Why Did Claudius Murder King Hamlet? Essay

1180 Words Apr 19th, 2016 5 Pages
Why did Claudius murder King Hamlet? Why did Ophelia kill herself? Why did Hamlet vow to kill his Uncle? All of these actions performed by the characters in the play Hamlet have a reason, but where did these reasons originate? As in any narrative the characters are constantly driven by their conscious and subconscious. These internal identities define their emotional state, understanding of the world and those around them. Known as the psyche, one’s internal identity is divided into three parts. The Id, which consists of the basic instincts and expresses a need for immediate satisfaction and avoidance of pain, the Ego, acting as a counter to the Id as it is governed by logic and reason of the real world for decision making, and the Super Ego, which is composed of the learned morals and goals of self-fulfillment. All three of these elements of the psyche ideally work in unison to bring pleasure and avoid pain, acting as checks and balances for the human mind. The psyche of Hamlet influences all of his decisions throughout the play, which lead down a spiral of destruction to the inevitable climax that costs many their lives. Through analysis of Hamlet’s psyche over the course of the play the answers to why and how he did all of the actions that lead to conflict, madness, and eventual death.

The transformative process of Hamlet’s psyche occurs throughout the play, clearly initiating in the first two acts. As we see Hamlet in the beginning of the play, he is racked with grief…

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