Matheme of Phantasy and Object of Desire in Hamlet


  • Livia Dioșan Centre for Applied Philosophy, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca


desire, phantasy, phallus, object, father, law, symbolic, veil, matheme


“What is a father?” That is the question. This paper discusses Hamlet emphasizing the concept of desire and its formation for any human being. From a Lacanian psychoanalytical point of view, a difference between need, demand, and desire will be considered, in order to better understand how desire appears from the fabric of a topological surface and takes its place in the reality of the subject. Then the matheme of phantasy and the various objects that present themselves in Hamlet, namely Ophelia and others, as well as the stages of the relationship between Hamlet and his object will be analyzed. The analysis of the obsessional structure allows a better understanding of the movement of desire and action in Hamlet, without stating an obsessional structure in the character itself because what is interesting in the end is that Hamlet actually illustrates the place of desire for any human being. Following Lacan’s seminars, the paper will approach the relationship between faith and death, as well as the Borromean place of the Symbolic, with the consequences that emerge when the Symbolic crashes. This way, one could get closer to the fundamental question, pertaining to the function of the father and the unfortunate lifting of the veil that places Hamlet in an impossible position from which he cannot act to fulfill his destiny because the existence of desire is conditioned by the faith in death. The answer to the question would be that a father is seen in the context of actioning as a function, like a mathematical function, to orient the desire of the mother. Instead, in Hamlet, there is only legacy of a sin.

Author Biography

Livia Dioșan, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca

Livia Dioșan holds a PhD in Philosophy at Babes-Bolyai University, Romania. She is a founding member of the Forum of the Lacanian Field, Romania, a member of the Centre for Applied Philosophy Babes-Bolyai University Cluj Napoca, professor at “Horea, Closca si Crisan” National College in Alba Iulia, Romania, and editor-in-chief of PHI, Journal of Philosophy. Her main fields of research are Lacanian psychoanalysis, general topology, logic, and phenomenology. Her current interests are the topological aspects and knots theory in psychoanalysis as well as their practical implications. She published several books on Logic and reasoning and she is also author of articles and studies on Lacan, Freud, and Lévinas, such as: “Logical Time” (2016), “The Tents of Shem and the Speech of Japheth. On Translation and the Other in the Writing of Emmanuel Lévinas” (2018), “Ethical Responsibility as a Resolution to Anxiety. A Psychoanalytical Perspective on the Face of the Other” (2018), “Des hystériques aux mystiques: les souffrances d’amour et la jouissance autre” (2018), “Symptom and Jouissance” (2019), “Psychic Reality and the Name of the Father. Emmanuel Lévinas’s Phenomenology between Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan” (2019), “Ai no corrida and feminine eroticism. Around a Controversial
Glimpse of the Head of Medusa” (2020), “Image, Identification, Instagram” (2020).




How to Cite

Dioșan, L. (2021). Matheme of Phantasy and Object of Desire in Hamlet. Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai - Dramatica, 66(1), 169–198. Retrieved from