Shakespeare Research Paper at UWIC

March 8, 2011

Johann Gregory (Cardiff University) will deliver a research paper tomorrow at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. The paper is entitled:

Being and Performing in Troilus and Cressida: “In faith, I lie”

This paper shies away from the overt promises the characters make in order to focus on the expression “in faith”, used most by Cressida in the play. It examines the way that this quasi-oath suggests both a subject who promises, and, at the same time, a figure who performs. It considers the way in which the strategy of having characters that promise suggests an interior psychology and intentions, before going on to suggest that this performance is caught awkwardly in the language of theatricality which is seemingly akin to feigning, falseness or protesting too much. In a second part it explores how promises on the stage and “in real life” are always caught to a degree in a language of performance which often represses the theatricality of the promise so that characters or people can mean what they say. Using Sartre’s notion of bad faith, this part explores the performative dimension of being and promises, showing how performing ourselves can be intrinsic to who we are, while at the same time, this performance is always in danger of being just an act.




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