Considerazioni 'impolitiche' sul Re Lear

Massimo Cacciari

Abstract


This essay reads Shakespeare’s King Lear as the extreme expression of a world in decay, approaching a kind of apocalypse, the end of all time and radical dissolution of every human bond – political, social, familiar – symbolized in particular by the corrosion of the filial bond. Aspects of the carnivalesque inhabit such an accelerated world, rushing madly towards its end; however, it is argued, the process of the carnival here does not fulfil its traditional role as reversal leading to the re-establishment of a new world order. In this sense, the end cannot be interpreted as a new beginning, and the order of tragedy is abandoned in favour of the “grotesque absolute” (Hegel). The grotesque is traced throughout the play in the excess of passion that plagues the characters, while the apocalyptic setting is materialized through the diverse forms of secessio – the severance and radical departure from established human bonds and social and political norms – that the characters enact.

Keywords: King Lear, Anomie, Impoliticality, Excess, Carnivalesque 


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