Jones, Ernest. "The Oedipus-Complex as An Explanation of Hamlet's
Mystery: A Study in Motive." The American Journal of Psychology 21.1 (January, 1910): 72-113.
PAGE  92


How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--
Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue."
      But we can rest satisfied that this seemingly adequate ex-
planation of Hamlet's weariness of life is a complete one only
if we unquestionably accept the conventional standards of the
causes of deep emotion.  The very fact that Hamlet is content
with the explanation arouses our gravest suspicions, for, as
will presently be explained, from the very nature of the emo-
tion he cannot be aware of the true cause of it.  If we ask,
not what ought to produce such soul-paralysing grief and dis-
taste for life, but what in actual fact does produce it, we must
go beyond this explanation and seek for some deeper cause.
In real life speedy second marriages occur commonly enough
without leading to any such result as is here depicted, and
when we see them followed by this result we invariably find,
if the opportunity for an analysis of the subject's mind presents
itself, that there is some other and more hidden reason why
the event is followed by this inordinately great effect.  The
reason is always that the event has awakened to increased
activity mental processes that have been "repressed" from the
subject's consciousness.  His mind has been prepared for the
catastrophe by previous mental processes, with which those
directly resulting from the event have entered into association.
This is perhaps what Furnivall means when he speaks of the
world being made abominable to Hamlet's "diseased imagina-
tion." Further, to those who have devoted much time to the
study of such conditions the self-description given here by