MITCHELL Andrew

PhD student

PhD student

High school English teacher

Contact :

Research

  • Shakespeare
  • Elizabethan Drama
  • Phenomenology and Imagination

Period of Study

16th and 17th centuries (mainly the Tudor and Stuart eras).

Other personal interests

  • Literary works of imagination in all their varieties (notably Tolkien and Lovecraft).
  • The works of Hammer Film Production.
  • Programming for UNIX systems (C, Bash, Ruby).

Diplomas

  • D.E.A (diploma for accessing academic research) in 2003
  • CAPES (national examination for teaching in secondary education) in 2005
  • Agrégation (national examination for teaching in post-secondary education) in 2012

Dissertation Title

The Æsthetics of Evocation in Shakespeare’s Dramatic Work.

Dissertation Summary

Through its Greek etymon (theatron) the word “theatre” denotes a place where one can see (from). Yet Shakespeare’s dramatic work abounds in descriptive and narrative passages that incite the spectators to imagine a scene rather than see it, during which dramatic time is being suspended and the words are being used for making visible in the spectators’ minds what the scene doesn’t show, or shows differently. This function of verbal evocation in Shakespeare’s drama aims at several writing strategies, stemming from both the material conditions of scenic representation, quite naturally, and a more meaningful æsthetic project. The purpose of this dissertation is to assess the theatricality of Shakespeare’s drama by evaluating the dramatic, poetical and philosophical functions of his æsthetics of evocation. A tentative theory may start with the following assumptions — Shakespeare prosaically uses those suspended dramatic moments of evocation so as to help him build the plot, the evocative scene becoming thus a tool serving the internal aspects of his dramatic narrative, his plot. But what seems more important yet is that it also serves an external function, at once poetical and phenomenological, whereby the spectators are incited, not simply to see and hear what comes from the represented scene, but to perceive and imagine what is not represented, allowing thus for the doubling of the representation through a process of imagining what is not represented on the stage but which is conveyed by the uttered words, but also by other staging elements such as music, dancing, pantomimes and the scenery. This call for the spectators’ participation, whose imagining capacities are aroused by as much the words as the senses, will be the main direction in the search for a comprehensive study of Shakespeare’s æsthetics of evocation, whereby the evoked scene draws a new perspective on what is represented, leading then to a critical assessment of what is given to the spectators for them to complete the building and representation of the drama being played on the stage.

Keywords

Dramatic arts, Rhetoric, Stylistics, Imagination, Phenomenology

Dissertation Advisor

Jean-Louis Claret, MCF-HDR (Senior Lecturer)