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Incest And Plague: Tragic Weapons Turned Against Tragedy In Artaud’s Theatre Of Cruelty

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Chapter Summary

If one word can capture the quintessential drive that underlies tragedy, it must be ?passion?, its semantic field ranging from suffering to desire. Passion is also what the author understands to be a key term in Artaud?s Theatre of Cruelty, which bears strong affinities with the tragic idea. This chapter outlines not only the obvious parallels between Artaud?s project and the characteristics of tragedy, but also the dynamics of passion that are intrinsic to tragedy and the Theatre of Cruelty alike. It is Jacques Lacan?s psychoanalytic insights into the drive of passion that helps the author to clarify the link between both. Making use of Artaud?s own terminology which was later taken up by Derrida, the chapter tracks down the meaning of the subjectile to explain Artaud?s artistic vision. The connection of incest and the plague is reflected in Artaud?s comments on Oedipus the King.

Keywords: Artaud; incest; Oedipus the King; plague; Theatre of Cruelty; tragedy



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