This book brings the insights of psychoanalysis to bear on drama in the western dramatic tradition. Plays which are discussed in detail include works by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Wilde, and Beckett among others. The authors seek to show that the subtle understanding of conscious and unconscious emotions achieved by psychoanalytic practice can bring new ways of understanding classic works of drama.The argument of the book, set out in its introduction and exemplified in its discussion of individual dramatists and plays, is that western drama has represented the central tensions of societies as crises in the relationships of gender and generation, through dramatic explorations of the inner life of families. This is the common theme which links the book's analysis of Medea, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream amongst others. The value of this book lies in the originality of its analysis of individual plays, and the subtlety with which it brings psychoanalytic and sociological insights together.Mirror to Nature should be of particular relevance to those interested in the theatre, whether as theatregoers, performers or students, in psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, and in literature.
Like the Rustins' earlier work on children's fiction, (Narratives of Love and Loss: Studies in Modern Children's Fiction) this volume on theatre shows a lucid and accessible way how psychoanalytic thinking can illuminate emotional experience in everyday life.Part of the Tavistock Clinic Series.