L’injure et la voix dans le théâtre de Shakespeare

Abstract : Even if insult can be conveyed by a gesture, an expression of the eye, a pause, or any other non-verbal way, most of Shakespeare’s insults are articulated through the voice. By their orality and theatricality, insults are part of the body’s language. Many metalinguistic comments in Shakespearean plays present insult as some kind of carnivalesque «roughmusic». Insults are «noisy», but they are also the rhetorically codified expressions of human passions. When situated within the context of a few prosodical rules, it is also apparent that music can be heard in these pejorative words. It seems that with insult the meaning of a word can actually retire before its sound. It is as if an insult serves as an oral analogue to the actions of the body, an analogue that in fact «re-sexualises» the voice. In the Shakespearean corpus, the art of insult is too multifaceted to be reduced to this single vision. Insults must be examined, individually, within the compass of a particular text. In this paper, I distinguish three modes of vocalisation : firstly, the word, and its meaning, can be eclipsed before the body and the corporeal sound it emits ; secondly, the sound can be subsumed by the power of a word and its meaning ; and, finally, I argue that dramatic action often appropriates the disparity between the meaning of the word and the way it is uttered, between what is said and the way it is said. More often than not, these ironic gaps facilitate comic interchange.
Mots-clés : Malédiction Injure Voix
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Journal articles
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Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin. L’injure et la voix dans le théâtre de Shakespeare. Actes des congrès de la Société française Shakespeare, Société Française Shakespeare, 1999, Shakespeare et la voix, 17, pp.193-208. ⟨http://shakespeare.revues.org/403⟩. ⟨10.4000/shakespeare.403 ⟩. ⟨halshs-01372467⟩

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