This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Hamlet – The Psychological Play Essay

1644 words - 7 pages

Custom Written Essays -  Hamlet – the Psychological Play  

 

The psychological dimension of the Shakespearean drama Hamlet remains unquestioned by most literary critics. Let us in this essay explore various points of view of the subject.

 

Strangely, in his essay “O’erdoing Termagant” Howard Felperin states that the closet scene does NOT reveal in a noteworthy way the hero’s state of mind:

 

Despite its attractiveness to nineteenth-century characterological and twentieth-century psychoanalytic critics, the closet scene tells us little about Hamlet’s alleged state of mind. For most of the scene he does not speak as a son to his mother at all, but as a preacher to a sinner, not out of personal feeling but out of impersonal indignatio. (102-103)

 

The psychological aspect of Hamlet which is most prominently displayed is his melancholy. Lily B. Campbell in “Grief That Leads to Tragedy” explains:

 

If my analysis is correct, then, Hamlet becomes a study in the passion of grief. In Hamlet himself it is passion which is not moderated by reason, a passion which will not yield to the consolations of philosophy. And being intemperate and excessive grief, Hamlet’s grief is, therefore, the grief that makes memory fade, that makes reason fail in directing the will, that makes him guilty of sloth. . . . (95-96)

His first soliloquy, about his mother, is quite depressing:

 

Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,

     As if increase of appetite had grown

     By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--

     Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman! (1.2)

 

Soon Horatio and Marcellus make contact with Hamlet. Based on this meeting of the hero and Horatio, A.C. Bradley in Shakespearean Tragedy presents convincing evidence regarding the depth of the hero’s melancholy sentiment:

 

Hamlet and Horatio are supposed to be fellow-students at Wittenberg, and to have left it for Elsinore less than two months ago. Yet Hamlet hardly recognizes Horatio at first, and speaks as if he himself lived at Elsinore (I refer to his bitter jest, ‘We’ll teach you to drink deep ere you depart’). Who would dream that Hamlet had himself f just come from Wittenberg, if it were not for the previous words about his going back there?

How can this be explained on the usual view? Only, I presume, by supposing that Hamlet is so sunk in melancholy that he really does almost ‘forget himself’ and forgets everything else, so that he actually is in doubt who Horatio is. (370)

 

The ghost tells the prince that King Hamlet was murdered by Claudius, who had an illicit relationship with Gertrude. Hamlet swears vengeance. Gertrude’s punishment is to be “her conscience” (Edwards 67). The ghost’s visit scarcely provides relief for the protagonist’s melancholy; rather it exacerbates his situation. Maynard Mack in “The World of...

Find Another Essay On Hamlet – the Psychological Play

Hamlet the Play and the Movie

553 words - 2 pages Hamlet the Play and the Movie Hamlet by William Shakespeare is a story about a king that was murdered by his brother and the prince has been asked by his father?s ghost to avenge his murder. The original story line has been altered a few times since it has been written. The original Hamlet the play and the altered Hamlet the movie are shown differently in many different ways. Hamlet the movie with Mel Gibson shows different things than the

Horatio : Character Analysis from the play Hamlet

778 words - 3 pages Potential I believe that out of all the characters in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Horatio, has the most potential. What I mean by potential is that Horatio would make the best real person if he were not a character within the play. Besides Horatio, every other character seems to have some kind of major flaw or weakness in comparison. Claudius is obviously power

Essay about Hamlet crazyness during the play

1470 words - 6 pages Is Hamlet Crazy?In the play Hamlet written by William Shakespeare, the principle character is the prince Hamlet. He is guided by something called "spirit" which is supposed to be the ghost of his father, who was killed by his own brother, Claudius, which is the new king now. "Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death. The memory be green, and that is us befitted". [ACT I, Scene II]. "Therefore our sometimes sister, now our queen" [ACT I

The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare

1029 words - 5 pages The play Hamlet by Shakespeare, takes place in The Kingdom Denmark at the beginning of 17th century. The word tragedy means a failing of character in the hero of a tragedy that begins about his downfall. “The tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark” says it all because he was prince of Denmark and, he was not free to carve for himself. Hamlet, like all the other major characters, was untrue to himself. When

Hamlet- Critical Analysis The tragic Elizabethan play Hamlet can be

983 words - 4 pages Hamlet- Critical Analysis The tragic Elizabethan play Hamlet can be considered one of William Shakespeare's most popular works. One of the possible reasons for this play's popularity is the way Shakespeare uses the character of Prince Hamlet to represent the complex workings of a person?s mind. This approach taken by Shakespeare has created numerous different interpretations of meaning that are not fully explained to the audience.Through

