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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 23, 2020

The imagination, the conscious, and the unconscious in Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête

Rebecca Dalvesco
From the journal Semiotica

Abstract

Charles S. Peirce’s and Sigmund Freud’s theories may be used to interpret Jean Cocteau’s film La Belle et la Bête (1946). This film has a specific set of codes which connote its filmic language. Cocteau uses fetishistic objects as symbols and icons to reflect the psychological meaning of the film’s narrative. Peirce’s icons and symbols include the connection a person may make through the conventions and expressions of language a person links with the object or idea being observed. Peirce’s semiotic theory functions as a theory of communication. His theory refocuses on culture. Freud’s theories can be linked with ideas produced by Peirce in forming sign relations with the interpretation of the film and the role of imagination in the film. Especially important are Freud’s ideas of repression, conscious and unconscious as they relate to Cocteau’s filmic narrative and the film’s main character Belle.

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Published Online: 2020-11-23
Published in Print: 2021-01-27

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