A Method in their Madness: a Psychoanalytic approach to Shakespeare's Construction of Evil
Mas Solé, Guillem
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Elizabethan dramatists, foremost amongst them William Shakespeare, thoroughly explored the theme of evil in their plays, as its reach was extremely extensive and completely impregnated the Elizabethan conception of the human being. Centuries later, psychoanalytic theory has bestowed the possibility to tackle the problematic nature of Shakespeare’s characters’ “psyche” and offer solutions to puzzles that have vexed readers across the ages. The purpose of this dissertation is to study the representation of evil in Shakespeare’s dramatic oeuvre through the particular analysis of two of his most emblematic villains, namely, Richard III and Macbeth. The present-day conception of evil presented in Dr Michael H. Stone’s The Anatomy of Evil (2017) lies at the very core of this dissertation. Together with it, the psychoanalytic theories produced by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, amongst others, have been employed to carry out the analysis of the aforementioned Shakespearean villains. Ultimately, the research has shown that all conclusions reached through a study of Shakespearean character creations will necessarily lead to a better understanding of the human mind. All in all, through its combination of Stone’s theory and psychoanalytic approaches to Shakespeare, this project will hopefully contribute to future studies addressing the evil nature of other villains in and outside the Shakespearean universe.
European research projects
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