The Rhetoric of Theatre: Maeterlinck with Freud

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This article explores how a more generous concept of rhetoric can reinvigorate our understanding of psychoanalysis and literary language. Against deconstruction’s reduction of rhetoric to the unsettling indeterminacy of tropes, an Aristotelian view of rhetoric and its relationship to dialectic can provide an integrative model for psychoanalysis as both a mode of therapy and a mode of literary analysis. This argument is worked out in a reading of the Symbolist playwright Maurice Maeterlinck, whose work stages a conflict between intellectual conviction and rhetorical persuasion that is, this article concludes, at the core of all psychoanalytic treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-430
Number of pages15
JournalRevue Internationale de Philosophie
Issue number282
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2017

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Humanities Health and Science


  • Psychoanalysis
  • Literature
  • Theatre
  • Rhetoric
  • Freud
  • Maeterlinck


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