Essays on Applied Psycho-analysis (includes ‘A Psycho-Analytic Study of Hamlet’ : 1923 : Ernest Jones

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1923

Published by International Psychoanalytic Press, London – Vienna : The International Psycho-Analytical Library V

(This book includes Jones’s essay on Hamlet. This chapter is founded on an essay which appeared in the American Journal of Psychology, January 1910, an enlarged version of which was published in German as Heft 10 of the Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde under the name ‘Das Problem des Hamlet und der Oedipus-Komplex’, 1911).

Published at : Available here : As found by Bruno de Florence, thank you.

Also available to download ‘A Psycho-Analytic Study of Hamlet’ only here:

Jacques Lacan refers to Ernest Jones’s 1910 paper and the article in his 1923 book in Seminar VI in his commentary on Hamlet.  Availability of Seminar VI is given Seminar VI: Desire and its interpretation: 1958-1959 : from 12th November 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here Access to the 1910 article is given The Oedipus Complex as an explanation of the Hamlet mystery: A study on motive : January 1910 : Ernest Jones  or here . See below for references to Jacques Lacan’s Seminars.


THE ANNUNCIATION: BY SIMONE MARTINI                                    Frontispiece

PREFACE                                                                                                             pvii

CHAPTER I A Psycho-Analytic Study of Hamlet                                               p1

 On ‘Dying Together’, with Special reference to Heinrich von Kleist’s Suicide                                                                                                                                p99

 An Unusual Case of ‘Dying Together’                                           p106

The Symbolic Significance of Salt in Folklore and Superstition  p112

 The God Complex. The Belief that One is God, and the Resulting Character Traits                                                                                                        p204

The Influence of Andrea del Sarto’s Wife on his Art                    p227

The Case of Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland                          p245

The Madonna’s Conception through the Ear. A Contribution to the Relation between Aesthetics and Religion                                                          p261

 War and Individual Psychology                                                     p360

 War and Sublimation  . . . . . .                                                           p381

CHAPTER XI A Linguistic Factor in English Characterology . . . . ,                    p391

CHAPTER XII The Island of Ireland. A Psycho-Analytical Contribution to Political Psychology. . . . . . ., . . . . . .                                                                                           p398

A Psycho-Analytic Study of the Holy Ghost . . .                        p415

INDEX .                                                                                                                   p431 

References by Jacques Lacan to Ernest Jones’s 1923 article:

Seminar VI: 18th March 1959 : p186 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Many things have been said about Hamlet, and I alluded to them the last time. I tried to show the magnitude of the accumulation of commentaries on Hamlet. In the meantime I got hold of a document for which I was pining in my desire for perfection, namely the Hamlet and Oedipus of Ernest Jones.

I read it and saw that in short Jones had kept his book up to date with what had happened since 1909. And it was no longer Loenig that he alluded to as a reference to be recommended, but to Dover Wilson who wrote a good deal about Hamlet and who wrote very well. Meanwhile since I had myself read part of Dover Wilson’s work, I think I have more or less given you the essentials of it.

It is now rather a question of standing back a little from all of that, from Jones’ speculation which, I must say, is very penetrating, and one could say, on the whole, of a different style to anything which, in the analytic family, has been written, added to the subject.

He makes very correct remarks which I find myself simply repeating on occasion. In particular he makes this simple common-sense remark that Hamlet is not a real person, and that all the same to pose ourselves the most profound questions about the character of Hamlet is perhaps something which deserves a more serious reflection than we usually accord to it.

Seminar VI : 18th March 1959 : Chapter 15 : p187 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : But this goes further. Some people have gone to the point of sustaining – and in particular Robertson – at the time of the third centenary, supported a little no doubt by the sort of ‘rush’ at that time about Shakesperian themes, the passionate exaltation with which the whole English literary world revived this theme, some people brought forward an opposing point of view by saying that strictly speaking Hamlet was a vacuum, that it did not hold up; that there was no key for Hamlet, that Shakespeare did what he could to patch together a theme the philological exploration of which – which has been taken fairly far – shows – it was known that there was already a Hamlet which was attributed to Kyd, which had been played twelve years before this autumn of 1601 when we can be more of less certain that this Hamlet appeared for the first time – ……. it was even said – and I would say that it is on this that the first chapter of Jones’ book ends – it was properly speaking articulated, up to the time of Grillparzer, an Austrian playwright to whom Freud on occasion makes a very important reference, and who says that the impenetrability of Hamlet is its raison d’être, which is all the same a rather curious opinion.

Other references to Ernest Jones in Seminar VI

17th December 1958 : Chapter 6: p67 : Is not this ‘in consequence of his wish’ re-established at the level of the infantile desire, something which is found there in short in the position of going in the direction of the dream-desire, because it is a question of interposing at this crucial moment of the subjects life which is realised by the death of the father, because it is a question in the dream of interposing this image of the object and incontestably presents it as the support of a veil, of a perpetual ignorance, of a prop to what was in short up to then the alibi of the desire, because indeed the very function of the prohibition conveyed by the father, is indeed something which gives to desire its enigmatic, even unfathomable form, this something from which the subject finds himself separated, this protection, this defence when all is said and done, which is as Jones very well glimpsed, and we will see today that Jones had some very extraordinary perceptions from certain points of view about this psychic dynamism, this moral pretext never to be affronted in his desire.

(To be continued)