Books and Movies Reviews

Hamlet: A Selfish Fool

Hamlet is known as one of the greatest pieces of literature ever to be written. Perhaps the reason for its popularity and high reputation is because of the many underlying questions that Shakespeare leaves unanswered. Shakespeare forces the readers and watchers of the play to think about the occurring events. Shakespeare’s style of writing often leaves his readers with questions, and Hamlet is no exception. Even today, people devote ther lives to deciphering Shakespeare’s work. The most popular question found in Hamlet is undoubtedly the question of why Hamlet was so slow to act out the wishes of his deceased father. Could Hamlet have suffered from an Oedipus complex? Did Hamlet have a conscientious objection to the murder of another human being? Or could it be that Hamlet was too distracted by wallowing in his own self-pity to jump to action?
An Oedipus complex is a Freudian theory where a child (usually male) has a romantic desire for the parent of the opposite sex and tends to resent the parent of the same sex. In other words, this theory states that Hamlet was in love with his mother. Could this really have been the reason for Hamlet’s hesitation? I think not. Hamlet’sfirst soliloquy was almost entirely devoted to the defamation of his mother. With lines such as “Frailty thy name is woman” how could anyone believe that Hamlet was so in love with his mother? More evidence still is in Act 3, Scene 4 where Hamlet so brutally attacks his mother and accuses her of murder and adultery. Gertrude cries out, “Speak no more sweet Hamlet, your words are like daggers to my ears.” Obviously this is not the cry of a mother who is involved in a loving relationship with her son. an opinionated suggestion for why Hamlet’s hesitation is not due to an Oedipus complex is because I don’t see how a love for his mother would prevent him from killing Claudius. If anything, I would think that Hamlet would act quicker because of the foul deeds that Clau…


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