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Hamlet haven

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Title:
Hamlet haven an online, annotated bibliography
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Loberg, Harmonie Anne Haag
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla.
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Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
yorick
horatio
ophelia
polonius
claudius
the ghost
shakespeare
gertrude
mousetrap
literary criticism
renaissance
drama
Dissertations, Academic -- English -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
ABSTRACT: The Challenge: Today a daunting quantity of scholarship relating to Hamlet exists. While databases and electronic catalogues aid research, these directories present a virtual wall of minimal bibliographic data. Sorting through lists still takes eons. Meanwhile, new publications are constantly added to the academic stacks that ever threaten to tumble over. The Solution: A web site that groups together scholarly publications using similar approaches and treating similar subjects will translate the overwhelming into the maneuverable. The online medium will provide accessibility to everyone--student, research assistant, instructor, scholar--and will guarantee the opportunity to update this resource on a regular basis. Scope: Listings will span materials published between 1991and 2001. The bibliography will exclude notes, reviews, abstracts, and treatments of theatre and film performances as well as certain forums (e.g., newsletters, bulletins, electronic journals). Scholarship focusing on the Folio/Quartos debate seems relevant but requires specific and technical specialization and will thus be omitted. Pedagogical studies and comparisons of Hamlet to other literary works will also be excluded. Research: IAC Expanded Academic Index, 1982-1995, IAC Expanded Academic Index, 1996-, and MLA Bibliography databases, as well as Dr. Sara Deats?private bibliography on Hamlet, will be combed for applicable scholarship. Organization: The bibliography will categorize publications by theoretical approach (e.g., feminism, new historicism) and subject focus (e.g., characters, themes). It will arrange individual works alphabetically by author within each subsection, using the MLA format.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2002.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Harmonie Anne Haag Loberg.
General Note:
Winner of the 2003 Outstanding Thesis prize.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages;

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001413339
oclc - 51625923
notis - AJJ0755
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0000036
usfldc handle - e14.36
System ID:
SFS0024732:00001


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Hamlet Haven: An Online, Annotated Bibliography Abstract Title Page Abstract Thesis Approval Enter Hamlet Haven by Harmonie Loberg A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of English College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Date of Approval: November 19, 2002 Major Professor: Sara Deats, Ph.D. Member: Joseph Moxley, Ph.D. Member: Gary Olson, Ph.D. Keywords: Drama, Renaissance, Literary Criticism, Mousetrap, Shakespeare, Gertrude, The Ghost, Claudius, Yorick, Horatio, Ophelia, PoloniusThis website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/intro.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: An Online, Annotated Bibliography file:///S|/bev/loberg/intro.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Abstract Title Page Front Page Abstract Title Page Abstract Thesis Approval Enter Hamlet Haven HAMLET HAVEN: AN ONLINE, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY by HARMONIE LOBERG An Abstract of a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of English College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Date of Approval: November 19,2002 Major Professor: Sara Deats, Ph.D. file:///S|/bev/loberg/abstract.html [11/19/2002 11:38:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Abstract Front Page Abstract Title Page Abstract Thesis Approval Enter Hamlet Haven The Challenge: Today a daunting quantity of scholarship relating to Hamlet exists. While databases and electronic catalogues aid research, these directories present a virtual wall of minimal bibliographic data. Sorting through lists still takes eons. Meanwhile, new publications are constantly added to the academic stacks that ever threaten to tumble over. The Solution: A web site that groups together scholarly publications using similar approaches and treating similar subjects will translate the overwhelming into the maneuverable. The online medium will provide accessibility to everyone-student, research assistant, instructor, scholar-and will guarantee the opportunity to update this resource on a regular basis. Scope: Listings will span materials published between 1991and 2001. The bibliography will exclude notes, reviews, abstracts, and treatments of theatre and film performances as well as certain forums (e.g., newsletters, bulletins, electronic journals). Scholarship focusing on the Folio/Quartos debate seems relevant but requires specific and technical specialization and will thus be omitted. Pedagogical studies and comparisons of Hamlet to other literary works will also be excluded. Research: IAC Expanded Academic Index, 1982-1995, IAC Expanded Academic Index, 1996-, and MLA Bibliography databases, as well as Dr. Sara Deats' private bibliography on Hamlet, will be combed for applicable scholarship. Organization: The bibliography will categorize publications by theoretical approach (e.g., feminism, new historicism) and subject focus (e.g., characters, themes). It will arrange individual works alphabetically by author within each subsection, using the MLA format. file:///S|/bev/loberg/abstract2.