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Hamlet Indecisive Personality: Link to Oedipus complex Other Causes (Research Paper Sample)


ENG 102 Research Paper Guidelines

In essence, the research paper is a longer, documented interpretative paper because all literary essays involve the task of interpretation on some level. For our project, you must interpret a poem or a group of poems, a play, or a novel in the syllabus. You could focus on a theme, a character, or a literary technique. Study carefully Chapter 53 in The Bedford Introduction of Literature (1694-1710). Make sure you follow the following points:

1. Your research paper needs to be 5-6 pages long (about 1500-1800 words) on the topic that you propose in the proposal, which must be approved by the instructor. If you change your topic after your original one has been approved, you need to do a new proposal for the new topic.

2. The research paper must have an introduction, several body paragraphs (say 5-7), and a conclusion. The introduction must have a lead-in, a thesis, and justification for your topic, and any background information.

3. Each of your body paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence, which states the main idea of the paragraph. The topic sentence is usually not a narrative or descriptive statement, but an assertion of an idea or position. Transitional devices are needed between paragraphs. All your paragraphs should be organized to support the thesis in the introduction.

4. At least three (3) published sources are needed in order for the paper to be evaluated properly. The lack of sources is considered an indication of insufficient research and will seriously affect the quality of your paper. The sources can be newspaper articles, magazine articles, journals, or books. Avoid personal websites or other untrustworthy sources. Examples of good sources include book reviews and author interviews in The New York Times Book Review, biographies and criticism in Contemporary Authors, articles in professional journals such as PLMA, Twentieth-Century Literature, World Literature, and MELUS.

5. Quote sparingly and prepare your quotes. Summarize relevant ideas into concise sentences whenever possible and document them. Do not use footnotes; use only in-text parenthetical citations.

6. All papers should have a separate Works Cited page at the end. See the example on page 1710 of The Bedford Introduction of Literature, 11th ed.


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Hamlet Indecisive Personality: A Link to Oedipus complex and Other Causes
This paper seeks to connect the causes of Hamlet’s indecisiveness with the theory of Oedipus complex, first postulated by Sigmund Freud, and the role of other characters and situations in Hamlet’s development of the personality trait. To achieve this objective, this paper analyzes William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. The approach to the subject of Hamlet’s indecisive personality and a possible association to Freud’s theory of Oedipus complex will be to connect the theory with the portrayed characters of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s play. Hamlet’s personality leads him to kill King Claudius, his uncle, and relate how various authors have interpreted the protagonist’s personal traits as a flawed trait common among most Greek tragedies. However, Hamlet does not grieve, mourn or admit his mistakes and shortcomings since he does not take responsibility of his actions. Prior to Ophelia’s suicide, he never expresses his guilt for his treatment towards Ophelia, and proudly boasts that he loved her more than her brothers did (Cameron 174). This scene introduces his obsession with incestuous relationships in comparing his love with Ophelia and that brother-sister, which is not sexual. Hamlet’s expression of resentment towards Gertrude, his mother, and an aggressive anger against Claudius, have resulted to the judgements of the audience that Hamlet has an indecisive personality. While a bulk of literatures depict the protagonists Hamlet with unresolved flawed personality trait of Oedipus complex, as evidenced in Laurence Olivier’s production of William Shakespeare’s tragic play Hamlet, this paper attempts to explore the role of other figures such as Claudius in Hamlet’s moral self-development that leads to his decision to slay his uncle.
In his adaptation, Lawrence Olivier’s film Hamlet builds around an insight into a relationship of mother and son to exploit the concept of Oedipus complex, a theory that was first coined by the Freud Sigmund to account for a child’s aggressive and sexual impulses concerning their parents, castration complex, and phallic monism (Hartke 893). Gertrude invites Hamlet, her son, to discuss about the King in her bedroom. Mistakenly, Hamlet murders Polonius, thinking that it is Claudius and a verbal clash spirals into physical abuse ad confrontation. Freudian theory becomes the fundamental reason for Hamlet’s decision to take revenge and revenge against Claudius, the man who killed his father. This aspect explains Hamlets indecisiveness in his personality, which, according to psychologists, is a normal developmental phenomenon. In “psychology of Hamlet” Cameron (161) attempts to show how a discussion that begins with Marcellus and Horatio about the appearance of a ghost resembling the King of Denmark later turns into a tragedy for all involved parties including Hamlet, except Fortinbras, Marcellus, and Horatio (Cameron 161). After Horatio hints Hamlet that he has seen a ghost of the King of Denmark, the protagonist exhibits no fear. Prior to meeting the ghost of his father, he establishes conflict with everyone around him and even himself. He has great resentment towards Gertrude, his mother and a passive aggressive anger towards Claudius, who he knows as the brother to his late father (Cameron 161). Cameron portrays Hamlet as being aware of his moral code as he is at first hesitant to kill Claudius. However, in the midst of his psychological crisis of Oedipus complex, the results become tragic.
Besides the connection of indecisive behaviors to Sigmund’s Fre...

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