Psychoanalysis Of Hamlet


Hamlet has been praised and revered for centuries as one of William Shakespeare's best known and most popular tragedies. Based on its popularity, critics alike have taken various viewpoints and theories in order to explain Hamlet's actions throughout the play. The psychoanalytic point of view is one of the most famous positions taken on Hamlet.
Psychoanalytic criticism is a type of literary criticism that analyzes and classifies many of the forms of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literature. As the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines psychoanalysis, as a form of therapy that is concluced ‘by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind' ...

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dreams, in language, in creative activity, and in neurotic behavior (Murfin ).
This theory of repression also is directly correlated to Freud's Oedipus complex. The Oedipus complex deals with Infantile sexuality as well, by explaining that sexuality starts at infancy with the relationship of the infant with the mother, not at puberty. The Oedipus complex assesses that the infant has the desire to discard the father and become the sexual companion of the mother (Barry 97).
In analyzing Hamlet, the Oedipus Complex is clearly apparent to the reader. As a child, Hamlet always expressed the warmest fondness and affection for his mother. This adoration contained elements of disguised erotic quality, especially seen in the bed chamber scene with his mother. The Queen's sensual nature and her passionate fondness of her son are two traits that show her relationship with Hamlet goes beyond the normal mother-sun relationship. Nonetheless though, Hamlet finds a love interest in ...

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to take his father's place, by gaining his mother's devotion is first stimulated to unconscious activity by the marriage of his mother to Claudius. Claudius has usurped the position of husband to Gertrude, a position that Hamlet had once longed for. The fact that Claudius was not only the victor o fhis mother's affections, but also his uncle, aggravated the situation. Their incestuous marriage thus resembles Hamlet's imaginary idea of having a sexual relationship with his mother. These unconscious desires are struggling to find conscious expression, without Hamlet being the least aware of them (Jones).
As the play goes on, Hamlet encounters his father's ghost. Upon discovering ...

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Added: 8/24/2007 08:22:55 PM
Category: English
Words: 3921
Pages: 15

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