Maps of emotions
in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
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Chapter 12 examines on the polarity triggered by the fear of destruction, the imminence of disappearance and the face-to-face encounter with death (all resulting from abuse of power, exclusion or retribution): one either belongs to a country or is deeply attached to a person, this because political commitment and national duty prove incompatible with personal feelings (as is the case for Coriolanus), because the future of the country or the reality of the place where one dwells becomes derisory compared with deep love (as for Kent and Lear), because, conversely, one can be denied or even crushed, and the priority given to the country out of allegiance to the king (John of Gaunt) or out of an identification with a particular idea of it (Volumnia). This chapter pays particular attention to certain banished characters (Queen Isabel in Richard II, Lear, and Suffolk in King Henry VI, Part 2) who choose to focus on beloved beings and regard them as an emotional map onto which they can project a reterritorialisation no matter what their geographical situation, regardless of their exile. What appears as irreplaceable is not the homeland but these beloved beings who become the banished figures’ landmark, their home base, their entire cartography.

Shakespeare and the denial of territory

Banishment, abuse of power and strategies of resistance

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