Psychotic phenomena in Euripides’ Heracles
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Greek tragedy
Kleinian psychoanalysis

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Stróżyński, M. (2017). Psychotic phenomena in Euripides’ Heracles. Symbolae Philologorum Posnaniensium Graecae Et Latinae, 27(3), 103–137.


The article is an attempt at the psychoanalytic interpretation of the Euripidean Heracles. The theory used to explain psychological phenomena of the play is Melanie Klein’s concepts of the paranoid-schizoid and depressive position, as well as contributions to the understanding of psychotic thinking made by her followers: Hanna Segal, Wilfred Bion, Herbert Rosenfeld, and John Steiner. Characters in the play, in their speech and behaviour, as well as in the chorus’ songs, reveal a significant number of primitive psychological mechanisms, such as splitting, denial, idealisation and projective identification. The analysis of those mechanisms expressed in literary material allows to see the much argued continuity of Euripides’ extraordinary play.
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