Sovereignty, Terrorism, King James I, Revenge tragedy, Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes, Law and literature
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This article examines the dramatic character of King James I’s reaction to the 1605 Gunpowder Plot - the first act of terrorism in the West - and his attempts both to inscribe the unprecedented crime within the conventional structure of revenge tragedy and to interpret the event according to a model of tragicomedy indebted to John of Patmos' apocalyptic Revelation. On account of applying these cultural and religious paradigms, the King suggested that Parliament be entrusted with judging the conspirators, thus imaginatively displacing his sovereignty onto it.
Meyler, Bernadette, "Theaters of Pardoning: Tragicomedy and the Gunpowder Plot" (2002). Cornell Law Faculty Publications. Paper 1375.
Published in: Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, vol. 25 (2002).