Home> Archive> 2023> Volume 13 Number 2 ( April. 2023)
IJSSH 2023 Vol.13(2): 103-108
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2023.V13.1127

Hamlet's Two Souls

Lauro Filipe Reis

Abstract—Much of Hamlet's agony and frustration appears in the homonymous play as a result of the abruptly broken relationship with his father, in which the young prince idealized himself as an inevitable continuation of the late king, not only in familial terms but, above all, in political terms. The fact that Hamlet wasn't allowed to receive the crown and was left with only the idealized memory he had forged of his father (given that Claudius tried to eradicate any reminiscences of the former king as quickly as possible) means that the young Prince was deprived of the precursor he was destined, in the future, to become. This rupture means that Hamlet, the prince, is bereft of becoming Hamlet, the king. Because of this, the inner burden doubles on himself: that of bearing an unendurable memory with which he identifies, but which can only be maintained through iminent and deadly revenge. The memory of Hamlet, the father, thus becomes incompatible with the future of Prince Hamlet. Contrary to Kantorowicz's dualistic division in The King's Two Bodies, between the «natural body» and the «body politic» of the king, categories that can be contrasted with the descriptions of the ghost of King Hamlet, Prince Hamlet suffers from the tragic fact of having only one body, but two Hamlets in himself.

Index Terms—Dissonance, father, ghost, hamlet

Lauro Filipe Reis is with the University of Lisbon, Portugal.
*Correspondence: lauro.reis@campus.ul.pt (L.F.P.)


Cite: Lauro Filipe Reis, "Hamlet's Two Souls," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 103-108, 2023.

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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