Je suis Shakespeare: The Making of Shared Identities in France and Europe in Crisis

Open access

Abstract

This essay investigates the ways in which Shakespearean production speaks to France and wider European crises in 2015 and 2016. The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet were directed by Jérôme Hankins and Eric Ruf respectively in December 2015 and reflected significant contemporaneous issues, including: (1) two Paris terrorist attacks which sent shock waves throughout France and Europe; (2) the belief that shared identities were under threat; (3) concerns over shifting power dynamics in Europe. The portrayal of these issues and their reception bring into question the extent to which cultural productions can help to promote social change or shape perceptions of national and pan-European events. This essay focuses on whether the plays successfully complicate binary narratives around cultural politics in a context of crises by creating alternative representations of difference and mobilities. It concludes that appropriating Shakespeare’s cultural authority encourages some degree of public debate. However, the function of Shakespeare’s drama remains strongly connected to its value as an agent of cultural, political and commercial mobility, ultimately making it difficult radically to challenge ideologies.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Anderson Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso 1983.

  • Bancel Nicolas Pascal Blanchard and Sandrine Lemaire. La Fracture coloniale: la société française au prisme de l’héritage colonial. Paris: La Découverte 2005.

  • Barbier Christophe. “Les Amants de Vérone: Juliette plus héros que Roméo.” L’Express.fr. 6 December 2015. 12 June 2017. <https://www.lexpress.fr/culture/scene/les-amants-de-verone-juliette-plus-heros-que-romeo_1741756.html>.

  • Barthes Roland. Mythologies Paris: Seuil 1957.

  • Barthes Roland. “Myth Today.” Visual Culture: The Reader. Eds. Jessica Evans and Stuart Hall. London: SAGE Publications 1999. 51-58.

  • Bhabha Homi K. “Frontlines/Borderposts.” Displacements: Cultural Identities in Question. Ed. Angelika Bammer. Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1994. 269-272.

  • Bhabha Homi K. “Culture’s in Between.” Questions of Cultural Identity. Eds. Stuart Hall and Paul Du Gay. London: Sage Publications 1996. 53-60.

  • Beckett Lois. “Trump As Julius Caesar: Anger Over Play Misses Shakespeare’s Point Says Scholar.” The Guardian 12 June 2017. 12 June 2017 <https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/jun/12/donald-trump-shakespeare-play-julius-caesar-new-york>.

  • Bigo Didier Eveline Brouwer Sergio Carrera Elspeth Guild Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet Julien Jeandesboz Francesco Ragazzi and Amandine Scherrer. “The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy Responses to the Attacks in Paris: Towards an EU Security and Liberty Agenda.” CEPS Paper in Liberty and Security in Europe 81 (2015). 15 October 2018. <https://www.ceps.eu/system/files/LSE81Counterterrorism.pdf>.

  • Boitiaux Charlotte. “À Munich Valls joue la fermeté et dit ‘stop’ à l’afflux de réfugiés en France.” France24. 16 February 2016. 17 October 2018. <https://www.france24.com/fr/20160216-munich-valls-refugies-migrants-merkel-france-terre-asile-france-relocalisation>.

  • Bourdieu Pierre. The Rules of Art. London: Polity Press 1966.

  • Bouthors Jean-François. “Tchekhov et Roméo et Juliette après le 13 novembre.” Esprit. December 2015. 3 July 2017. <https://esprit.presse.fr/actualites/jean-francois-bouthors/tchekhov-et-romeo-et-juliette-apres-le-13-novembre-40098>.

  • Bowen John R. Why The French Don’t Like Headscarves. Princeton: Princeton University Press 2007.

  • Buonano Laurie. “The European Migration Crisis.” The European Union in Crisis. Ed. Desmond Dinan Neill Nugent and William E. Paterson. London: Palgrave MacMillan 2017. 100-130.

  • Capron Stéphane. “Eric Ruf fait revivre Roméo et Juliette à la Comédie-Française dans une version romantique”. Sceneweb.fr. 8 December 2015. 3 July 2017. <https://sceneweb.fr/jeremy-lopez-et-suliane-brahim-dans-romeo-et-juliette-de-shakespeare/>.

  • Chevilly Philippe. “‘Roméo et Juliette’ des amants ravageurs au Français”. Les Echos. 14 December 2015. 3 July 2017. <https://www.lesechos.fr/14/12/2015/LesEchos/22086-045-ECH_--romeo-et-juliette----des-amants-ravageurs-au-francais.htm>.

