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'Both are alike, and both alike we like': sovereignty and amity in Shakespeare's King John

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This essay offers a new way of interpreting Shakespeare's King John by showing that amity is one of its central themes and is inextricably connected with the play's construction of sovereignty. In the play, amity primarily refers to political accord or harmony within a country or between countries, but is conceptualised in and through the rhetoric of idealised male friendship and sworn brotherhood. The essay demonstrates the way in which the play contrasts a friendship between two reigning sovereigns, which ends in enmity and war, with hierarchal friendships between King John and his two most trusted followers, Hubert and the Bastard, that create amity and peace within England.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-58
Number of pages21
JournalLiterature & History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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