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Topics in Shakespeare

ENGL 235.301
MWF 10-11

A special affinity has existed between Shakespeare and psychoanalysis ever since 1900 when Freud published his pages connecting Hamlet with Oedipus. This class will explore the interrelations between Shakespeare and psychoanalysis interpretation and analysis by reading several works by Freud (e.g."The Theme of the Three Caskets," "The Uncanny," "Mourning and Melancholia,") and numerous works by Shakspeare (e.g. Sonnets, Richard III, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and King Lear). In what way do such concepts as the unconscious, repression, and fetishism apply to Shakespearean interiority, melancholy, madness and desire? What kinds of issues are obscured or effaced by the focus on the psychological? What does it mean that the psychoanalytic vocabulary and procedures that are currently applied to Shakespeare's characters postdate Shakespeare by about three-hundred years? Two papers, midterm and final exam, class exercises and reports.

fulfills requirements