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Faergeman, P.M. (1956). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 25:304-306.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:304-306

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Poul M. Faergeman

September 27, 1955. HAMLET, OR THE TRAGEDY OF SHAKESPEARE. A Andre Glaz, M.D.

To explain the construction of Hamlet and, as a corollary, to propose some biographical facts about Shakespeare's life, Dr. Glaz takes his point of departure from a number of premises. In Hamlet it is a fallacy to assume that cause produces effect; they are reversed, or the cause is withheld. Hamlet cannot be understood in an orderly fashion by proceeding step by step in a logical order from beginning to end. The whole play must be scrutinized, as it were, simultaneously. The power of Hamlet lies in the fact that it reveals the totality of a human spirit at the moment of the supreme struggle between its conscious and unconscious elements. In Hamlet we are spectators of the self-analysis of a man whose divination into his own personality is complete. The total potential that is available to an artist might be visualized in terms of a scale extending from the material, 'realistic' world of the senses at one end, to fantasies, dreams, and hallucinations at the other. A creative act is the result of the playing back and forth between the two. The only real, important spectator who must above all others be satisfied is the author himself. To this one spectator there are only two characters which possess a full three-dimensional spatial existence: Hamlet himself, and his mother Gertrude; all other characters are interactions of the two. There are two major themes: first, the silent drama which is the self-analysis and catharsis of the protagonist; second, the noisy, 'realistic' drama.

It is assumed that Hamlet is the illegitimate son of Gertrude.

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