Oedipus Complex in Hamlet

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Human sexuality, Personal life Pages: 2 (820 words) Published: November 12, 2012
Oedipus Complex in Hamlet

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet’s personality can be explained by the Oedipus Complex. Throughout the play there are many times where he proves that he has Oedipus Complex. Oedipus Complex was not around at the time that that Hamlet was written. It just shows that Shakespeare saw the same personality complex’ as Freud. Freud first named the Oedipus Complex Theory in his book , An Interpretation of Dreams, in 1899. Freud states "The child takes both of its parents, and more particularly one of them, as the object of its erotic wishes." Freud explains that it is normal to have sexual desires for the parent of the opposite sex. These are normal in children and usually dissipate after the age of five. When these sexual desires do not go away and they continue into adulthood this is when someone would be considered to have an Oedipus Complex.

When there is a sexual desire for the mother, as Hamlet did, a rivalry is formed between the father and the son. Hamlet’s father is in a form of a ghost, that only he can communicate with. He was murdered while Hamlet was away at school. When he returns he finds his mother, Gertrude, remarried to his father’s brother Claudius. This infuriates Hamlet, and brings out his repressed Oedipus Complex. This drives Hamlet crazy. He is consumed and outraged by this incestuous marriage. Now I use the word incestuous because in those days it was considered incest to marry your husband’s brother. What needs to be explained is exactly what Hamlet it is upset over. It is to be assumed that he is outraged because Claudius has replaced his own father’s place next to his mother. This is not the case. Hamlet is upset because Claudius has taken his place next to his mother. Hamlet’s deepest wish is to be king and his mother, Gertrude, queen. Thus proving the Oedipus Complex theory further. Children will have feeling of hate toward the parent of the same sex this theory states. Hamlet has many hateful...
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