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Psychoanalysis of Hamlet There are always three sides to a coin when it comes to psychology. Two being the heads and tails, the other being the thickness of the coin represented here by the why factor.
No action is ever considered to be an accidental behavior, thus making Hamlet an intriguing subject of analysis. To examine Hamlet through a psychological perspective, one must use knowledge of behavioral psychology, which is the study of behavior that reveals inner thoughts. Hamlet is a complex character full of deep emotions and developmental problems it is revealed through his actions, thoughts, and words portrayed during the play.
These psychological triggers are very relevant in patient cases today such as the remarrying of a parent, the death of close friend, or development during adolescence.
The triggered behaviors become dangerous, as the ability of being able to confide in someone else does not seem a possibility to Hamlet. Losing a loved one is never easy, in Hamlets case the loss leads to a downward spiral of behavior that ultimately affects many different people in his kingdom.
This problem of seeking comfort or advice in times of need is crucial for the development during adolescence. Psychologists agree that bottling up emotions can cause explosive and irrational behavior, such as in the case of Hamlet. Many critics have scrutinized the delay of Hamlet not killing Claudius over the years.
This quotation suggests that Hamlet wanted to be like Claudius subconsciously. Moments after Hamlet fails to kill Claudius as he prays because he is unshriven; he slays Polonius under the impression it was Claudius.
The contradictory nature of these two decisions shows in behavioral psychology that Hamlet is emotionally unstable. This action also demonstrates that aggression has taken over reasoning. Hamlets lack of cognitive reasoning ultimately conflicts with his short-term plans as Hamlet is sent away from the kingdom by the man who he is trying to murder.
This shows that the catastrophe occurs as a result of instinctive reactions rather than pre-meditation. Keeping secrets from people or being burdened by others secrets is an action that can be harmful in every aspect of health. Hamlets action of keeping secrets from others is representative of his mistrust in people.
Hamlet has no one to confide in which leads to irrational decisions and obsession. Most psychologists agree that having someone to confide in is crucial in the developmental process. The act of not revealing such traumatic information destroys Hamlet from a mental perspective and causes Hamlet to slip in and out of sanity.
The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is an example of the destructive nature secrets can cause. Good relationships are built on the fundamentals of trust and communication; neither of which is demonstrated in their relationship.
Ophelia thinks that Hamlet has gone insane, and this lack of communication drives her into madness and her death.
Secrets can inadvertently destroy many people, making them more dangerous through the subconscious influences. All authors project their own life experiences and thoughts subconsciously in to their literature. The loss of a loved one is a powerful influence and subconsciously can cause feelings of depression and suicide.
This soliloquy is one of the most recognized worldwide due to its contemplation of life and death due to the struggles that face Hamlet.
Shakespeare Hamlet is clinically depressed and overwhelmed by the troubles in his life. Not even being able to kill the murderer of his father, he is unlikely that to kill himself. Kilgore Thus many people believe that hamlet is overthinking the problem. Thus if this soliloquy was recited to a psychiatrist he would recommend anti-depressant medication.
Contemplating life and death is a process that we all do at different points in life. However, it is the manner in which we approach our lives and deaths that define us as individuals.
Hamlet has received a liberal education; thus his learned critical thinking and questioning about every action causes obsessive self-criticism. In teenagers the frontal lobe is still in the developmental stages, and affecting his self-perception in addition to his decision making. Hamlet is the perfect storm of decisions based on pathos rather than logos.
His attitude towards the murder of Polonius disconnects him from the norms of society. Making jokes about the body of someone whom he just murdered demonstrates almost a psychopathic tendency brought about by intense levels of stress. In addition to this, Hamlet is in a position where his actions do not have repercussions evidenced by the town looking the other way on his actions.
The psychological effect of having no consequences for actions starting at a young age can have disastrous effects of the development during adolescence; and often in cases can lead to the development of Oppositional defiance disorder children.
Hamlet was set up for failure in societal norms from childhood. Hamlet is under false pretenses of what love means due to his adolescence, demonstrated by his harsh words to Ophelia and inability to communicate his distresses and concerns with her.JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways.
July 3, 1. G. Wilson Knight on Shakespeare. A. The Occult and the Mystical in Shakespeare.
I continue to be impressed by the work of the eminent literary critic and Shakespeare specialist G. Wilson Knight. Psychoanalytic hamlet essay on revenge. November 25, By 0 Comments. Psychoanalytic hamlet essay on revenge.
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Psychoanalytic literary criticism is literary criticism or literary theory which, in method, concept, or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis begun by Sigmund Freud..
Psychoanalytic reading has been practiced since the early development of psychoanalysis itself, and has developed into a heterogeneous interpretive tradition.