  • Commission européenne. “Immigration en Europe (UE): #RefugeeCrisis la crise des réfugiés.” Représentation en France. 18 October 2018. 18 October 2018. <https://ec.europa.eu/france/news_focus_migration_fr>.

  • Corey Frederick C. “Performance and Social Change.” Text and Performance Quarterly 35.1 (2015): 1-3.

  • Cresswell Tim. “Towards a politics of mobility.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28 (2010): 17-31.

  • David Gwénola. “Roméo et Juliette”. La Terrasse 239. 21 December 2015. 4 July 2017. <https://www.journal-laterrasse.fr/romeo-et-juliette-16/>.

  • Demarthon Jacques. “Eric Ruf réveille la flamme de ‘Roméo et Juliette’ à la Comédie Française.” Le Point.fr. 8 December 2015. 4 July 2017. <https://www.lepoint.fr/culture/eric-ruf-reveille-la-flamme-de-romeo-et-juliette-a-la-comedie-francaise-08-12-2015-1988118_3.php>.

  • Di Gregorio Ulysse. “’Roméo et Juliette’ mise en scène d’Eric Ruf à la Comédie-Française.” Un Fauteuil pour l’Orchestre. 16 December 2015. 4 July 2017. <http://unfauteuilpourlorchestre.com/romeo-et-juliette-mise-en-scene-deric-rufa-la-comedie-francaise/>.

  • Durkheim Emile. The Rules of Sociological Method. 2nd ed. New York: The Free Press 1938.

  • European Union. “The EU Motto.” 20 October 2017. 27 October 2018. <https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/symbols/motto_en>.

  • Fayard Nicole. The Performance of Shakespeare in France since the Second World War: Re-Imagining Shakespeare. New York etc.: Edwin Mellen Press 2006.

  • Foucault Michel. “Of Other Spaces.” Trans. Jay Miskowiec. Diacritics 16.1 (1986): 22-27. Originally published as “Des Espace Autres (Conférence au Cercle d’études architecturales 14 March 1967).” Architecture Mouvement Continuité 5 (1984): 46-49.

  • Gallen Claire. “Charlie Hebdo radicalisation marginale ou raté de l’intégration?” Le Point.fr. 13 January 2015. 10 September 2015. <http://www.lepoint.fr/societe/charlie-hebdo-radicalisation-marginale-ou-rate-de-l-integration-13-01-2015-1896137_23.php>.

  • Gervot Christophe. “‘Roméo et Juliette’ à la Comédie-Française: précipice amoureux”. Fragil. 26 August 2016. 19 July 2017. <https://www.fragil.org/romeo-etjuliette-a-la-comedie-francaise/>.

  • Gomes Paula. “‘Romeo et Juliette’ de William Shakespeare mise en scène d’Erif Ruf à la Comédie-Française.” Théâtre-Actu. 13 December 2015. 19 July 2017. <http://theatreactu.com/romeo-et-juliette-de-william-shakespeare-mise-en-scene-deric-ruf-a-la-comedie-francaise/>.

  • Grangeray Emilie. “Eric Ruf: ‘Roméo et Juliette n’est pas la bluette que l’imaginaire collectif a façonnée’.” Le Monde.fr. 4 December 2015. 19 July 2017. <https://www.lemonde.fr/m-actu/article/2015/12/04/eric-ruf-romeo-et-juliette-n-est-pas-la-bluette-que-l-imaginaire-collectif-a-faconnee_4824436_4497186.html>.

  • Grapin Jean. “Roméo et Juliette… La mise en scène d’Eric Ruf esquive des pièges de mièvrerie romantique.” La Revue du spectacle. 18 December 2015. 19 July 2017. <https://www.larevueduspectacle.fr/Romeo-et-Juliette-La-mise-en-scene-d-Eric-Ruf-esquive-des-pieges-de-mievrerie-romantique_a1505.html>.

  • Greene Maxine. Releasing the Imagination. Essays on Education the Arts and Social Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 1995.

  • Hankins Jérôme. “Mettre en scène la Tempête. Ou défier les logiques brisées de la dramaturgie Shakespearienne.” Ed. Valérie Toranian. Revue des deux mondes (May 2016): 36-45.

