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سایت شخصی خانم فرشچیان وب گاه تخصصی زبان انگلیسی - نقد روان شناختی نمایشنامه " زمستان" اثر ویلیام شکسپیر (بخش دوم)

نقد روان شناختی نمایشنامه " زمستان" اثر ویلیام شکسپیر (بخش دوم)

 

نوع مطلب :مطالب مفید درسی و مقالات ،

Psychoanalytic criticism and its application in "The Tempest" (part two) 

Other Notes towards 'The Tempest':

The Symbolic order is where structuring of all kinds, particularly narrative and linguistic, take place. One might see the island as a representation of the Imaginary:

itself unnamed, it is manifestly free in many ways- free of language, for Prospero brought that to Caliban; 'full of strange noises'- sounds outside the meaningful spectrum of any human understanding, self-willed and bubbling up playfully. On the island, boundaries of reality and illusion can be crossed. Against that, the island world is interpenetrated by the Law of the Father, since the noises that fill the isle are the susurration of the mind of its creator, uninterpretable precisely to Caliban, the least competent linguist.

 Around Prospero, the structure created by him include Ariel's captivity and Ferdinand's log- carrying task – which suggest that he should be seen as the Other (or Law of the Father) which names and which says no- which, in fact lays down the boundaries and hence the meaning of the experienced world. Spirits function under the control of the magician, who thus fills the role of the Lacanian Father and who, imposing the Symbolic orders on them, creates structure and meaning. Prospero imposes order strictly, using archaic forms of control such as captivity, threats and physical punishments. It is he who controls memory, insisting that the nature of the past must structure the present and the future. The belief is also Prospero's error, since it generates the pattern of anger, mistrust and revenge which dominate his plot-making. Prospero thus attempts to make both of the other orders subservient to himself as structuring Other.

Much of The Temepst faces us with a subjectivity dominated by the Symbolic order, where a centralized narcissistic consciousness asserts the possibility of absolute control. That this state of repression is inadequate is revealed by the need for unremitting efforts to sustain control. The Imaginary can be seen bubbling through in Ariel's poetic language and highly creative renderings of Prospero's instructions. It is Ariel, after all, who forges the storm, and Ariel who invents the story of the King of Naples' transfiguration by the sea. Notably the songs are emanations from the spirits, in which they add their own playfulness to Prospero's structures.

Prospero himself is ambiguous: one notices that he seems feminized in his usurpation and that his holding of Ariel captive seems to be out of his own control as he keeps changing the rules and the date of Ariel's release is ways which suggest that Ariel's presence is needed. Together, Ariel and prospero constitute a divided subject, both sides of which are involved in dynamic of desire, and Prospero's fear of the Imaginary is clear in his endless postponements of Ariel's freedom. Further, Prospero is out of control at that much-noticed moment when time rushes on with him and he has forgotten the conspirations. He has been immersed in the delight of his own creation within the Imaginary- the masque of goddesses, Iris, Ceres and Juno. All of these are parts of a repressive subjectivity, in which delight struggles to be recognized and appears only dimly, permitted by the Law of the Father as long as it obeys the rules.

The Imaginary, however, cannot long be treated in this way. The price of controlling the Imaginary for prospero is isolation from society. Not unlike Marlow's Faustus, his connection with normal human society has become tenuous. The desire of the Other is signaled by Prospero's seemingly endless plotting: the play itself is in a state of desire for a lost narrative completeness. Prospero's attempts to enforce completion involve the subservience of the Imaginary (and hence a loss to him of its vitality). His tenderness towards Ariel is displayed sorrow for his own lost capacity to access the Imaginary. The object of desire slips away perpetually. As his plot nears completion it ceases to satisfy and prospero chooses to return to Milan, for what he must consign to the realm of loss is his magic (which is the same as his sense of omnipotence). Learning that involves a capacity to begin to learn his own morality: 'Every third thought will be my grave'

 (T, V.i, 310). The play closes with prospero proposing to tell the story of his life, in other words to formulate his life as a narrative or plot, something which he is confident he can do. He can now achieve this because desire has moved on, and must reconcile itself with a more fundamental area of loss, that of the text's own completeness outside narrative.

All along, the incompleteness of Prospero's worldwide has been adumbrated by the repetition of the number 'three' as a motif. Three, being neither one (the narcissistic self) nor two (the dyad of infant/mother), stands for the way in which language is generated when the Law of the Father (one term). It also numbers/names the three orders of the psyche that must all be acknowledged. Within the play, Miranda has known Ferdinand for three hours; prospero at several points believes he has three hours in which to work out his plan; and in Milan, every third thought will be his grave. The bell that rings for the dead in Ariel's song does so in triplets (' Ding, dong, bell') that cut across the four-stress lines of the rest of the song (T, I. ii, 397-405)

With the epilogue the play moves beyond Prospero's concerns and focuses us on the play and on ourselves. One might ask how the Epilogue fits into the three part pattern, but it is not true to break such a delicate piece with the weight of the Symbolic. It is by stepping outside itself, outside its own structures, in the Epilogue that the text plays with a sense of its own wholeness and completion. By definition, any Epilogue is both inside and outside the structure of the play's composition- this one particularly so, as it images Prospero's (fictional) renunciation of magic as the author's (actual) distancing from his parts. He displays the multiplicity of the subject by his presence outside the role of Prospero.

The sources:

  1. Wolfreys, Julian. Introducing Literary Theories: A Guide and Glossary, Edinburgh, 2001.
  2. Bertens, Hans. Literary Theory: The basics, London, 2001
  3. Abrams, M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms.
  4. Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: an Introduction to Theory and Practice.
  5. www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/lacan.html
  6. http://maven.english.hawaii.edu/criticalink/lacan
  7. http://nl.ijs.si/~damjan/lacan.html

       8. http://purl.oclc.org/emls/06-1/lehmhaml.htm

 

 

 





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