S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Program in Comparative Literature (협동과정-비교문학전공) Theses (Master's Degree_협동과정-비교문학전공)
The Problem of Violence in Percy Bysshe Shelley and Walter Benjamin
퍼시 비시 셸리와 발터 벤야민의 저작에 나타나는 폭력의 문제
- 인문대학 협동과정 비교문학전공
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- 서울대학교 대학원
- Percy Bysshe Shelley; Walter Benjamin; violence; casuistry; philosophy of language; Romanticism; Darstellung; The Cenci; The Mask of Anarchy; Critique of Violence
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 비교문학전공, 2017. 2. 한서린.
- The organizing idea of the study is that both Shelley and Benjamin problematize an instrumental conception of language because it constitutes the basic workings of structural violence. Shelley's essay A Philosophical View of Reform is a classic statement in this vein, where he presents a schematic history of tyranny in Europe as one of imposture, a perversion of "names" that redounds to the advantage of oppressive powers. Against this linguistic scheme of violence Shelley advances a poetics of objective mimesis, a language that is "vitally metaphorical" in that it becomes the picture of "integral thoughts" rather than abstract "signs." This is remarkably similar to Benjamin's early critique of the instrumentalist view of language as a means, a "mere sign," as opposed to the immediate (i.e. not being a means), cognitively potent "name" of Adamic language. Benjamin develops the notion of immediacy further in his Critique of Violence, where the mediate legal violence is set against the immediate, law-destroying divine violence. The latter revolutionary violence is closely associated with the concept of Darstellung (representation) that he puts forward in the "Epistemo-Critical Prologue," which, again, is comparable to Shelley's preoccupation with the revolutionary potential of the expressive faculty of language.
In the chapter on Shelley's The Cenci, I probe into the nature of violence that Cenci perpetrates against his family, which consists in a coercion to infamy, a deliberate perversion of the family name that comes to consummation with Beatrice's parricide. Cenci's curse is the figuration of his off-stage incestuous rape, injecting guilt into his daughter and thereby corrupting both her body and soul. The play ends with Beatrice's bitter acknowledgement that her "innocent name" has been ruined by the father's imprecation. Her parricide is essentially an act of casuistry, another name for mediate violence that is sufficient neither to exonerate her guilt nor to overthrow the oppressive patriarchal power-nexus. The next chapter on The Mask of Anarchy is organized around the idea that the two authors each draws from his philosophy of language in order to tackle the problem of violence. Shelley's envision of the role of the poet has many important parallels to Benjamin's conception of the task of philosophical writing as Darstellung, which is deeply tied to the concept of divine violence. The Mask of Anarchy dramatizes on the textual level the workings of poetic language which effectively combat against the semantic perversion of the state.