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Medical Knowledge and Theatrical Interpretation

Medical Knowledge and Theatrical Interpretation To the Editor:— The theater benefits when actors bring to the stage principles of modern medicine and psychiatry, as illustrated in Leon J. Saul's interesting paper (Othello: Projection in Art, JAMA 200:39-40, 1967). Lawrence Olivier's presentation of an Oedipal Hamlet, reflecting the Ernest Jones analysis of the play, is an example of new insight into characterization being stimulated by 20th-century psychiatry. Olivier has also provided a legitimate medical etiology for the otherwise arbitrary fourth-act swoon of Othello by giving him a dramatically effective hyperventilation syndrome. The Shakespeare character most in need of fresh appraisal has been King Lear. His words in the storm scenes are those of a senile, paranoid, and depressed old man without delusions of grandeur ( eg, "Here I stand your slave, a poor, infirm, weak and despised old man." "The little dogs and all... see, they bark at me.") Yet he is commonly http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Medical Knowledge and Theatrical Interpretation

JAMA , Volume 201 (3) – Jul 17, 1967

Medical Knowledge and Theatrical Interpretation

Abstract



To the Editor:—
The theater benefits when actors bring to the stage principles of modern medicine and psychiatry, as illustrated in Leon J. Saul's interesting paper (Othello: Projection in Art, JAMA 200:39-40, 1967). Lawrence Olivier's presentation of an Oedipal Hamlet, reflecting the Ernest Jones analysis of the play, is an example of new insight into characterization being stimulated by 20th-century psychiatry. Olivier has also provided a...
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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1967 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1967.03130030079029
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

To the Editor:— The theater benefits when actors bring to the stage principles of modern medicine and psychiatry, as illustrated in Leon J. Saul's interesting paper (Othello: Projection in Art, JAMA 200:39-40, 1967). Lawrence Olivier's presentation of an Oedipal Hamlet, reflecting the Ernest Jones analysis of the play, is an example of new insight into characterization being stimulated by 20th-century psychiatry. Olivier has also provided a legitimate medical etiology for the otherwise arbitrary fourth-act swoon of Othello by giving him a dramatically effective hyperventilation syndrome. The Shakespeare character most in need of fresh appraisal has been King Lear. His words in the storm scenes are those of a senile, paranoid, and depressed old man without delusions of grandeur ( eg, "Here I stand your slave, a poor, infirm, weak and despised old man." "The little dogs and all... see, they bark at me.") Yet he is commonly

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jul 17, 1967

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