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:21 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Abstract file:///S|/bev/loberg/abstract2.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:21 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: An Online, Annotated Bibliography Thesis Paperwork Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian By Harmonie Loberg Welcome to Hamlet Haven, your resource for navigating scholarship on one of Shakespeare's most famous plays. Today a daunting quantity of Hamlet scholarship exists. Although databases and electronic catalogues aid research, these directories present a virtual wall of minimal bibliographic data. Sorting through lists still takes eons. Meanwhile, new publications are constantly added to the academic stacks that ever threaten to tumble over. This website hopes to assist in the navigation of Hamlet scholarship. It groups together scholarly publications that use similar approaches and that treat similar subjects--translating the overwhelming into the maneuverable. Listings span materials published between 1991 and 2001 and include studies that focus on the major characters, popular subjects, and leading theoretical approaches. These works have been listed because they are significant contributions to our understanding of one of Shakespeare's most enigmatic plays. The bibliography excludes notes (8 pages or less), reviews, abstracts, and treatments of theatre and film performances as well as certain forums (e.g., newsletters, bulletins, electronic journals). Scholarship focusing on the Folio/Quartos debate is relevant but requires specific and technical specialization and has thus been omitted. Pedagogical studies, discussions of translations/translating, and comparisons of Hamlet to other literary works are also excluded. file:///S|/bev/loberg/haven.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: An Online, Annotated Bibliography Marxism Metadrama Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Search Hamlet Haven Submissions | Acknowledgements | Disclaimer | Enjoyable Reads Curriculum Vitae This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/haven.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Andreas, James R. The Vulgar and the Polite: Dialogue in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 9-23.n Bristol, Michael D. "'Funeral bak'd-meats': Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: St. Martin's, 1994. 348-67. [Reprinted in Shakespeare's Tragedies, ed. Susan Zimmerman (1998).]n Dickson, Lisa. The Hermeneutics of Error: Reading and the First Witness in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1997): 64-77.n Edelman, Charles. The very cunning of the scene: Claudius and the Mousetrap. Parergon 12 (1994): 15-25.n Gibinska, Marta. The plays the thing: The Play Scene in Hamlet. Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 175-88.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. ShakespeareJahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Wormwood, Wormwood. Deutsche ShakespeareGesellschaft West: Jahrbuch [no vol. #] (1993): 150-62.n Hopkins, Lisa. "Parison and the Impossible Comparison." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 153-64.n Jenkins, Ronald Bradford. The Case Against the King: The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.3-4 (Aug. 1996): 206-18.n Lal, Sikandar. Secular Tragedythe Case of Claudius. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 49-64.n Mollin, Alfred. On Hamlets Mousetrap. Interpretation 21.3 (Spring 1994): 353-72.n Nyberg, Lennart. "Hamlet, Student, Stoic-Stooge?" Cultural Exchange Between European Nations During the Renaissance: Proceedings of the Symposium Arranged in Uppsala by the Forum for Renaissance Studies of the English Department of Uppsala University, 5-7 June 1993. Ed. Gunnar Sorelius and Michael Srigley. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia 86. Uppsala: Uppsala U, 1994. 123-32.n Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (1 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85.n Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996.n Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Ghosts Speech. Modern Language Studies 28.3 (1998): 125-50.n Rees-Mogg, Lord. The Politics of Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 17 (1995): 4353.n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992.n Tkacz, Catherine Brown. The Wheel of Fortune, the Wheel of State, and Moral Choice in Hamlet. South Atlantic Review 57.4 (Nov. 1992): 21-38. Andreas, James R. The Vulgar and the Polite: Dialogue in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 9-23. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MARXISM / RHETORICAL Drawing on the ideas of Erving Goffman, Geoffrey Bateson, and Mikhail Bakhtin, this article examines the tension generated by the dialogic interaction of Hamlets rhetoric of the vulgus (the folk, villein, vulgar, the plain, the proverbial, and the parodically double) and Claudius rhetoric of the polis (the polity, policy, polite, police and politically duplicit) in Hamlet (10). The King (and his representatives, e.g., Polonius) attempts to control context, speaks in a fairly straightforward authoritarian voice (15), and restricts and restrains the vulgar (17); in comparison, the Prince fluctuates between multiple contexts, exercises verbal play and parody (15), and introduces the dialogically deviant (17). This dialogical clash of two verbal styles generates Hamlets energy (10). The literary styles and devices seem derived respectivelyand disrespectfullyfrom the master genres of the vulgar and the polite that can still be heard clashing in the streets and courts of today (20). [ top ] Bristol, Michael D. "'Funeral bak'd-meats': Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: St. Martin's, 1994. 