Freud and Hamlet

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Freud believed that Hamlet did not kill Claudius the first time

he saw him because Hamlet saw himself as the enemy. This sounds like a

solid reason to me. Who am I to say that it is not? However, I also

find Samuel Taylor Coleridge's reasoning very interesting. He

believed that Hamlet did not kill Claudius the first time because he

was praying. This sounds almost too easy, although very legitimate.

Now, I am not one to say which interpretation is right, or even ponder if

either is right; however, they both come credible critics. So, who is

right and who is wrong--that is the question? No? Maybe both are right

to an extent. We do not actually know what Shakespeare was feeling when

writing Hamlet.

This brings me to the point Chris Early made previously. I, like

Chris, do not believe that works should only be investigated on the

surface, but it is difficult to uncover every meaning of every aspect of

every work. Is there always something bigger and more meaningful than

the original words? Sometimes I would say yes, and sometimes no. So,

this leads me to my next question: how does one know if the words mean

something bigger or not? I believe that there is no actual way to

know if something has hidden meaning or not; therefore, almost

everything is scrutinized as if it does. I am not trying to make

silly excuses; I am being completely serious. No one, even the great

critics, know what is symbolic and what is not; therefore everything is

considered symbolic in the beginning, causing some sort of symbolism to

be uncovered. Whether this symbolism is correct, no one will actually

know. As Chris touched on, who knows what Shakespeare was thinking

when writing Hamlet? We can only make educated guesses at what

Hamlet was thinking when he withdrew from killing Claudius the first time.

These educated guesses come from what the reader thinks,...
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