• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Many directors on both stage and screen have dramatised Act III Scene IV of Hamlet with Freud's Oedipus complex in mind. With detailed reference to this scene and the play as a whole, discuss how valid this interpretation is. How much scope is there for

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Many directors on both stage and screen have dramatised Act III Scene IV of Hamlet with Freud's Oedipus complex in mind. With detailed reference to this scene and the play as a whole, discuss how valid this interpretation is. How much scope is there for presenting ActIII Scene IV on other ways? Psychoanalytical criticism, developed by Freud, is a way to interpret authors, and other artists' work, making connections between the authors themselves and what they actually create. The Oedipus complex is a psychoanalytical theory where a child has the unconscious desire for the exclusive love of the parent of the opposite sex. The desire includes jealousy towards the parent of the same sex and the unconscious wish for that parent's death. It usually occurs between the ages of three to five and is a normal developmental process of human psychological growth. The stage is usually ended when the child identifies with the parent of the same sex and represses its sexual instincts. Freud believed that all people experienced the Oedipus complex but many researchers in psychoanalysis believe it develops as a result of a person's environment and does not occur in everyone. Freud believed the complex could stay in the unconscious mind and affect the person in adult life.? ...read more.

Middle

He talks to himself about it straight after Claudius and the rest of the court have left 'She married -O most wicked speed!' (I, II, 156) but it is still directed at Gertrude not Claudius because unconsciously he can't blame him. And throughout the whole play he never says anything about, or to Claudius, being 'incestuous' for marrying his brother's wife. After Hamlet sees the ghost of his father and is told by it to take revenge for his murder, Hamlet pretends to be mad, unconsciously, to delay killing Claudius. The Oedipal complex explains why Hamlet delays killing him and is unable to take direct action, through out the whole play. Claudius has coincidentally fulfilled Hamlets unconscious fantasies. After the 'Mousetrap' play is performed and Hamlet knows for sure that Claudius is guilty of his father's murder, he still doesn't take action, but chats with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, 'O, the recorders. Let me see one.' (III, II, 36). He doesn't realise he is doing this, and so won't think that Claudius will stop him from telling people - and he does. He sends Hamlet to England. Before Hamlet pretends to be mad, he is deeply in love with Ophelia, 'I did love you once' (III, I, 115). ...read more.

Conclusion

This leads to the confrontation with his mother, where he shows his dislike for their marriage, 'Mother, you have my father much offended' (III, IV, 9), and where he warns her to stay away from Claudius 'But go not to my uncle's bed' (III, IV, 161). He is so angry he has no hesitation in killing the person behind the arras, especially as he thinks it's the king. The play can be presented at face value, simply as a story of revenge as it would have done at the time it was written. I think the Oedipus complex is a valid interpretation of the text when psychoanalysed and can be performed well with the theory in mind, but it is a twentieth century interpretation. In the seventeenth century when it was performed, it would have been written to be performed as entertainment. The performers would of performed it to entertain the audience and the audience would of understood it as it was performed, not my looking into the text and looking for deeper meanings. ? World Book? ? 1999 World Books, Inc. ?1999-2000 Britannica.com and Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. J.A. Cuddon, The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, London 1991, p.356. ? Frances Zeffirelli, dir, Hamlet, USA, 1990 ? Laurence Olivier, dir, Hamlet, GB, 1948 ? Kenneth Brannagh, dir, Hamlet, GB, 1996 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Hamlet essays

  1. By close examination of three soliloquies, discuss Hamlet's changing state of mind

    of mind, each giving the audience a little more insight into his character; Shakespeare really allows the audience to relate to Hamlet in this way, which is clearly evident in the soliloquies. Soliloquies in Hamlet come after events which deeply affect Hamlet; in the first, Hamlet's father has just been killed, and his mother, Gertrude, has married his uncle, Claudius.

  2. With close reference to language examine how fitting a close Act 5 scene ii ...

    Hamlet has also matured emotionally from "To be, or not to be," {3.i.55-56} to "Let be" {5.ii.208}. Hamlet enjoyed punning on words, especially when conversing with members of court and his mother and Claudius. Hamlet proves to be a man of his time with his knowledge of the theatre, we

  1. Hamlet Act 3 scene 4

    For example when Hamlet says, "Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent" I think that Hamlet should, lift his sword and then approach Claudius. This would make the true meaning of the sentence clearer. A few lines in this scene make it so enjoyable to watch, but it

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Hamlet, his moods and motivations, through his soliloquies in Act ...

    This is evident in the use of the soliloquy rather than dialogue with the other characters on stage. "...Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. O God, God, How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world!..."

  1. Compare the opening sections of Kenneth Branagh's and Franco Zeffirelli's film versions of Hamlet.

    The guard looks very on edge and the audience gets the feeling from his stance and his facial expression the guard is waiting for something or someone. All we can hear at this point is the creatures of the night shrieking and the guard's own footsteps.

  2. How does Shakespeare present Hamlet in Act III scene ii and iii? Include ideas ...

    He wants every detail correct for the right affect. He wants the play to reflect the past, this also shows that Hamlet is clever, being indirect by telling the king he knows of his fathers' murder. He wants to touch the kings' conscience.

  1. With reference to key lines and speeches in the play, discuss interpretations of the ...

    he confess anything to her, either protecting her through love, or simply covering his own back. Additionally, if Gertrude were indeed an accomplice in the murder of his father, Hamlet would have been more directly involved with her in the play in regard to his father's murder.

  2. Key Scene - Closet scene, Act III scene IV Hamlet

    Fearing that her life is in danger, Gertrude cries out, revealing that she believes Hamlet to be truly mad and considers him to be harmful. Hamlet, in a state of blind hate, anger and passion kills the unseen Polonius, suspecting that it could be Claudius.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work