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Free Hamlet Essays: A Freudian Reading of Hamlet

A Freudian Reading of Hamlet

There are many different theories in the world today. The theory that will be discussed in the following paragraphs is the Oedipus Theory, and how it relates to Hamlet. So what are we talking about again?! What I mean is did hamlet have true romantic feelings for his mother? Well I don’t know, am I him?! No seriously this messed up guy was going through a lot, his dad died and came to him as a ghost, his mother married his uncle, his girl jumped off a bridge and his buds are back-stabbers! Come on now what would you be like after all that? Oh ya my topic is his relationship with his mother! Oops! So what is the Oedipus theory again? Well its all this crazy thinking by this cool cat guy named Freud! Wow what character! Well what this guy thought was that boys have unconscious sexual motives for our mommy’s! Ya that nice woman who blows you kisses, makes cookies, and buys your clothes. That’s right! Well before you right Freud off as a weirdo think about it! I sure did and in the following paragraphs, you will see how I get the feeling that Freud is right, (in this one) and Hamlet did have such unconscious motives for his mother.

It was Freud himself who, in an essay published in 1905, was the first to try and resolve in psychoanalytical terms the enigma offered by Hamlet’s behaviour. According to Freud, the personal crisis undergone by Hamlet awakens his repressed incestuous and parricidal desires. The disgust which the remarriage of his mother arouses in him, as well as the violent behaviour during their confrontation in the queen’s bedroom, are signs of the jealousy which he constantly experiences, even if unconsciously. The bedroom scene is one example amongst many of Hamlet’s aversion to sexuality, which he more often than not associates with vulgarity and sickness. Despite his violent reactions, he is nonetheless fundamentally incapable of acting, Freud tells us, because he cannot bring himself to avenge himself on the man who has killed his father and taken his place at the side of his mother. These are some pretty strong influences that would make a person nutty don’t you think? Well how about some evidence from the text hunh? Sure no problem! The Ghost’s announcement that the father’s death is a great example.

Free Oedipal Complex Essays: Hamlet’s Oedipus Complex

Hamlet’s Oedipus Complex

In Shakespeare’s play of Hamlet, we are under the impression that Hamlet has an unconscious longing for his mother. The death of Ophelia assists in displaying Hamlet’s actions of being insane. Hamlet also subconsciously reveals the truth about his feelings, whether he realizes them or not. Hamlet communicates on two different levels throughout the play.

Hamlet’s intimacy with Ophelia shows that he could love other then his mother and father. By having Ophelia, rather than Polonius read the love letter to Claudius, Ophelia is reminded of Hamlet offering his love to her. This presents another sight of Hamlet in a state of well being. By generating the illusion of a serious, committed relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia, the failure of this relationship a crucial factor of Hamlet’s madness. At Ophelia’s funeral Hamlet says, “I loved you ever. But it is no matter. Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew, and dog will have his day”. The tragic death of Ophelia is clearly contributed to Hamlet’s mental lapses. In one of Hamlet’s rages he says, “Here, thou incestuous, murd’rous, damnèd Dane, drink off this portion”. When Hamlet says that to the King, he mentions incest, which has nothing to do with the King and the Queen. Hamlet might have subconsciously set off an indication of secret urges between him and his mother.

When words seem like normal conversation, there can be feelings expressed without being conscious of it. Like when Hamlet sets out rules for the Gertrude’s sexuality in their long talk alone, which seems very unusual. “O, throw away the worser part of it, and live the purer with the other half. Good night – but go not to my uncle’s bed”. Hamlet suggests that his mother should be in love with him instead of his uncle. Neither Hamlet nor Gertrude realize at this point what Hamlet really means. Also, when Hamlet talks to his mother later on, he suggests that her relationship with the King makes him jealous, “Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed, pinch wanton on you cheek, call you his mouse, and let him, for a pair of reechy kisses, or paddling your neck with his damned fingers…”.

Desire is in the unconscious when we lived out the Oedipal dream, it was destined to be in a warped form, and there’s surely an echo of that.

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