From Humanism to Hobbes

Studies in Rhetoric and Politics

by Quentin Skinner

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781107128859
  • 9781108622431
  • 9781108656214
The aim of this collection is to illustrate the pervasive influence of humanist rhetoric on early-modern literature and philosophy. The first half of the book focuses on the classical rules of judicial rhetoric. One chapter considers the place of these rules in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, while two others concentrate on the technique of rhetorical redescription, pointing to its use in Machiavelli's The Prince as well as in several of Shakespeare's plays, notably Coriolanus. The second half of the book examines the humanist background to the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. A major new essay discusses his typically humanist preoccupation with the visual presentation of his political ideas, while other chapters explore the rhetorical sources of his theory of persons and personation, thereby offering new insights into his views about citizenship, political representation, rights and obligations and the concept of the state.

  • Cambridge University Press; January 2018
  • ISBN: 9781108622431
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: From Humanism to Hobbes
  • Author: Quentin Skinner
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781107128859
  • 9781108622431
  • 9781108656214

In The Press

'In these beautifully crafted essays Skinner shows how Machiavelli, Shakespeare and Hobbes use the plenitude of rhetorical techniques of the humanist curriculum to craft persuasively the features of their different yet equally famous texts. Moreover, each confronts differently the chaos that ensues when these radically redescriptive techniques enter into the world they strive to characterise. A masterpiece.' James Tully, University of Victoria, British Columbia