Mourning in Shakespeare’s The Tempest: A Psychological Reading

Publish Year: 1402
نوع سند: مقاله کنفرانسی
زبان: English
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تاریخ نمایه سازی: 28 بهمن 1402


Most of us have experienced forgetting a dear one who is gone forever. However, it is not something to come about overnight. More often, we forget that the person is dead, and as soon as we are reminded of that, our pain is renewed. This process is reminiscent of Freud’s (۱۹۲۰) fort-da, in which an infant repeats throwing and getting a reel, followed by the words gone and there. He posits that mourning will be finished when one comes to term with it. Shakespeare’s The Tempest demonstrates the act of mourning as an embodiment of transformation. This paper tries to present a different reading, namely, interpreting the play as an instance of mourning. Researchers may interpret the play’s reference to splitting as both a psychological and a concrete act, which can end tragically with development or with integration and reconciliation. Freud calls the state of hatred and love melancholia: “a person grieves for a loss he is unable to fully comprehend or identify, and thus this process takes place in the unconscious mind”. Shakespeare shows that the acceptance of reality through rejection of power is moving because it is real, even if disagreeable. He proves that loss can be faced and tolerated, that to hate is deforming. Further, Shakespeare demonstrates that the outcome of a process of change, which is hidden from the view, is revealed through psychic actions. Psychic change often occurs when a seemingly obstinate attachment is renounced or modified, or when a psychic retreat is abandoned.


Ali Ahmadi

English Dept. , Faculty of Humanities, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran