Thesis: In the play, Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare is described as a tragedy of revenge, through psychological origins of revenge, the styles of revenge during that period and the structure of Elizabethan revenge tragedies.
This article, "Shakespeare and Psychoanalysis: Tragic Alternatives: Eros and Superego Revenge in Hamlet.", written by Joanna Montgomery Byes focuses on the psychological origins of revenge and in what part does the socialized and/or individual superego play in creating the revenge tragedy in Hamlet. It reminds us that revenge is a mechanism in the drama that presents the cultural significance within family relationship. In this article, it presents that idea in which the inward tragedy is represented to destroy the logic of the revenge form. Joanna suggests that revenge is popular in Shakespeare's culture and still is because it is profoundly disturbing; the projection of revenge is "therapeutic". The two concepts: defusion of the dual instincts of Eros and Death, and superego aggression, which is one aspect of the death instinct contribute to the fate of Hamlet. The creation of the Ghost creates a father-son-mother confrontation as the Old Hamlet return from the dead to get revenge. Though the superego inside him seeks to punish this revengeful force. "Hamlet tries to become his father's superego, but because he cannot act on it, his own superego takes revenge on him — tortures him, kills him eventually." Hamlet becomes a victim of his own desire for punishment as his displacements fail. The conflict between ego and superego establishes the vigorous action of Hamlet on many levels. It is with Hamlet's acceptance for as long as revenge is revealed for what it is: a dynamically hostile, hateful, destructive force, and, in Hamlet, an unbeatable enemy that the superego wins. Through Hamlet, Shakespeare invites our reflection, invites us to express our deepest desires and aggression as revenge.
This article would be a good source in writing an essay for the topic because it suggests the idea of revenge using psychology and how Hamlet, the character creates the tragedy of revenge. It creates the idea of ego and superego that takes down Hamlet due to revenge. At the beginning, Hamlet wanted to take revenge for the Ghost's sake but as the play progresses Hamlet takes revenge for his own sake. (5,2, 63-70) That leads to his own death because his own superego takes revenge upon himself. It is Hamlet, his own idea towards life that kills him in the end. He has had a real glimpse into the essence of things. Hamlet believes whatever he does will change nothing. So when the command to kill Claudius was given Hamlet didn't take revenge right away. In the article, it presents the idea that the fate of Hamlet is through the concept defusion of the dual instincts of Eros and Death, and superego aggression that dramatizes the revenge motif in Hamlet. It states that as long as the protagonist is able to displace their aggression onto others, they'll survive. But if one does not have the power the bind the destructiveness and releases the cruelty and violence it will lead to violence. As seen in Hamlet, the Ghost's confrontation just fueled the desire of Hamlet to kill Claudius. To Hamlet, Claudius is just the man who, with 'traitorous gifts' (1,5, 43) that seduced ' his mother. And like Byles mentioned in the article, Shakespeare represents revenge as an inward tragic event that is dramatized and reinforce by family relationships which then destroys the tragic person. In this case it would be Hamlet. In the article it mentions that Hamlet is irretrievably trapped in a parental relationship involving murder, adultery and incest. "You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife, And, would it were not so, you are my mother." (3, 4, 14-16) These lines represent how Hamlet is stuck into this family situation where he does not want to be in though he has accepted the fact. Therefore, Hamlet's only way of...
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