacio Arellano y Rafael Zafra (Madrid: Universidad de Navarra, 2006), 1446. The Tesoro is an important source. As Georgina Dopico and Jacques Lezra point out, it is much more than a dictionary. Combining elements of thesaurus, modern lexicon, encyclopedia and “book of wonders,” it provides us with a crucial glimpse into the cultural and ideological worlds of early modern Spain. See Dopico's and Lezra's introduction to the Suplemento al Tesoro de la Lengua Española Castellana, ed. Georgina Dopico and Jacques Lezra (Madrid: Ediciones Polifemo, 2001), xi–xxviii.

(21) . For a concise overview of the history and current use of the term “sovereignty,” see Richard Falk's entry in the Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, ed. Joel Krieger (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 851–4.

(22) . As The Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2004) shows, the term “theory,” from the late Latin, theoria (Jerome in Ezech. XII. xl. 4), refers to a “looking at, viewing, contemplation, speculation, theory, also a sight, a spectacle, abstr. n. f. (:*) spectator, looker on, f. stem—of to look on, view, contemplate. In mod. use prob. from med.L. transl. of Aristotle. Cf. It. teoria (Florio 1598 theoría), F. théorie (15.. in Godefroy. Compl.).” “Theory,” historically, recurs to visual metaphors to express its operations. As many have pointed out, it shares an etymology with the related terms of theater (from Latin theatrum, from Greek theatron, from theasthai [behold]—a structure for viewing)—as well as theology, which could be understood as a discourse for viewing God. See, among others, Rainer Nägele, Theater, Theory, Speculation: Walter Benjamin and the Scenes of Modernity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991).

(23) . In his famous exchange with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about the location of Polonius's murdered body, Hamlet invokes the legal theory of the King's Two Bodies:


  • My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us to the King.

  • The King is a thing—

  • A thing, my lord?

  • Of nothing.
  • Hamlet 4.2.23–8 qtd. from The Norton Shakespeare Based on the Oxford Edition, 2nd ed., Greenblatt et al, eds.

    (24) . The definitive work on this subject is Ernst Kantorowicz's The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957).

    (25) . “Transposition” is the term Carl Schmitt uses; see Political Theology II: The Myth of the Closure of Any Political Theology (Cambridge: Polity, 2008), 117–18. Tears follows the movements and figurations of this “body-of-power” through various formations, de-formations, and re-formations. Historically speaking, appearances of the body—at least some kind of body—as a figure for sovereignty in religion, philosophy, and law are too numerous to mention. The analytical frameworks of deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and various media theories all approach the problem of sovereign power and political-theological relations via the figure of the “body.” The political, as the French jurist and psychoanalyst Pierre Legendre puts it, always “passes by way of the body…” Law and the Unconscious: A Legendre Reader, ed. Peter Goodrich (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997), 47.

    In addition to Kantorowicz, see Michael Walzer, “On the Role of Symbolism in Political Thought,” Political Science Quarterly 82, no. 2 (June 1967): 191–204. For a discussion of the metaphor within English history specifically, see David George Hale, The Body Politic: A Political Metaphor in Renaissance Literature (The Hague: Mouton, 1971). On the gendering of this body, see Mary Axton, Tide Queen's Two Bodies: Drama and the Elizabethan Succession (London: Royal Historical Society, 1977), as well as Adriana Cavarero, Stately Bodies: Literature Philosophy, and the Question of Gender (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002).

    (26) . I've translated Maravall's discussion here. See José Antonio Maravall, Teoría del Estado en España en el siglo XVII (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, 1997), 189–90.

    (27) . One could contrast this tradition of understanding sovereignty in terms of its proximity to God with that of the discourse of Republicanism, a strand of which attempts to define political power in terms of its separation from God. Miguel Vatter identifies the beginning of this tradition and its “modern republican attitude toward religion” with Spinoza, who “rejected all attempts at crediting God with sovereignty (on the ground that it is an anthropomorphism) and identified God with Nature.” Vatter, “Introduction: Crediting God with Sovereignty,” Crediting God: Sovereignty and Religion in the Age of Global Capitalism (New York: Fordham University Press, 2011), 15.

    (28) . This return to sovereignty's metaphysical ground coincides with a corresponding insistence on the “resilience of webs of belief.” As Miguel Vatter has recently put it, “with the discontent with the modern (p.254) project of epistemology, the path is once again being opened for a return to classical and medieval ontology, to Platonism and Aristotelianism in their manifold versions, and with that to a vision of the world that is more compatible with revealed truths.” Vatter, Crediting God, 2.

    (29) . Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 28. My emphasis.

    (30) . Agamben's reading of this history has been the object of much critical discussion. For a dissenting view, particularly regarding Agamben's interpretation of Aristotle, see Jacques Derrida, Rogues: Two Essays on Reason, trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005), 24. Derrida offers an extended critique of Agamben in the twelfth session of The Beast and the Sovereign, ed. Michel-Lisse, Marie-Louise Mallet, and Ginette Michaud, trans. Geoffrey Bennington (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 305ff.

    (31) . Sovereignty, as we will see, is thus an eminently paradoxical problem. In addition to Marin's paradox, the paradox I repeatedly underscore throughout these pages is that sovereignty both exceeds and is at the same time entirely dependent upon its representation. In The Beast and the Sovereign lectures, Derrida focuses on yet another paradox: that of the inhuman nature of the sovereign and sovereignty.

    (32) . Jean-Luc Nancy, “Complement” in The Creation of the World or Globalization (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), 103.

    (33) . Nancy continues, “In a rigorous sense, the sovereign foundation is infinite, or rather, sovereignty is never founded. It would, rather, be defined by the absence of foundation or presupposition: Neither in Athens nor in Rome was there a pure absence of presupposition prior to the law. Something of the divine or of destiny remains.” “Complement,” 103.

    (34) . Ernesto Laclau, “On the Names of God,” Political Theologies, Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World, ed. Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006) 137.

    (35) . Anselm Haverkamp, Shakespearean Genealogies of Power (New York: Routledge, 2010), 126ff.

