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David Hasberg Zirak-Schmidt


David Hasberg Zirak-Schmidt


My research interests include early modern English theatre, historiography, and digital humanities. I am currently working on a dissertation on the representation of royal succession in Caroline drama, tentatively called "'The Life of Kingdoms: Staging Royal Succession in Caroline Drama". Focusing on playwrights such as James Shirley, Philip Massinger, John Ford and Richard Brome, the thesis investigates how issues of royal succession were represented, discussed, and negotiated in Caroline drama. The succession to the throne was a very important political issue in early modern England. As power changed hands, political order and continuity risked becoming momentarily unstable, and this raised questions concerning the mechanisms and foundations of monarchical power such as: Should kingship be inherited? Did kings rule by the grace of God or with the consent of the people? What characterised the good king and the worthy heir? What right did the king have to the throne, and could one legitimately claim the throne through violence? This PhD thesis examines how the drama of the time responded to such questions.

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