SHAME, RECOGNITION AND LOVE IN SHAKESPEARE'S KING LEAR/Vergüenza, reconocimiento y amor en El Rey Lear de Shakespeare

Azafea: Revista de Filosofia 2014 (16):73-93 (2014)

Authors
Alba Montes Sánchez
University College, Cork
Abstract
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 sensibility. 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.
Keywords Shame  love  recognition  Bad faith  Freedom  moral emotions  Jean-Paul Sartre  Stanley Cavell  King Lear
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