Sweet dreams, Hamlet
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This paper examines the problem of delay in Hamlet from a psychoanalytical and poststructuralist perspective in order to understand why Hamlet delays and what role the Ghost plays in this problem. The paper shows how the critical trends dealing with Hamlet’s delay shift from the external factors of plot construction to the internal factors of characterization, and how the final destination of this curving trend is the Ghost. This paper shows how the Ghost, an authority whose word Hamlet can neither trust, internalize or assimilate is rather like Freud who can neither trust, internalize or assimilate Shakespeare’s model of the human mind and psyche as the predecessor and progenitor of his own because he is plagued by the anxiety of being derivative. This raises the question of authorship. According to Barthes, Hamlet is written not by Shakespeare alone but by all who read it. Therefore the father, the pater who Freud and Hamlet both try to reject becomes Hamlet himself and Hamlet becomes the Ghost, because the Ghost is anamorphic and exists only in the context of Hamlet.