Individual Analysis Hamlet; Act 4, Scene 7 Steven Roach Friday, November 16, 2012 A Freudian angle of (4. 7 135 – 145) and (4. 7 9 – 21) Throughout the scene Claudius depicts a personality that evaluates situations and makes choices out of desire without much concern for consequence. Although Claudius does show a little bit of concern for consequence, he generally acts from an “inner-child” psyche. In the scene, Claudius plots with Laertes and acts quickly out of a sense of DESIRE and makes a plan to kill Hamlet.
Demonstrated in the lines; “A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice, Requite him for your father. ” (4. 7. 137 – 140) And “I will do’t. And for that purpose I’ll anoint my sword. I bought unction of a mountebank, So mortal that, but dip a knife in it, Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare, Collected from all simples that have virtue Under the moon, can save the thing from death That is but scratched withal. I’ll touch my point With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly It may be death. ” (4. 7. 140 – 145).
In these lines, Claudius and Laertes plan to kill hamlet by sharpening a fencing blade and dousing it with a poison that will cripple upon contact. This is clearly a representation of a psyche that acts rapidly out of an intense sense of desire. Although Claudius will often display act from a sense of the “ID” or “inner-child”, he also demonstrates, albeit relatively minimal compared to the previous example, a concern for consequence. In the beginning of the scene, he explains to Laertes his reasoning for not prosecuting Hamlet for the death of Polonius, Laertes’ father.
Depicted in the lines; “Oh, for two special reasons, Which may to you perhaps seem much unsinewed, But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother Lives almost by his looks, and for myself— My virtue or my plague, be it either which— She’s so conjunctive to my life and soul, That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, I could not but by her. The other motive Why to a public count I might not go, Is the great love the general gender bear him, Who, dipping all his faults in their affection, Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone, Convert his gyves to graces” (4. 9 – 21). Claudius claims that because of the fact that his mother is completely devoted to him, and the idea that the general public loves him so much; the prosecution would end up hurting him more than it would Hamlet. He cannot live without Hamlets mother, so he cannot make the prosecution. Claudius displays a small fraction of his psyche that acts as the “super-ego” and evaluates situations based upon the consequential outcome.