본문 바로가기
  • Home

Body, Voice, and Identity in Postdramatic Theatre: Plurality and Interpretive Possibilities in Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2021, 34(3), pp.143-173
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : November 15, 2021
  • Accepted : December 14, 2021
  • Published : December 31, 2021

Sunghee Pak 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the concept of human identity in relation to the physical presence of the body in contemporary postdramatic theatre through the lens of Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine (Die Hamletmaschine, 1978). While many playwrights and theatre practitioners have sought unified plots and well-developed characters since Aristotle, from the twentieth century and onwards, there have been continuous attempts to break out of such a convention. One of the examples is the trend of postdramatic theatre, which pushes theatre performances beyond the bounds of scripted dramas. Hamletmachine, which has neither logically constructed plot nor clearly recognizable characters, is one of the plays that can be effectively examined in light of such a trend as an application of postdramtic theories reveals the work’s message with a magnified emphasis. In his play, Müller disturbs the traditional concept of a human as a unity of soul and body by merging multiple voices into one physical body as well as separating one being into multiple bodies. The plurality of the body and the voice on stage destabilizes the concept of a unified identity, questioning the essence of a human being; the blurred definition of humanity, which resonates with the notion of the posthuman, demolishes the idea of absolute answers and forces the audience to engage with multiple possibilities of interpretation.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.