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The King's Ring: A Matter of Trust

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This essay examines the material and social effects of an exchange of trust between a king, Henry VIII, and his counsellor, Thomas Cranmer in Shakespeare and Fletcher’s All is True. The ring that the King gives Cranmer is both nothing and everything: nothing in that it could be anything, any ring, and everything because it is the King’s and is declared to be so. Such a performance of trust not only protects the King’s favoured minister, it dares and threatens Cranmer's enemies to do or say something that would jeopardise the King’s trust in them. It is thus a uniquely assertive form of trust, a site where material, political and social values meet.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShakespeare and Authority : Citations, Conceptions and Constructions
EditorsKatie Halsey, Angus Vine
Number of pages15
Place of publicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication year20 Feb 2018
ISBN (print)978-1-137-57852-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-57853-2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018
SeriesPalgrave Shakespeare Studies

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