Hamlet: Psychoanalytic Approach


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Hamlet: Psychoanalytic Approach

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Hamlet: Psychoanalytic Approach

  1. 1. Hamlet: Psychoanalytic Approach By: Ma. Cristina D. Panganoran While Prince Hamlet mourns his fathers death, he was also angered by the‘hasty’ marriage of his mother, Queen Gertrude to Claudius, Hamlet’s Uncle. The ghostof Hamlets father appears to him one night when a banquet was being held in thecastle. The ghost then tells him that Claudius has poisoned him. And with this, Hamletvowed on taking his revenge. He then invites a crew of travelling actors to put togetheran old play whose story has a similarity to that of Claudius’ betrayal. The play alsoquestions Gertrude’s loyalty to her original husband. Hamlets behavior at most of themovie is very much like a lunatic. He kills the eavesdropping Polonius, the courtchamberlain, by thrusting his sword through a curtain in Gertrude’s room. Poloniussson Laertes returns to Denmark to find Ophelia in a state of insanity and learned thatHamlet caused his fathers death. Consumed by revenge as well, he plotted Hamlet’sdemise. Polonius’ daughter Ophelia loves the Prince but his atrocious manners driveher to madness. Ophelia dropped flowers on the lake and dies by drowning trying toget her flowers back. A duel takes place between Laertes and Hamlet. It all ends withthe death of Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet. The Freudian approach would apply since it portrays Hamlets id, ego and superego in the progression of the movie. At first Hamlet’s Id, desire for revenge is beingsuppressed by his super ego so he indulges himself by keeping Ophelia’s company buthis Id is much too strong that his Ego must come in to let his dangerous desire out in ahealthy way by orchestrating the play which mocks his uncle and gives him greatdelight to bring his Uncle, Claudius in embarrassment and guilt. He even drops a wordevery now and then to the king and queen regarding their hurried marriage. In additionto that, he also confirms that what the ghost had said is true thru the play. But it wasn’tenough; he wanted the new king, Claudius’ death by his hand. His Id fully takes controlwhen he had mistaken the eavesdropper, Polonius for Claudius hiding in the curtain ofGertrude’s room. This resulted to Laertes’ anger and Ophelia’s madness. The oedipal approach can be applied to the story seeing as the prince alsodisplayed Oedipus complex or libidinal feelings toward his mother, Queen Gertrude. Itbecomes a question if he really wanted revenge for his father or did he simply wantedthe queen for himself and out of jealousy towards Claudius and Gertrude’s marriagethis whole murderous plot began. I could sense as though Hamlet longed to be with hismother now that his father died but then Claudius came to the scene and took hismother’s attention away from him.
  2. 2. The themes enveloped in the story include uncertainty, seeking revenge andretribution, betrayal, ambition, loyalty and fate. How and why someone would bringthemselves down to this tragedy? Was there really a ghost? Or was it simply madnessand made up in Hamlet’s mind’s eye? Even if Claudius really did murdered Hamlet’sfather, this does not give the Prince any right to plot murder against him. Nothing canjustify a wrong doing. Whatever the reason is the act is still murder and is not tolerable.Hamlet showed that crimes of the royalty can be wiped clean as if it never happened,especially, if it’s a prince or a king who has done the deed. Justice is not given toeveryone. It is unfortunate but true.