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Analysis Of Hamlet

2249 words - 9 pages

In William Shakespeare’s epic revenge tragedy, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, the titular character Hamlet is plagued by indecision and delay, which ultimately causes his own downfall. After the opening Act, in which Hamlet is charged with the revenging the murder of his father, the late King Hamlet, Hamlet delays in carrying out the deed against his uncle, Claudius, who assumed the throne after committing regicide. Critics over the years have developed six distinct theories that seek to explain the reason behind Hamlet’s delay: He is believed to have been the victim of circumstances beyond his control; Hamlet’s philosophical nature creates a passive negative personality complex. Hamlet’s depressive nature may have clouded his judgment, thus delaying his actions while he grieved, or Hamlet’s desire for revenge was tempered by his ambition. The cabalistic identity of the apparition of may have caused Hamlet to delay while he sought to justify his charge, or the existence of an Oedipus Complex may have caused Hamlet to delay while he sought to address his mother’s situation, and his feelings for her. The Oedipus Complex is possibly the least likely in the play, as it relies mainly upon the need for contextual subtlety that can be interpreted in several lights, depending upon the era from which one views the text.
Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus Complex is the quintessential of both an unhealthy relationship that draws from childhood and the immaturity that stems from latent psychosexual development. His original theory stems from the belief that children go through four stages: the oral, anal, phallic, and latent genital stage. In concern to the Oedipus Complex, the linchpin revolves around the phallic stage, during which the male and female Oedipus stage develops. The stage results from transitioned interest of the genitalia from that of the anus, and typically develops between the ages of three and five. The phallic stage typically presents between the ages of three and five, and is the earliest assumption of traditional gender roles by a child: these actions are typified by the child’s openly expressed desire to possess the oppositely gendered parent in a sexual manner and to replace the same-sex parent as the sexual object of the relationship. There are several developmental indications of a child entering the Oedipal stage: these include an extreme attachment to the oppositely sexed parent, allusions to marriage and a socially acceptable and open relationship to that parent, sexualized advances toward that parent, extreme hostility and competition with the same sexed parent. The critical analysis for the belief that Hamlet suffered from an Oedipal complex is hindered by the fact that the Oedipal Complex is by definition part of the subconscious, and therefore will not be overtly expressed by the afflicted individual, which means that the observer is forced to rely upon the observable actions of the individual. However, since there are no known stage...

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