Throughout his works he often quoted Shakespeare. Can psychoanalysis help us to understand the personality of the Bard himself? Three sources of information exist:
Throughout his works he often quoted Shakespeare. He also became interested in the dramatist's life, espousing with some vacillation the theory, rejected by modern scholars, that the plays were written by the Earl of Oxford Shakespeare's writings have had an influence upon psychoanalysis. Can psychoanalysis help us to understand the personality of the Bard himself?
Three sources of information exist: Freud on Shakespeare From the earliest days of psychoanalysis, Freud found in Shakespeare's works evidence for the soundness of at least one of his basic postulates.
In a memorandum to [Wilhelm] Fliess he commented: A few lines later Freud pointed out that 'Titania, who refused to love her rightful husband Oberon, was obliged instead to shower her love upon Bottom, the ass of her imagination' 9, p.
In another note to Fliess he wrote: Initially Freud believed that the theme of Hamlet was related to the dramatist's life. In The Interpretation of Dreams he wrote: Method of Examining the Plays Freud considered 'the analysis of works of the imagination and of their creators.
In the same note to Fliess referred to earlier, Freud said: By means of this fantasy [the writer] protected himself against the consequences of his experience.
So Shakespeare was right in his juxtaposition of poetry and madness the fine frenzy ' 9, p. In Delusions and Dreams in Jensen's Gradiva, he described two methods that 'may enable us.
In this study the eleven earliest plays, taken in chronological order, were treated as if they were the productions of a patient in analysis. The audience was viewed as participant-observer and transference object for the writer, its role resembling that of a therapist.
Each play was read and listened to, if recordedwith eye and ear attuned to its latent as well as its manifest content. Whatever Shakespeare had to say about psychology and mental illness was also carefully noted.
For purposes of a psychoanalytic inquiry, I have assumed that the plays are closely connected with Shakespeare's life experiences.
I also proceeded on the assumption that Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him by his contemporaries. Thus far I have found nothing in the plays to cause doubt that he did write them and many details to indicate that he did.
I have also found that this approach to the subject tends to clear up some of the mysterious lacunae of knowledge that have fostered doubts as to the authorship.
Shakespeare's Life The general biographical outline of Shakespeare's life is well known and well documented 2, 3, The dramatist's father, John Shakespeare, the son of a farmer, became a shopkeeper in Stratford.
His mother, Mary Arden, came from a well-to-do family of landed gentry and inherited money and property from her father. John prospered in business and took an active part in the town administration, becoming town councillor, treasurer, and alderman.
In he was elected 'Presiding Officer of the Corporation'. Stratford was the marketplace of a rich farming countryside and an independent political unit with its own self-contained government, and John Shakespeare's position was one of considerable prestige, authority, and power.
By virtue of his high office he was 'automatically eligible for a gentlemen's coat of arms if he could afford to pay the fees' of an application. He submitted his application inwhen William was twelve. This was the pinnacle of John's career. In September of that year something went wrong.
He stopped attending town council meetings, although the other members apparently expected his return since they waited nine years before electing another alderman to replace him. After the family was also in some financial difficulty.
Part of Mary's inheritance was sold and another portion mortgaged. The Shakespeares were not impoverished, however, and retained possession of their three houses in Stratford.
Two explanations are usually offered for John Shakespeare's political eclipse and the financial difficulties of the family. It has been suggested that John either sustained a serious business loss or that he was being harassed by the authorities because of his religious beliefs. Evidence for either view is inconclusive and leading authorities remain uncommitted.
One other possibility, based upon evidence in the plays, rather curiously does not seem to have been considered.Accompanying the rise of psychoanalysis in the twentieth century, many modern critics have applied the methods of this field to literature, and quite fruitfully to the dramatic works of Shakespeare.
Zeppieri 1 Matthew Zeppieri Mrs. Hatfield English II Honors 20 October Psychological Allegory- Depiction of Society Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory consists of three elements of personality: the id, the ego, and the super ego.
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