The Gendering of Melancholia: Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and the Symbolics of Loss in Renaissance Literature

Synopsis

The pantheon of renowned melancholics-from Shakespeare's Hamlet to Walter Benjamin-includes no women, an absence that in Juliana Schiesari's view points less to a dearth of unhappy women in patriarchal culture than to the lack of significance accorded to women's grief. Through penetrating readings of texts from Aristotle to Kristeva, she illuminates the complex history of the symbolics of loss in Renaissance literature.