Epilogue: Last Words

Susan Zimmerman

in The Early Modern Corpse and Shakespeare's Theatre

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780748621033
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652198 | DOI:
Epilogue: Last Words

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This chapter presents a further speculation on how Walter Benjamin's Trauerspiel elucidates the interdependent relationship between poststructuralist theory and historicist analysis. The ‘homeland’ of the Trauerspiel is the indeterminate corpse. It seems particularly interesting that Benjamin conceives of the problem of materiality as developed in the Trauerspiel as conjunctive with that of Christianity. Benjamin's genius for forcing new angles of vision can be divined in the suggestive connections between the Dance of Death and puppetry. It has been concluded that although the homeland of Shakespeare's theatre must be reconstituted in terms of its own cultural determinants, there is equally compelling reason to view it from positions outside this historical framework – to multiply frames of reference, and by so doing to discover new angles of vision.

Keywords: Walter Benjamin; Trauerspiel; Christianity; homeland; Shakespeare; poststructuralist theory; historicist analysis; corpse

Chapter.  1517 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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