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Shakespearean Georgic : an ecological reading of As You Like It

Fahmi Mustapha. Shakespearean Georgic : an ecological reading of As You Like It. Dans : British Shakespeare Association , September 2005, Newcastle.

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In a typical new historicist move, Louis Adrian Montrose reduces As You Like It to a Shakespearean contribution to the debate over primogeniture. The play, he argues, recognises and resolves social conflicts, especially the rivalry between elder and younger brothers. Montrose’s focus on the first scenes at the expense of the rest of the play is, as he himself admits, a reaction to those who ignore the primogeniture issue in favour of the pastoral world of the play. What cannot be denied, however, is that the massive change that the characters undergo takes place in the forest. What kind of influence, then, does the forest have over those who visit it? The answer that most ecologically conscious productions of the play seem to give is “the magic of the pastoral”. But is the world of Arden a pastoral one? My contention is that it is less pastoral than georgic; and it is the georgic aspect of Arden that converts the characters of the play from tourists idealising the life of the forest to “dwellers” open to its being. I draw on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, most notably his concept of “dwelling”. I also argue that Shakespeare’s interest in the question of primogeniture is part of his interest in the larger issue of tradition as a gift of the past. The way all gifts must be returned one way or another, including the gifts of nature, is part of my argument.

Type de document:Matériel de conférence (Non spécifié)
Sujets:Arts et lettres > Étude des arts et des lettres > Études littéraires
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des arts et des lettres
Mots-clés:Shakespeare, As You Like It, ecocriticism, Heidegger, Georgic, dwelling
Déposé le:28 avr. 2014 20:10
Dernière modification:28 avr. 2014 20:10
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