Taking William Shakespeare’s plays as a privileged testing ground, our focus in this special issue of Cahiers Élisabéthains accordingly concentrates on how human identities, actions, and spaces are (re)fashioned whenever power relations are established, foregrounded, or challenged, and borders are fixed, trespassed, or negotiated. As is well known, early modern Europe suffered a series of disruptive events – political and religious, but also epistemological – which, as history reports, resulted in a remapping of borders and readjusting of power relationships. Such repositionings problematically involved the notion of subjectivity and ‘self-fashioning’ by redefining the very limits (borders) of the place human beings held in a changing social, symbolic, and ontological hierarchy.
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