Psychoanalytic View of Hamlet Analytical Essay by serendipity

Psychoanalytic View of Hamlet
An examination of Shakespeare's character, Hamlet, from a psychoanalytical point of view.
# 48891 | 1,591 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Feb 19, 2004 in English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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"Hamlet" is often viewed as a tragedy, but the character of Hamlet is also a portrait of the human condition. It is by focusing on Hamlet's humanity that Shakespeare is able to create such a memorable character. Hamlet cannot reconcile his emotion with his reason, and as a result, becomes the perfect case study for the psychological effects of grief, anger, and indecision. This paper analyzes Hamlet's mental decline and examines how his circumstances contributed to his condition.

From the Paper:

"We are told the years that Shakespeare wrote were "among the most exciting in English history" (Mowat xxviii). Due to the invention of the printing press, literature was becoming available to those who previously had no way to access it. This "literary output fed directly into Shakespeare's plays," says Barbara Mowat. Hamlet's depiction of the society he was living in reflects the "Neoplatonic wonderment at mankind" (xxviii), according to Mowat. The Renaissance was a time of "intellectual rebirth and religious reformation in Denmark" (Blits). An important aspect of this movement includes the fact that the pagan beliefs "rediscovered by the Renaissance and pursued by Hamlet emphasizes the radical inwardness of the soul" (Levy). These elements all become apparent through the character of Hamlet as he struggles between the new humanistic beliefs and the old traditional beliefs. Shakespeare skillfully illustrates the inner turmoil man encounters when confronted with such a conflict in thinking in Hamlet. Through Hamlet's seemingly split personality, Shakespeare is showing us two sides of ourselves."

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