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Hamlet’s ‘Spendthrift Sigh’: Emotional Breathing On and Off the Stage

  • Naya TsentourouEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Shakespeare Studies book series (PASHST)

Abstract

This chapter addresses how the body’s release of the breath troubles, in the context of theatrical representation, the boundaries between the internal and the external and between actors and audience. Drawing on Renaissance and modern theories of emotions to explore the affective resonance of sighing in Hamlet, the chapter examines what it means to waste one’s self in breath, or how breath consumes the body as much as it invigorates it. Hypocritical, instrumental, communicative, self-consuming and self-revealing, breathing in Hamlet has no fixed referent but shifts as often as the characters shift their position and perspective, constantly pointing to the impossibility of ordering Hamlet’s and the playgoers’ experience.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exeter UniversityExeterUK

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