Hamlet's Perfection

Hamlet's Perfection

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How does the rash yet serene Hamlet of Act 5 arise from the passive and grief-stricken Hamlet of Act 1? What path leads him from sickened thoughts of birth and incest to the certainty that thoughtfulness itself must be escaped through bold action? The roles of Senecan revenger and patient Christian may seem worlds apart, observes William Kerrigan, but Shakespeare fused them in a character that has fascinated the world for centuries. In his lively new study, Kerrigan celebrates both Hamlet's perfection, the character's creation of new ideals out of an inheritance of disillusionment, and Hamlet's perfection, the play's brilliance as Shakespeare's greatest tragedy. Kerrigan's approach reflects his interests in literary formalism, historical scholarship, intellectual history, and psychoanalysis. In an overview of the history of Hamlet criticism, Kerrigan argues that recent critics have done little or nothing to elucidate the play, and he suggests ways in which the abandoned tradition of Hamlet commentary might still inspire fruitful approaches to the play. He explores the phrase qgood nightq in terms of the play's nocturnal preoccupations of grief, melancholy, haunting, crime, and death. He moves from the division of day from night and good from evil to Hamlet's split apprehension of women and his attempt to qsalvage purity from an initial conviction of general debasementq. His final chapter treats the qself-revisedq Hamlet of the final act.Ernest Jones, aquot;The Oedipus-Complex as an Explanation of Hamleta#39;s Mystery: A Study in Motive, aquot; American Journal of Psychology ... expansive eagerness of a man to get his own uniqueness utteredaquot; {Rousseau and Romanticism [Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1919], p. ... Lily Bess Campbell, Shakespearea#39;s Tragic Heroes: Slaves of Passion (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. ... S., 1922); Levin L. Schiicking, Character Problems in Shakespearea#39;s Plays: A Guide to the Better Understanding of theanbsp;...

Title:Hamlet's Perfection
Author: William Kerrigan
Publisher: - 1994

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