    (36) . The argument that sovereignty arises from an “empty space” has been variously formulated by Agamben (“juridically empty space,” Homo Sacer, 36–8); Ernesto Laclau (“empty signifier,” Emancipation(s) 36ff); Louis Marin (“that empty place Pascal speaks of precisely with respect to the king, which is satisfaction always deferred” [Portrait, 8]); and especially Claude Lefort, L'Invention démocratique (Paris: Fayard, 1981).

    (37) . On Schmitt as the “godfather of political theology,” see Michael Hollerich, Blackwell Companion to Political Theology, ed. Peter Scott and William T. Cavanaugh. Also see Peter M. Stirk, Carl Schmitt, Crown Jurist of the Third Reich: On Preemptive War, Military Occupation, and orld Empire (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2005). For Schmitt's life and career, see Gopal Balakrishnan, The Enemy: An Intellectual Portrait of Carl Schmitt (London: Verso, 2002). On the description of Schmitt as the “Crown Jurist” of the Third Reich, in a newspaper supporting National Socialism, see esp. Balakrishnan's discussion, 182ff.

    (38) . On Schmitt as the “twentieth century's leading theorist of sovereignty,” see Paul W. Kahn, Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), 6.

    (39) . Carl Schmitt, Hamlet or Hecuba: The Intrusion of the Time into the Play, trans. David Pan and Jennifer Rust (New York: Telos Press, 2009), 44. Schmitt's account has generated an interesting and important critical response. In addition to the works cited in notes 37–8 above, see the essays collected in a special issue of Telos devoted to Schmitt, no. 153 (Winter 2010), “Carl Schmitt's Hamlet or Hecuba: The Intrusion of the Time into the Play,” and no. 147 (Summer 2009), “Carl Schmitt and the Event.” Important discussions include Heinrich Meier's The Lesson of Carl Schmitt: Four Chapters on the Distinction between Political Theology and Political Philosophy, trans. Marcus Brainard (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998); Chantal Mouffe, ed., The Challenge of Carl Schmitt (London: Verso, 1999); Raphael Gross, Carl Schmitt and the Jews: The “Jewish Question,” the Holocaust and German Legal Theory, trans. Joel Golb (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2007); George Schwab, The Challenge of the Exception: An Introduction to the Political Ideas of Carl Schmitt between 1921 and 1936 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989); and Montserrat Herrero López, El Nomos y lo politico: La filosofía política de Carl Schmitt (Pamplona: University of Navarra, 1997).

    (40) . For a discussion of the complex interplay of politics and representation in and around James's court, see Jonathan Goldberg, James I and the Politics of Literature: Jonson, Shakespeare, Donne, and Their Contemporaries (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989), esp. at 116ff.

    (41) . See Jennifer Rust and Julia Reinhard Lupton's analysis in their critical introduction to Hamlet or Hecuba: The Intrusion of the Time into the Play (New York: Telos Press, 2009), xxx.

    (42) . Schmitt, Hamlet or Hecuba, 44.

    (43) . As Stathis Gourgouris puts it, for Schmitt, it is “reality, not dramatic invention, that brings about the grand innovation Schmitt calls (p.256) ‘the Hamletization of the hero’ …” For Schmitt, “[t]his gesture does not belong to Shakespeare, it belongs to history.” Gourgouris, Does Literature Think? Literature as Theory for an Antimythical Era (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003).

    (44) . Paul W. Kahn, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), 6ff. Also see the essays collected in a special edition of Telos on Political Theologies 148 (Fall 2009).

    (45) . Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth, trans. G. L. Ulmen (New York: Telos Press, 2003), 42. My emphasis.

    (46) . For a critique of the “logo- and phallocentric” tradition Schmitt follows here, see Adriana Cavarero, Stately Bodies: Literature, Philosophy, and the Question of Gender, trans. Robert de Lucca and Deanna Shemek (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2002). Also see In Spite of Plato: A Feminist Rewriting of Ancient Philosophy (New York: Routledge, 1995). For Cavarero, the early modern period, including writers such as Shakespeare and Hobbes, plays a crucial role in the critical formation of this tradition.

    (47) . In Political Theology, Schmitt writes that it “would be a distortion of the schematic disjunction between sociology and jurisprudence if one were to say that the exception has no juristic significance and is therefore ‘sociology.’” Sociology obfuscates the issue for Schmitt, which is the real necessity of the friend-enemy distinction. In the end, the problem, according to Schmitt, is that sociology pretends that there is no evil. Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, trans. George Schwab (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985), 22.

    (48) . Howard Caygill, “Non-Messianic Political Theology in Benjamin's ‘On the Concept of History,’” in Walter Benjamin and History, ed. Andrew Benjamin (London: Continuum, 2005), 224.

    (49) . Schmitt, Political Theology, 44–5.

    (50) . Ibid., 45–6.

    (51) . Ibid., 46.

    (52) . As Jacques Lezra has shown, Schmitt's analyses attempt to bridge historical and conceptual accounts of the history and theory of sovereignty. For a discussion of Schmitt's dual (empirical and conceptual) analysis, see Lezra, Wild Materialism (New York: Fordham University Press, 2010), 66ff.

    (53) . On Schmitt's “bizarre relationship” with Benjamin, see Horst Bredekamp, “From Walter Benjamin to Carl Schmitt via Thomas Hobbes,” Critical Inquiry 25, no. 2 (Winter 1999): 247–66, 247.

    (54) . As Samuel Weber has shown, “Benjamin's mode of investigation, his Forschungsweise, is indebted to that of Schmitt: both share a certain methodological extremism for which the formation of a concept is paradoxically but necessarily dependent on a contact or an encounter with a singularity that exceeds or eludes the concept.” See Samuel Weber, Benjamin's -abilities (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 179.

    (55) . “Methode ist Umweg. Darstellung als Umweg—das ist denn der methodische Charakter des Traktats. Verzicht auf den unabgesetzten Lauf der Intention ist sein erstes Kennzeichen. Ausdauernd hebt das Denken stets von neuem an, umständlich geht es auf di Sache selbst zurück.” Walter Benjamin, Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels (Suhrkamp Verlag, 1998), 10. (The Origin of German Tragic Drama, trans. John Osborne [London: Verso, 2003], 28. Subsequent references to this text will appear as OGTD.)

