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Title: The space of dissent in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It
Authors: Aloui, Amira
Keywords: Dissenters in literature
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Criticism and interpretation
Displacement (Psychology) in literature
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Characters
Issue Date: 2018-02
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of English
Citation: Aloui, A. (2018). The space of dissent in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Antae Journal, 5(1), 75-85.
Abstract: The Humanist episteme cherished individualism and mapped a world picture that places every object in its space and displaces any attempt of dissent. Shakespeare, then, produces As You Like It to invest in a new project that is not only a translation of its culture, but, above all, acts as an agent that maps and reshapes the episteme that has produced it. The characters, instead of ascending to the level of angels, choose to descend in space and time to the forest in an era marked by an opposition between the city and the country, or court and forest. The playwright thus becomes a mapmaker and the text a cartography of an alternative world. The physical displacement of characters to the alternative world of the forest spells out the playwright’s examination of the possibility of an anarchic “state” that negates all forms of corruption and policing; family, gender, class and even poetic orthodoxies. This hypothesis suggests the failure of the embryonic capitalist state, or a shared anxiety towards it. The interlude in the greenwood contrasts the immobility of time to a spatial mobility. Greenwood, thus, marks the longing for an alternative and a rejection of an authoritarian world, that of the city and the court. In this essay, I will study the revolutionary dimension of the text through an examination of poetic, political, and theatrical (dis)spatiality.
Appears in Collections:Antae Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1
Antae Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1

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