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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Between the the late sixteenth and the mid-seventeenth century, European diplomacy undergoes a dramatic expansion. New forms of representation and negotiation—summed up in Richelieu’s call for a “constant negotiation, ceaselessly and everywhere”—result in an increasingly complicated diplomatic world. These changes in practice are discussed in theories of diplomacy, but their implications may be most clearly seen in imaginary—that is, literary—depictions of diplomacy. The chapter studies a number of moments of diplomatic confusion, in plays by Shakespeare, Calderón, and Rotrou. It shows that these plays depict the changing political and moral role of the ambassador, the relationship between diplomacy and other forms of power, and the importance of new forms of communication. The essay also explores the largely neglected role of diplomacy in modern theories of the Baroque.

Keywords: Baroque, diplomacy, richelieu, Calderón, Shakespeare, Rotrou, Tasso, Walter Benjamin, negotiation, intriguers

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