Transtextuality, (Re)sources and Transmission of the Celtic Culture Trough the Shakespearean Repertory

Abstract : This dissertation explores the resurgence of motifs related to Celtic cultures in Shakespeare’s plays, that is to say the way the pre-Christian and pre-Roman cultures of the British Isles permeate the dramatic works of William Shakespeare. Such motifs do not always evidently appear on the surface of the text. They sometimes do, but most often, they require a thorough in depth exploration. This issue has thus far remained relatively unexplored; in this sense we can talk of a ‘construction’ of meaning. However, the cultures in question belong to an Ancient time, therefore, we may accept the idea of a ‘reconstruction’ of a forgotten past. Providing a rigorous definition of the term ‘Celtic’ this study offers to examine in detail the presence of motifs, first in the Chronicles that Shakespeare could have access to, and takes into account the notions of orality and discourse, inherent to the study of a primarily oral culture. The figure of King Arthur and the matter of Britain, seen as the entrance doors to the subject, are studied in relation to the plays, and in the Histories, the analysis of characters from the ‘margins’, i.e. Wales, Ireland and Scotland provides an Early Modern vision of ‘borderers’. Only two plays from the Shakespearean corpus are set in a Celtic historical context – Cymbeline and King Lear – but motifs surge in numerous other works, such as Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale and others. This research reveals a substrate that produces a new enriching reading of the plays
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Céline Savatier-Lahondès. Transtextuality, (Re)sources and Transmission of the Celtic Culture Trough the Shakespearean Repertory. Linguistics. Université Clermont Auvergne; University of Stirling, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019CLFAL012⟩. ⟨tel-02439401⟩

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