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The Uncanny

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Boundless, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Boundless

    Boundless Chieftain

    Mar 31, 2011
    The walled city, UK
    I'm currently writing my dissertation (6,000 word essay for my final year English Lit degree) on the topic 'The Uncanny' in relation to Freud's essay of the same title. I'm looking at the ways in which Hamlet is uncanny, despite Freud's argument in the essay that it isn't because it's set in a fictional sphere outside of 'reality' and therefore any feelings of uncanniness are suppressed.

    Basically I'm looking for a bit of help. Completely stumped as to how to argue how the ghost becomes uncanny despite it's fictional setting. I'm looking at the following things and was wondering whether anyone had any opinions on the following:

    - The ghost as an incomplete representation of the law (as in the law of the father)
    - Hamlet's questioning of the ghost's reliability and how this suggests a setting of a more realistic sphere without automatic acceptance - this can then be related to Hamlet's delaying process as part of the ghost as an incomplete representation of the law
    - The play-within-the-play - how this additional fictional sphere adds to the element of reality within the actual text of Hamlet
    - Uncertainty of authorial intention – how both Shakespeare and Freud become ghost writers of their own experiences within their texts - the idea of the author as a ghost writer
    - The theatre as the place where those things are permitted when everyday reality banishes them

    I could go on but I think that's enough food for thought! Cheers :)

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