On Psychopathology and Existence: Ahab and Lear
International Journal of European Studies
Volume 1, Issue 1, February 2017, Pages: 15-20
Received: Mar. 16, 2017; Accepted: Apr. 1, 2017; Published: May 18, 2017
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Authors
Goetz Egloff, Practice for Psychoanalysis, Mannheim, Germany
Trin Fuchs, Chemnitz, Germany
Dennis M. Jacobson, Inst Cultural Studies, Budapest, Hungary
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Abstract
Ahab, the notorious captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s 1851 novel, Moby-Dick, is put in relation with King Lear, the desperate old regent from William Shakespeare’s eponymous play published in 1608. Its main character, apart from Macbeth, is considered to have had deep influence on Melville, especially in creating the character of Ahab. What ties them together is not only their overabundant quest for meaning, if ever, but their obsession with pursuing their targets. Whereas at the beginning of the seventeenth century conflicts are established on the inside of the protagonists rather than on the outside, the nineteenth century still sees Ahab’s monomanic escapism outside of his consciousness, the latter due to forces that he does not perceive as coming from within. However, in terms of psychopathology both characters show symptoms: the differences and parallels of their behavior are elaborated on in the context of their personal realities and of issues of existence.
Keywords
Herman Melville, William Shakespeare, Moby-Dick, King Lear, Psychopathology, Existence
To cite this article
Goetz Egloff, Trin Fuchs, Dennis M. Jacobson, On Psychopathology and Existence: Ahab and Lear, International Journal of European Studies. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017, pp. 15-20. doi: 10.11648/j.ijes.20170101.13
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Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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