With a slight twinge of self-consciousness, Norman Holland offers this introductory joke. ""As one cannibal said to the...

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PSYCHOANALYSIS AND SHAKESPEARE

With a slight twinge of self-consciousness, Norman Holland offers this introductory joke. ""As one cannibal said to the other, 'Did you ever eat a psychoanalyst?' 'Eat one!' replied the other. 'Did you ever try to clean one!'"" That the author should at so late a date in our cocktail chatter age feel some defense necessary is surprising, but as one gets into the book one soon realizes that the speculations of psychoanalysts concerning Shakespeare are a good deal more lurid- some will say dirty-minded- than one would ever have imagined. It is impossible to quote here any of the choice bits. Let us merely say that there are few characters or situations within the plays and poems, or within the great man himself, that are not subjected to a variety of complexes via Freud, Jung, Rank, Stekel and so forth. Coriolanus' phallic aggression, Hamlet's oedipal conflict, Lear's masochism, Antonio's or Iago's suppressed homosexuality--these are the lines along which the explorations are taken. And Holland, well acquainted with both traditional literary criticism and psychopathology, is as brilliant, bush-beating a guide as anyone could wish. He seems to have pillaged an entire library to amass his findings, and he has produced a truly astonishing, jampacked chronicle, one which the interested student will be thumbing through for years to come, and one which, on its own grounds, it is difficult to gainsay. A superb survey of theories and applications.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1966