Monstrous to our human reason
Minding the gap in The Winter’s Tale
in Gothic Renaissance
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Richard Wilson’s analysis of cryptomimesis in The Winter’s Tale centers on ‘an unhomely Gothic horror hidden beneath the homely dwelling of a romance’. Drawing on Kristeva’s notion of the abject, and linking Freud’s mourning and melancholia to Bataille and Derrida, Wilson explores the play’s monstrous liminality, tracing its ambivalences about the boundary between life and death, in terms of notions of resurrection and of being buried alive. ‘Retelling the play as a proto-Gothic text’ thus ‘through a “perversion” of Shakespeare brings the play’s own “perversities” to light’. In a truly Gothic twist Wilson ends his exploration of the ‘subterranean affinity between Shakespeare and Gothic narrative’ with a fascinating rendering of the haunting history of Shakespeare’s house in Stratford visited by E. A. Poe.

Gothic Renaissance

A reassessment

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