The Black Hole of Temptation in Shakespeare´s Hamlet and George Orwell´s 1984

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The destructive suction of a black hole not only perilous, but inescapable once matter becomes close enough. Similarly, in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and George Orwell’s 1984, the protagonists are seduced by their ids, the source of a person’s desires and impulses, to indulge themselves in attaining their deepest aspirations. Although the superegos, the contraction to the id, of Hamlet and Winston warn them not to succumb to their instincts they overlook the precautions and view their superegos as hindrances to their ids. Hamlet and Winston, while breaking societal rules to satisfy their ids, attempt to hide behind their egos, the reality principle, in order to avoid the consequences of their misdeeds. Eventually the ids of the protagonists overcome their superegos, thus influencing them to commit crimes previously thought to be absurd. When Hamlet and Winston allow their ids to dominate their superegos they are treated as criminals, ultimately instigating their downfall. Through the protagonists’ misfortune in satisfying their temptations, both Hamlet and 1984 illustrate the dangers of straying from societal standards by indulging the id.
Both stories commence with the protagonists possessing very perceptive superegos, which hinder them from making rash, instinct-driven decisions. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet is introduced as an insightful, philosophical man who believes his discerning superego is an obstacle rather than a virtue, stating that by having “one part wisdom”, he is “three parts coward” (IV iv 41; IV iv 42). Winston, on the other hand, believes that “in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one’s own body” when his superego precludes him from committing treasonous c...

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...ecome alienated by society and punished severely for diverging from the status quo.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Orwell’s 1984 are excellent examples of cautious tales warning about acting against society under the influence of the id alone. In both novels, the protagonists stray from societal standards by following the impulses of their ids without inhibition from their superego. Although Hamlet and Winston attempt to stay within societal rules, their ids eventually overpower any sense of reality they have, causing them to act on their deepest desires without care for the potential consequences. To illuminate the dangers of diverging from the societal status quo, Hamlet and Winston are dehumanized by the societies they rebelled against. Perhaps it is better to remain miserable doing something unenjoyable, but accepted by society, than to act on controversial actions.
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