A Horror of Femininity: Lacan’s Reading of Hamlet with Jamieson Webster at NYPSI

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 8:30 p.m., Free
A Horror of Femininity: Lacan’s Reading of Hamlet
Jamieson Webster, Ph.D.

In his 1958-1959 Seminar, Desire and Its Interpretation, Lacan reads Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a means of pitting the question of mourning against the problems of the dissolution of the Oedipus complex. He is bringing us back to the original ground of Oedipus as revealed by Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) in the section on “Dreams of the Death of Persons of Whom one is Fond” where he also points to Hamlet as a critical example of its effects on character.

Hamlet, after the death of his father, cannot locate his desire; something we witness in his beautiful soliloquies on the question of contemplation, grief, and action. For Lacan, the beauty with which Hamlet’s inhibition and self-reflexivity is presented veils a much more violent disposition- seen most clearly in his relations with his women, Gertrude and Ophelia. This constellation, namely Hamlet’s failed mourning, fall into narcissism, and consequent horror of femininity, gives us renewed insight into the stakes of the Oedipus complex. Through a few key scenes of Branagh’s film version of Hamlet, I hope to illustrate what is fascinating in Lacan’s reading of the play.

Dr. Webster is a candidate in NYPSI’s Adult Analytic Training Program.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of [2] AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

For more information: admidir@nypsi.org or 212.879.6900

For information about NYPSI training programs please visit us at www.psychoanalysis.org

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