Hamlet Psychological Analysis Essay

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The inner workings of a villain’s mind in a story is not always clear when simply reading the story. To be able to truly understand why the antagonist commits their crimes, one must deeply analyze them to gain a full understanding as to why they did their terrible deeds. In the case of Hamlet, to understand why Claudius chose to kill his brother and claim the queen as his wife, one must critically analyze his psyche. A critical psychological analysis consists of discovering the motivations of a character by looking at the different sections of their psyche, being the id, ego, and superego, and seeing which portion had the most input in the behavior of that character. By studying Claudius through a critical psychological analysis, one can discover…show more content…
The id seeks instant pleasure through sexual and aggressive behaviors, paying no heed to societal or moral requirements. Claudius’s id is the driving reason behind his murder of the king and seducement of the queen, as both were impulsive acts that are forbidden by society that he did only for the sake of enjoying the pleasures of a king. The ghost of the former king explains to Hamlet how “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life / Now wears his crown,” meaning that Claudius had killed the king for the sake of gaining his crown (I.V. 38-39). This behavior arose from Claudius’s id because it the aggressive behavior of murdering his brother that allowed him to receive the immediate pleasure of access to his deceased brother’s wife, and in turn, kingship. Claudius’s can also be viewed as the cause for marrying Queen Gertrude, which he did by “[winning] to his shameful / The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen” (I.V. 45-46). He used sexual behaviors to seduce the queen for the sake of the pleasure of the crown and a wife, actions driven by his id. Looking at Claudius’s id allows one to understand why he was able to commit such terrible sins, as the instinctual, unconscious desire for immediate pleasure gave him the reason to ignore societal values and
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