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A Psychological Analysis of Romeo and Juliet

:: 3 Works Cited
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A Psychological Analysis of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet was obviously not written to fit the psychoanalytic model, as the theories of Freud were not developed for centuries after Shakespeare. Shakespeare wrote to Renaissance England, a culture so heavily steeped in Christianity, that it would have blushed at the instinctual and sexual thrust of Freud’s theory. However, in order to keep literature alive and relevant, a culture must continually reinterpret the themes and ideas of past works. While contextual readings assure cultural precision, often these readings guarantee the death of a particular work. Homer’s Iliad, a monument among classical works, is currently not as renowned as Romeo and Juliet because it is so heavily dependent on its cultural context. Just as writers have the liberty to reinterpret works to make them more relevant to their particular time, so to should commentators be allowed to criticize a work with modern ideas. For all the blatant and covert sexual content of Shakespeare’s plays, they are in no way subscribing to a psychoanalytic construction. Wi...

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...e play, he kills himself because he can no longer have Juliet. Romeo’s final act of suicide is not completely based on the death of Juliet. The depression he exhibits at the onset of the play is already exhibiting his desire to escape life.

Works Cited

Becker, Ernest. The Denial of Death. New York: The Free Press, 1973.

Cox, Marjorie C. “Adolescent Processes in Romeo and Juliet.” Psychoanalytic Review 63 (1976). 379-392.

Faber, M.D. “The Adolescent Suicides of Romeo and Juliet.” Psychoanalytic Review 63, (1976). 169-181.

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