After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis by Julia Reinhard Lupton, Kenneth Reinhard

By Julia Reinhard Lupton, Kenneth Reinhard

Exploring the discussion among psychoanalytic and literary discourses, the authors learn the types of plot, personality, and methods of studying which each and every of those discourses has built in studying Shakespeare.

Since Freud's writings on Oedipus and Hamlet, Shakespearean tragedy has been paradigmatic for psychoanalytic conception and feedback. during this formidable and hugely innovative publication, the authors hint the discussion among psychoanalytic and literary discourses via studying the versions of plot, personality, and methods of analyzing which every culture has built via its interpretation of Shakespeare.

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Freud's writings on mourning trace and manifest the interplay between "introjection" and "projection": the articulation and interfolding of inside and outside, subject and object, presence and absence, around an experience of loss. "In mourning it is the world which has become poor and empty; in melancholia it is the ego itself (SE 14:246). Here Freud founds the distinction between mourning and melan­ cholia on the assumedly prior division between self and world. 20 Hamlet in Psychoanalysis The essay in general distinguishes the egoism of the melancholic's narcissistic self-reproach and ambivalent love from the mourner's unconnected absorption in the lost object.

Similarly, in a 1924 footnote to the same material in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Freud subordinates his earlier emphasis on the mother to the Oedipal conflict with his older brother Philipp, whom the child suspects of having impreg­ nated his recently "confined" mother. Freud reads the memory as displacing anxiety from the "deeper" conflict with the fatherfigure to the more "superficial" fear of losing his mother: "The affect of disappointment when the cupboard was found to be empty derived, therefore, from the superficial motivation for 9.

11. See Karl Abraham's letter to Freud, 31 March 1915, in which he sug­ gests the cannibalistic aspects of melancholia (217). Incorporation, as a prim­ itive oral relation to objects, is the prototype of, though not identical to, introjection. " S h a p e s of G r i e f 2 1 it takes them into itself, 'introjects' them (to use Ferenczi's [1909] term); and, on the other hand, it expels whatever within it becomes a cause of unpleasure" (SE 14:136). 12 Freud de­ scribes the melancholic's desire to devour the lost object as a regression to an earlier narcissistic object-choice; it is also a regression to an early object-Zoss, to an infantile experience of mourning.

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