Psychoanalysis of Hamlet Essay

Words: 4002
Pages: 17

Hamlet has been praised and revered for centuries as one of William Shakespeare's best known and most popular tragedies. Based on its popularity, critics alike have taken various viewpoints and theories in order to explain Hamlet's actions throughout the play. The psychoanalytic point of view is one of the most famous positions taken on Hamlet. Psychoanalytic criticism is a type of literary criticism that analyzes and classifies many of the forms of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literature. As the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines psychoanalysis, as a form of therapy that is concluced ‘by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind' (Barry 96). One of the most popularized …show more content…
It takes Hamlet a month to decide to finally take action against Claudius. Hamlet tells Horatio that "Come, some music! Come, the recorders!/ For if the King like not the comedy,/ Why then belike he likes it not, perdy" (3.2.276-279). After this scene in the play, Hamlet is convinced of Claudius' guilt, but his own guilt prevents him from completely eliminating his uncle. Hamlet is still trying to "repress" his own sexual desires. It could be construed that Claudius manifests all of Hamlet's passions and emotions. If Claudius is killed, then Hamlet must also be killed(Jones). The course of action that Hamlet pursues can only lead to his ruin. In the end of the play, Hamlet is finally willing to make the ultimate sacrifice: to avenge his father's death and to kill his uncle, as well as part of himself. Hamlet will live on forever in the literary world. It has become extremely popular and famous because the reader can analyze the play from a diverse and countless number of ways. Psychoanalytic criticism is one of many ways of looking at Hamlet's actions. Freud and other theorists were able to take the play and analyze it scene by scene, giving a more in-depth meaning to the actions of the characters. In a sense, Shakespeare wrote two plays in one; one play dealing with a tragedy, leaving the stage