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Story and psychoanalysis

Hamlet is a character of extraordinary complexity and depth. No simple formula can serve to solve his mystery. A different Hamlet might have killed his uncle Claudius on the strength of the Ghost’s accusation, ascended the throne, married Ophelia and lived happily ever after . But such a typical hero was not likely to be of interest to Shakespeare. We can also say that in Hamlet Shakespeare presents a murderer and revenger who is both ruthless and reluctant and his death is the ultimate result of his being charged by the Ghost to carry out instructions which were offensive to his moral principles.

Like other tragic heroes of Shakespeare he is also endowed with exceptional qualities like royal birth, graceful and charming personality among his own countrymen. He has a high intellectual quality as Ophelia observes: O what a noble mind is here overthrown! / The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s eye, tongue, sword, / Th’ expectancy and rose of the fair state ,/ The glass of fashion , and the mould of form,/ Th’ observed of all observers. [Act III, Scene I] In spite of possessing all these high qualities which rank him above the other characters the flaw in his character leads to his downfall and makes him a tragic hero.

The tragic flaw in the character of Hamlet is that he thinks too much and feels too much. He is often disturbed by his own nature of ‘self analyses’. What is required of Hamlet is prompt action, whereas he broods over the moral idealism which leads to his delay in action. When he gets an opportunity to kill Claudius, he puts aside the thought because he cannot strike an enemy while he is at prayer. Several causes account for his inaction . By nature he is prone to think rather than to act. He is a man of morals and his moral idealism receives a shock when his mother remarries Claudius after his father’s death.

Chance too plays an important part in shaping his character. Chance places him in such a position in which he is incapable of doing anything. Oedipus Oedipus suffered from intellectual myopia. He has a limited vision and is unable to assess the situations in a right perspective. One is related to physical sight whereas the other, the most pernicious type of blindness, pertains to insight. Tiresias is physically blind but whereas Oedipus is blind intellectually. This intellectual blindness of Oedipus also contributes greatly to lead him to his tragic destination.

Blindness interweaves with the main plot from the very start of the play when Oedipus says, “I would be blind to misery not to pity my people kneeling at my feet. (14)” It manifest that he refers to blindness that if h will not recognize the distress of his people. This shows his physical sight but intellectual blindness as he himself was the cause of those afflictions. Later he acknowledges that although Tiresias is physically blind but has prophetic power when he says, “Blind as you are, you can feel all the more what sickness haunts our city. (344)”.

Tiresias response refers to the gravity of Oedipus’ inability to see his future. He says, “How terrible – to see the truth when the truth is only pain to him who sees! (359)” In retort to his slur, Tiresias refers to worst form of blindness that Oedipus is suffering. He says, “You with your precious eyes, you’re blind to the corruption of your life, to the house you live in, those who live with – who are your parents? (470)” and foretell, “Blind who now has eyes, beggar who now is rich, he will grope his way toward a foreign soil, a stick tapping before him step by step. (517)”.

These supportive texts clearly manifest that Oedipus was afflicted with severe intellectual myopia as he was unable t see the truth that was pervasive all around him. Actually he was unwilling to see truth around him, prior to his physical blindness and afterwards as he blinds himself not to observe the things around him. His is the most insidious form of blindness. Eveline “Eveline” is a beautiful story of a young teenager girl facing a dilemma where she has to choose between living with her father and running away with Frank, a sailor which she has been courting for some time.

In this story, Eveline’s family is described as poor, and they probably don’t live a comfortable life. Eveline’s struggle for money mentioned in the story all goes to explain the misery in their life. This misery also appears in other stories by Joyce like ‘The Sisters’ and ‘Araby’. When we read the story and the psychoanalysis in it, we come to realize that it is from this misery, and her father’s attitude that Eveline decides she would leave home, though, she does not leave at the end of the story.

Joyce tells us how Eveline’s life is very plain. Eveline is a product of her environment. Her mind is shaped by her environment and Joyce depicts very beautifully how her mind id influenced by her surroundings. She is trapped in this setting and does not know any other way except the way things are now for her. Her inner struggle will not allow Eveline to leave the surroundings that she is currently in. She was brought up in a social environment of strict adherence to tradition and obedience.

Eveline is forced to remain in this setting because of the promise that she made to her mother. Eveline got a chance to run away from all this, but she doesn’t take it because she is very conservative, and doesn’t know any other way. It seems that Eveline’s promise to her mother cripple her in this environment. She can’t move; she can’t get out of it! Araby: Araby is a highly symbolic story that takes into account various themes. The most interesting aspect of the story is the protagonist . e. the narrator.

The story successfully manifests various facets of his character and his transition from adolescence to manhood. It further reflects his psychological development. Narrators is shown as running behind shadows. That manifests the role of imagination that has a profound influence on the thought and action of adolescence. As narrator is growing emotionally and intellectually, his sense of disillusionment is growing and his imagination is eroding. There are certain external elements i. e. environment, socio-cultural milieu that lead him toward this disillusionment.

The proclamation that possibly gives us the most insight into protagonists views and feelings says; “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger. ” (Araby) Joyce has successfully shown the intricacies of emotions in the story. There are several emotions that swirl about in the protagonist’s mind. He is upset due to his ineffective visit of bazaar where he is unable to find anything useful and/or beautiful to gift Mangan’s sister. Mangan’s sister is a disillusion itself.

It is an early obsession and we can not conclude whether she exists now or not. Imagination is again at work and he feels ridiculed by the shopkeepers. His disillusionment with the priest who is living a life that is devoid of humility and sacredness further reflects his disappointment not only with himself but also with the social institutions (priest symbolizes church here) as well. Joyce has successfully illustrated the psychological transition of an adolescent toward manhood and his mental and emotional experiences. But Joyce does this with a note of pessimism as his protagonist is disillusioned with the world around him.

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