Mental spaces and types of interiority
in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
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Chapter 10 focuses on mental spaces that require the resources of the intellect, the creativity of imagination, the emergence of intimate territories, and that depend on the vitality of our inner world. It shows how, having to suffer the hardship of ‘deterritorialisation’, the individual escapes to and finds refuge in their mental sphere: there they have the possibility of creating a mental cartography of their own, a new territory that they can privately and safely inhabit. They become their own compass and map their inner space. Resorting to Emmanuel Housset’s distinction between two types of interiority, a closed one and an open one, which he terms, respectively, ‘insular interiority’ and ‘exile interiority’, this chapter analyses the types of interiority that can be associated with Shakespeare’s Richard II and Lear. In King Richard II and King Lear, mental spaces often betray an ‘insular interiority’ and are ambivalent: endurance turns into a denial of both exteriority and otherness, which leads either to subjective interpretation and radical reconstruction, or to escape into an inner world removed from reality and reason.

Shakespeare and the denial of territory

Banishment, abuse of power and strategies of resistance

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