Psychoanalytic Critique

From this essay on there is a shift in text—my close-readings no longer come from The Tempest, but from Hamlet. This essay is also the first foray into utilizing methodology in my literary critique—using the specific methods of an area of study to analyze the text. In this case, that area of study is psychoanalysis, and what better known psycho(analyst) to base a reading off of Hamlet is there than Freud?

What stuck out to me when reading Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia” was the notion of narcissistic attachments and that the severing of that attachment can lead to the loss of the individual’s identity and ultimately melancholia (depression). That made me wonder, who did Hamlet identify a piece of himself in? Could that have caused some of his erratic behaviors? I explore this topic in my first outline, which also includes one of my process assignments that I did in preparation for this essay.

Finding viability in the idea that Hamlet’s cruelty towards Ophelia was the result of a broken narcissistic attachment to Gertrude, I wrote the first draft of my essay. Because of outside circumstances, I needed to alter my revision process away from the “normal” and ended up submitting this draft right to my professor and the Writing Center, which ended up giving me simultaneous feedback from two different sources.

I decided to not incorporate the piece of feedback from the writing center suggesting that I make alterations to my conclusion because I ultimately made a stylistic choice to keep the conclusion short. However, the feedback from my professor prompted me to do one round of final revision on the essay. Nothing extensive, but I did fix some issues at the sentence level and added more pulled phrases from quotations where applicable.

I consider this essay to be a clear use of source and method from an external academic arena, and definitive in its ultimate critique. I would improve upon this essay further if I had the time and incorporate the work of other literary critics, but as such I used my time to create a quality argument of my own merit and not muddy the water trying to do to many things at once.

Curious about the specifics of this essay? Visit my presentation portfolio for an abstract of “Mommy Issues.”