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Cameron Dougherty

on 20 November 2012

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Claudius From a Psychoanalytic Perspective Psychoanalytic theory: A theory developed by Sigmund Freud stating that the events of childhood and unconscious desires influence behavior. This is divided into three theoretical sub-topics dealing with the conscious and unconscious mind; ID, Ego, and Super-ego. ID The pleasure principle that focuses entirely on self gratification
and is completely unconscious. We will be focusing on the psychoanalysis between Claudius, and characters like;
Hamlet, Gertrude, King Hamlet, Laeretes, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Falcon Shakespeare, Mississauga. 1996. Print. Super-Ego The superego focuses on the moral principle of the mind and is more unconscious then conscious. Ego This acts according to the reality principle, which tries to accompany the ID's needs in realistic ways Claudius & Hamlet Claudius' ID is his main drive Selfish “Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature that we with wisest sorrow think on him together with remembrance of ourselves” -Claudius (Shakespeare, I, ii, 5-7). Concerned with people knowing about the murder “Delay it not. I’ll have him hence tonight. Away! For everything is sealed and done that else leans on the affair. Pray you, make haste” - Claudius (IV, iii, 55-57). Cowardly; weasels his way out of situations Hamlet really does despise Claudius for many, many things. "Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,and that his soul may be as damned and blackas hell, whereto it goes" - Hamlet (III, iii, 93-95). Claudius & Gertrude Sexual desires “Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, th' imperial jointress to this warlike state” - Claudius (I, ii, 8-9). Sneaky and a good actor Finally feels remorse "It will be laid to us, whose providence
should have kept short, restrained and out of haunt, this mad young man. But so much was our love,we would not understand what was most fit" - Claudius (IV, i, 18-21). Gertrude seems to only care about external pleasures and loves Claudius becasue he can fufill her needs "Of those effects for which I did the murder: my crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. May one be pardoned and retain th' offense?" - Claudius (III, iii, 54-56). Behind the Murder of King Hamlet ID: Main drives derive from:
sexual instinct
lust for power Claudius more willingly submits to his ID =
more impulsive decisions
animal instinct drives him to extremes ID CONTINUED: ID > SUPEREGO IN CLAUDIUS

"That cannot be, since I am still possessed

Of those effects for which I did the murder:

My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.

May one be pardoned and retain th' offense?"(3, 3, 53-56). Freud believed that our unconscious was influenced by childhood events King Hamlet always greater than Claudius? If King Hamlet was not an obstacle? How is Claudius as a King? SUPEREGO: Claudius's Remorse: conscience punishing the EGO for allowing ID to take over “Oh, my offence is rank. It smells to heaven.

It hath the primal eldest curse upon ’t,

A brother’s murder. Pray can I not.

Though inclination be as sharp as will,

My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent”(3,3,36-40). SUPEREGO CONTINUED: THE IDEAL SELF: "an imaginary picture of how you ought to be, and represents career aspirations, how to treat other people, and how to behave as a member of society"(McLeod). Ideal Self is King Hamlet? Claudius will never achieve this?
Effect? EGO: Comprimise betweens satisfying ID and being socially acceptable/ avoiding conflict:

devising strategies

^all of this is DECEPTION to conceal murder of King Hamlet! "Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly. These indeed “seem,”
For they are actions that a man might play"(1,2,82-84) I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
And he to England shall along with you.
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard so dangerous as doth hourly grow
Out of his lunacies. ( 3, 3, 3-7) "...the notion that human beings are motivated, even driven, by desires, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are unaware..." (Tyson 14-15). Claudius and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Willing to follow Claudius “We shall, my lord.” (III, i, 28) He acts like he cares about Hamlet to get Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to listen to him “To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
So much as from occasion you may glean, Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus That, open'd, lies within our remedy.” (II, i, 15-19) Claudius used them to spy on Hamlet and that is all they were good for. Claudius and Laertes Getting Laertes so angry, enough to kill Hamlet “I will do't! And for that purpose I'll anoint my sword.” (IV, vii, 139-140) Pretends to care for Polonius “Not that I think you did not love your father;” (IV, vii, 110) No remorse after death of Laertes
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