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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Oedipal Hamlets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0726  Monday, 11 March 2002

[1]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 11:18:54 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets

[2]     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 12:30:22 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Mar 2002 06:57:58 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 11:18:54 -0500
Subject: 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets

HR Greenberg said:

> Likewise little commented upon is the filicidal impulses of Claudius,
> who having killed Hamlet's father, now turns his designs upon his
> stepson. Don't know if this has been addressed in the lit crit or
> analytic literature. Be interested to know. HR Greenberg

"It needs no ghost come from the grave to tell us this"--it's just
common sense that once you start bumping people off, you quite often
have to bump off witnesses, people who have figured out the dastardly
plot, etc. It's not necessary to look for a psychoanalytic explanation.

Dana Shilling

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 12:30:22 EST
Subject: 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets

Gabriel Egan appears to have missed the voice behind the nice oral prose
of Martin Seward, whose positioning of the preposition sets his tone
well. Gypsy Rose Lee, I remember, replied at a public dinner in her
honour thus:

`Mayor: Gypsy, you said earlier, 'Be careful what you say or I might
take my clothes off'.

Gypsy: Mr. Mayor, I deny saying that. I would not end one of my
sentences with a preposition.

I like it, myself.

    Harry Hill

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Saturday, 9 Mar 2002 06:57:58 -0500
Subject: 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0707 Re: Oedipal Hamlets

But this is not reverse Oedipal. The perceived threat that the father
will castrate the son as punishment for his illicit desire is a
necessary prerequisite for the complex. Without fear of destruction by
the father, there is no conflict in Freud's model. The son would happily
pursue his mother as a sexual object.  It is the father's external
threat of destruction that is translated into the internal superego.
Presenting this threat as an oracle preceding the proper action of the
Hamlet story is a literalization of the its "primal" nature.

Clifford

> What perhaps has drawn fewer comments from analysts and critics is the
> 'reverse Oedipal' scenario in the original -- Laius' violent reaction to
> the filicidal threat intimated by the oracle, which he attempts to carry
> out unsuccessfully, thus setting the 'infernal machine' of the narrative
> into action.  HR Greenberg

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