The assignment is to write a Compare and Contrast essay with the characters Gertrude from the play Hamlet, to Jocasta from the play Oedipus the King.
Compare & contrast Gertrude(of Hamlet) to Jocasta (of Oedipus the King)
Compare & contrast Gertrude(of Hamlet) to Jocasta (of Oedipus the King).
If the Oedipus complex affected Ophelia she would not be able to kill herself. Similarly to Hamlet, she would be struggling between killing her father’s murderer for rightful revenge and allowing Hamlet to live because he killed the man she always held a subconscious, murderous hatred towards. Ophelia’s death comes from an internal focus on oneself that an indecisive person could never focus on because they are so enveloped in their thoughts on someone else. This makes Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex inaccurate because it does not account for women who do not harbor a sexual desire for their mother nor an aspiration to kill their father.
Freud maintained that all men unconsciously desire their mothers in this way, and he called this the “Oedipus Complex”, after the character in Sophocles’ play who unwittingly murders his father and has several children by his own mother.
(You may not agree with everything they decide.)As you read the play, watch how Hamlet -- who starts by wishing he was dead -- comes to terms with life, keeps his integrity, andstrikes back successfully at what's wrong around him.
Laertes may lack a mother and therefore that aspect of Hamlet’s confusion, but Laertes also lacks the powerful disdain from public opinion. Hamlet indisputably murdered Polonius, and therefore Laertes’ lust for revenge on Hamlet would be deemed acceptable in the public eye. Claudius reassures Laertes that the public is behind him, saying “And we shall jointly labor with your soul to give it due content” (Shakespeare 4.5. 208-209). Hamlet however has no reliable proof that Claudius is the murderer of his father, thus cannot justifiably seek revenge. The delay in action by Hamlet, as proven here, is not the result of complex emotional discourse towards Claudius, but a lack of proof to back his claims.
Freud discusses Claudius as a manifestation of Hamlet’s desires, but hamlet has another mirroring figure in the play. Laertes, like Hamlet, loses his father to a murderer. Laertes though, as far as we know, has no mother to direct his sexual frustration towards and whole-heartedly seeks revenge and nothing more. Freud would implement this idea towards his theory that because Laertes has no sexual frustration towards a mother figure combined with public support for his revenge, he is Hamlet without the complication, and can therefore immediately act.
The play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, and the book of Job from the Bible all involve a tragedy resulting from different things.
The next peculiar moment to examine comes when Hamlet stumbles upon an unsuspecting Claudius entranced in prayer. This seems to be the perfect opportunity to strike down Claudius and claim Gertrude his lover, but Hamlet does not do this. He claims that he avoids killing Claudius because he is praying because it would send him to heaven rather than hell: “am I then revenged, to take him in the purging of his soul, when he is fit and season’d for passage? No!” (Shakespeare, 3.3. 84-87), thus rendering the plan futile. This moment though is not an ideal setting for Hamlet to murder Claudius for another reason. Hamlet requires public evidence to avoid the accusation of his repressed Oedipal tendencies, and such a conniving and deceitful murder would not translate to this necessity.
The play offers multiple scenarios that remain open to interpretation. Utilizing the Oedipus complex as an explanation for Hamlet’s confusion does not correlate with his inability to act. Freud is right to point out that Hamlet cannot be represented as a person unable to act, as we see he does on a few occasions. But Freud’s idea that it is the convoluted relationship with Claudius that stills Hamlet does not ring true. Hamlet does all he can to seek evidence for his fathers murder, but cannot seek revenge without acknowledging the backlash of doing so without proper evidence.
The genre of tragedy tends to be considered great because it occurs during great periods of history, it is about great men, and it is written by great writers.> The evolution of tragedy and the characteristics of tragedy are exemplified in the comparison of Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, and Desire Under the Elms....
Hamlet’s orchestration of the play is most likely just as he claims, a search for evidence. Hamlet states, “the play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King” (Shakespeare 3.1. 584-585). Hamlet needs reassurance that Claudius is guilty, not just for himself, but to prove to the public he is not acting under an Oedipal scope rather a vengeful one. If the public knew that Claudius was the one who killed Hamlet Sr., Hamlet would be justified in dethroning Claudius. Unfortunately all Hamlet as is his word and the word of a ghost, not an entirely reliable source. This is why Hamlet seeks to publicly out Claudius by reenacting the murder on stage in front of him.
Instead of just being a play that takes a closer look at honor, revenge and suicide, Hamlet turns into a canvas that gave Edward DeVere the opportunity to express himself without exposing himself at the same time.