Psychoanalytic Analysis of Shakespeare?s Hamlet

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If one wants to truly understand the psychological implications of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the primary focus should be on the character Hamlet, and how he develops and modifies throughout the play. Using the fundamentals of the psychoanalytic perspective of critical evaluation, one would be able to truly identify and explore the true nature of Hamlet, and the effects that his character has on the situation surrounding him. In order to gain a true understanding of most of the detail that is implied through Hamlet’s way of portraying himself to others, it is vital to look deep into the actions that are carried out, and analyze them psychoanalytically.
Many have already written works that evaluate the play using this method, and one can also do this simply by having a good understanding of what a psychological evaluation truly is. Before beginning the analysis, it would be necessary to have a proper understanding of the psychoanalytical perspective. After attaining knowledge about the perspective, and reading Hamlet of course, one can begin to make important connections using details from the play.
In the actual play, one of the principle argument is whether Hamlet is truly mad or not. To analyze this for validity, one would have to look at the linguistics of the play and the situations that play out within it. There is concrete evidence, as well as implied detail, which leads one to believe that Hamlet is only acting as if he were mad in order to carry out his plan to avenge the death of the late King Hamlet.
One of the first examples of this evidence shows itself when Hamlet warns Horatio of what he’s planning, and in effect, not to blow his cover.
“Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, how strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,— As I, perchance, hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on,— that you, at such times seeing me, never shall...note that you know aught of me:—this is not to do, so grace and mercy at your most need help you, swear.” (Hamlet)
This quotation clearly shows that Hamlet is conscious of the situation, and will pretend to be mad. But, there is other evidence that may lead one to think about whether or not Hamlet may have actually been slightly mad. For instance, it strikes one as odd that Hamlet waits so long, and goes through so much trouble in order to kill King Claudius. Hamlet wa...

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...alyze the work, or use what others have understood from analyzing Hamlet themselves to draw conclusions and gain an in-depth understanding of what the character is going through from a psychological perspective. There are endless sources out there than can be used as references to support this sort of inquiry. It all comes down to comprehending the work and the perspective. It’s not necessary to scrutinize the inner workings of the play in order to enjoy it, it never has been. Sometimes it’s not until the second or third, or even fourth reading that the reader begins to ask the more advanced questions and demand more of the text. Once that is accomplished, the rest is a proverbial piece of cake.

Works Citied
Shakespeare, William. “Hamlet: Prince of Denmark.” Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Comp. Robert Deyanni. Boston; McGraw-Hill, 2000. 941-1042.
Paredes-vonOyen, Erin. Has Hamlet Gone Crazy?. 26 October. 2000 .
Takahashi, Yasunari. “Speech, Deceit, and Catharsis: A Reading of Hamlet.” Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uéno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 3-19.
Adair, Vance. “Rewriting the (S)crypt: Gazing on Hamlet’s Interiors.” Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (1996): 5-15.

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