Shakespeare's Hamlet suffers from the Odipus complex

That too: Hamlet to go

The author

* William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is considered the greatest playwright in world literature ("Romeo and Juliet", "The Merchant of Venice", "The Tempest"). The son of a glove maker from Stratford had to marry 26-year-old Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant by him, when he was 18. He soon fled the provinces and became an actor, theater entrepreneur and poet in London. His troupe played in front of Elizabeth I and Jacob I at court. Centuries after his death, Shakespeare's authorship of the dramas and sonnets was questioned, but never by his contemporaries.

The plot

* Prince Hamlet of Denmark appears to his father's ghost. The old king claims to have been murdered by his brother, who also married the queen, Hamlet's mother. The ghost demands vengeance. But Hamlet wants certainty and pretends to be crazy to be able to observe his uncle Claudius, his mother Gertrud and the advisor to the royal couple Polonius behind this mask. They in turn spy on Hamlet to find out why he is so strange. With the help of a play in which the murder of the old king is portrayed, Hamlet succeeds in coaxing Claudius to admit guilt. Nevertheless, the prince hesitates to take revenge, while Claudius hatches various conspiracies to eliminate Hamlet. In the end, everyone is dead: Claudius, Gertrud, Polonius, Hamlet, his lover Ophelia and her brother Laertes, as well as the informers Rosenkranz and G├╝ldenstern. Denmark is annexed by Norway.

Attempts at interpretation

* The confused plot and especially the hesitation of Hamlet have called many interpreters on the scene. For Goethe Hamlet was "a noble, highly moral being, without the sensual strength that makes the hero". Nietzsche saw in Hamlet evidence that "knowledge kills action. Action includes being veiled by illusion". The interpretation by Sigmund Freud had the most momentous consequences. He subjected Hamlet to a psychoanalysis and discovered the "Oedipus complex", according to which every boy wants to sleep with his mother and kill his father. "Hamlet can do anything except take revenge on the man who got rid of his father and took his mother's place with his mother, on the man who shows him the realization of his suppressed wishes for children." ("The Interpretation of Dreams", 1899). Newer interpretations emphasize the dramatic sophistication of Shakespeare, who deliberately created a "strategic opacity" in order to increase the impact of his plays (Stephen Greenblatt, "Will in der Welt", 2004). apo