    (56) . Walter Benjamin, Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels, 10. OGTD, 28.

    (57) . Benjamin, OGTD, 29.

    (58) . The notion of immanent criticism runs throughout Benjamin's work, from his doctoral dissertation, “The Concept of Criticism in German Romanticism,” through various studies of Romanticism and surrealism and his essays “On Language as Such and on Human Language” and “Goethe's Elective Affinities” (published in Neue Deutsche Beiträge in 1924). For “The Concept of Criticism in German Romanticism” and “Goethe's Elective Affinities,” see Selected Writings, Vol. 1, 1913–1926, ed. Marcus Paul Bullock, Michael William Jennings, Howard Eiland, and Gary Smith (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996).

    (59) . On the notion of interpretation as staging, Samuel Weber writes, “Interpretation is not something added to the idea: it is its mode of ‘staging’ a world of phenomena selectively and tendentiously.” See Weber, Benjamin's-abilities, 199 and 140. Other Benjamin scholars, including Andrew Benjamin and Rainer Nägele, have also highlighted the importance of staging to Benjamin's thought.

    (60) . I am following Anselm Haverkamp's preferred translation of the German term Trauerspiel, “mourning play.” See Shakespearean Genealogies of Power: A Whispering of Nothing in Hamlet, Richard II, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, and The Winter's Tale (New York: Routledge 2011).

    (61) . Walter Benjamin, Das Passagen-Werk. Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 5, no. 1 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1991), note [N2a, 3], 576–7. Subsequent references to this text will appear as GS. For the (p.258) English translation of this note entry, see Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1999), 462. On Carl Schmitt's (mis)understanding of Marxist dialectics, in general, and Benjamin's dialectical image, in particular, see Stathis Gourgouris, Does Literature Think? Literature as Theory for an Antimythical Era (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003), 90ff.

    (62) . The phrase “semi-concept” is Gerhard Richter's, in Thought-Images: Frankfurt School Writers' Reflection from Damaged Life (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), 61.

    (63) . Benjamin makes his opposition to Heidegger and Hegel explicit in a subsequent entry to The Arcades Project:

    What distinguishes images from the “essences” of phenomenology is their historical index. (Heidegger seeks in vain to rescue history for phenomenology abstractly through “historicity.”) These images are to be thought of entirely apart from the categories of the “human sciences,” from so-called habitus, from style, and the like. For the historical index of the images not only says that they belong to a particular time; it says, above all, that they attain to legibility only at a particular time. [N3,1]

    The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1999), 462.

    (GS vol. 5, no. 1, 577; [N3,1])

    For an informative discussion of this passage, see Samuel Weber, Benjamin's -abilities, 48–9. On the contrast between Benjamin's dialectical image and Heidegger's historicity, see Beatrice Hanssen, Walter Benjamin's Other History: Of Stones, Animals, Human Beings, and Angels (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000) and Howard Caygill, “Benjamin, Heidegger and the Destruction of Tradition,” Walter Benjamin's Philosophy: Destruction and Experience, ed. Andrew Benjamin and Peter Osborne (New York: Routledge, 1994), 1–31. Regarding Benjamin's relation to Hegel, Max Pensky writes that “[e]ven if Hegel does not figure prominently in Benjamin's philosophical speculation on the nature of historical time and historical experience, his figure looms large in the background, and his version of ‘dialectical images’ (not a term Hegel would have used, naturally), and the philosophy of history and the dialectic they rest upon, are the foil against which Benjamin developed his own views.” See Pensky, “Method and Time in Benjamin's Dialectical Images,” Cambridge Companion to Walter Benjamin, ed. David S. Ferris (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 190.

    (64) . Anselm Haverkamp, “Notes on the ‘Dialectical Image,’ (How Deconstructive Is it?),” Diacritics 22, no. 3–4 (Fall-Winter 1992): 71. Haverkamp develops the discussion by focusing on the term “schema,” the Greek word for the Latin “figura”:

    Against the more popular uses of the term, Benjamin's image insists on being a schema, but a schema of reading … What makes these images real images for Benjamin is that they are decidedly not archaic images—implying that archaic images are anything but true. The dialectics of these images manifests itself in a schema whose effect rather than whose archaic cause is decisive; the notorious “aura” attests to that, even though Benjamin's use of the term seems not always free from nostalgia. Ernst Robert Curtius, whose conception of “topos-research” offers an interesting parallel, falls for what Benjamin seeks to avoid: a confusion of “place” in language with an “archetypal” content whose identity the tradition of topoi is meant to guarantee. (72–3)

    Haverkamp's discussion of the “dialectical image” has been largely developed in Figura cryptica. Theorie der literarischen Latenz (Suhrkamp, 2002). An English translation is forthcoming from State University of New York Press.

    (65) . In this regard, as we shall see in my discussion in Chapter 4 on Life is a Dream, the dialectical image is connected to what Benjamin calls “Natural history” (NaturGeschichte), produced, in Benjamin's view, by the violent effects of the Counter-Reformation.

    (66) . For a discussion of Benjamin's notion of language as an “archive and resonance chamber,” see Eric Santner, The Royal Remains: The People's Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011), xx. Where Santner reads Benjamin to theorize theo-political community in terms of “flesh,” I draw on Benjamin's work to better understand baroque drama's construction of sovereignty as a “body” of power. While my reading is not, strictly speaking, a historicist one, its focus on baroque drama's production of tropes for sovereignty is nevertheless meant to complement sociohistoricist studies such as Walter Cohen's Drama of a Nation (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985) by examining sovereignty's metaphorological grounds as these are conditioned by the theater. As I hope is clear, such a view is not limited to an understanding of theater merely as a space for conceptualization; it also provides opportunities for a historically and philosophically informed critique of the concept of sovereignty.

