The purpose of this study is to examine the ambiguity of Hamlet from the psychoanalytic point of view. In the first place, we focus our attention on the speech of Ghost and Hamlet' s soliloquy, and examine their words with many different meanings. Because of the indefinite existence of Ghost, Hamlet cannot believe the speech of it, and loses confidence in his own role as an avenger. Similarly, because of the inconsistency between Hamlet's sayings and doings, he comes to feel a credibility gap in his own statement, and moreover, he comes to doubt the consistency in the language itself and the unity between a show and its' substance, “signi fier” and “signified”. The ambiguity of their words leads to the uncer tainty of the language itself in this play. In the second place, we consider expressions with “mirror” in this play. They are used directly in some lines and implied by symmetrical relationships between characters in this play. Each of the characters in Hamlet is connected and is contrasted with another character in it as a mirror image of himself or herself But, in the complex symmetry, Horatio is the unique character, who only stands the outside of the complicated relationships and serves as the only observer of this story. In the last scene of this play, he also functions as a narrator of all of the occurrences in it. Such distinctive position of him takes the essential part for Hamlet, which assures us of the objectivity of this story and connects us to Horatio in the role of the interpreter. In other words, when each of us, as an interpreter of Hamlet, is contrasted with Horatio as the interpreter of this story, we ourselves are thrown into the intricate symmetrical world of Hamlet in which various mirror images are reflected. Then, to discuss further on their relationships between characters in this play and between We and the text of Hamlet, we quote Jacques Lacan's theory of “The Mirror Stage” and his “schema L”, and survey them. Here, adopting his theory and the figure, we examine more closely the text of Hamlet and the symmetrical relationships between its characters, and analyze the process of our interpretations of this play from the psychoanalytic point of view. In conclusion, we reveal how “the Subject” of Hamlet or ourselves is mistaken in the process, and then I would like to point out the important role which psychoanalytical criticism can play in it.
In Elizabeth Gaskell's day, to have written with sympathy of a fallen woman' was an act of courage. Under such a circumstance, Gaskell deals with this problem in Ruth (1853). The heroine, Ruth is seduced and abandoned by Bellingham. In despair, she decides to kill herself, but the minister Benson saves her. The Bensons and their servant Sally are responsible for educating Ruth, and pass her off as a young widow. Telling a lie is needed to save Ruth's child from a bastard's position. Gaskell describes the effect on Leonard of the circumstances of his birth. Leonard has affection without being spoilt. But the secret is revealed. Leonard experiences a sense of danger to his identity by need to disconnect from the sinful mother. This paper concentrates some form of conflict between mother and son, because the effects of the discovery fall with impact on Ruth and Leonard. The relationship of Leonard's bonding to the mother Ruth is strengthened when Ruth enters the public world as a nurse, and is admired by her community. At the end, Ruth dies as a result of nursing Bellingham. It is not love that takes her to his side, but a sense of duty. The narrative voice manifests passions about their relationship, for Gaskell seeks an outlet for her own personal agony: the trauma of losing her only son from scarlet fever when he was only nine months old. The mother's unconscious desire related to her son will be made clear by the tools for dream interpretation. In this sense, a part of the psychoanalytic works of Freud provides a useful framework for Ruth. Following the way in which mother and son interact with one another and the emotional conflicts between them, we can find Gaskell's own ideas about the human rights. Ruth is in favor of the view that the fallen woman can earn reacceptance into normal life, and the right of the illegitimate child to a proper home and a place in society. In other words, Gaskell exposes a social evil from the purely human standpoint of pity for an individual case.
Virginia Woolf tried to realize her ideal of human existence in her novel Orlando. It is in fantasy that a man can turn into a woman or live for nearly four centuries. Woolf had a strong wish to grasp the ‘moment of existence, ’ and this novel was to be a successful attempt to give it form, for Orlando is a fantasy. Woolf inherited a mental illness that incessantly troubled her. To her the only way to prevent the incidence of illness was to write novels, and writing was effective therapy for her. In Orlando she made her hero turn into a woman, and many a man of unpolished beauty. Both husband and wife were androgynous. Orlando and Shelmerdine spent ten days of blissful marriage which they began just after they met. They did not need many words to communicate with each other. To be together was all that they needed. At the very moment of happiness the idea of death occurred to Orlando. However, it no longer threatened her but allured her. Just like Orlando the author Virginia Woolf must have felt the same way, for the novel is in one sense the author herself, and in every work she wrote of the search of the moment of existence. In reference to “being” and “non-being, ” they are analyzed herein along the theory of C. G. Jung. For Woolf “being” was far more important for her life and for her writings than “non-being.” What are implied in these words are to be metaphysically ascertained.
In Saul Bellow's Dangling Man, the protagonist Joseph is dangling between work and military duty, unable to sustain his impossible ideals. Joseph undergoes narcissistic injury, narcissistic rage, and paranoid schizoid collapse. Joseph suffers from a series of narcissistic injuries. The Servatius party shatters his faith in a protective community of friends, and he ceases to be satisfied with his own self. At many points in the novel Joseph feels that his identity is being denied. He also holds a grudge against many people and gives vent to his rage throughout the novel. He battles with all those with whom he comes in contact. Because of his narcissistic injury, Joseph experiences paranoid schizoid collapse. A person suffering from paranoid schizoid collapse is characterized by splitting, projective identification, idealization, and omnipotence. A man who falls, Etta, and, Mr. Vanaker are Joseph's projective identifications. Delusion accompanies paranoid schizoid collapse. Finally Joseph submits to compulsory civility and the book ends on his final cry of self-abnegation. In the novel, Bellow describes the protagonist's inner life and presents the darkness of the human mind clearly. Dangling Man describes the death of an old self and rebirth of a new self.
In Where I Live (1978), Tennessee Williams (1911-83) says his full-length play, The Rose Tattoo (1950), celebrates “the Dionysian element in human life, its beauty, its significance”; and most critics have been involved in these points. However, it seems that they have not taken much interest in Serafina's mentality and humanity. The aim of this paper is to investigate Serafina's mental wavering; conflict between cultivation and wildness from the psychoanalytical point of view. She identifies herself with a Madonna but she strongly becomes obsessed with Madonna after Rosario, her husband, dies. It takes her three years to overcome the obsession and she finally recognizes and accepts wildness in her. This is what Williams suggests by “Dionysian element in human life” in The Rose Tattoo.