Gregory, B., (2002). Hannibal Lecter: The honey in the lion's mouth. American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol 56, 100-114.

This paper examines the psychopathology of Hannibal Lecter, the fictional killer and cannibal in Thomas Harris's trilogy: Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal from an object relations point of view. The victim of childhood trauma involving the killing of his family and the cannibalization of his baby sister, Lecter suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Using the theories of Melanie Klein, Harry Guntrip, D.W. Winnicott, A Khan, as well as Otto Kernberg, this paper explores the reasons Lecter is compelled to kill and eat parts of some of his victims. He is locked in the paranoid-schizoid position, relies heavily on schizoid defenses, such as splitting and projective identification, but is unable to avoid psychotic breaks with reality to reenact his early traumas. Through his reunion with Clarice Starling, Lecter attempts the process of reparation and an entry into the depressive position. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Author's email address