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CORNELL HD 3700 - The Associative Mind in Hamlet, Dreams, Songs

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HD 3700 1st Edition Lecture 4 Outline of Last Lecture I. What are dreams?II. How do you find out what a dream really means?a. Freud’s 3 rules on associating to dreamsb. Have the dreamer interpret the dreamOutline of Current Lecture I. The opening scene of HamletII. Dream Structure and Dream Worka. How the Dream-Work WorksIII. The associative minda. Case study: Sting’s associationsCurrent LectureI. The opening scene of Hamlet- Written in Shakespeare’s great year – 1599 - The first play to explore interiority of mental experience.o A play about how hard it is to diagnose someone- The play is too long for the performance time in pre-electric Elizabethan theatre – but when he revised it, Shakespeare made it longer …- Always look to Shakespeare’s “first line.”- First line in Hamlet “Who’s there?”o Who the hell are you?o A play about a prince who cannot make up his mind, but the first line suggests it is really a play about an audience that cannot make up its mind- First scene: Horatio, Francisco, Bernardoo “Is Horatio there?”o “A piece of him” –Horatio (meaning he doesn’t want to be there)o While telling Horatio about the ghost, the ghost appears The reality of the story interrupts the story being told about ito Upon seeing the ghost, Horatio uses the word “harrowing” Because he initially said “a piece of me” and “harrowing” means breaking into pieces Example of the associative mindo This is a play of lying, betrayal, madness—our hopes for a peaceful world will not be found in this playII. Dream Structure and Dream Work- Thoughts occur to the dreamer during dream states … these are dream thoughts which Freud thought were always wishes.- These thoughts constitute the latent content of the dream.- Dream Work takes the dream thoughts and expresses them in hallucinatory images composed of related thoughts, which nevertheless disguise and distort the dream thoughts.o The thoughts might be too disturbing or vivid, and might keep you awake.So a dream disguises these disturbing thoughts.- In this way, Dreams are the guardians of sleep. (And a nightmare is a dream that failed.)- How the Dream-Work workso Condensation – compressing the latent dream thoughts in images that omit, combine, or reverse, those meanings.o Displacement – a latent thought is replaced by a part of itself or a symbol of itself, or by an “allusion” to it.o Transformation into Visual Images – these hallucinatory “movies” you experience every night.o Language is often reversed or doubled – the ambiguous meaning of primal words is often exploited in dreams (such as cleave, which means tocut apart and join together). Freud argues that dreams rarely depict “no” but instead represent both sides of a wish or fear.o Example: Olivia dreamed that she was playing with her 5 year old self, 5 year old self insisted that she play the mom, the dream thought is – I haveto be my own mom now (because at college she had to take care of herself)- Importance of REM/dreamingo Creates a kind of rest, for an expression that we clearly needo We always dream during REMo If we are deprived of REM one night, we will get twice as much REM the next nighto In lower mammals it’s very clear that dreaming is important for memory consolidation In rats, the neurons that light up during a maze will light up while dreaming—they are consolidating the maze memoryIII. The Associative Mind- The mind is associative- And it is associative when you’re asleep- When asleep, it generates a world without rules- Takeaway: we are associative animalso I associate therefore I am- Associate to past and future moments- We are both the subject and object of our perceptions/thoughts- Case Study: Sting’s associations- Notice how musically and thematically, Sting’s song “Oh My God” expresses aline of associations to the Beatles “Day Tripper” and his own song “EverythingShe Does is Magic”- “Day Tripper” about a girl who won’t stay with him, angry tune- “Everything She Does is Magic” about a man who can’t tell a woman he loves her- “Oh My God” about how alienated we are from one another, uses the same riff as “Day Tripper” and uses the lines from “Everything She Does is Magic”o Associates to the rhythm of “Day Tripper” and at the end associates tothe theme of “Everything She Does is


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