A psychoanalytic analysis of the Play, Hamlet

Subject: Literature
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1227
Topics: Hamlet, Plays, Psychoanalysis, Theatre, William Shakespeare

Table of Contents


It appears normal to perceive literature in the form of a dream. The same way dreams occur is the same way the works of literature, what we invent in our minds are basically described to be untrue. The same way a literary works have some kind of truth to tell, dream also have a way of relaying the truth too. What happens in the two instances may require interpretation to fully comprehend the message being passed on. It is important to realize that we can go through fictional narratives speaking of romance much as we live through the dreams. Some of the novels have terrifying narrations and the nightmares evoked as a result impact in a way putting as in a situation that will remain to be engraved into our minds even after we finish reading the book. Most of the novels authored in the twenty first century were written portraying several aspects of psychology which in a broad way will happen to be an important source of information to that cause. The proponents of the psychoanalytic theory believed that by full comprehending human psychology, we are able to appreciate the different elements of literature at a new stage.

In the novel, Hamlet, there are various aspects that revolve around human psychology and seek to give descriptions of the culture of the people at that point in time. To start with, we realize that the disposition of the state of the mind of the son to the parent is vividly elaborated in the narrative. Hamlet grew up in an environment where he obtained a lot of affection from his mother and this portrays an erotic quality underneath. The two elements as evident in the character of the queen make a step to confirm this assumption referred to as her affectionate liking for the son and her sensual nature. The former aspect is demonstrated in a number of occasions to require particular references and is broadly seen. The latter aspect is demonstrated for example when Claudius asserts that, ‘The Queen his mother lives almost by his looks’ (4.7.12-13). In spite of this fact, apparently it seems like Hamlet happen to have stopped depending on his mother in a circumstance where love between him and Ophelia is growing gradually. The exact nature of Hamlet’s feelings towards Ophelia is not distinct. At this point, we are prompted to think that the feelings were comprised of a healthy kind of love that sought to offer him a bride in the near future in spite of the fact that the extremity of the words in application demonstrates a twisted frame of mind.

It is worth noting that Hamlet is forced to choose a woman who would make him forget about the traitorous deeds of his mother. In this regard, a case may be raised in a perspective that suggests that the relationship was founded, not on a basis of mutual attraction as a form of unconscious desire but simply as a result of frustration. In other instances, it is hard to comprehend his preparedness where he later on plunges himself into that section. In the circumstance for example where he responds to his mothers request to come along with the line, ‘No, good mother, here’s metal more attractive’ (3.2.101-102) where he goes ahead and lie at the feet of Ophelia, there occur to exist a straightforward demonstration of this attitude and his hard knowledge and  the reciprocal reception of complicated action with the lady of whom lately he had cast off capriciously are barely comprehensible unless we synthesized the issues undertaken through the mindful gape of the queen. It was as if Hamlet’s conscious was seeking to address the thought that his mother could offer his body to other men of she valued more than him.

Looking at the death of Hamlet’s father and the marriage that his mother settled for after this we are draw the relationship between the concepts of sexuality with his mother cannot be hidden within Hamlet’s conscious. The feelings were once pleasurable during his infant stages are currently characterized by repulsion. He held a ‘repressed’ desire for a long time that he would take over the position of his father if the love for his mother is stepped up to an unconscious process in the presence of a person seizing the place forcefully the same way he had earlier on yearned to. Most importantly, the seizure was from some within the family so that the forceful seizure went forth to exhibit circumstances happening in a dream by being the incestuous type. In the absence of his sense in this knowledge, the desire is rushing through his mind and is vehemently seeking to look for a conscious expression.

The instance that follows is when the ghost makes an announcement highlighting the guilty in the events unfolding. The ghost confirms that the murder was planned. Filled with natural indignation at the revelation, Hamlet responds while sobbing, ‘Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift’ (1.5.29-31) His sentiments are proceeded with the revelation of the guilty person who was a family member who took the deed motivated by his lust. The recent events that were happening to Hamlet; his mother’s second marriage and the death of his father occurred to possess an interior causal relationship, however, they represented a perspective in the unconscious fantasy of Hamlet that he held for a long time and could closely be interlinked. The most frightening reality is that Hamlet’s unconscious had, prior to this time, been instinctively ultimate his consciousness and at that moment had to absorb the knowledge into the mind in the most effective way. In the entire time, Hamlet is astonished by impact of the internal feuds and this aspect reignites his conscious of which from the moment henceforth does not stop and to the crucial part of nature that he will never have access to.

Shifting to another ground we realize that the magnitude by which Hamlet repels against femininity as a broad category and Ophelia as a specific subject is a scale that assesses the power of ‘repression’ that exerts on his sexual desires. (Tyson 2016) What act as an out passage to his sexual desires as far as the line of his mother is concerned has often been stopped, and at the moment the slimmer path in the of Ophelia has also been stopped the initial line that had reignited his earlier imaginations responsibilities his entire efforts to sustain the ‘repression.’ His feelings that were not expressed earlier find an outlet in another temporary passage. As the story ends, Hamlet takes on a thought of how badly his mother had conducted herself and how physically disgusting that was. This scenario was a manifestation of a sexual desire that was so ‘repressed.’ ‘Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed….And ‘let him, for a pair of reechy kisses’ (3.4.185-89)


In conclusion, we can summarily conclude that the play vividly elaborates on the complex psychological attributes in Hamlet’s state of mind. Some of the elements in the character of Hamlet that draw our attention is how he relates to his mother. Generally, the play is a crucial tool that can be used to perceive issues from the psycho analytic perspective.

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  1. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet: 1603, 1604. 1860.
  2. Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide, Second Edition. Routledge, 2006.
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