Reflecting upon Coriolanus as Being-in-and-for-Mother through the Gaze of Existential Semiotics

in Critical Survey
Author:
Maryamossadat MousaviPhD candidate, The University of Isfahan, Iran maryammousavi62@fgn.ui.ac.ir

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Pyeaam AbbasiAssociate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Isfahan, Iran abbasi@fgn.ui.ac.ir

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This study applies Tarasti’s existential semiotics, arguing that the protagonist of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (c. 1608) develops into a becoming subject through transcendental acts of negation and affirmation. First, Coriolanus discovers himself amidst Dasein’s objective signs. Coriolanus is then thrown into negation as experiencing humiliation, when his already-established ascendency to consulship is destroyed by conspiracy. His movement, however, persists and follows affirmation, whereby he finds a supra-individual signification. Furthermore, the study portrays, through Z-model, subjectivity phases leading Coriolanus from M1 to S1. It reasons that Coriolanus’s mother, Volumnia, as a transcendental idea or pre-sign, intrudes into the Dasein of the whole of Rome, becoming ‘actualised’ as an act-sign, precluding Coriolanus’s war against Rome through her speech and prostration. Besides, Volumnia’s impact as a post-sign pertains to Coriolanus’s noble embrace of his death. The article concludes that Coriolanus, through acknowledgement of M(Other)’s opinions, validating his genuine self, eventually emerges as a geno-sign.

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