Shakespeare's Reparative Comedies: A Psychoanalytic View of the Middle Plays

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University of Chicago Press, 1984 - Literary Criticism - 190 pages
Joseph Westlund brings recent developments in psychoanalytic thought to his elegant and sensitive readings of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, All's Well That Ends Well, and Measure for Measure. Westlund departs from the usual preoccupation in psychoanalytic criticism with conflict and guilt to rely instead on Melanie Klein's theory of reparation, which emphasizes the impulse in life to resolve and transcend conflict. Through interpretations that are new and convincing, Westlund views the interactions of characters in the six comedies as attempts to work through anger and guilt to effect reparations for themselves and for us.

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About the author (1984)

Joseph Westlund is associate professor of English at Northeastern University.

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