A study examines Shakespeare’s King Lear according to the Lacanian Psychoanalysis

Document Type : Research Paper


Tehran university, Alborz Campus, Languages and foreign literature, English language and literature


The present study examines Shakespeare’s King Lear according to the Lacanian Psychoanalysis specifically in the light of the Lacan’s four discourses concept. The main question concerns the madness of King Lear and the subsequent turmoil ravaging society after the dominant stability and order in the beginning. The study shows that when King Lear as the master signifier and the locus of identification for the barred subjects, is removed from the discourse, the truth of discourse is going to be revealed, the veil of fantasy is torn apart, and the king and society find themselves in madness. The researchers first present a lengthy introduction mainly discussing the history of psychoanalytic criticism and showing how dramatically it is changed after the radical psychoanalytic innovations made by Jacques Lacan. The next part is totally allocated to explaining the theory of the discourse of master and its constituent components such as the master signifier, the other, the object petit a and the truth.


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