Shame, recognition and love in Shakespeare’s 'King Lear'

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In this paper, I explore the experience of shame and its connections to recognition and love as manifested in Shakespeare’s King Lear. My main focus in this paper is the ethical relevance of shame. I start from Sartre’s account of shame in Being and Nothingness, and I consider Webber’s attempt to reformulate it in terms of bad faith. I reject this and propose a way to rethink shame through a study of the workings of recognition in King Lear, following Stanley Cavell’s reading of this tragedy. I claim that the experience of shame has a relational structure, which makes it a crucial part of our ethical sensibilities. My analysis of King Lear brings out this structure and underlines the ethical significance of shame at this structural level, by highlighting its connection to recognition and love.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAzafea: Revista de Filosofía
Volume16
Pages (from-to)73-93
Number of pages21
ISSN0213-3563
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - shame, love, recognition, bad faith, freedom, moral emotions, Jean-Paul Sartre, Stanley Cavell, King Lear, Shakespeare (William)

ID: 131368109