Renaissance-Use/Abuse of Power

The Use and Abuse of Power During the Renaissance
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Renaissance power?” Corruption, beheadings, and excommunication? The Tudors and the Medici? In this course we will examine Renaissance texts that address how to obtain, preserve, and exercise power. We will begin with the amoral politics of Machiavelli’s The Prince, and conclude with a selection of Montaigne’s Essays, in which the author asserts that extending mercy is the noblest virtue. Along the way, we will read Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in order to explore how race, religion, and gender reconfigure power arrangements in complicated, and often unexpected, ways. Our literary texts will be complemented by films such as The Princess of Montpensier, The Merchant of Venice, and episodes from the television series The Borgias. No prior knowledge of the Renaissance is expected, as we will discover the period together through our readings and viewings. 3 hrs. sem.
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FYSE 1394

All Sections in Spring 2013

Spring 2013

FYSE1394A-S13 Seminar (DeVos)