This essay offers a structural analysis of space in Shakespeare's plays. Taking his cue from Yuri Lotman's topological approach to plot organization, Andreas Mahler argues that Shakespeare achieves dramatic momentum by adding a third space to Lotman's concept of two spaces divided by a boundary transgressed at the outset. Both the comedy As You Like It and the tragedy King Lear start with a vertical organization of social space. Characters belonging to the "upper" level are thrust into the "lower" level, their eventual return being effected by a passage through an "enclave", a third space where characters can be temporarily "taken out of the game" (Mahler) in preparation for their social (comic or tragic) restitution—a dynamic that is significantly eroded in Hamlet.
Mahler, A. (2016)., Shakespeare's enclaves, in I. Habermann & M. Witen (eds.), Shakespeare and space, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 17-37.
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