Hamlet’s Moment traces links between the early modern professionalization of politics and the theatre stage, showing how drama increasingly modelled the uses of political knowledge as cultural capital. Examining Hamlet alongside plays by Jonson, Chapman, and Marston, Kiséry argues that drama reflected and inflected the rise of diplomacy as a field of specialized knowledge: “If Shakespeare’s two tetralogies sought to understand […] what it took to be king, these plays thought about what it […] took to be employed.” The book follows in the wake of powerful historicizing readings such as de Grazia’s ‘Hamlet without Hamlet’ (2007), which focused on political questions of succession and dispossession, contributing to the revision of post-Romantic fixations on Hamlet’s ‘inwardness’. Kiséry, too, subordinates psychologizing narratives to an emphasis on underexplored contexts, “that without which passes show” – here, the “trade secrets” of governments and embassies. Deeply grounded in diplomatic relazioni, letters of advice, political treatises and manuals, the book shows how con versations about “political institutions and offices, […] the protocols of political nego tiation, and […] advancement in political careers” were conducted not only within the profession but also by ‘outsiders’ without political agency intent upon enhancing their own social position. Hamlet is thus recast as one of these “com - petent” observers, exiled from the centre of power and nursing his “frustrated political ambition”.