Cixous on Shakespeare

On the worthiness of certain characters for theatre:

All of Shakespeare’s characters are like that, every one of them is already his own little theater. Every one of them gets up on his own stage. Every one of Shakespeare’s individuals has his little kingdom, his micro-kingdom. We could say that each inhabitant (let us not say character) of Shakespeare is exceptional; he is rich, he affects us, he fascinates us, he is not a person without a kingdom […]

As I reread this I gradually come to understand “kingdom” as a zone of influence. I smirk less and less from the recollection of the lines from Richard III. Little by little I begin to see a concern for sovereignty in the use of the term “kingdom”. And from such a perspective I find it difficult to imagine people without a kingdom notwithstanding Cixous asserting “There are many people without a kingdom”. Those people must be rich in horses (there’s that reference to Richard III again). But then those people or characters would be of some place other than the theatre.

The passage in question appears in an interview (initially appeared in Hors Cadre) and was edited and translated by Verena Andermatt Conley and included in Conley’s Hélène Cixous: Writing the Feminine and it was reprinted in Timothy Murphy ed. Mimesis, Masochism and Mime: The Politics of Theatricality in Contemporary French Thought.

And so for day 782
02.02.2009

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