Oedipus Complex in Hamlet and Room

By Gabriella Colacci

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Here is a quick introduction to my cpt novel Room by Emma Donoghue. This was a great read and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Summary of Emma Donoghue's Room

Jack and Ma live in an 11 by 11 room. Jack has lived there his whole life. He believes that this small room with their stove, bed, wardrobe, TV, and bath is the whole world. This is the story of Jack and Ma's great escape. It begins with Jack's fifth birthday and ends with their final goodbye to Room.

Important People to Remember!

Hamlet's Unfinished Oedipus Complex Quotations

"Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,/ And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark./ Do not for ever with they veiled lids/ Seek for thy noble father in the dust" (1.2.68-71)

"But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son-/A little more than kin, and less than kind./How is it that the clouds still hang on you?/Not so, my lord, I am too much in the sun." (1.2.65-67)

Jack's Unfinished Oedipus Complex Quotations

"Nothing makes Ma scared. Except Old Nick maybe. Mostly she calls him just him, I didn't even know that name for him till i saw a cartoon about a guy that comes in the night called Old Nick." (Donoghue 14)

"He's talking to me. My chest's going clang clang. I hug my knees and press my teeth together. I want to get under Blanket but i can't, i can't do anything. 'He's asleep.' That's Ma. 'She keep you in the closet all day as well as all night?' The you is me. I wait for Ma to say no, but she doesn't. 'Doesn't seem natural.'" (Donoghue 93)

Hamlet's Inability to Self Actualize Quotations

"Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended./ Mother, you have my father much offended." (3.4.8-9)

"She married-O most wicked speed! Top post/With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!"(1.2.156-157)

Jack's Inability to Self Actualize Quotations

"She throws my underwear in a trash. 'But-' 'You don't need them anymore, we'll get you new ones.' 'For Sundaytreat?' ' No, any day we like.' That's weird. I'd rather on a Sunday." (Donoghue 207)

"When she takes Bronwyn's underwear down it's not like Penis, or Ma's vagina, it's a fat little piece of body folded in the middle with no fur. I put my finger on it and press, it's squishy. Deana bangs my hand away" (Donoghue 317)

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Discussion Questions

Was Hamlet and Jack forced through the monomyth as a result of their unfinished Oedipus complex?

Do you believe that Gertrude and Ma raised their sons to have a dying love for them or is it the natural cycle of the Oedipus Complex.