Freudian Literary Theory (Hamlet Test)

What is “id”? – The animalistic desire present at birth (everyone has an id)- Impulsive- “The pleasure principle”- Sex instinct and aggression, irrational- Chaotic and unreasonable
Examples of characters showing id – Laertes raging out on Claudius, then raging to kill Hamlet- Ophelia going insane, singing songs about virginity- Maybe Hamlet in the final killing scene?
Examples of characters showing id – Hamlet in the final fencing scene kills Laertes and Polonius (also shows battle between id and superego)
When do we use ego defense mechanisms? If the ego fails in its attempt to use the reality principle (to think things through reasonably), and anxiety is experienced
What are the eight ego defense mechanisms? – Denial- Displacement- Intellectualization- Rationalization- Repression – Suppression- Sublimation- Splitting
Examples of characters showing ego – Hamlet plotting to kill Claudius instead of just murdering him right away- Claudius and Laertes plotting to kill Hamlet, pretend to make it look like an accident
Examples of Denial – Hamlet needs to prove that the ghost is telling the truth that he is his father and was murdered by Claudius- Hamlet deciphering whether or not the ghost is his dad or the devil
Examples of Displacement – Hamlet is mad at Gertrude, but he takes it all out on Ophelia- Hamlet’s main goal is to kill Claudius, the king, yet he kills three other two other people beforehand of lower levels, they didn’t do anything to deserve it
Examples of Intellectualization – Hamlet doesn’t feel sad in the slightest that he was responsible for the death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, his best friends as a child
Examples of Rationalization – Hamlet says he won’t kill Claudius while he’s praying because it would send him to heaven, ironic because he would go to heel anyways, probably giving this excuse because he’s scared
Examples of Suppression – Claudius trying to forget his sins (mostly him murdering Hamlet Senior)- Ophelia trying to forget about Polonius’ death?
Examples of Sublimation – Hamlet’s play, people killing each other but it’s totally fine if you’re acting it out- Hamlet and Laertes fencing
Examples of Splitting – Hamlet now views people as all bad after his betrayals from friends and family- The ghost is either the devil or his father, obviously not just some random figure
Denial definition Arguing against anxiety by believing it doesn’t exist
Displacement definition Taking out impulses on a less threatening target
Intellectualization definition Avoiding unacceptable emotions by thinking instead of feeling
Rationalization definition Supplying a logical or rational reason as opposed to the real reason
Suppression definition Actively trying to “forget” a painful feeling or experience because it causes anxiety
Sublimation definition Acting out unacceptable impulses in a socially acceptable way
Splitting definition Looking at everything as all good or all bad with nothing in between
What is the superego? – The way a character acts based upon the moral values of society from one’s parents and others- Control’s the id’s impulses- “What is the right thing to do?”- Conscience (causes feelings of guilt) and the Ideal Self (picture of how you should be)
Examples of characters showing the superego – Claudius’ reaction during the play, his conscience mind is making him feel guilty about killing Hamlet Senior- Hamlet wants to kill himself but that is considered a sin which would be going against morals
What is the Oedipus Complex? – A boy expressing possessiveness of his mother and telling his father not to hug or kiss his mom- Possess their mothers and replace their fathers- A boy would doesn’t deal with this conflict becomes “mother-fixated”
Examples of characters showing the Oedipus Complex – Hamlet is possessive of Gertrude and tells her not to sleep (and have sex) with Claudius- If Hamlet kills Claudius, then he will become King, the position his father had- Ophelia & Gertrude = powerless in relationship; Hamlet “mimics” Claudius’ relationship to get power

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