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Pascale Drouet

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.

in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
Pascale Drouet

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.

in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
Pascale Drouet

This chapter presents Deleuze’s and Guattari’s theories (from A Thousand Plateaus) and explores several oppositions, such as ‘smooth space’ versus ‘striated space’, ‘game of Go’ versus ‘chess’, which are related to the main opposition, ‘war machine’ versus ‘State apparatus’, before turning to Coriolanus and King Richard II to see how relevant they can be to analyse Coriolanus’ and Bolingbroke’s respective illegal returns. This chapter focuses on the strength of the ‘war machine’: unpredictability and dazzling speed. Such dazzling speed favours an uncommon striking power, which cannot be found on traditional battlefields where enemy armies face one another, one advancing, the other withdrawing, and vice versa, until the issue is decided. The ‘war machine’ is like a weapon of mass destruction for Coriolanus, whereas, for Bolingbroke, it is a deterrent weapon that will ultimately lead to the king’s deposition and his own coronation. Yet the starting point is the same in both plays: so as to maximise its efficiency, the ‘war machine’ must be set in motion at the right time, so as to take advantage of the weakness of the ‘State apparatus’.

in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
Pascale Drouet

Chapter 4 turns to the Shakespearean characters who, being unjustly banished, will not passively endure (Bolingbroke in King Richard II, Coriolanus). Once abroad, they initiate a dynamic of frontal counterattack and illegally return with a Deleuzian ‘war machine’. In King Richard II, Bolingbroke’s intentions remain ambiguous, since he first claims that he comes but for his own, but he then deposes the king to take his place (re-appropriation, reprisal and self-territorialisation). As for Coriolanus, his aim is to destroy Rome so that it is reduced to a tabula rasa (retaliation, deterritorialisation and eradication). This chapter examines how, in Coriolanus and King Richard II, the protagonists’ illegal return is a means to regain one’s name, claim one’s title or forge oneself a new name. It is also the result of a choice that privileges action over words, refuses the soothing quality of words, the refuge of imagination and mental spaces, the benefit of the doctrine of consolatio.

in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
Banishment, abuse of power and strategies of resistance
Author: Pascale Drouet

This book analyses three Shakespearean plays that mainly deal with abusive forms of banishment: King Richard II, Coriolanus and King Lear. These plays present with particular clarity the mechanism of the banishment proclamation and its consequences, that is, the dynamic of exclusion and its repercussions. Those repercussions may entail breaking the ban to come back illegally and seek revenge; devising strategies of deviation, such as disguise and change of identity; or resorting to mental subterfuges as a means of refuge. They may also lead to entropy – exhaustion, letting go or heartbreak. Each in its own way, they invite us to reflect upon the complex articulation between banishment and abuse of power, upon the strategies of resistance and displacement employed to shun or endure the painful experience of ‘deterritorialisation’; they put into play the dialectics of allegiance and disobedience, of fearlessly speaking and silencing, of endurance and exhaustion; they question both the legitimacy of power and the limits of human resistance. This study draws on French scholars in Shakespearean studies, and also on contemporary French historians, theorists, anthropologists, psychoanalysts, essayists and philosophers, who can help us read Shakespeare’s plays in our time. It thus takes into account some of the works of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Gaston Bachelard, Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant, Boris Cyrulnik and Emmanuel Housset. The hope is that their respective intellectual approaches will shed specific kinds of light on Shakespeare’s plays and initiate a fruitful dialogue with Anglo-Saxon criticism.

