« Qui est là ? » ˸ enquête sur l’identification et l’identité des personnages anonymes dans le théâtre de William Shakespeare

Abstract : In William Shakespeare’s plays, characters are often called by common nouns, which can indicate social status (“Gentleman”), occupation (“Gardener”), geographic origin (“Egyptian”) or relationship (“Father”). This anonymous way of naming, which does not assign personal names to the characters, shows that Shakespeare stresses these parts’ affiliation to a ranked and extensive society, mirroring the audience attending the performance, which itself forms a large social spectrum. The study of their identification, based on all the signs which shape the characters — speech headings, costume, props, body, speech —, reasserts a conception of anonymous characters which highlights their social identity to the detriment of their personal identity. Thus, the genericity of the anonymous characters mainly allow them to support named heroes or their social group, according to the self-effacement principle, as Molly Mahood and Florence Yoon define it. However, Shakespeare’s poetical process leads him to develop parts, that may seem minor at first, by working the tension between their function and their individuality. Their relation to otherness gives them an interactive identity, socially and theatrically, which shapes their raison d’être. From generical anonymity, characters can thus rise up to the realm of universality.
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Oriane Littardi. « Qui est là ? » ˸ enquête sur l’identification et l’identité des personnages anonymes dans le théâtre de William Shakespeare. Musique, musicologie et arts de la scène. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019USPCA005⟩. ⟨tel-02166127⟩

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