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Schwartz, M.M. (2015). The Unconscious in Shakespeare's Plays by Martin S. Bergmann Karnac, London, 2013; 268 pp; £23.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(1):250-254.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(1):250-254

The Unconscious in Shakespeare's Plays by Martin S. Bergmann Karnac, London, 2013; 268 pp; £23.99

Review by:
Murray M. Schwartz

Before Martin S. Bergmann's death in 2013 at the age of 100, his extensive and erudite psychoanalytic contributions and the understanding of its contentious history of ‘dissidence’ were widely acknowledged within the profession, although his persona as the philosopher in Woody Allen's 1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors brought more public recognition, at least in the United States. Less well known is his life-long love of Shakespeare's plays and poems. A venerated New York analyst and an esteemed teacher, in his last years, Bergmann published two books on Shakespeare - the first (with his son Michael), a gloss of the Sonnets, and the second, an interpretation of selected plays, which he completed in the midst of a continuing private practice. The book under review emerged from a course he taught for psychoanalytic trainees. He and his students sought to identify “the unconscious reason each play was written” (p. xv, italics added). Bergmann reads the plays for the “coded message” (p.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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