Good Essay About Psychological Criticism

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Shakespeare, Hamlet, Family, Parents, Sigmund Freud, Women, Mother, Father

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/11

The type of criticisms borrows a lot from the works of Freud, who wrote about the psychoanalysis of literature. In his explanation, the art adopts the style of reading that looks at the interpretation of texts with the use of a psychological lens. The argument is that literature just as dreams display the secret desires and concerns of an author. For that reason, literature is seen as an exhibition of a writer’s neurosis, which is his or her psyche. Looking at the works of Shakespeare by focusing on Hamlet specifically, readers all over will agree that it is a garden full of ideas and concepts brought alive to a particular world.
Hamlet as many know it is based on a tragedy that is propagated by a revenge mission. The revenge is by Prince Hamlet seeking to kill his uncle (Claudius) the then ruler who killed his brother (Hamlet’s father). Claudius then married his wife (Hamlet’s mother) as instructed by the ghost of his father, King Hamlet (Shakespeare p.76). As one looks at the play or reads the book, the reader is in constant questions of criticism such as, is Hamlet feigning madness or is he mad? Then what follows is the reader’s analyzation of hamlets essential character. Further on the question of whether Hamlet is a scapegoat or a symbol of death arises. Given that little is known about when the play was, written one could not connect the political or the social environment with the play's events. However, issues as this arise on a daily basis in societies and communities all over the world. For instance, the issue that arises openly is if Gertrude (Hamlet’s mother) committed adultery with the king’s brother (Claudius) before her Hamlets father’s death.
Hamlet’s play seemingly brings out the dogmatic assertions about the part played by providence in human life. However, King argues that Shakespeare lost his thematic argument nature and settled on the affirmative vision of the way life is calculated to appeal to his audience who perceive Hamlet’s provident as neither errant nor useless (King p.31). While reading the book, one gets to understand that Hamlet is in search for meaning. Further, he speculates about the nature of the universe and man’s role in it. As a result, his nature becomes a direct reflection of what any reader undergoes through in his or her life (Lawson, 165).
Freud argument on Hamlet is that the interpretation of dreams is what allows psychics to explore the soul. To him dreams contain psychological meanings, thus reading and understanding them requires interpretation (Freud p. 367). In connection with Hamlet, he continues to argue that dreams area, as a result, of physiological structures, which are full of importance and one that may appear in a psychic activity. For that reason, it is correct to state that the issues that happened in Hamlet’s social life is what propagated his dreams. To Freud, dreams have two sides; the first side is the dream itself that an individual experiences and the second is the interpretation of the dream (Classics Network par 1).
Most literature materials have stories to tell, at times, they project life experiences or true stories, but the interpretation of them just like dreams is left solely to the reader. To Freud, the first problem that Hamlet had was the Oedipus complex issue of sexual possession (Freud p.158). The death of his father and the instant marriage of her mother to Claudius make him even angrier, and the feeling of jealousy overwhelms him. To him, the whole idea of his mother being with his uncle who is a brother to the late father is incestuous and, in fact, the ghost that appears to him calls Claudius an adulterous beast (Shakespeare p.79). The anger is showcased even more when Hamlet snips remark to Claudius. Hamlet has idolized the father for years to an extent he compares him to the Sun King, which leaves him detesting his uncle even more (Shakespeare p. 89). Therefore, the whole idea of his mother marrying a lesser man than his father makes him a mad man. Further, Hamlet portrays the radical sexualisation of the maternal body. It brings to light the females and mother's sexuality that is best created by what Hamlets mother does in the play, which remains the most important aspect. For instance, she knows what is going on in the palace to who killed his husband, (Hamlets father) but she opts to keep quiet. Additionally, on her dying bed, she calls to her son and not her husband (Classics Network par. 7). Even though we the readers do not know much about Gertrude, the concept that is portrayed in a reader's mind is that she does not promote maternal wickedness. However, her actions give different ideas to Hamlet, which serves to reiterate his childhood desires. He (hamlet) states that one cannot call what his mother has with Claudius as love, but the mother’s sexuality that sickens him (Lawson p. 32)
While Freud and analysis give techniques for perusing the developments of sexuality and demise in Hamlet does not embed sexuality into writings, that overall has no reference to this topic. Rather, therapy helps us to spotlight on how the play performs the issues of oblivious and quelled. For that reason, the play shows how these longings function regarding family connections to provide for us a deeper understanding of the intentions at work behind the characters words and deeds in this play.

Work cited

Classics Network. Shakespeare and Freudian Theory Hamlet and Titus. N.p., 2015. Web. 13 Feb. 2015. <>
Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Belle Fourche, S.D.: NuVision Publications, 2004. Print.
King, Walter N. Hamlet's Search for Meaning. Athens, Ga: University of Georgia Press, 2011. Print.
Lawson, Thomas T. Carl Jung, Darwin of the Mind. London: Karnac, 2008. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Hauppauge, N.Y: Barrhamleton's, 2002. Print.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, November, 11) Good Essay About Psychological Criticism. Retrieved August 19, 2022, from
"Good Essay About Psychological Criticism." WePapers, 11 Nov. 2020, Accessed 19 August 2022.
WePapers. 2020. Good Essay About Psychological Criticism., viewed August 19 2022, <>
WePapers. Good Essay About Psychological Criticism. [Internet]. November 2020. [Accessed August 19, 2022]. Available from:
"Good Essay About Psychological Criticism." WePapers, Nov 11, 2020. Accessed August 19, 2022.
WePapers. 2020. "Good Essay About Psychological Criticism." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved August 19, 2022. (
"Good Essay About Psychological Criticism," Free Essay Examples -, 11-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 19-Aug-2022].
Good Essay About Psychological Criticism. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 11, 2020. Accessed August 19, 2022.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now