Shakespeare on the Couch: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Shakespeare on the Couch

1st Edition

By Michael Jacobs


176 pages

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Paperback: 9781855754546
pub: 2008-12-31
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Drawing upon a vast literature in psychoanalytic journals and either upon Shakespeare's characters themselves or alluding to those characters in the course of other topics, this book discusses eight of Shakespeare's plays and the relationships between the main characters in them. Psychoanalytic and literary approaches sometimes diverge, but they can also concur in seeing characters either as true examples of different psychological states and types of relating or as symbolic of aspects of the personality. The chapters contain many references to psychoanalytic interpretations from Freud onwards, although these cannot be proved, and in some cases are over-stretched, there will be times when psychoanalytic criticism 'rings bells' in the reader. The importance of this book lies in its drawing together from a large number of disparate sources, many of which will be inaccessible to those who do not have access to the journals or psychoanalytic databases. It is nonetheless relevant for counsellors and therapists, as well as for those interested in literature, particularly in Shakespearean studies.

Table of Contents

Prologue -- The qualities of people -- Much deceived: Leontes and Othello -- Death and the maiden -- The rei(g)ns of power -- Part-objects: Prospero and Caliban -- “Father” and son: Prince Hal and Falstaff -- The Macbeths: a childless couple? -- Antony and Cleopatra—“star-cross’d” lovers? -- Epilogue

About the Series

The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health