Freud's impact on the criticism and theory of literature has been enormous.
Ernest Jones uses the notion of the Oedipus complex -- the desire of a
boy to possess his mother and supplant his father -- as an explanatory
model for Hamlet; Harold Bloom uses it as an analogy for the relationship
between a strong poet and his literary predecessors. Jacques Lacan develops
a linguistic interpretation of Freud, arguing that "the unconscious
is structured like a language." Norman N. Holland applies psychoanalytic
concepts to reader-response criticism .
Feminist critics deconstruct Freud's
patriarchal assumptions. Moreover, psychobiography, a genre that uses data
from the real events of an author's life and the fictional events dramatized
in his literature, is a product of psychoanalytic theory. In short, the
analysis of literary symbolism is heavily indebted to Freudian theory.