The School of Salamanca in the 16th century and the way ‘kingship’ is canvassed in Shakespeare’s Richard II



Shakespeare, School of Salamanca, Richard II, kingship, Anglo-Spanish textual relations


Although there appears to be no direct evidence that Shakespeare had access to the relectiones taught in the School of Salamanca during the sixteenth century, this study demonstrates that, forty years after their dissemination, the theories of Vitoria and his disciples were probably in circulation throughout England. The methodology in this article juxtaposes Shakespeare’s Richard II with one of Vitoria’s relectiones. This relectio modified the medieval idea of the divine origin of kingship, and generated a discussion on the origin of royal power which is central to the plot of Shakespeare’s play.


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Author Biography

Luis Javier Conejero-Magro, Universidad de Extremadura

Luis J. Conejero-Magro is a Lecturer at the Universidad de Extremadura. He holds a BA in English Philology, two MA degrees in Education and Curriculum, and of Research in Humanities, and a PhD in English Literature. He has been a visiting scholar at some universities in Europe and Asia such as the Shakespeare Institute (Stratford, United Kingdom) and the Shanghai Ocean University (China). His PhD examined the uses of biblical discourse in Shakespeare’s histories and their translations into Spanish. Much of his research has been done in translation studies on a range of twentieth-century writers such as Bernard Shaw, W.B. Yeats, Roy Campbell and Tennessee Williams. Currently he is working on stylistics and intertextuality, with special attention to Shakespeare's plays.