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Manolopoulos, S. (2015). Medea by Euripides: Psychic Constructions for Preverbal Experiences and Traumas. Psychoanal Q., 84(2):441-461.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 84(2):441-461

Medea by Euripides: Psychic Constructions for Preverbal Experiences and Traumas

Sotiris Manolopoulos

The author introduces Euripides's Medea as a metaphor of the psyche's attempt to express and symbolize preverbal, unrepresented experiences and wounds visited upon it before there was any word for trauma. He suggests that Medea, the wild foreigner whose murderous magic is unleashed when the facilitating environment betrays her, could be thought of psychoanalytically as the deepest uncharted realms of primitive, traumatized existence yearning to find a way to represent itself on the stage of language and reality. Euripides can help us understand this deep realm of the psyche, with which psychoanalysis also grapples; he presents the realization of an object that traumatically fails to contain preverbal elements and transform them.

[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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