King Lear

Oedipus and Order in Hamlet and King Lear

Shakespeare's Hamlet and King Lear both contain a multitude of driving forces at work behind the actions of the main characters, but common to both works exists an obvious Freudian interpretation of what is driving two of the most interesting characters in all of Shakespeare's canon, Hamlet and Edmund the Bastard. Shakespeare is dealing with two characters whose desires happen to be such that they upset the accepted balance of nature. The Freudian drive at work in both characters is the infamous "Oedipal Complex," which basically boils down to a desire to kill the father and take his place beside the mother. Hamlet and Edmund both wish to accomplish actions that will destroy the patriarchal system currently in place, and both thirst for unhealthy relationships with a mother or mother figures. If Hamlet and Edmund both succeed in their respective plots, the natural order of the world would be put into jeopardy, and that order is already being upset merely by the attempt of the two characters to carry out their wish-fulfillment of having their father (figures) replaced by themselves.

The chief aspect of the Oedipal Complex lies in the desire for the son to kill the father and take his place as head of the...

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