  • Héliot Armelle. “Roméo et Juliette: une féerie tragique.” Blog.lefigaro.fr. 8 December 2015. 19 July 2017. <http://blog.lefigaro.fr/theatre/2015/12/romeo-et-julietteune-feerie-t.html>.

  • Hollande François. “Hommage national: le texte intégral du discours de François Hollande Repéré par Vincent Manilève.” Slate.fr. 27 November 2015. 23 October 2018. <http://www.slate.fr/story/110717/hommage-national-texte-discours-francois-hollande>.

  • Kushner Tony et al. “How Do You Make Social Change?” Theater 31.1.3 (2001): 62-93.

  • Landy Robert and David T. Montgomery. Theatre For Change: Education Social Action and Therapy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2012.

  • Laughland Oliver. “Muslim Americans on Trump’s Travel Ban: ‘We Live as Second-Class Citizens’.” The Guardian. 27 June 2018. 27 June 2018. <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/26/muslim-americans-trump-travel-ban>.

  • Le Blog de Tata Jacqueline. “Tempest de W. Shakespeare création de l’Outil Compagnie nouvelle traduction et mise en scène pas Jérôme Jankins.” 23 January 2015. 9 July 2017. <https://tatajacqueline.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/tempest-de-w-shakespeare-creation-de-loutil-compagnie-nouvelle-traduction-et-mise-en-scene-par-jerome-hankins/>.

  • Lopez Jérémy. “Les Captifs amoureux.” Mordue de théâtre. 5 October 2017. 22 November 2018. <https://mordue-de-theatre.com/tag/jeremy-lopez/>.

  • Montaigne Michel Arouet de. Essais. Ed. M. J.-V. Le Clerc. Vol. 3. Paris: Garnier Frères 1866.

  • Morain Odile. “‘Tempest’: Jérôme Hankins revisite Shakespeare avec des jeunes d’Amiens.” Culturebox. Francetvinfo.fr. 28 January 2015. 9 July 2017. <https://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/theatre/theatre-contemporain/tempest-jerome-hankins-revisite-shakespeare-avec-des-jeunes-d-amiens-210541>.

  • Nail Thomas. “A Tale of Two Crises: Migration and Terrorism after the Paris Attacks.” Studies in Ethnicities and Nationalism 16.1 (2016): 158-167.

  • Pagden Anthony. The Idea of Europe. From Antiquity to the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002.

  • Rivier Estelle. “Du balcon de Roxane à celui de Juliette. Entretien avec Eric Ruf acteur metteur en scène scénographe et administrateur de la Comédie-Française.” Shakespeare en devenir Les Cahiers de La Licorne L’Oeil du Spectateur 9 (2015). 30 October 2018. <http://shakespeare.edel.univ-poitiers.fr/index.php?id=1079>.

  • Ruf Eric. “Introduction par Eric Ruf.” British Embassy Paris. 2016. 10 July 2017. <https://soundcloud.com/ukinfrance/1-eric-ruf-intromp3>.

  • Rutherford Jonathan. “The Third Space: Interview with Homi Bhabha.” Identity Community Culture Difference. Ed. Jonathan Rutherford. London: Lawrence and Wishart 1990. 207-221.

  • Safran William. “State Nation National Identity and Citizenship: France as a Test Case.” International Political Science Review 12.3 (1991): 219-38.

  • Simon Patrick. “French National Identity and Integration: Who Belongs to the National Community?” Rethinking National Identity in the Age of Migration: The Transatlantic Council on Migration. Ed. Demetrios G. Papademetriou. Washington: Migration Policy Institute and Bertelsman Stiftung Verlag. 2013. 171-188.

  • Thiébault Estelle. “‘La Tempête’ retrouve les projecteurs à Amiens.” Le Courrier Picard. 20 January 2016. 10 July 2017. <http://www.courrier-picard.fr/archive/recup%3A%252Fregion%252Fla-tempete-retrouve-les-projecteurs-a-amiens-ia167b0n709154>.

  • Topper David. “On Anamorphosis: Setting Some Things Straight.” Leonardo 33.2 (2000): 115-124.

  • Wahlquist Calla and Lois Beckett. “’This is Violence Against Donald Trump’: Rightwingers Interrupt Julius Caesar Play.” The Guardian. 17 June 2017. 19 June 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/trump-supporter-interrupts-controversial-julius-caesar-play-in-new-york>.

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor


CiteScore 2018: 0.08

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.1

Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 40 40 17
PDF Downloads 26 26 10