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.