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Dissociative Identity Disorder In Hamlet

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Introduction
Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a condition in which an individual has two or more identities or personalities. An individual with dissociative identity disorder will suffer lack of continuity between thoughts, surroundings, actions and identity. The patient Hamlet from William’s Shakespeare’s Hamlet is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Hamlet is a university student at Wittenberg and the Prince of Denmark who recently suffered the loss of his father, King Hamlet. Disturbed by his mother, Gertrude’s, marriage to Claudius and discovering evidence regarding his father’s murder, Hamlet becomes obsessed with exposing Claudius; however, he remains unable to act throughout
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Throughout the play, Hamlet has various points where he is confronted with suicidal thoughts or attempts. Throughout Hamlet’s first soliloquy “Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, / Thaw resolve itself into a dew, / Or that the Everlasting had not fixed/ His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! Oh God, God!” Hamlet discusses his first suicidal thought, which shows Hamlets degree of depression. In this soliloquy, Hamlet is complaining that he cannot commit suicide and he wishes that his physical state (body) would melt away. During this scene in the play, Hamlet is still grieving his father’s death and controlling his rage towards Gertrude’s incestuous marriage to Claudius, Hamlet wishes to die himself and is having thoughts about suicide due to his melancholy state. Depression is the first symptom of dissociative identity disorder that causes or alters an individual’s personality. Audiences can observe that Hamlet is traumatized from his father’s death, which is causing his mental state to worsen. This can be expressed when Gertrude tells Claudius “Mas as the sea and the wind when both contend/ Which is the mightier. In this lawless fit, / Behind the arras hearing something stir, / Whips out his rapier, cries, “A rat, a rat!” / And in this brainish apprehension kills/ The unseen good old man.” Due to his actions, Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude believes that her son has completely lost his mental stability and Claudius believes Hamlet is a “wild” threat to everyone and decides that Hamlet will leave to England. The depression is deepening within Hamlet and the dissociation is numbing his normal feelings causing a wide range of personalities to
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