An Africanist-Orientalist Discourse: The Other in Shakespeare and Hellenistic Tragedy
The main aim of this dissertation is to show how the discourse of the psychoanalytical other--femininity, death, madness, disorder, and impiety--overlaps with colonial discourse in some plays from Shakespearean and Greek-Roman tragedy, and what difference or similarity there is between the two ages. The hypothesis is that foreigners are allegories of the psychoanalytical other. For this purpose, the research tries to grasp the concept of the other, from the viewpoint of psychoanalysis, and to analyze the core of colonial discourse on the basis of the concept of the psychoanalytical other.
The starting point of the dissertation is that the other is related to the "uncanny other" within ourselves, which is "the hidden face of our identity," arising from the dialectic between desire and anxiety. The dissertation puts emphasis on the fact that colonial imagination relates the imagination of the colonial other to that of the "uncanny other" within. In relation to Greek tragedy, the psychological tendency is called "basic tendency" by Frank Snowden, which develops into "power relations" in Shakespeare's plays, where the psychological other becomes the object of politics--that is, the politicization of the other. For instance, the color black is psychologically related to death in some of Hellenistic tragedy, which is as natural as even Africans equate blackness with evil. But since the Mediaeval Ages, the black-evil equation was established as a frame of politics of a theatre-state. However, the dissertation doesn't ignore the possibility that Shakespeare debunks the colonial imagination of the Renaissance Europeans.
Advisor:Maribel Dietz; John Lowe; John Protevi; Greg Stone; Jefferson Humphries
School:Louisiana State University in Shreveport
School Location:USA - Louisiana
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:comparative literature interdepartmental program
Date of Publication:08/29/2003