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  94


selves--to whom all conduct whether good or evil at all events
springs from conscious sources,--are likely to regard the sug-
gestions put forward above as merely constituting one more of
the extravagent and fanciful hypotheses of which the Hamlet
literature in particular is so full.  For the sake, however, of
those who may be interested to apprehend the point of view
from which this strange hypothesis seems probable I feel con-
strained to interpolate a few considerations on two matters
that are not commonly appreciated, namely a child's feelings
of jealousy and his ideas of death.
      The whole subject of jealousy in children is one which
arouses such prejudice that even well-known facts are either
ignored or are not estimated at their true significance.  Stanley
Hall1 in his encyclopaedic treatise makes a number of very
just remarks on the importance of the subject in adolescents,
but implies that before the age of puberty this passion is of
relatively little consequence.  The close relation between jeal-
ousy and the desire for the removal of a rival by death, as
well as the common process of suppression of these feelings,
is clearly illustrated in a remark of his to the effect that:
"Many a noble and even great man has confessed that mingled
with profound grief for the death and misfortune of their best
friends, they were often appalled to find a vein of secret joy
and satisfaction, as if their own sphere were larger or better."
A similar thought is more openly expressed by Bernard Shaw2
when he makes Don Juan, in the Hell Scene, remark: "You
may remember that on earth--though of course we never con-
fessed it--the death of any one we knew, even those we liked
best, was always mingled with a certain satisfaction at being
finally done with them."  Such cynicism in the adult is ex-
ceeded to an incomparable extent by that of the child with its
notorious, and to the parents often heartbreaking, egotism,
with its undeveloped social instincts and with its ignorance of
the dread significance of death.  A child unreasoningly inter-
prets the various encroachments on its privileges, and the ob-
stacles interposed to the immediate gratification of its desires,
as meaningless cruelty, and the more imperative is the desire
that has been thwarted the more pronounced is the hostility
towards the agent of this cruelty.  For a reason that will
presently be mentioned, the most important encroachment in
this respect, and the most frequent, is that made on the child's
desire for affection.  This hostility is very often seen on the
occasion of the birth of a subsequent child, and is usually re-
garded with amusement as an added contribution to the general

      1Stanley Hall: Adolescence, 1908, Vol. I, p. 358.
      2Bernard Shaw: Man and Superman, 1903, p. 94.