Psychology Probe of Hamlet
The tragic vision of Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, is one of his most notable plays of all time. The play focuses on the protagonist, Hamlet, who experiences a mixture of emotions after the death of his father, King Hamlet, and the remarriage of his mother, Gertrude. Throughout the play, the unconscious retains the unpleasant emotions in Hamlet’s mind, playing as a role of defence against the internal conflicts. Neglecting emotional aspects in various situations, Hamlet analyzes the pain and rationalizes unpleasant feelings. He sublimates or redirects an unacceptable desire into an alternative action. Often questioning his beliefs, he hesitates and creates various meaningless acts. Conflicts also rise
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– married with my uncle” (I, ii, 150 – 151). He uses an analogy to compare Gertrude with a beast, that would lament for an extensive period of time, if she ever loves King Hamlet. The unconscious mind buries his unpleasant emotions, while redirects his conscious mind to analyze the causation of his pain. The ability to rationalize logical ideas poses a primary defence against the overwhelming emotions. Hamlet’s famous line, “to be or not to be, that is the question” (III, i, 55), is indeed serious question that why is he always thinking and rationalizing rather than implementing sources of actions. To his mind that he should analyze why he did not take action and just kill himself already. He is in a constant contradiction to himself as he analyzes whether it is a good choice to die or not. He withdraws his decision of killing himself that he thinks “conscience does make cowards of us all” (III, i, 84). Hamlet concludes the fear of death makes us cowards, and rather than thinking he should be killing himself right now. It is ironic that he made a whole speech of his death but never did he take action and has done anything. Hamlet is not driven by his emotions because of the defence mechanism of intellectualization that converts his unpleasant feelings into rationalization. The fact that Hamlet intellectualizes but never takes actions proves to be his biggest flaw in this character.
Sublimation is another defence