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Open Access Psychoanalysis – Law, Theatre and Violence in Samson (1660)

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Psychoanalysis – Law, Theatre and Violence in Samson (1660)

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter Benjamin suggests that all law enforcement and lawmaking are inherently violent, since they rely on a use of force, but he argues that these two forms of legal violence, which he calls 'mythical', should be opposed to a third type of violence, which he labels 'divine violence'. Freud attempts to analyze the particular type of enjoyment that watching a theatrical performance can bring. The author argues that Vondel's Samson is a remarkably good starting point for an attempt to link the theatre 'with' psychoanalysis. As Jacques Derrida has pointed out in the chapter on Benjamin, despite Benjamin's insistence that divine violence lies at the origin of law, this origin becomes only readable as an origin retroactively, after a new legal order has been established.

Keywords:Benjamin; Freud; Jacques Derrida; Psychoanalysis; SAMSON; Vondel's

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