Freudian Phychoanalysis: The Tragedy Of Shakespeare's Hamlet
The tragedy of Hamlet
Hamlet, a play by William Shakespeare, unfolds as a drama inclined on retribution (Shakespeare, 1996, p. 342). In the first Acts of the play, Hamlet, the main protagonist, learns that Claudius was the perpetrator behind his father’s murder. Shakespeare gives a vivid description of Hamlet’s encounter with his father’s ghost (Shakespeare, 1996, p. 367). It is in the course of this encounter that Hamlet discovers that his uncle had murdered his father. Claudius had not only killed Hamlet’s father, he had also taken over power as the king and married Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. In anger, Hamlet swore to take vengeance against Claudius. Later in the play, it is seen that Hamlet is incapable of taking vengeance. In Act 3 (scene iii), Hamlet is incapable of mustering the courage to kill Claudius (Shakespeare, 1996, p. 387). Overtime, critical analyses of Shakespeare’s plays have tried to assess Hamlet’s hesitation to kill Claudius. The analyses explain Hamlet’s behavior through the integration of Freudian psychoanalysis.
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The Freudian Oedipus complex indicates that the infantile mind is directly affiliated with the id (Lesser, 1999, p. 345). Typically, it is the imperative source of the Id. A father’s authority and direct involvement in the mother’s life serves as the imperatives source of the Oedipus complex. It gradually becomes the principal source of the super ego, which suppresses the desires developed in the id. Therefore, a father’s authority and involvement suppresses the child’s desire that is inclined on acquiring sexual gratification from the mother. According to Freud, Hamlet’s desire to acquire sexual gratification from his mother, developed in the id (Lesser, 1999, p. 378). Moreover, he indicated that Hamlet’s desire to seek vengeance developed in the super