MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation is a work of advocacy for psychoanalytic literary criticism. The main author that I draw upon in this project is Jacques Lacan, whom I both read and take as a model for reading---thus my title, Lacanian Readings . In Chapter 1, I discuss Freud's and Lacan's views of literature and lay the groundwork for a properly psychoanalytic literary criticism that would follow one of two paths. It would either apply psychoanalytic technique---not theory---to literature, or it would discern in literature the same structures that are discovered in psychoanalysis. In Chapter 2, I explicate Lacan's misunderstood theory of the signifier. This chapter is at once an example of close reading---though of theoretical and not literary texts---a grounding for the chapters that follow, and an exploration of the family structures that are elaborated in both literary and psychoanalytic texts. The literature that I read in this dissertation is Shakespearean. Of the two methods I've discussed for using psychoanalysis to read literature, I follow one in Chapter 3 and the other in Chapter 4. Chapter 3 is an examination of the emergence of the modern subject as represented in Shakespeare's Henriad. Chapter 4 is a close reading of Hamlet , applying analytic techniques of reading, but also arguing that the play Hamlet is itself a kind of analysis.