    (67) . Book-length studies of Benjamin's dialectical images include Michael W. Jennings, Dialectical Images: Walter Benjamin's Theory of Literary Criticism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987) and Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995). I am particularly indebted to Anselm Haverkamp's “Notes on the ‘Dialectical Image’ (How Deconstructive Is It?)”; Samuel Weber's Benjamin's -abilities, esp. 48–50; Gerhard Richter's Thought-Images, 61ff; Margaret Cohen's Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), esp. 46–55; Rainer Nägele's Theater, Theory, Speculation, 63; and Beatrice Hanssen, Walter Benjamin's Other History: Of Stones, Animals, Human Beings, and Angels (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).

    (68) . As Paul Kahn notes, world-destroying violence and sacrifice are two key reasons for the resurgence of political theology today, not solely as a discourse of belief, but rather as one of critique. For many legal and political theorists, the resurgence of political theology as a form of critique is in part the consequence of failures on both the right and the left to confront the problem of total destruction. In both cases, the suggestion is that “theory” hasn't caught up with the times. As Russell Berman puts it, “The theological turn can be as consistent with Foucault's exhortation to defend society against the state as it is with Adorno's insistence on considering all things from the standpoint of redemption. Yet those positions belong to an era of theory and society increasingly distant. What we need now is a political theology of the new bureaucratic regime.” See Berman, “Introduction,” Telos (Special issue on Political Theologies), 148 (Fall 2009): 4. I take up Berman's surprising call in my next project, “Baroque Files,” which considers what such a political theology might look like, from the standpoint of the seventeenth century. Both Kahn and Berman link political theology to violence and to inadequacies of the left to confront it. See Kahn, Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the New Concept of Sovereignty (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), 6–7. As Jean-Luc Nancy reminds us, “all theologicopolitics, including its ‘secularization,’ is and can be nothing other than sacrificial.” For Nancy, “To have to do with the world, which is not a ‘Cause’—and which is itself without any Cause—is to have to do with sacrifice no longer.” Until then, we remain in the world of political theology. See Nancy, The Sense of the World, trans. Jeffrey S. Librett (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 9.

    (69) . See William, The Theater of Truth: The Ideology of (Neo) Baroque Aesthetics (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010).

    (70) . See Hent de Vries, “In Media Res: Global Religion, Public Spheres, and the Task of Contemporary Comparative Religious Studies,” in Religion and Media (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001), 3–42.

    (71) . As Gregg Lambert, succinctly puts it, the “frequent analogy between the baroque and the postmodern” designates not so much a historical period so much as an “effect that results from the composition of specific traits … a manner of style of composition.” I pursue these “effects” back into their theatrical mediation, focusing in particular on the metaphor-logics produced on the baroque stage. See Lambert, The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture (London: Continuum, 2006), 9.

    (72) . The passage reads:

    [T]he duetie, and alleageance of the people to their lawfull king, their obedience, I say, ought to be to him, as to Gods Lieutenant in earth, obeying his commands in all thing, except directly against God, as the commands of Gods Minister, acknowledging him a Iudge set by God ouer them, hauing power to iudge them, but to be iudged onely by God, whom to onely hee must giue count of his iudgement; fearing him as their iudge, louing him as their father; praying for him as their protectour; for his continuance, if he be good; for his amendement, if he be wicked; following and obeying his lawfull commands, eschewing and flying his fury in his vnlawfull, without resistance, but by sobbes and teares to God, according to that sentence vsed in the primitiue Church in the time of the persecution.

    Preces, & Lachrytmœ sunt arma Ecclesiœ (Prayers and tears are the weapons of the church)

    James I, The Trew Law of Free Monarchies. Political Writings, ed. Johann P. Sommerville (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 72.

    (73) . Identifying the birth of “modern subjectivity” in writers of the early modern period, from Petrarch through Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Montaigne, has become a critical commonplace. For pioneering studies, see Joel Fineman's The Subjectivity Effect in Western Literary Tradition (MIT Press, 1991), and Katherine Mauss, Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).

    (74) . Derrida writes of tears and vision: “Now if tears come to the eyes, if they well up in them, and if they can also veil sight, perhaps they reveal, in the very course of this experience, in this coursing of water, an essence of the eye, of man's eye…. For at the very moment they veil sight, tears would unveil what is proper to the eye—.” See Derrida, (p.262) Memoirs of the Blind: The Self-Portrait and Other Ruins, trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Nass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 126. Here, the trope of the tear could be taken as a figure for metaphor itself—the history of which, in Derrida's view, revolves around attempts to define and distinguish that which is proper to the eye/I. On the crux of the proprietary criterion of metaphor, see Derrida's “Retrait of Metaphor” and “White Mythology” in Margins of Philosophy (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1982).

    (75) . Puttenham writes, “the learned clerks who have written methodically of this art in the two master languages Greek and Latin have sorted all their figures into three ranks, and the first they bestowed upon the poet only … and that first sort of figures doth serve the ear only and may be therefore called Auricular … Thus then I say that auricular figures be those which work alteration in the ear by sound, accent, time, and slipper volubility in utterance … And not only the whole body of a tale in poem or history may be made in such sort pleasant and agreeable to the ear, but also every clause by itself, and every single word carried in a clause, may have their pleasant sweetness apart.” The Art of English Poesy by George Puttenham: A Critical Edition, ed. Wayne A. Frank Whigham and Wayne A. Rebhorn (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), 244–5. Coincidentally, one of the words Puttenham offers to illustrate the “wrong ranging [of] the accent of a syllable” in his discussion of auricular figures is the word “sovereign”: “as to say soveréign for sovéreign, gracíous for grácious, éndure for endúre, Solómon for Sólomon” (246).

    (76) . Leonard Barkan, “The Heritage of Zeuxis: Painting, Rhetoric, History” in Antiquity and Its Interpreters, ed. Alina Payne, Ann Kuttner, Rebekah Smick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 100.

