Contained Immanence: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens between Tragedy and Romance: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens Between Tragedy and Romance

2016-03-15 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Contained Immanence: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens between Tragedy and Romance: ​Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens Between Tragedy and Romance​
Elze, J.​ (2016) 
Anglia134(1) pp. 1​-24​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ang-2016-0001 

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Authors
Elze, Jens
Abstract
This paper starts off with a re-evaluation of the economic relations in Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens. It assumes that the initially generous protagonist of the play is clandestinely fostering an immanent economy based on the conviction that the world is entirely liable to human transformation through collaboration, reciprocity, and intersubjectivity. These immanent aspirations are, however, contained by greed and more importantly by the felt necessity to invest economic systems with material transcendence and hierarchy. Timon’s often-noted turn towards misanthropism is, therefore, conditioned by his disappointment in humanity’s incapacity to openly actualize the world towards dignity and equilibrium. The play’s specific stance on immanence has severe implications for the generic developments in the latest phase of Shakespeare’s writings. Whereas the major tragedies that preceded Timon projected immanence and autonomy as negative forces that disrupt order, Timon of Athens is the first in a series of plays that seems to bemoan its containment. With this position on immanence, that in the form of tragedy cannot but be contained, the play helped prepare the field for Shakespearean romance, which provides a much wider thematic playing field and generic temporal frame for human immanence to unfold.
Issue Date
15-March-2016
Publisher
De Gruyter Mouton
Journal
Anglia 
Organization
Abteilung Anglistische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft 
ISSN
0340-5222
eISSN
1865-8938
Language
English

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