A Lacanian Reading of Hamlet and Caligula: Death Drive

Golnaz Ghasemi • Farzane Haratyan

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The following research rereads the concept of death drive in the chosen literary characters of Caligula and Hamlet, who possess differing positions to the crown yet share the tragic death forced by the outer environment. The chosen plays provide a well ground for practice of this subject since both plays are closed by the death of the heroes in which neither of them possess any part of direct actions. In Hamlet the mourning prince enters a shock by the supernatural visit he receives which leaves him in the search of the vengeance he stands responsible for. During the play Hamlet’s behavior and mental status leads him to eventual due to his inability to perform any act which may be a cause of distribution to his associates which creates a well formed psychological pattern for study. On the other hand, in Caligula no element of supernatural appears yet the young emperor is in great shock due to the loss of his sister, in a sadistic manner the king both seeks destruction and yet is unable to harm himself, so the bizarre and extreme behavior is reflected as a result of his current situation. This study aims to unveil the hidden links between the two plays focusing on the concepts of Jouissance, Trauma, and the Death drive.





International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

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