    (77) . Studies that do present such intellectual or conceptual histories include Jean Bethke Elshtain's Sovereignty: God, State, and Self (New York: Perseus, 2008); Robert Jackson's Sovereignty: Evolution of an Idea (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011); and Jens Bartelson's A Genealogy of Sovereignty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

    (78) . On the historical migration of sovereignty's signs from the physical symbolism of the king's body into space, see Mikhail Iampolski, Fiziologia Simvolicheskoso. Book 1. Vozurachshenie. Leviafana. Politicheskaia Teologia, Reprezentatsia Vlasti I konets Starogo rezhima (Moscow: NLO, 2004). I am indebted to Professor Iampolski for his presentation of much of this material in his graduate seminars on sovereignty at New York University (in 2000 and 2001). See also Christopher Pye, who, focusing on the early modern period in particular, writes of a “process of political disincorporation …” Pye, The Vanishing: Shakespeare, the (p.263) Subject, and Early Modern Culture (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000), 16

    (79) . Ernst Cassirer credits Suárez in particular for his role in this development. According to Cassirer, Suárez's text marks this movement even as it conceals and “congeals” it within the language of scholasticism. See Cassirer, Substance and Function and Einstein's Theory of Relativity, trans. William Curtis Swabey and Marie Collins Swabey (Chicago: The Open Publishing Co., 1923), 283. On the movement toward disembodiment in early modern science and philosophy, see Alexandre Koyré, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1968).

    On sovereignty's movement toward decorporealization, see Jacques Derrida, in Giovanna Borradori, Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 257. Also, see especially Derrida's discussion of religion in “Faith and Knowledge,” Acts of Religion, ed. and intro. Gil Anidjar (New York: Routledge, 2002), 40–101.

    (80) . For such readings, see on the Spanish side, among others, Jonathan Thacker, Role-Play and the World as Stage in the “Comedia” (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2002). Where Thacker analyzes dramatic characters as “social actors,” I focus instead on the figuration of power as a historical and conceptual “event” in terms similar to those Jacques Lezra has articulated in Unspeakable Subjects: The Genealogy of the Event in Early Modern Europe (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997).

    (81) . Jodi Campbell provides a useful summary of modern trends in comedia criticism, noting in particular that “for the period spanning roughly 1950–1980, there were two approaches to studying the comedia: that of studying the characteristics of the genre, and that of studying the works of either Lope or Calderón.” As Campbell points out, this second group focused almost exclusively on Fuenteovejuna and Life is a Dream “at the expense of lesser known works by Lope or Calderón and of lesser known playwrights.” See Monarchy, Political Culture, and Drama in Seventeenth-Century Madrid: Theater of Negotiation (Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2006), 10–12. The present study falls squarely within this second group, precisely for the paradigmatic place these plays continue to occupy in the critical imagination with regard to sovereignty.

    (82) . For psychoanalytic criticism of seventeenth-century drama in relation to absolutism, including the French theater, see Mitchell Greenberg, Baroque Bodies: Psychoanalysis and the Culture of French Absolutism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001), and Canonical States / Canonical (p.264) Stages: Oedipus, Othering, and Seventeenth-Century Drama (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994).

    (83) . I take up this question in my next project, on “Baroque Files.” For a general treatment of these theorists in Spain, see Bernice Hamilton's Political Thought in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963) as well as J. A. Fernández-Santamaria, The State, War and Peace: Spanish Political Thought in the Renaissance 1516–1559 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977). Particularly informative is Annabel Brett's discussion of scholastic political thought in the Counter-Reformation in Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought, ed. Annabel Brett and James Tully (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 130–48.

    (84) . Lezra, Wild Materialism, esp. 66–7.

    (85) . For a discussion of the ongoing “haunting” of these logics, which draws on works such as Derrida's Spectres of Marx but also moves into new territory, see Mark Lewis Taylor, “Thinking the Theological: A Haunting,” in The Theological and the Political: On the Weight of the World (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011).

    (86) . For a general synopsis of Blumenberg's metaphorology, see David Adams, “Metaphors for Mankind: The Development of Hans Blumenberg's Anthropological Metaphorology,” Journal of the History of Ideas 52, no. 1 (Jan.–Mar., 1991): 152–66.

    More specifically, as Anthony Reynolds explains, “Blumenberg's own methodological point of departure is Heidegger's history of Being, Seinsgeschichte, whose very epoché (corresponding to Vico's ricorso), Seinsvergessenheit, Blumenberg reinterprets in the rhetorical terms of his metaphorology. In this way, the project of metaphorology displaces Heidegger's metaphysics of history and reduces it to the pragmatism of a meta-rhetoric of deconstruction” (Reynolds 20, quoting Anselm Haverkamp).

    (87) . See Hans Blumenberg, “Prospect for a Theory of Nonconceptuality,” Shipwreck with Spectator: Paradigm of a Metaphor for Existence, trans. Steven Rendall (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997), 85. See also Blumenberg, Paradigms for a Metaphorology, trans. Robert Savage (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010).

    (88) . Hans, Paradigms for a Metaphorology, trans. Robert Savage (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010), 14.

    (89) . See Dirk Mende, “Histories of Technicization: On the Relation of Conceptual History and Metaphorology” in “Hans Blumenberg,” special issue, Telos 158 (Spring 2012): 59–79.

    (90) . Blumenberg, Paradigms, 3.

    (91) . Ibid., 5.

    (92) . Blumenberg, Spectator, 81. Blumenberg includes “aesthetic” phenomena among the areas in which these forms manifest themselves (Shipwreck, 89). Yet, as Derrida has shown, these phenomena also appear in philosophy and are arguably the motor of philosophical discourse itself. See Derrida, “White Mythology,” Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).

    (93) . Blumenberg, Shipwreck, 82.

    (94) . For a reading of early modern theater's, and particularly Shakespeare's, contributions to political theory in terms of “scenes,” see Paul Kottman, A Politics of the Scene (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008).

    (95) . For Foucault's understanding of “archaeology,” see The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, trans. Sheridan Smith (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972). In making the claim that theater “stages tropes,” I am building on both older and more recent scholarship. On the staging of Latin tropes in medieval Spanish drama, for example, see Margaret Wilson, Spanish Drama of the Golden Age (Oxford: Pergamom Press, 1969). For a reading of Shakespeare's theater as a machinery for the production of tropes of history, see Anselm Haverkamp, Shakespearean Genealogies of Power (New York: Routledge, 2011). My specific focus, however, is on the different ways that this staging of tropes participates in a wider conceptual history. One of the primary objectives of this book is to follow how the language produced in early modern theater continues to inform our understanding of the concept of sovereignty.

