At the beginning of Hamlet, Hamlet’s Oedipal Complex slowly reveals itself through vague references to his mother’s sexuality. For example, Hamlet says early in the play, “O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (31). Normally, a son should not discuss his mother’s sex life, but here Hamlet openly speaks about his mother’s eagerness to get in bed with his uncle. This atypical obsession with his mother’s sexual history reveals his subconscious sexual attraction to her. ...
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...t. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet’s Oedipal Complex consists mainly of vague, sporadic references that betray an obsession with his mother’s sexuality. As the play continues, Hamlet displays his discontent with Claudius and Gertrude’s marriage by referring to it as incest, and he cannot kill Claudius because Claudius achieved Hamlet’s goal of marrying Gertrude. Hamlet’s Oedipal Complex peaks in act 3 scene 4, when Hamlet uses more vivid, sexual language than before, and he expressly forbids his mother from having sex with Claudius. This scene is pivotal in the development of this central theme to the play. Shakespeare may have been ahead of his time creating a character such as Hamlet with abnormal desires towards his mother and father, but, as Freud posited centuries later, this fictional depiction reflects hidden feelings that are more common than we think.
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