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Schmukler, A.G. (1989). American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra: Power and Submission. Roberta M. Hooks. Pp. 37-48.. Psychoanal Q., 58:509.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra: Power and Submission. Roberta M. Hooks. Pp. 37-48.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:509

American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra: Power and Submission. Roberta M. Hooks. Pp. 37-48.

Anita G. Schmukler

Observing that scholars and critics have generally shown no appreciation for the psychological depth portrayed in Antony and Cleopatra, the author cites the dilemma of the boundaries in the mother-child relationship as a particular focus for studying the play. Antony's posture of infantile omnipotence, dependency, and rage strain the boundaries between self and other. His intellectual defenses are certainly penetrable by Cleopatra's manipulations, which permit Antony his "illusion of dominance." Hooks explores the vicissitudes of union and separation in the context of Antony's conflicts and developmental pathology. On the level of unconscious forces, Antony and Cleopatra display profound similarities, although Cleopatra is "distinguished" by her "enactment of what the unconscious perceives as a devouring, all-engulfing figure…" Cleopatra is viewed as both the wished-for and feared oedipal mother and the dreaded preoedipal mother. While Octavius can view himself in a "spacious mirror," Antony's myopic, distorted self-image has a pathological effect upon his relation to objects, both internal and external. The deaths of Antony and Cleopatra are viewed as essentially rooted in preoedipal pathology.

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1989). American Imago. XLIV, 1987. Psychoanal. Q., 58:509

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