Hamlet – formal psychoanalytic analysis

Hamlet-Formal Psychoanalytic Analysis Introduction Our interest will be King Claudius in the play. We shall review how the character is expressing three facets of Freud’s psychoanalysis theory and how his character unravels the whole of Shakespeare’s storyline (S. Freud 27). Hamlet largely dwells on the superego, ego, and the id nature of human kind that mainly aims at benefiting ones desires but fails to protect the surrounding environment. King Claudius managed to evade Hamlet’s wrath and exposed Hamlet’s weakness. Hamlet of all the people fails to distinguish seeming from being and is trapped in fatal deceptive maze of appearances that is the phenomenal world. For example, when Hamlet does not kill him and kill his father’s girlfriend. In addition to this, the play only ends when Ophelia’s brother reveals to him that it was the entire King’s plan and not his. King Claudius Psychosocial Analysis From the play, it is evident that Claudius is under control of the id hence not in touch with reality. He has a crave and desire to satisfy his own selfish wishes and he confirms this by saying this during King Hamlets funeral, “ Though yet Hamlet our dear brother’s death/ The memory be green (we must be) together with remembrance of ourselves” (Bloom 33). According to Freud, the sexual desire is linked to animal instinct. The id is responsible for regulating the amount of libido in our body, which in turn controls the psychosexual desire and psychic energy. This is what leads Claudia to claim Kingship and marry Gertrude. In Act 5 scene 2 King Claudius tells Gertrude, “ Gertrude, do not drink.” Gertrude replies, “ I will, my lord. I pray you, pardon me”. This is an indication that King Claudius is operating under Superego, which brings about the guilt. King Claudius moves aside and says, “ it is the poisoned cup. It is too late.” The king also expresses some sense of guilt especially when Hamlet organized a play that hinted that Claudius was responsible for King Hamlet’s death. During the play, the King is nervous and is uneasy indicating guilt. Claudius is a schemer in the whole play plotting down revenge and he seems to be in control of every move that Hamlet makes leaving him to express the characteristic of someone under influence of superego, “ He is master of reality, making his will prevail, no fool of fortune” (Bloom 78). King Claudius manages to evade Hamlet’s wrath and exposes Hamlet’s weakness. He organizes with Laerte to poison his sword and kill Hamlet. With this action, Claudius portrays a symbol of repression. The ego represses Claudius feelings. According to Freud repression is a process that sensors our minds suppressing our thoughts on actions and instinctual behavior deemed unacceptable. This is why he takes a long time to prepare and plot Hamlets death. The final scene is a product of repression for almost all the key characters in the play. It is in this final scene that King Claudius encourages Laerte to kill Hamlet. The King shouts., “ Laerte stop fooling me”. Learte replies and says, “ My lord, I’ll hit him now”. The king yearns for revenge showing that he is not in touch with reality. The final scene shows four family members dying out of revenge and guilt. The king says that it is too late for the Gertrude but does not jump and prevent Gertrude from drinking the poisoned wine the same way Hamlet does for Horatio. Horatio is also showing guilt and wants to die like Hamlet but Hamlet wrestles the cup away from his mouth. He tells Horatio that his name is wounded but he must live to tell his story. I believe that no revenge has taken place at all since the whole family has been engaged in a tragedy that began with Polonius killing his own brother. His action led to the death of 7 persons not excluding him. Ophelia’s brother wanted revenge but does not live to see it since he dies. This is also true when we look at Hamlet. He does not live to see the fruit of his revenge that also claims the lives of other beloved people. The King plots his own death and does not live to enjoy his revenge since he is killed by Hamlet with a poison that he has applied in the sword. I therefore agree that nobody has enjoyed any revenge in this play as the entire throne dies out of fallacies and misjudgments. Conclusion Hamlet shares the view that we must find positive and constructive ways to direct our desires and behaviors rather than either repressing desires that will protect one another from the natural nature of the id. In addition to this, Freud asserts that life brings a lot of pain and difficulty and many people tend to deflect the pain and difficulty to other objects that perhaps lead to misery and disappointment. This is real in comparison to King Claudius behavior in the play. Works Cited Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. Open Market ed. Harlow, Essex: Longman Publishers, 2001. Freud, Sigmund. Psychology of Love. New York: Penguin Classics, 2007. Print.