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Wangh, M. (1951). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXIX, 1948: The Death of Hamlet's Father. Ernest Jones. Pp. 174–176.. Psychoanal Q., 20:147-147.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXIX, 1948: The Death of Hamlet's Father. Ernest Jones. Pp. 174–176.

(1951). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 20:147-147

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXIX, 1948: The Death of Hamlet's Father. Ernest Jones. Pp. 174–176.

Martin Wangh

In this short paper Jones compares Claudius' story of the elder Hamlet's death with the ghost's version, and finds them basically alike. The introduction of the serpent as poison carrier contributes erotic components to the assault. Referring to some of his own earlier findings, Jones reminds us that the ear is an unconscious equivalent of the anus. He therefore calls Claudius' attack on his brother both a murderous aggression and a homosexual assault.

As the younger Hamlet unconsciously identifies himself with Claudius, and as we know of his conscious adoring and submissive attitude toward his father, the vexing question of the relation between active and passive homosexuality is raised.

Jones, relying on his analytic experience, feels impelled to the following reconstruction of homosexual development: both narcissism and a feminine attitude toward the father present themselves as attempted solutions of the intolerable murderous and castrating impulses aroused by jealousy. These may persist and reassert themselves later under the erotic guise of active homosexuality.

'According to Freud Hamlet was inhibited ultimately by his repressed hatred of his father. We have to add to this the homosexual aspect of his attitude, so that Love and Hate, as so often, both play their part.'

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Article Citation

Wangh, M. (1951). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXIX, 1948. Psychoanal. Q., 20:147-147

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