Hamlets Relationship with His Mother

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Hamlet’s Relationship with his Mother

Throughout William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet portrays what Sigmund Freud calls the Oedipal Complex. When the relationship between Hamlet and his mother is analyzed, Freud's Oedipal complex theory comes to mind. The Oedipal complex is a theory created by Freud that states that the child takes both of its parents, and more particularly one of them, as the object of its erotic wishes. Because of this desire to be with the parent of the opposite sex, a rivalry is formed with the parent of the same sex. In the play, Hamlet shows great hostility toward his uncle Claudius, his male opponent. Hamlet sees his mother's remarriage as a disgusting act of betrayal and sees murdering Claudius as a way of freeing his mother of an incestuous marriage as well as avenging his father. Hamlet and his mother's relationship are also shown as more sexual than the traditional mother son relationship because of Hamlet's language and private interaction with his mother.

Hamlet's inner monologues reveal much about what he is feeling and also aids in understanding the nature of the Oedipal complex within the character. Aspects of the Oedipal complex can be seen Hamlet's first soliloquy where Hamlet speaks to himself, revealing his personal expression of pain and suffering. The main cause of Hamlet's torment is the remarriage of his mother to his uncle and not the death of his father. When Hamlet says: "With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not, nor it cannot come to good. / But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue" (1.2. 157-9), he is disgusted by his mother's affection toward Claudius because he believes it is incestuous. It can also be deduced the Hamlet is more concerned with the marriage of his mother than the death of his father. Unconsciously, Hamlet believes that because his father is dead, all his competition is gone and Claudius marrying his mother does not fit in with what Hamlet wants - taking his object of desire...
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