Pascale Drouet
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Home as a foreign elsewhere
in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
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Not feeling at home any longer, having the impression that the here is nothing but elsewhere and otherness, losing one’s microcosmic and macrocosmic landmarks and wandering in a Deleuzian ‘smooth space’: such an experience depends on time as it is lived and on temporal perspective (as in King Richard II); it can follow from some disastrous scenario (as in Coriolanus); it can also be closely related to a sort of no man’s land that appears to be a ‘haptic space’, in which one can ‘feel’ but not ‘see’, as opposed to an ‘optic space’ (as in King Lear). What is intuited (home as a foreign elsewhere) in the prophetic mode by Gaunt in King Richard II or with a subjective projection by Coriolanus in the Roman play becomes reality in King Lear. This chapter examines how Gaunt’s critical perception of his homeland as a now debased and unnatural kingdom is echoed by Coriolanus, who comes to see his city, Rome, as deprived of its Romanitas. It shows how, in King Lear, the heath is experienced as a ‘smooth’ space and a ‘haptic’ space in which an aptitude for empathy can be discovered.

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Shakespeare and the denial of territory

Banishment, abuse of power and strategies of resistance


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