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Slap, J.W. (1971). American Imago. XXVII, 1970: Desdemona: An Innocent Victim? Robert Dickes. Pp. 279-297.. Psychoanal Q., 40:543.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XXVII, 1970: Desdemona: An Innocent Victim? Robert Dickes. Pp. 279-297.

(1971). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 40:543

American Imago. XXVII, 1970: Desdemona: An Innocent Victim? Robert Dickes. Pp. 279-297.

Joseph William Slap

Dickes contends that Desdemona's self-destructive behavior was expiation for the crime of incest, with Othello representing her father. Citing Freud's (1924) mention of three types of masochism—feminine, erotogenic, and moral—Dickes concludes that Desdemona was motivated by the third exclusively. I find this conclusion questionable; the manner of her death—a violent attack by the father-figure in the marriage bed, her breath shut off—seems to have undeniable sadomasochistic instinctual elements. Besides, Freud said that the types of masochism were intermingled and did not occur alone.

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Article Citation

Slap, J.W. (1971). American Imago. XXVII, 1970. Psychoanal. Q., 40:543

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