Pascale Drouet

Chapter 1 contrasts the duty of allegiance with the affirmation of an individual code of ethics that goes against it. It thus examines, in King Richard II, King Lear and Coriolanus, the dialectics of loyalty and disloyalty as subjective notions. Allegiance is presented according to three modes: absolute (obedience is unconditional), contractual (obedience makes sense only if contractual reciprocity is respected) and conflicting (obedience stands in a dialectical relationship with disobedience, a situation which generally breaks down in the face of some personal code of ethics). This chapter focuses on the subordinate figure who refuses to support political excesses (justified by the doctrine of divine right, absolutism or ‘theatrocracy’) and turns into a ‘fearless speaker’, or parrhesiast, that has the courage to speak the truth, thus endangering himself, but also threatening the power of performative speech, as Michel Foucault has shown in his Lectures at the Collège de France.

in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
Abstract only
Deterritorialisation for deterritorialisation
Pascale Drouet

Chapter 3 examines how King Richard II, King Lear and Coriolanus present three tragic variants of the comic motif of the biter bit: the banisher banished. The dynamic of retaliation runs through the three plays, though in different ways. Most of the time, if not always, deterritorialisation is announced by an upsurge of violence, both when the king (or authority in power) expulses the fearless speaker and when the king himself (or authority in power) is rejected, in turn. To take up Foucault’s terms, ‘the sentence takes the form of a counter-attack’, and ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’ becomes ‘deterritorialisation for deterritorialisation’. This chapter focuses on the characters who speak fearlessly in the three Shakespearean plays and shows how those parrhesiastes are banished because they have, linguistically and ethically, a threatening, deterritorialising potential.

in Shakespeare and the denial of territory
Violence, masculinity, and the colonial project in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
John Soderberg

A central project of colonial encounters is establishing and maintaining clear boundaries between intrusive and indigenous populations. While delineating boundaries is, in part, a means of securing a superior identity for colonizers, these boundaries also attempt to mask the violence of colonialism. This chapter uses animals as a point of entry into the contradictions that creep into the imaginative space created by the text and illustrations of John Derricke’s Image. It begins with a review of the effort to create a clear boundary between English and Irish populations by showing their different engagements with animals. But, implicit in this animals-make-the-man strategy is the threat of disorder. Interacting with the wrong species in the wrong way can make the man wrong. Illustrating the violence of conquest blurs boundaries. In these moments, the metaphorical associations with animals grow recalcitrant. Artfully constructed boundaries give way to a violent and confusing muddle.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Derricke’s Image of Irelande and the Mirror for Magistrates tradition
Scott Lucas

John Derricke, this chapter argues, employed the influential collection of historical verse tragedies A Mirror for Magistrates (first published 1559) as a model for various parts of his Image of Irelande. In doing so, however, Derricke found himself forced to acknowledge and to seek to overturn the often uncomfortable messages of that source. Thus, in the opening poem of his collection, Derricke uses a selective celebratory presentation of English monarchs to contest the view in the Mirror of English leaders as often undeserving of rule. Similarly, while he adopts the form and meter of the Mirror for his poems in the voice of Irish rebel Rory Oge O’More, Derricke suppresses the complexity of rebellion’s treatment in the Mirror, including the claims that political resistance is sometimes justified and that erring English officers bring rebellion on themselves. The Image thus reveals the anxious inspiration its author derived from A Mirror for Magistrates.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Aesthetico-political misprision in Derricke’s A Discoverie of Woodkarne
Thomas Cartelli

In Drama, Performance, and Polity in Pre-Cromwellian Ireland (2000), Alan Fletcher offers the possibility of variant readings of a provocative section of one of John Derricke’s more notorious woodcuts. Though Fletcher does not expressly claim that the behavior of the two bare-bummed kerns in the lower right corner of the third plate of Derricke’s Discoverie is designedly flatulent rather than excremental, his exhaustive knowledge of the varied ensemble of entertainments on offer in early modern Irish banquet settings leads him to qualify the grosser form of negative ethnic stereotyping in which Derricke may be engaging. In the process of rebalancing the bias of uncivil defecators in favor of slightly more civil braigetori, this chapter explores more broadly Derricke’s strategic acts of misrepresentation which operate both on the level of idealization (of Sir Henry Sidney and his fellow Englishmen) and of demonization (of the Irish): aesthetic determinations that appeal to already ethnocentrically established English values of religious and cultural superiority, on the one hand, while promoting or intensifying the application of those values to the English reader’s understanding of Ireland and the native Irish, on the other.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne