Nicholas Royle

in In Memory of Jacques Derrida

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780748632954
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671625 | DOI:

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This chapter discusses the meaning of woo't. In the texts published in The Work of Mourning, there is a sense of what Jacques Derrida calls ‘the madness of the title’. Elizabeth Bowen is one of the greatest twentieth-century writer-analysts of mourning in the English language. As A World of Love brings forcefully into focus, two world wars have changed the thinking about mourning and living on. ‘Woo't’ sounds and resounds through what is possibly the most egregious and distasteful passage in Shakespeare's play. The link between ‘woo't’ and being buried alive provides one connection between the passage in Hamlet and the ‘woo't’ of Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra's ‘woo't’ recruits a world of love in defiance of the end of the world, a will or wish, neither futural nor conditional, at once appealing and abandoned to the other.

Keywords: woo't; Jacques Derrida; The Work of Mourning; A World of Love; Hamlet; Antony and Cleopatra; Shakespeare; mourning; love

Chapter.  9889 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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