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Hamlet by WIlliam Shakespeare

Powerful Essays
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychology and psychoanalysis, spent a great deal of his time and effort examining the conscious and unconscious mind, which is pertinent to Hamlet. When reading Hamlet, most people jump to basic conclusions about Hamlets madness without delving into what the actual cause is, but using the psychoanalytic lens can give readers a better understanding of Hamlet’s insanity. For example, the main question of the play is why Hamlet didn't kill Claudius earlier in the play. Many people argue that he’s religious and is a man of inaction, but while looking through the psychoanalytic lens it is evident that Hamlet can’t kill Claudius until Gertrude is dead. Kendra Cherry is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist who holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of What is an Oedipal Complex. Cherry gives a simple understanding of the Oedipal Complex which states “According to Freud, the boy (Hamlet) wishes to possess his mother and replace his father, who the child views as a rival for the mother's affections” (Cherry). In the play, Hamlet’s actions are motivated by the Oedipal Complex and his unconscious forces (id, ego, and superego) which prove that only by the death of Gertrude can Hamlet kill Claudius. Throughout the play we can see Hamlet’s anger with his mother stays at a reasonable level while his anger for Claudius increases over time. It had been at least two months since Hamlet’s father had died and his loving mother Gertrude had married his uncle without haste. It is obvious that Hamlet is seemingly angrier at Claudius because he is somewhat certain of the fact that he killed his father according to the ghost of his father. While looking through the psychoanalytic lens, one can s... ... middle of paper ... ...e (3.4.111-12).” Works Cited Cherry, Kendra. "What Is an Oedipal Complex?" About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2014. Freud, S. (1949). The Ego and the id. The Hogarth Press Ltd. London. Print. – SKETCHY CHECK LATER Schaeffer, Valerie. "Hamlet: Mamma's Boy?" Legacy. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2014. Kemp, Lysander. "Understanding "Hamlet." National Council of Teachers of English. 9-13.Vol. 13, No. 1. Web. Oct. 1951. McLeod, S. A. (2007). “Psychoanalysis.” Simple Psychology. 2007. Web. 02 Feb. 2014. Stearns, Marshall W. "Hamlet and Freud." National Council of Teachers of English: 265-272. Vol. 10, No. 5. Web. Feb. 1949. Kramer, Peter. Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2006, Print. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Wiley Publishing, 2006. Print Sophocles. Oedipus the King. New York: Pocket Books, 2005. Print
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