When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, Or in th’incestous pleasure of his bed, At game, a-swearing, or about some act That has no relish of salvation in’t –

Maybe this is where that bonkers Freudian theory about this play began. Because one of those things nestled in this list of horrible things his uncle does is Hamlet’s mother. So he is, momentarily, proposing busting in on Claudius pleasuring his mother – which means he’d have to bust in on his mom having sex – and even though he means to do it so he can kill the guy – most children would go to some lengths to avoid witnessing the sexual congress of a parent.
Not Hamlet, though, not only is he proposing murdering Claudius while he’s fucking his mom, he describes it as “pleasure.” Which is funny. I mean it may be incestuous but it’s still pleasure. (And who knows, maybe the incestuousness makes it more pleasurable.) He’s choosing a word that suggests that he imagines the sexual relationship between Claudius and Gertrude as a mutual, pleasurable one. There are many many many words for sex – and he chooses pleasure. (Shakespeare himself used a LOT of them) and he chooses pleasure.
It’s funny.


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