    (96) . On the question of the “event” in early modern Europe, see Jacques Lezra, Unspeakable Subjects: The Genealogy of the Event in Early Modern Europe (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997). The notion of the “event” is often associated with the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. See Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning), trans. Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly; Identity and Difference, trans. Joan Stambaugh; and the Introduction to “What Is Metaphysics?” in Pathmarks, trans. David Farrell Krell, ed. William McNeill (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 82–96. For Heidegger, “genuine (historical) events involve a change in mentality and understanding of the world, so that they cannot be considered mere happenstances.” See Giovanni Borradori, Philosophy in a Time of Terror, Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 194 n.14. Jacques Derrida often returns to Heidegger's discussions of the event (Ereignis). See Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in (p.266) the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” in Writing and Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 278; and “A Certain Impossible Possibility of Saying the Event,” trans. Gila Walker, Critical Inquiry 33.2 (Winter 2007), 441–61.

    (97) . As William Lafleur writes of the connection between religion and metaphor, “as long as we have bodies we will have metaphors and as long as we have metaphors we will have religion.” See Lafleur, “Body,” in Critical Terms for Religious Studies (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 51.

    (98) . Once again, I am drawing on the work of Benjamin, although I take the term “archive,” in this instance, from Eric Santner's description of language as a medium in Benjamin. See The Royal Remains, xx.

    (99) . Linking this aspect of his work, methodologically, to that of Foucault, and arguing that an archaeology is always in some ways also a “paradigmatology,” Agamben writes that, “To be sure my investigations, like those of Foucault, have an archaeological character … Nevertheless, the archē they reach—and this perhaps holds for all historical inquiry—is not an origin presupposed in time. Rather, locating itself at the crossing of diachrony and synchrony, it makes the inquirer's present intelligible as much as the past of his or her object.” See Giorgio Agamben, The Signature of All Things: On Method, trans. Luca di Santo (New York: Zone Books, 2009), 31–2.

    (100) . See Agamben, What Is an Apparatus? and Other Essays, trans. David Kishik and Stefan Pedatella (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009).

    (101) . For his informative discussion of Agamben's relation not only to Benjamin but also Foucault, see Leland de la Durantaye, Giorgio Agamben: A Critical Introduction, esp. 243–6.

    (102) . Interview with Abu Bakr Rieger, qtd. in de la Durantaye, Giorgio Agamben, 243, my emphasis.

    (103) . The argument that texts are “governed by controlling figures” was probably most famously developed by Paul de Man. See, among other works, Allegories of Reading Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979).

    (104) . It was not uncommon, for example, during the years following the Clarence Thomas—Anita Hill incident, to view the hearings as, in some sense, a re-troping of Measure for Measure. See, for example, Wendy Doniger, The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2000), 274. While much critical attention was, rightly, given to the various aspects of the racial and sexual conflicts (p.267) of the cultural production and reception of the media-spectacle, less was paid to the concept of justice itself that gradually emerged throughout the hearings.

    (105) . In addition to the works of Austen and Almodóvar, a recent Summer Institutes in Literary Studies seminar of the National Humanities Center directed by Sarah Beckwith focuses on the play's “afterlives” in George Eliot (Daniel Deronda), Eric Rohmer (Contes d'Hiver), Isak Dinesen (Winter's Tales), Jill Paton (A Desert in Bohemia), and Elizabeth Taylor (A Game of Hide and Seek). Professor Beckwith's seminar is titled, “Versions of The Winter's Tale: Theater, Literature, Film and Philosophy,” announced in The New York Review of Books, vol. 59, no. 18 (November 22, 2012), 9.

    (106) . I am grateful to Jacques Lezra for his suggestion of this term as a way of thinking about the tropes viewed here. In grammar, syncategoremata are “words that cannot serve by themselves as subjects or predicates of categorical propositions.” Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 896ff. In scholastic logic, a syncategorematic term is a word that cannot alone serve as the subject of a proposition but that, together with others, can. See Norman Kretzmann, “Syncategoremata, Exponibilia, Sophismata,” in The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 211–45.

    (107) . For the strongest theoretical elaboration of this claim, see Louis Marin's work on the crossing of sovereignty and representation in French absolutism: Portrait of the King (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988) and “The Body-of-Power and Incarnation at Port Royal and in Pascal” in Fragments for a History of the Human Body (New York: Zone, 1989).

    (108) . As Walter Cohen has shown, although “many of the same components went into the absolutist crisis in Spain as in England … their structural and historical significance differed because of the absence of capitalism and radical Protestantism” in Spain. See Cohen, Drama of a Nation (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985), 260. For a discussion of the importance of the institution of theater to the development of the public sphere in England and Spain, see, in addition to Cohen's Drama of a Nation, Jean-Christophe Agnew, Worlds Apart: The Market and the Theater in Anglo-American Thought 1550–1750 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986); Anthony B. Dawson and Paul Yachnin, The Culture of Playgoing in Shakespeare's England: A Collaborative Debate (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Melveena McKendrick, Theatre in Spain: 1490–1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (p.268) 1989); Thomas Austin O'Connor, Love in the “Corral”: Conjugal Spirituality and Anti-Theatrical Polemic in Early Modern Spain (New York: Peter Lang, 2000); and Jonathan Thacker, A Companion to Golden Age Theatre (Woodbridge: Tamesis, 2007).

    (109) . Vatter, Crediting God, 3.

    (110) . See Heinrich Meier's, “What Is Political Theology?” in Leo Strauss and the Theologico-Political Problem, trans. Marcus Brainard (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 77–87. Also see the diverse collection of essays in Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan, Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006).

    (111) . Heinrich Meier, “What Is Political Theology?” 79.

    (112) . Schmitt, Political Theology, 4–15. On medieval political theology in general, and the “semi-religious terminology,” Elizabethan lawyers used to describe the nature of royalty in particular, see Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies, esp. 16–17.

