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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Re: Freudian Slip
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0605  Monday, 5 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Barbara R. Hume <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 31 Mar 1999 11:48:19 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0576 Re: Freudian Slip

[2]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 31 Mar 1999 09:03:30 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip

[3]     From:   John Nettles <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 31 Mar 1999 18:47:49 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip

[4]     From:   Roger Schmeeckle <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 31 Mar 1999 19:05:03 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara R. Hume <
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Date:           Wednesday, 31 Mar 1999 11:48:19 -0700
Subject: 10.0576 Re: Freudian Slip
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0576 Re: Freudian Slip

>I shudder to think what lies in store for Hamlet in the next century if
>this kind of stuff persists ...

Lawrence Olivier's version of Hamlet was based on Dr. Ernest Jones'
theory about the character. I watched the performance on TV once with my
6-year-old daughter, and she exclaimed indignantly, "I don't think
Hamlet was that much of a wimp!"

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 31 Mar 1999 09:03:30 EST
Subject: 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip

Eric Beato writes, in part:

>What I saw in the article was further commentary on the subtle
>complexity of Shakespearean character.  After all, he predated Freud by
>three centuries.  Macbeth's doctor suggests in Act V that Lady Macbeth
>might need modern therapy, does he not?  And this is all accomplished in
>the context of characters who demand our attention and love.

Kindly, Eric, because it needs to be said, the modern perception that
"we" (in the 20th, almost 21st, century) invented everything is a
prevalent but naive one.  Freud codified an approach to understanding
human behavior: he wasn't the first to look beyond actions for their
motives, nor by any means the best.  Chaucer's characters are complex,
too, and hold the mirror up to nature the same way that Shakespeare's do
. . . Beowulf is an analysis of effective kingship, and so on.  When I
teach The Wyf of Bath's Tale, my students are always amazed that they
knew words like "quentye" back then (so was I, when I first read it).
The point is that, like most best friends, most good authors are
instinctively as good at psychoanalysis as most psychoanalysts-
sometimes better!  But scholarship mocks itself when it uses its tools
indiscriminately, and tries to work with a screwdriver where only a saw
will do . . . your good doctor nullifies anything else of value that he
may have to say about Shakespeare by starting out with such an
outrageous premise-those of us who are too busy to read the things we
know have plenty to teach us will simply turn off at that point, and
dismiss the article as one more piece of useless quackery.

Carol Barton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Nettles <
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Date:           Wednesday, 31 Mar 1999 18:47:49 EST
Subject: 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip

Sean Lawrence writes,

>Seriously, I'm actually a little encouraged to see a real psychologist
>take on these issues, rather than leaving them (as usual) to second-rate
>literary critics, with a dilettantish interest in psycho-analysis.

I'm a little discouraged to see a real psychologist take on these issues
as if they're fresh stuff, which they're not, as a reading of Freud or
Otto Rank will show, and more discouraged to see this reported in the
mainstream press as new scholarship, thus giving cachet to second-rate
psychologists with a dilletantish interest in literary criticism.

John Nettles
University of Georgia

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Schmeeckle <
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Date:           Wednesday, 31 Mar 1999 19:05:03 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0589 Re: Freudian Slip

>From:           Eric W Beato <
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>three centuries.  Macbeth's doctor suggests in Act V that Lady Macbeth
>might need modern therapy, does he not?  And this is all accomplished in

No, he did not.  He suggested that she needed to be shrived of her sins,
a rather well-tested, but not modern, therapy.

      Roger
 

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