Hamlet: Emotional States


Hamlet went through various emotional states because of different
unfortunate circumstances that confronted him. Yet Hamlet never went so far
over "the edge" so as to not come back from reality, yet for reasons
psychological, he procrastinated actions that he should have taken, until it was
too late. I will first discuss Hamlet, the origins for his queer behavior and
if it twas feigned or not.
In the first act we see that Hamlet is a sort of idealistic man coming back
to the world from university in Wittenburg. Coleridge described Hamlet in this
point of the play as a "Renaissance" man, who has never really come in contact
with the dark side of humanity. In the very beginning of Act 1 scene i the
guards dialog reflect that "there is something rotten in the state of Denmark".
It is full of corruption, deceit, passion, ruthlessness, and ambition that
Hamlet is not used to (Lidz, 71). His mind temporarily can not handle his
situation because, as I will mention later, his mother is at the center of it.
He has to try to find meaning, direction and a stable identity in the midst of
all the evil about him (Lidz, 73).
We clearly see that Hamlet is quite upset by his mother\'s quite hasty
marriage to is uncle, and this causes some deep seeded emotional problems for
Hamlet. I can not talk about Hamlet\'s emotional state without also going into
the fact that Hamlet already suspects the King of killing his father, before the
ghost tells him so (Leavenwoth, 34). First I will go elaborate on how Hamlet,
at certain times, was clearly not feigning insanity, but that insanity only
lasted for brief periods of time because of the emotional blows that Hamlet
undergoes.
I and many literary folk believe that Hamlet suffered from a Oedipus
complex. Freud described this as a desire for a young boy to kill his father
and become sexually involved with his mother. Now that Hamlet\'s father is
eliminated, he believes that he will now be the number one person receiving
affection from his mother, Queen Gertrude (Lidz, 48). This is the principal
reason of why even though Hamlet should have grown out of the Oedipal, it gets
reawakened (Lidz, 48). But, to Hamlet\'s great disappointment his mother has
remarried and he will not be the number one person to receive his mother\'s
affection and his superego is greatly damaged (Leavenworth, 95). He feels like
his mother has betrayed him in, by marrying, and to boot that she married with
great haste. It is this anger that gets pent-up inside of Hamlet and he
releases it by way of lashing out at Ophelia and his mother. However, while
this anger is still brewing inside him he is truly mad until it is released by
some cleansing means (Babcock, 112).
It can be clearly stated that Hamlet really is in love with his mother,
and expects her to be a supporting mother figure that is going to cradled Hamlet
and take care of his needs, basically mother Hamlet. I think that Hamlet also
needed the comfort of a loving mother badly because he returns home to find his
father dead and the world he once thought would be so perfect, collapsing around
him and the only thing that can make him feel truly safe and out of harm\'s way
is his mother. That yearning and extreme need for the comfort of his mother is
a pivotal point of why Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother, when she can not
afford him the love he expects.
Besides Hamlet\'s desire to find comfort in his mother, it is evident
that he is sexually attracted to his mother in a sexual fashion. Because of
some of Hamlet\'s actions in the "closet scene" it is first apparent that he is
making some sort of sexual advance towards his mother the Queen. This is where
Hamlet\'s Oedipus complex really bears itself completely, we know exactly what
Hamlet wants, but like in the rest of the play his words seem haphazard and
spurned on by disillusionment (Lidz, 130). He is here making an attempt to not
only regain the love of his mother, but a passion whose flames were ignited by
Gertrude\'s hasty marriage.
The dear and lovely Ophelia is another person who plays a pivotal part
in confusing Hamlet even more than he already is. Hamlet, me thinks, is truly
in love with Ophelia through the duration of the play. Even though is seems
that Hamlet\'s love for her wanes at certain times, he needs