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The Deceived HusbandA Kleinian Approach to the Literature of Infidelity$
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Alison Sinclair

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151906

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151906.001.0001

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Men of Distinction

Men of Distinction

Chapter:
(p.253) 6 Men of Distinction
Source:
The Deceived Husband
Author(s):

Alison Sinclair

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151906.003.0006

In his discussion of The Winter's Tale, Wilbur Sanders dwells on the unusual fact that Leontes, wrongly suspecting his wife of adultery, and receiving the news that she has died as a result of his wrath, opts to draw close to his grief, and face it in all its intensity. This chapter concentrates on those images of exceptional husbands, men of distinction. The idealised belief is that it may be possible to locate the ultimate depressive position in relation to the deceived husband. Such an ultimate position would have two dimensions: the capacity of the deceived husband as character to confront his grief, and the capacity of the literary text to contain and articulate that experience. The depressive position vis-à-vis women's infidelity is sketched, if not in relation to the cuckold, at least in the social fact and implications of the literature of cuckoldry. In its turn, it is replaced by the depressive position as exemplified in the adultery novels.

Keywords:   distinction, depressive position, deceived husband, infidelity, cuckold, grief, adultery novels, cuckoldry

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