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Hamlet’s Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Relation to the Abuse He Suffered

Hamlet’s Delay in Relation to the Abuse He Suffered

In recent times, a psychoanalytical approach has been taken to explain a person’s behavior. Freud argued quite heavily that people have a subconscious drive that determines many of their actions. Hamlet does not differ from this. A psychoanalytical approach will find a reasonable explanation of Hamlet’s actions in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. His actions are characteristic of one who has been abused. Hamlet’s Oedipus complex is more pronounced because of it. Other factors indicate abuse. Ultimately, his delay is due to the abuse as well. It is important to understand that he was abused as a child, which is reflected, first, in his Oedipus complex. A complex which must be understood better.

An Oedipus complex is often misinterpreted as a son who is in love with the mother and truly wants to kill (or has killed) the father. The Oedipus complex is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as:

a subconscious sexual desire in a child . . . for the parent of the opposite sex,usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex. If unresolved naturally, this complex may result in neurosis and an inability to form normal sexual relationships in adulthood.

Hamlet clearly has some problems. He is having trouble forming a sexual relationship with Ophelia. His constant banter with her is almost ridiculous. Throughout the play, Hamlet toys with her, never quite able to just say anything or take any action. Hamlet says, “be thou chaste as ice, as pure a snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, farewell.” (3.2.. 133) He also makes some suggestions to her prior to the play within the play.:

HAMLET: Lady, shall I lie in your lap.

OPHELIA: No my lord.

HAMLET: I mean, my head upon your lap.

OPHELIA: Ay, my lord.

HAMLET: Do you think I meant country matters.

OPHELIA: I think nothing my lord.

HAMLET: That’s a fair thought to lie between a maid’s legs. (3.2. 101-106)

One does not have to be a genius in order to understand that Hamlet is referring to sex. No where in the play does he taken any action to initiate a relationship of sexual orientation with Ophelia. Instead, like the previous statement, he is playing with her and the notion of sex. According to Steven Bavolek, Ph. D., abuse can cause sexual tension which “may be diverted into games involving teasing, mock spanking, and wrestling” (106).

Free Essays on The Crucible: Suffering and Hardship

The Crucible Suffering and Hardship

A crucible is a severe test, as of patience or belief; a trial. Another definition of the word crucible is a place, time, or situation characterized by the confluence of powerful intellectual, social, economic, or political forces. The title signifies the suffering and hardship that the town goes through.

The town the story takes place in is governed by a theocracy. A quote from The Crucible says “For good purposes, even high purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by material or ideological enemies.” All the events that led up to the execution of innocent people also led to the breaking apart of the theocracy. The story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1692. It starts after a couple of girls have been caught dancing in the woods by Reverend Samuel Parris, the town’s minister. Two of the girls are related to him. Abigail is his niece and Betty is his daughter. When Betty gets sick, rumors start to spread that there is witchcraft involved in her illness because they were out in the woods all by themselves. Salem is a very tightly sheltered town that is pretty much run by the church, which is against the devil and all forms of the devil such as witches , and it is also against enjoyable acts such as dancing. Not only that but in the book the town is described as the following, “They had no novelists–and would not have permitted anyone to read a novel if one were handy. Their creed forbade anything resembling a theater or ‘vain enjoyment.’ They did not celebrate Christmas, and a holiday from work meant only that they must concentrate even more upon prayer.” The town was very strict when it came to following the church. This is why when the girls were caught dancing in the woods, they lied to protect themselves and their reputation by saying that the devil took them over and influenced them to dance. The girls also say that they saw several other members of the town standing along side of the devil. Abigail says, “I want to open myself! I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand.

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