Oedipal Complex in Hamlet Essay

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Hamlet and the Oedipal Complex In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the title character's main, and only flaw, is his delay. This seems to constitute the central part in Hamlet. By the definition of tragedy, there should exist a flaw in the character of the main hero, who is a great personality that is engaged in a struggle that ends catastrophically. Various reasons for Hamlet's delay are given. Important issues like madness, melancholy and cowardice are discussed, but the evidence reveals that he is capable of swift action, we deem him as an intelligent man and can therefore conclude that he is only pretending madness. To regard him simply as suffering from melancholy is not a sufficient explanation as he is eager to avenge the…show more content…
There are no attendants about. If Claudius and Gertrude are able to be alone, even for a few minutes, surely Hamlet could have seized an opportunity to kill Claudius, simply by having the Queen sent away. There is another reason why Hamlet delays killing Claudius, and Hamlet himself is not even aware of it. Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology, was first to accredit Hamlet's delay to his Oedipal complex. Freud's discovery of the Oedipal complex is based on Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. In this drama, Oedipus unknowingly murders his father and sleeps with his mother. Through his research, Freud discovered that all men unconsciously desire to sleep with their mother. Freud also discovered that the human mind is composed of three distinct personalities--the id, ego, and the superego. Claudius represents Hamlet's id, the part of Hamlet that desires to sleep with Gertrude. King Hamlet, however, represents Hamlet's superego, the part of his mind that seeks to control his id, or his desire to sleep with Gertrude. Because King Hamlet died at the hands of Claudius, Hamlet's id is gaining strength. This is what makes it impossible for Hamlet to kill Claudius. The strength of his id is stronger than his superego, especially since his superego (King Hamlet) is dead. The strength of Hamlet's id is quite apparent in the scene between Hamlet and Gertrude. In Act 3, Scene 4, Hamlet is criticizing Gertrude for her
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