Freud Interpretation Of Hamlet

Before we begin, I would like to congratulate you all on getting selected for
the various parts in this production of Hamlet. My name is Glenn Close, and I
will be directing this production from today until it closes in Tokyo next May.

I have played the role of Gertrude, as many of you know, in the Hollywood
production starring Mel Gibson. I also played Ophelia twice in high school and
once my senior year at UCLA. This is my favorite Shakespeare play, one of the
best of all time. Recently I was reintroduced to Freud’s notable commentary on

Shakespeare and his relation to Sophocles in The Interpretation of Dreams. From
this I have pulled the essential pages and copied them for your perusal. In
fact, each of you received those pages one week ago and were asked to come
prepared to discuss its important aspects and to help me create a clearer vision
of what we can do to make our Hamlet more like the one that Freud envisioned in

1899. As the director of this play, I have gathered you all here today to
explain what this particular version of Hamlet is best representing. I decided
to try to help Hamlet become more overtly repressed by his intellect so that

Freud’s vision can come to light in the minds of our audiences. In my humble
opinion, no single director has yet made a good project out of exploring fully
the impact of repression on the individual through the impotence of a paralyzed

Hamlet. There is a reason for this. Many directors have tried and failed for the
following reason: they were all men. Only a woman with the understanding of what
it means to be sexually craved by her son can do justice to the directorship in
the light of what Freud understood. I want this version of Hamlet to represent a
modern day sexual scenario. By changing a few scenes, I can show Hamlet’s
repressed emotions toward Gertrude, and his resentment toward Claudius. I want

Hamlet almost to give in to his feelings for his mother due to her persuasion. I
will be directing most of my focus on Hamlet. The setting will be present day

Athens, Greece. I chose Athens because Freud refers to Oedipus Rex as the basis
of Hamlet’s character. Since Oedipus is Greek, putting Hamlet in Athens makes
the connection between these characters more direct. There are two reasons why I
moved the play to the present day. The first one is the difficulty that modern
audiences have with Shakespearean English. My goal is get the audience to hear

Freud’s Hamlet as clearly as possible without getting lost in Shakespearean
language. The second reason has to do with the poor habits of American theater
audiences. If the play takes place in another time period than the present, the
audience members tend to see the lessons of the story as unrelated to them. Only
in bringing the play to the modern day can Freud’s lessons connect directly
with the repressed lives of the modern theatergoer. I also feel that most men
living in the twenty-first century will not admit that during their formative
years, sexual desires arose and were naturally directed towards their mother,
the object of their most fond love. According to Sigmund Freud, the story of

Oedipus Rex and the story of Hamlet have the same underlying theme. In both
stories, the character of the prince, Oedipus and Hamlet respectively, is caught
in Freud’s Oedipus Complex: "Being in love with one parent and hating the
other are among the essential constituents of the stock of psychical impulses
which is formed at that time [childhood] and which is of such importance in
determining the symptoms of later neurosis." (294) Hamlet’s neurosis is
manifested by his inability to act. The story of Oedipus is different from that
of Hamlet because Hamlet never acts on the feelings he has for his mother and
never avenges his father’s death. Hamlet represses the feelings he has for his
mother, and feels that if he kills his father, he is killing the embodiment of
his own repressed wishes. According to Freud, " Hamlet represents the type of
man whose power of direct action is paralyzed by an excessive development of his
intellect." (298) By altering certain scenes, I can bring the repressed Hamlet
out and show our modern viewers that dealing with these Freudian issues is
acceptable in today’s society. At this point I would like to look at a couple
of specific key portions of scenes in order to show you what I