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The "Strange Eruption" in Hamlet: Shakespeare's Psychoanalytic Vision
consciousness vs. unconsciousness
the Oedipus complex
condensation and displacement
female/yonic vs. male/phallic symbols
the collective unconscious
Shakespeare is indeed the poet of nature. He knows the "deep psychology" of humanity. In his vision, as shown in Hamlet, men often "war" for women. In the family, the son is a "Ham-let" whose libidinous Id is repressed by both his spiritual father (Super-Ego) and his corporeal father (shadow) and whose Ego is pulled be-tween the two fathers as between his good angel and his bad angel. As the son is not yet weaned from his Oedipus complex, he cannot achieve individuation, thus psycho-logically still staying in the Imaginary Order though he is already immersed in the Symbolic Order. In the play we see a split Hamlet whose conscious self is in conflict with his unconscious self, while his persona appears sanely above and his true ego hides madly below, attracted by his anima Gertrude, who is occasionally displaced by Ophelia, and repressed by his fathers. Thus, the play is Hamlet's "strange eruption," which comes from the attraction and the repression. And thus the play is not a tradi-tional revenge tragedy, but a new revenge tragedy in which the revenge is upon one-self and suicide is a jouissance. This fact, then, can account for the hero's inactivity or delay in taking vengeance, and can bring forth the playwright's particular vision regarding the theme of war and woman in its sexual and symbolic aspects.
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