    See Hans Blumenberg's pointed response to Schmitt in which he counters that Schmitt's political theology is really a “theology as politics” and a “metaphorical theology.” Blumenberg, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age, trans. Robert M. Wallace (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1983), 98, 101.

    Louis Marin describes this transfer as a transpositio between the “remarkable structure of the theological body into the juridical and political domain—a transposition that brings to light the historical gesture of absolutism.” See Marin, Portrait of the King, 12. On the distinction between the powers that constitute theo-political sovereignty, Francis Oakley points out:

    The distinction between the absolute and ordinary powers of the King was essentially a piece of political theology, and from this fact—so often underlined in the seventeenth-century literature itself—it drew much of its authority and its power to convince. Its history was longer, richer, more dense, and more intricate than has heretofore been supposed, and it is against the background of this long history that the English appeals to the distinction should be viewed. If this is done, they (or the majority of them) will be seen to have postulated the existence, not of two parallel or coordinate powers each confined by law to its own proper sphere, but rather of two powers, one of which was in essence superior to the other, and which in time of necessity or for reason of state could transcend the other and encroach upon its domain.

    Oakley, “Jacobean Political Theology,” Journal of the History of Ideas 29, no. 3 (July–Sept. 1968): 343.

    (p.269) The question of sovereignty, then, becomes how to decide, or who decides when it is a “time of necessity.”

    (113) . In his important study of early modern English literature and law, A Power to Do Justice, Bradin Cormack, for example, warns against the “almost irresistible tendency to make sovereignty have meaning only as political theology.” The danger is that by doing so, sovereignty is made to appear “more stable than it is, even in so sophisticated an account of structure as that which Agamben gives.” Forcefully assimilating sovereignty to political theology threatens to undermine a critique of power by focusing on origins rather than the “more mundane process of administrative, distribution and management.” By concentrating on jurisdiction as the real locus of sovereignty, A Power to Do Justice attempts to rectify this imbalance. Cormack's focus on jurisdiction as the site of sovereignty also identifies one of sovereignty's futures, as the concept moves away from the dualities of the king's two bodies theory and into increasingly abstract forms, as I argue throughout this book. See Bradin Cormack, A Power to Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law, 1509–1625 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), 9.

    (114) . Perhaps the representative study from a psychoanalytic point of view is Freud's major essay, Moses and Monotheism, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. XXIII (1937–39), trans. James Strachey (London: Vintage, 2001), 3–137. On the relationship between psychoanalysis and Judaism in relation to sovereignty, see also Eric Santner, On the Psychotheology of Everyday Life: Reflections on Freud and Rosenzweig (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). On deconstruction, see the essays collected in Jean-Luc Nancy's Dis-Enclosure: The Deconstruction of Christianity, trans. Bettina Bergo, Gabriel Malenfant, and Michael B. Smith (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008). For a recent discussion of the Hebrew Bible from a political theory perspective, see Michael Walzer, In God's Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).

    (115) . I borrow the felicitous metaphor of “thinking as a search for siblings” from Gerhard Richter. See Richter, “A Matter of Distance: Benjamin's One-Way Street Through the Arcades,” in Thought-Images: Frankfurt School Writer's Reflections from Damaged Life (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), 43.

    (116) . Illustrations of political theology's continued presence in public political discourse are too numerous to mention. Recent examples in the United States include, what Mark Lewis Taylor refers to as the almost “too easy example” of George W. Bush citing scripture before embarking (p.270) on the Iraq war. One might additionally refer to arguments over the use of public space in and around “ground zero” in New York after September 11, the ongoing debate over prayer in public schools and the teaching of “intelligent design,” or the legal and political battles that continue to rage over same sex marriage. See Mark Lewis Taylor, The Theological and the Political: On the Weight of the World (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011). At the international level, recourse to an authority “outside” that of the state to justify political or military action occurs regularly over the question of Sharia law, as well as that of the legality and constitutionalism of international operations of “protection.” For a discussion, see Anne Orford, International Authority and the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011). A major resource for a consideration of the problem of political theology from a range of disciplinary perspectives is Political Theologies, ed. Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan. See especially de Vries's excellent “Introduction: Before, Around, and Beyond the Theologico-Political,” 1–90.

    (117) . See Blumenberg, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age, 89–102.

    (118) . See de Vries, “In Media Res.” For Louis Althusser's famous, and important, definition of ideology reads: “it is not their real conditions of existence, their real world, that ‘men’ ‘represent to themselves’ in ideology, but above all it is their relation to those conditions of existence which is represented to them … it is the imaginary nature of this relation which underlies all the imaginary distortion that we can observe (if we do not live in its truth) in all ideology.” See Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, trans. Ben Brewster (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971), 164.

    (119) . For a discussion of Shakespeare's theater as the place where the “logic” of this “positioning is discovered and exposed,” see Anselm Haverkamp, Shakespearean Genealogies of Power, 2ff. Haverkamp's own term for what he calls the “‘eventuality’—not to call it the event-character—of Shakespeare reception,” is “latency.”

    (120) . On the notion of a social imaginary, see the seminal work of Cornelius Castoriadis, The Imaginary Institution of Society, trans. Kathleen Blamey (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998), and Michèle Le Doeuff, The Philosophical Imaginary, trans. Colin Gordon (London: Athlone Press, 1989).

    (121) . See the special issue of Representations devoted to the work of Kantorowicz, including Greenblatt's Introduction, cited here. Greenblatt describes the King's Two Bodies as “a vast archive of the materials out of which figures as various as Hans Blumenberg, Carl Schmitt, and Giorgio Agamben have constructed fiercely conflicting theories of secularization” (p.271) and writes that “… under Kantorowicz's gaze fantastic creatures—halfbodily, half institutional—being to emerge from bureaucratic formulas.” See Greenblatt, “Introduction: Fifty Years of The King's Two Bodies,” Representations 106 (Spring 2009): 64–5.

    (122) . See Lezra, Wild Materialism, 41.

