The Oedipal Complex in Hamlet & The Lion King
In 1601, William Shakespeare wrote the tragedy Hamlet. Hamlet is a young prince whose father has recently died and his uncle, Claudius, has wooed his widowed mother, Gertrude, and taken Hamlet’s place on the throne. Not only is Hamlet angry because Claudius married his mother and has taken his throne, Hamlet recently found out Claudius was the reason for his father’s death. Hamlet wants to achieve revenge his father and get what is rightfully his; the throne of Denmark. In Disney’s 1994 The Lion King, Simba is a young lion cub whose father, Mufasa, is king. Scar, Simba’s uncle, wants to be king and he wounds up killing his brother. Scar makes Simba believe he is the reason for his father’s death and Simba runs away. As Simba reaches adulthood, he is found by a childhood friend, Nala, who convinces him to go home and become king. Simba also has the same problem as Prince Hamlet; Simba’s uncle has killed his father as well and Simba wants to avenge Mufasa’s death. While composing The Lion King, Disney writers chose a very similar framework to Hamlet because, although its Oedipal themes are rather mature, they still resonate strongly with young readers.
.In 1899, Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, introduced the term Oedipus complex in his book Interpretation of Dreams. This term describes a psychological stage of development in which a male child desires sexual relations with his mother or a female child desires sexual relations with her father. The child also exhibits hostility toward the parent of the same sex–a boy for the father and a girl for the mother. In normal development, a child outgrows this desire. However, in abnormal development, a child may retain his or her sexual fixation on the parent of the opposite sex. Also, he is jealous of his father and tends to compete for maternal attention. Freud determined that in order to resolve this complex, it would lead to castration...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document