Death assumes many faces in Macbeth, but the variety of corpses and ghosts which tyrannise the play’s protagonist signals problems larger than one man’s ruthlessness or paranoia. Contemporary ballads often feature similar ontological confusion about where and how life ends, sometimes imagining the dead with the same sense of their vital non-being, moral authority, cunning magic, and important place in the community. Like Macbeth, these ballads also powerfully theorise of surveillance and households as sites of neglect, streets as settings where poverty spreads, and fam- ilies as traps where new life gets put out. In fastening their gaze upon dead bodies which subvert rot and defy decay, Macbeth and contemporary ballads picture the collective social body as something that sprawls and suffers and moves but does not grow, something that the state keeps alive but also near death.
In the paper nostalgia and their types will first be explained and revisited; then, three examples will be provided for early modern dramatic representations of the then-unnamed concept of the pain of missing one’s homeland and the yearning to return safely to where one belongs. The frustration felt by various characters for to the means of escape and for a safe return home, to be finally saved and recover/retrieve/reclaim their possessions, rights, original place, title, etc. (cf. the etymology ofnostalgia from Greek nostos “homecoming,” ultimately from PIE nes- “escape from, survive, be saved” + Greek algos “pain”) can be seen to play a key role in each of the three plays under investigation. The plays investigated here are Doctor Faustus, Macbeth, and The Tempest, and the paper demonstrates that despite their generic and thematic differences all three types represent the synthesis of two types of nostalgia–reflective and restorative–giving voice to both elements reflected in the etymology of the word: nostos and algos; thereby informing us of the striking abundance of nostalgic tendencies in the literature of the period.
Rosalind and Celia
Biblical and Renaissance Ideals of Friendship in Shakespeare’s As You Like It
This paper focuses on the relationship between Rosalind and Celia from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The study investigates a hitherto undiscovered link between their friendship and that of David and Jonathan from the Bible. Both friendships are analysed in the context of the classical and Renaissance discourse on amicitia perfecta, highlighting the most important features of ideal- ised friendship from Cicero’s De Amicitia and Montaigne’s essay On Friendship. Furthermore, amicitia perfecta is proposed as a new, alternative framework to understand the relationship ofRosalind and Celia, which is often discussed in the context ofhomoerotic desire. Finally, the essay emphasis the significance of the fact that the ideal friends presented in Shakespeare's comedy are female in a culture when women were thought to be excluded from, and incapable of, true friendship.
The paper charts certain nuances of the diction of two minor characters in Dickens’s early fiction, Sam Weller from The Pickwick Papers and Mrs Nickleby from Nicholas Nickleby. The paper focuses on what David Ellis calls Sam’s “extended comic comparisons” and Mrs Nickleby’s typical speech acts, called here, by analogy, extended comic recollections. After examining the role both characters’ verbal comedy plays in the novels, the paper invites Jean- Jacques Lecercle’s critical insight into a Victorian genre contemporary to Dickens: nonsense lit- erature. I approach the underlying structural parallel between Sam’s and Mrs Nickleby’s comic verbal instances with the aid of the definitive trait of nonsense as established by Lecerlcle, the paradox of excess and lack on different levels of language. Though not arguing for the novels' inclusion in a nonsense literary canon, I show that Lecercle’s conceptualisation of nonsense linguistics proves useful in making sense of the two characters’ monologues. Their role in each novel may thus be grasped as functional nonsense.
The denial of the humanness of certain individuals or groups has long been a source of violent conflicts, atrocities, and exploitation. It was only recently , however, that the more subtle and implicit forms of dehumanisation attracted critical attention. In certain social contexts, any indi- vidual can be subjected to treatment that negates his or her human qualities. The medical encounter can be identified as a situation in which the individual often feels deprived of human qualities. Medical dehumanisation is often alluded to in Sylvia Plath’s late poems, but it is explicitly foregrounded in "Tulips" and "The Surgeon at 2 a.m." While the first poem depicts the process of dehumanisation from the perspective of the patient complicit in her objectification, the second conveys the dehumanising attitudes of the medical practitioner. Through the close reading of these poems, this paper argues that medical dehumanisation turns individuals, not into machines which can never completely lose their functionality, but into functionless, inert matter.
Stories of Telltale Eyes
Filmic Gaze and Spectatorial Agency in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s A Short Film about Love, Ferzan Ozpetek’s Facing Windows, and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom
This paper attempts to rethink the concept of the filmic gaze through a comparative analysis of three films, namely, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Krótki film o miłości (A Short Film about Love, 1988), Ferzan Ozpetek’s La Finestra di Fronte (Facing Windows, 2003), and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (2012). ‘Filmic gaze’ here refers not to the production of the filmic/discursive self through suture but to the whole fabric of the film, which is construed as a looking subject. Kaja Silverman’s cinematic suture theory and Descartes’s dark room parable are employed to illustrate how the passivising filmic gaze of classical narrative cinema confines the spectator to the position of the voyeur, who observes rather than creates the scene that pleases her. A Short Film about Love is analysed to demonstrate conventional film-audience dynamics and is then compared with two contemporary auteur films, Facing Windows and Moonrise Kingdom, which, by addressing viewers through the characters’ telltale eyes, keep reconceiving suture as they go along, blurring the boundary between intra-diegetic and extra-diegetic looks, and thus offering spectators a more active and varied spectatorial agency than that of the voyeur.
Theoretical Considerations for the First-Person Narrativisation of Death
The majority of narratives assign death scenes a crucial role in the development of the plot and characters; yet despite its prominence, dying per se frequently remains untold, with works utilising first-person narrators or focalisers proving especially problematic. From a commonsensical point of view, the authors’ reluctance at representing the moment of death is justifiable since they do not possess any comparable experience. But the fact that all first-person descriptions of death are inauthentic does not mean that they cannot be subject to narrative representation. As it will be demonstrated through the discussion of some recent work in the field of ‘unnatural narratology’ and the cognitive sciences, it may be possible to create a valid and valuable narrative of death even from a first-person perspective.