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Title: The Shakespearean object : psychoanalysis, subjectivity and the gaze
Author: Adair, Vance
ISNI:       0000 0001 3393 2507
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2000
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Through a close analysis of four plays by Shakespeare, this thesis argues that the question of subjectivity ultimately comes to be negotiated around a structural impasse or certain points of opacity in each of the text's signifying practices. Challenging assumptions about the utatively "theatrical" contexts of Richard III, Richard II, Hamlet and Antony and Cleopatra, I argue that, to varying degrees, the specular economy of each play is in fact traversed by a radical alterity that constitutively gives rise to a notion of subjectivity commonly referred to as "Shakespearean". Elaborating upon the work of both Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida, I argue that "subjectivity" in the plays is, rather, the articulated confrontation with a non-dialectizable remainder that haunts each text from within. Crucially in this respect I relate each of the texts to Lacan's account of the "gaze" as a species of what he calls the object a: an alien kernel of jouissance exceeding all subjective mediation yet, paradoxically, also that which confers internal consistency both to subjectivity and to the very process of symbolization as such. I am, moreover, also concerned to read the work of Jacques Derrida as providing an illuminating context for how this incursion of alterity that he terms differance (what Lacan calls the Real) may be read as the unacknowledged support of subjectivity. The thesis concludes with a consideration of how this analysis of the Shakespearean object, rather than succumbing to the heady pleasures of an unfettered textuality, opens, ineluctably, onto a rethinking of the very category of the "political" itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Structuralism (Literary analysis) ; Shakespeare, William,1564-1616 Criticism and interpretation ; Subjectivity in literature