This Report Is On The Play Hamlet By William Shakespeare

1407 words - 6 pages Tragedy of GriefThe play Hamlet by William Shakespeare may be described as a tragedy of grief due to the many situations of grievance. We see many instances of grief in Hamlet. There are three different categories that cause grief in this play; love, death, and revenge.Love is a major theme in the play. We see many relationships that cause grief to the characters in Hamlet. The love between Hamlet and Ophelia is very strong and there is one main

Death theme In the play Hamlet by Shakespeare

1378 words - 6 pages Death has always been the most debated subject regarding human’s belief. It is part of life, yet a mystery nobody has experienced to tell. It is said to drive people's actions, however Death is still a mystery as the whole human race still wonders how it acts on people's lives and what is next after Death. In the play “Hamlet,” Shakespeare uses the theme of Death to drive the characters’ actions, and portrays the tragedy

The Presentation of Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play

1870 words - 7 pages The Presentation of Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play “Hamlet”, the story of a Danish prince whose uncle murders the prince’s father, marries his mother, and claims the throne but the prince manages to kill his uncle in revenge, is open to many forms of interpretation since the play’s plot explores difficult themes of the impossibility of certainty, the complexity of taking action, the mystery of death and the

Character Analysis of Claudius from the Play Hamlet by Shakespeare

1245 words - 5 pages Character Analysis of Claudius from the Play Hamlet by Shakespeare In the play, "Hamlet", Shakespeare needed to devize an evil character, a villain that is ambitious, and has the ability to scheme to get what he wants. The character would also have to contain some good qualities, such as kindness and contriteness. These good qualities make the character seem more human and thus, more believable. Claudius is this character. Shakespeare uses

Hamlet and the Issue of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Play

2309 words - 9 pages Hamlet and the Issue of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Play The question of why Hamlet does not immediately avenge his father's death is perhaps one of the most perplexing problems faced by an audience. Each generation of viewers has come up with it's own explanation, and it has now become the most widely known critical problem in Shakespearean studies. A rather simplistic, yet valid standpoint to take on this

Illusions (The Illusions that exist in Shakespeare's play Hamlet)

828 words - 3 pages The play of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, tells the story of a tragedy in Denmark. In the story almost all of the main characters, Polonius, Claudius, and Hamlet, give an appearance of being respectable individuals. When one examines these characters closely, one finds each character reveals a darker and more malignant nature. As characters plot out their own agendas, the reader sees just how much appearance versus reality plays a role in

Similar Essays

Hamlet – A Psychological Play Essay

2001 words - 8 pages Hamlet – A Psychological Play         Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a psychological drama for the basic reasons that it treats the mind of the protagonist as the critical force in the play, and it displays one dimension of that mind – the melancholy dimension – as the overarching concern of just about everyone in the play.   Helen Gardner in “Hamlet and the Tragedy of Revenge” explains how Hamlet’s psyche is the basis for his victory

Hamlet, Play And The Movie Essay

628 words - 3 pages whole play is Act I Scene V. The film work of Hamlet orchestrated by the director really focuses on being exactly as the written play by William Shakespeare. The written work of Hamlet and the movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli have many similar scenes. Act I Scene V is one of the most important parts of the play because; the themes of vengeance, madness and family start to develop in the play. The psychological conflict Hamlet has to deal

Ranking Of The Play Hamlet Essay

2014 words - 8 pages Shakespeare’s ability to analyze in a psychological manner (Boklund 118-19). When the ghost requests revenge by Hamlet, the prince swears to carry out vengeance on Claudius. The revenge theme in Hamlet, with its long cat-and-mouse chase which ends in death, is a source of the appeal of this play; this theme is popular with audiences. M.H. Abrams in The Norton Anthology of English Literature attributes the dramatist’s superiority to the relevance of his

Hamlet. Summary Of The Play Essay

4398 words - 18 pages This paper deals with Hamlet and the revenge vs suicide problem None---------------------------------------------------------------------------SUMMARY OF THE PLAYAct I, Scene i:The play begins on the outer ramparts of Elsinore castle. It is late andBernardo, a guard, is on duty waiting for Francisco to relieve him from hiswatch. Bernardo is nervous because the previous two nights he and Franciscohave seen a figure who appears to be the ghost of