Friday, September 15, 2023


Kim Bodnia as Set. Martin Rohde in The Bridge (photo: Nordiske Mediedager)

William Barrett wrote Irrational Man. Othello, Lear and Hamlet, Shakespeare’s great tragic characters, are all deficient in their reasoning capacities. Hamartia is the word the Greeks used to define a tragic flaw. Passion is blind. Othello, Hamlet and Lear are blind to the facts. Jealousy overcomes Othello and pride Lear. Hamlet's case is more complicated, due to the hero’s subliminal motives. Thus, psychoanalysis has often been employed to understand the play. Ernest Jones, an English psychoanalyst, famously wrote Hamlet and Oedipus. Maladaptive or self-defeating behavior, diagnoses drawn from the lexicon of psychoanalysis elucidate the darkness of Hamlet's tragic world. Lear's "false achievement (another analytic concept) destroys him. “Motiveless Malignity” was the term Coleridge used to describe Iago. You’ve seen it in every day life. Whole societies implode as they fecklessly pursue their Pyrrhic ends. Leidenshaft is the German for passion, with the root word Leiden meaning suffering.

listen to "Every Little Bit Hurts" by Brenda Holloway

read the latest review of The Kafka Studies Department by Francis Levy in Booklife

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