In her book "Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare's Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest," Janet Adelman explores the ways in which the maternal figures in Shakespeare's plays are represented as suffocating and oppressive to their children.
Adelman argues that these representations reflect the anxieties and fears of early modern English society about the role of mothers in the family and the larger social structure. She contends that these suffocating mothers represent a threat to the patriarchal order, as they are depicted as overbearing and controlling, seeking to exert their influence on their children even after death.
One example of a suffocating mother in Shakespeare's plays is Gertrude in "Hamlet." Gertrude is portrayed as a weak and manipulative woman who is unable to stand up to her new husband, Claudius, and instead goes along with his plans to kill her son, Hamlet. Gertrude's inability to protect her child and assert her own agency serves to reinforce the patriarchal hierarchy, as it suggests that women are incapable of independent thought and action.
Another example of a suffocating mother is Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth." Lady Macbeth is ambitious and ruthless, encouraging her husband to kill the king in order to seize the throne. However, her ambition ultimately leads to her own downfall and the destruction of her family. Lady Macbeth's overbearing and controlling behavior towards her husband and children serves to reinforce the idea that maternal love can be dangerous and destructive.
Adelman also discusses the maternal figures in "The Tempest," such as Miranda and Prospero's daughter, and how they are depicted as submissive and obedient to their fathers. These representations reinforce the idea that women should be subservient to men and that their primary role is to bear and raise children.
Overall, Adelman's analysis of the suffocating mothers in Shakespeare's plays highlights the ways in which early modern English society viewed and constructed motherhood and femininity. These representations of suffocating mothers reveal the anxieties and fears of a patriarchal society, as they depict maternal love and influence as a threat to the social order.
Suffocating Mothers (豆瓣)
A memorial program will be held by the English Department at a later date. Adelman belonged to the Modern Language Association and Shakespeare Association of America. Cook in a review that appeared in The Shakespeare Newsletter. She had been studying biblical Hebrew at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and had been set to teach a course this spring at Kehilla on traditional liturgy. Schwartz and Coppelia Kahn Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980 , pp.
Suffocating mothers : fantasies of maternal origin in Shakespeare's plays, Hamlet to the Tempest in SearchWorks catalog
Adelman served as department chair from 1999 to 2002, and retired in 2007. Drawing on formalism, feminism, and psychoanalysis, Adelman provides a sustained study on the anxiety of female sexuality in the second half of Shakespeare's career from Hamlet onward. In Shakespearean scholarship the book has become an oft-cited classic, and for good reason. Twentieth Century Interpretations of King Lear: A Collection of Critical Essays Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1978 , 134 pp. Reading each of Shakespeare's plays from Hamlet to The Tempest , Janet Adelman brilliantly illuminates Shakespeare's negotiations with mothers, present and absent - not only Gertrude, Volumnia, and Hermione, but also Lady Macbeth, Lear's daughters, and the exiled witch Sycorax.
Janet Adelman, scholar of Shakespeare, psychoanalytic and feminist critic, dies at 69
Indeed, Hamlet marks the transition from the romantic comedies' relatively lighthearted treatment of love to plays much darker in tone and concerned specifically with sex. Janet Adelman Motherhood: Meanings, Practices, and Ideologies. In her original and highly charged account, Adelman traces the genesis of Shakespearean tragedy and romance to a psychologized version of the Fall, in which original sin is literally the sin of origin, inherited from the maternal body that brings death into the world. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origins in Shakespeare's Plays, 'Hamlet' to 'The Tempest'. Early years Born in Mt. Janet Adelman was a professor in the English Department at the University of California, Berkley and Shakespeare scholar best known for her combination of psychoanalytic and feminist theory.
Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare's Plays ...
Her argument takes Hamlet as the Shakespearean origin of the anxiety of the sexually experienced woman that is, the mother. Her husband of 33 years, Robert Osserman, said Adelman loved the theater, nature, bird watching and taking long walks in nearby Tilden Regional Park. New York and London: Routledge, 1992. Adelman points out the great significance in both Jessica's and Shylock's eventual conversions to Christianity. She was well respected as a teacher and as a member of the academic community both at Berkley, where she was the first woman to join the English Department, and nationally as a member of the Modern Language Association and the Shakespeare Association of America.
An original reading of Shakespeare's plays illuminating his negotiations with mothers, present and absent, and tracing the genesis of Shakespearean tragedy and romance to a psychologized version of the Fall. In Adelman's account, Shakepspeare's confrontation with maternal power has devastating consequences both for masculine selfhood and for the female characters in whom that power is invested, the suffocating mothers who must themselves be suffocated. Edited by Added goodreads ID. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Adelman and former colleague Carol Christ, now president of Smith College in Massachusetts, are credited with leading UC Berkeley to implement new rules supporting maternity leave.
Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare's Plays, "Hamlet" to "The Tempest". Janet Adelman Motherhood: Meanings, Practices, and Ideologies. Ann Phoenix , Anne Woollett , Eva Lloyd Mother, Madonna, Whore: The Idealization and Denigration of Motherhood. Estela Welldon
At the moment I am writing a book about issues of conversion, race, identity, and blood as they inflect the anxiety-fraught relation of Christian to Jew in 'The Merchant of Venice' and elsewhere in the culture. She spent the summers of 1972 and 1973 in An active member of Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont, CA, Adelman chaired several committees there. Kisco, New York, on Jan. Her professional statement, though no longer posted on the UC Berkeley English Department's faculty contact page, can still be found online: "My dominant interests are in psychoanalysis, gender, and race, usually practiced somewhere in proximity to Shakespeare, although I have been planning a long essay on Toni Morrison for some time. She also was an interdisciplinary member of the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. Making Defect Perfection: Shakespeare and the One-Sex Model, Enacting Gender of the English Renaissance Stage, ed.
While at times she perhaps reads sexuality as too central to the plays at the expense of tragedy, temporality, and non-sexualized quests for self-identity and existential purpose, for instance , her studied accounts--even those one disagrees with-- help one refine one's own views. Readers of Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, Othello, King Lear, Cymbeline, and The Winter's Tale will be well-versed in the paranoia and jealous Drawing on formalism, feminism, and psychoanalysis, Adelman provides a sustained study on the anxiety of female sexuality in the second half of Shakespeare's career from Hamlet onward. Blood Relations: Christian and Jew in Merchant of Venice Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008 , 226 pp. She was the first female faculty member in the department to have children while teaching full-time and at a time when there was no official campus maternity leave policy. She served the University in numerous other capacities, among them as a member of the Reading and Composition Task Force from 2006-2007, and a participant in the search for a dean of humanities in 2005. Martz and Aubrey Williams New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978 , pp.
She served on both the graduate admissions and faculty appointments committees of what became the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, and she became the dissertation director for four Ph. Adelman retired from Berkley in 2007 and sadly passed away in 2010 at the age of 69. The subliminal longing for maternal benevolence gets enacted in this final scene. . Male Bonding in Shakespeare's Comedies, in Shakespeare's Rough Magic: Renaissance Essays in Honor of CL. Reading each of Shakespeare's plays from Hamlet to The Tempest , Janet Adelman brilliantly illuminates Shakespeare's negotiations with mothers, present and absent - not only Gertrude, Volumnia, and Hermione, but also Lady Macbeth, Lear's daughters, and the exiled witch Sycorax.