    (123) . James Brown Scott, Introduction to Selections from Three Works, trans, by Gwladys L. Williams, Ammi Brown, and John Waldron. 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press London, 1944), 6a. Regarding the reservations surrounding Suárez's early admission to the Society, there is some question whether this may also have had to do with suspicions regarding his family's converso background. For a discussion, see Robert A. Maryks, The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews: Jesuits of Jewish Ancestry and Purity-of-Blood Laws in the Early Society of Jesus (Leiden: Brill, 2010).

    (124) . In addition to De Scorraille, see John Doyle, “Francisco Suárez, His Life, His Works, His Doctrine,” Collected Studies on Francisco Suárez, S.J. (1548–1617), ed. Victor M. Salas (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2010), 1–20.

    (125) . The honorific title given to Suárez by Pope Paul V, “Doctor eximius ac pius,” means “Eminent and pious teacher.”

    (126) . On the notion of a “baroque modernity” see the collection of essays in Hispanic Baroques, edited by Nicholas Spadaccini and Luis Martin-Estudillo (Vanderbilt University Press, 2005). On Suárez in particular, see Interpreting Suárez, ed. Daniel Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012); Daniel D. Novotny, “In Defense of Baroque scholasticism,” Studia Neoaristotelia 6 (2009), 209–33. José Pereira's Suárez: Between Scholasticism & Modernity (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2007) is a suggestive but occasionally erratic book-length study. The bibliography on Hobbes and Bodin is enormous and too big to reproduce here. For a particularly useful study of sovereignty in relation to Hobbes and Shakespeare, see Paul Kottman, A Politics of the Scene (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008). On Hobbes, sovereignty, and rhetoric, see Patricia Lawler, Exemplary Figures: Hobbes's Political Aesthetics of Subjection (New York: Fordham University Press, forthcoming). On Shakespeare and Bodin, see Jacques Lezra, “Phares, or, Divisible Sovereignty,” in Wild Materialism (New York: Fordham University Press, 2011), 63–87, as well as Bradin Cormack, “Shakespeare's Other Sovereignty: On Particularity and Violence in The Winter's Tale and the Sonnets,” Shakespeare Quarterly 62.4 (2011), 485–513. On political theology in the early modern period, see Political Theology and Early Modernity, ed. Graham Hammill and Julia Reinhard Lupton, with a Postscript by Étienne Balibar (Chicago: University of (p.272) Chicago Press, 2012). On Shakespeare and political theology, see Julia Reinhard Lupton, Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). On political theology specifically in the context of early modern English literature, see Jennifer Rust, The Body in Mystery: the Political Theology of the Corpus Mysticum in Post-Reformation English Literature (Chicago: Northwestern University Press, forthcoming). On Machiavelli, see Graham Hammill, The Mosaic Constitution: Political Theology and Imagination from Machiavelli to Milton (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2012). For recent work comparing Hobbes's political theory to Suárez's, see Lorella Cedroni, La comunità perfecta: il pensiero politico di Francisco Suárez (Roma: edizioni Studium, 1996).

    (127) . See Jean-François Courtine, “Le project suarézien de la métaphysique,” Archives de Philosophie 42 (1979): 236. The American scholar John P. Doyle has published a number of translations, articles, and books on Suárez, including, most recently, Collected Studies on Francisco Suárez, S.J. (1548–1617), ed. Victor M. Salas (Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press, 2010).

    (128) . Reijo Wilenius, The Social and Political Theory of Francisco Suárez (Helsinki: Acta Philosophica Fennica, 1963), 22.

    (129) . John Doyle cites Joaquín Iriarte on the extraordinary diifusion of Suárez's text in the seventeenth century, particularly in comparison with the mere four editions of Descartes' Meditationes. See Doyle, Collected Studies on Francisco Suárez, S.J. (1548–1617), ed. Victor M. Salas (Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press, 2010), 7.

    (130) . Martin Heidegger, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, trans., intro., and lexicon Albert Hofstadter (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988), 80. The problem, Heidegger continues, is one of defining the “ontological interconnection of reality and existence” (77–8): “[W]e are not now dealing so much with the question of the knowability and demonstrability of God's existence as with the still more original problem of the distinctness of the concept of God as an infinite being, ens infinitum, over against the being that is not God, the ens finitum” (79).

    (131) . At least as far as I have been able to discover, in this age of electronic searches.

    (132) . Julia Reinhard Lupton and Graham Hammill have highlighted various aspects of these bifurcations of sovereignty in early modern literature. See, Lupton, Afterlives of the Saints (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996) and Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology (2005) and Graham Hammill, The Mosaic Constitution: Political Theology and Imagination from Machiavelli to Milton (2012).

    (133) . In using the term “apparatus,” I am specifically gesturing toward the “archaeological” function of what Michel Foucault refers to as a dipositif. Where for Foucault, the dispositif attempts to describe a series of connections between linguistic formations and relations of power, for Agamben the modern apparatus is specifically a “machine that produces subjectifications.” For Agamben, the apparatus of confession, for example, is instrumental to the formation of Western subjectivity. What distinguishes modern apparatuses, in the age of capitalism, on the other hand, is that they no longer subjectify but rather desubjectify. The apparatus of the cell phone does not lead to “a new subjectivity, but only a number through which he can, eventually be controlled.” “It is impossible,” Agamben argues, “for the subject of an apparatus to use [the cell phone] ‘in the right way.’” Agamben, What Is an Apparatus? and Other Essays, trans. David Kishikand Stefan Pedatella (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), 21. I read Suárez's texts with Agamben's notion of the “apparatus” in mind. Despite what is often considered to be their supersession in the seventeenth century by thinkers such as Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, and Leibniz, writers of the “Second Scholasticism,” such as Suárez, along with those from the Spanish school of Salamanca, played an extremely important role in the development of modern economic theory, human rights thinking, and the discipline that would come to be known as international law. In this regard, not only Suárez, but also the earlier Spanish writers associated with the School, including especially Francisco de Vitoria, Domingo de Soto, and Luis de Molina, provides us with an important critical lens, if not “apparatus,” through which to view the modern formation of sovereignty.

    (134) . Jean-Luc Marion, “Outline of a History of Definitions of God in the Cartesian Epoch,” in On the Ego and on God: Further Cartesian Questions, trans. Christina M. Gschwandtner (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007), 161–92.