This thesis examines how the example of Captain Ahab from Herman
Melville's masterpiece; Moby-Dick, can be taken to illustrate a Psychoanalytic
understanding of Revenge. In chapter one an introduction to the novel is offered,
including themes and characters. Chapter two, in focussing on the revenge wish of
Ahab compares him to the Rat Man, and orientates revenge around the father and the
dissolution of the Oedipus complex. Chapter three approaches the relationship between revengeful wishes and the father by examining the work of Lacan, especially concerning the 'paternal metaphor'. The conclusion will comprise of some further remarks regarding the character of Ahab and an outline of the merits and limits of this thesis, as well as the enormous amount I have learned in the course of this exercise.
"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth: whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it time to get to sea as soon as I can."