348-67. [Reprinted in Shakespeare's Tragedies, ed. Susan Zimmerman (1998).] file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (2 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius CARNIVAL / CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MARXISM While supplying a summary of Marxist theory and of Bakhtin's principles of the Carnival, this essay contends that Claudius and Hamlet camouflage themselves with carnivalesque masks but that Hamlet has an advantageous "understanding of the corrosive and clarifying power of laughter" (350). Appearing "as a complex variant of the Lord of Misrule," Claudius first speaks of a festive commingling between marriage and death, but he only appropriates carnivalesque themes and values "in order to make legitimate his own questionable authority" (355). Ironically, his means of securing the crown "typically mocks and uncrowns all authority" (356). Although Hamlet initially rejects festivities, his killing of Polonius marks the change in him. Hamlet's use of "grotesque Carnival equivocation" in the following scene with the King, his father/mother, suggests Hamlet's development (358). Hamlet's interaction with "actual representatives of the unprivileged," the Gravediggers, completes Hamlet's training in carnivalism (359). Aside from the "clear and explicit critique of the basis for social hierarchy" (360), this scene shows Hamlet reflecting on death, body identity, community, and laughter. He confronts Yorick's skull but learns that "the power of laughter is indestructible": "Even a dead jester can make us laugh" (361). Now Hamlet is ready to participate in Claudius' final festival, the duel. True to the carnival tendencies, the play ends with "violent social protest" and "a change in the political order" (364). Unfortunately, Fortinbras' claim to the throne maintains "the tension between 'high' political drama and a 'low' audience of nonparticipating witnesses" (365). [ top ] Dickson, Lisa. The Hermeneutics of Error: Reading and the First Witness in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1997): 64-77. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE While occasionally using Hamlet productions to describe the potential audience experience, this article posits that Claudius and Hamlet are engaged in a border conflict where power is linked to the ability to control the dissemination of information, the passage of knowledge across the boundary between private and public (65). While Hamlet is about the hermeneutic task, its circles within circles of overt and covert interpreters, of stage and theater audiences (65), displace Truth along the line of multiple and multiplying perspectives (66). Using his wit and word-play, to deflect the hermeneutic onslaught, Hamlet mobilizes his own interpretive strategies under the cover of the antic disposition, file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (3 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius where madness, collapsing the categories of the hidden and the apparent, allows him to hide in plain sight (67). Likewise, Claudius attempts to hide in plain sight by providing the court with a reading of recent events that he hopes will neutralize [and silence] Hamlets threat and control the dissemination and reception of the facts of his own crime(s), as evident in act one, scene two (68). Although Claudius and Hamlet struggle to maintain the borders of silence and speech, public and private, hidden and apparent, they inevitably fail (6970). In the nunnery scene, in which Hamlet is aware of the spies behind the curtain in most productions (e.g., 1992 BBC Radios, Zeffirellis, Halls), he attempts to hide behind his antic disposition, but the seeming truth in his anger suggests an explosion and collision between his inner and outer worlds (71). Claudius suffers a similar collapse: his hidden self erupting to the public view out of the body of the player-Lucianus (73). Claudius and Hamlet are also alike in their problematic perspectives: Hamlets desire to prove the Ghost honest and justify his revenge shapes his own discovery of Claudius (74); and Claudius reading of his [Hamlets] antic disposition is complicated by his own guilt (72). Within the circles upon circles of watching faces, the disease in Hamlet may well be the maddening proliferation of Perspectives on Hamlet, where the boundaries constructed between public and private selves collapse under the power of the gaze (75). [ top ] Edelman, Charles. The very cunning of the scene: Claudius and the Mousetrap. Parergon 12 (1994): 15-25. CLAUDIUS / MOUSETRAP / PERFORMANCE This article hopes to resolve the apparent inconsistency of the ineffective dumb show in The Mousetrap in a manner which takes audiences more deeply into the text, while enriching both the theatrical power and thematic significance of The Murder of Gonzaga (15). Although generations of critics and editors have attempted to define the stage business during the silent prologue, they mistakenly assume that Claudius guilt is proclaimed by some outward display of emotion when Lucianus poisons the Player King a second time (19). Instead, arguments could be made that The Mousetrap, in its entirety, is a methodically drawn out processes of imposing pain/discomfort. For example, the dumb show is similar to a dentists extraction of the first tooth in that Claudius can endure the experience and his suffering; The Murder of Gonzaga, the pulling of a second tooth, proves more difficult to bear; the verbal exchanges between Claudius and Hamlet may even constitute the figurative removal of a third and a fourth to a weakened tolerance. But how does Claudius react to The Mousetrap? A file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (4 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius hysterical departure or a passive retreat seem unlikely. Rather, textual evidence suggests that Claudius expresses disgust and defiance, when he tells Hamlet, Away (23). Aside from the theatrical power and climactic energy of such a staging, this reading permits consistency in Claudius and the play because the advantage is with Claudius after The Mousetrap (24). [ top ] Gibinska, Marta. The plays the thing: The Play Scene in Hamlet. Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 175-88. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP This essay argues that the dumbshow and The Murder of Gonzago each has its own specific dramatic function and meaning, by no means identical, and that interpretations of both parts of The Mousetrap must be related to the interpretation of Hamlets words and behavior (176). Hamlets dialogue with Ophelia seems a dramatization of his Gertrude problem: men treat women as sexual objects and women show themselves to be so (179). Hence, the pantomime performance begins in the context of Gertrude, not Claudius (180). The dumbshows emphasis on the Player-Queens behavior creates an image of the moral censure passed on Gertrude by both Hamlet and the Ghost (181-82). During The Murder of Gonzago, Hamlet verbally responds to staged declarations of wifely love, creating a quasi-dialogue with the Player-Queen; then he launches a direct attack on his mother by asking her opinion of the play (182). Hamlets question shifts focus to the throne and corresponds to the PlayerKings lengthy speechwhich leads to the poisoning scene. After this pause, the trapping of the kings conscience begins(183). The exchange between Claudius and Hamlet is complicated by pretense and knowledge: each of them as the Speaker is motivated as the character he is and as a character he pretends to be; also, each of them as the Hearer may have more than one interpretation of the others utterances (184). Unfortunately, Hamlet can no longer control himself: acting contrary to his intentions, Hamlet voices implications that alert the King before the trap is sprung (185). Claudius sudden exit is a response to the two complimentary actions directed against himself: the play of Gonzago and the play of Hamlet (186). Hamlet, by bad acting, offers Claudius an opportunity to strengthen his position and, by proving the crime, puts himself in the tragic position of one who in condemning the crime must himself become a murderer (187). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (5 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL Expanding on John Doeblers work, this essay explores the plethora of connotations of mouse and mousetrap. In relation to Gertrude, the mouse reference in the closet scene could be a term of endearment or a pejorative reference to a lustful person (79). Historically, mouse is also connected with the devils entrapment of human lust with the mousetrap (80); hence, Hamlets diction suggests that he perceives Gertrude at once as the snare that catches the devil Claudius (and the son Hamlet?) in lust, and snared herself in the same devils mousetrap (82). With Claudius, the mouse implies destructive and lascivious impulses (84). Hamlet also is associated with the mouse in his role as mouser or metaphorical cat. For example, the cat-like, teasing method in Hamlets madness appears in his dialogue with Claudius immediately prior to the start of The Mousetrap (88). The mousetrap trope becomes part of a pattern of images in Hamlet that poises the clarity of poetic justice against a universe of dark of unknowing, as the trapper must himself die to purify a diseased kingdom (91). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Wormwood, Wormwood. Deutsche ShakespeareGesellschaft West: Jahrbuch [no vol. #] (1993): 150-62. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / THEOLOGICAL This study comments on Hamlets reference to Wormwood, Wormwood in The Mousetrap scene (3.2.173) with the belief that Herbal, literary and theological uses provide unexpectedly suggestive contexts for expanding our sense of Hamlet, Gertrude and Claudius within this highly charged dramatic moment, and in the larger play (150). Theological connotations of the word suggest, among other things, mortification, meaning that Hamlets words refer to the salutary contrition and confession Hamlet expects the Player-Queens words to induce in his mother (151). Persistently lacking contrition in the closet scene, Gertrude receives a continued, intensified dose of wormwood, administered by Hamlet (152). Also relevant to Gertrude, wormwood is biblically associated with harlotry file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (6 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius and punishment/judgement (153). In Romeo and Juliet, wormwood is described as the bitter herb used in weaning a child from his mothers breast (154); hence, the implication in Hamlet is that the mother/son relationship alters. The herb was also used as a purgative medicine (156), an antidote (159), an air freshener (160), and a deterrent to mice and rats (160). All of these possibilities develop linguistic references, themes, and motifs in the play. For example, the last suggests that Hamlets wormwood might at once expel the mouse-like lust in his too-lascivious mother and deter the object of her lust, the devilish, mouse-like king Claudius, thus killing two mice with one trap (161). Perhaps no audience member could hold all of these theological and pharmaceutical associations in a kaleidoscopic response to one allusion, but the theatrical experience improves in relation to the degree of knowledge (161-62). And this learning impresses us with the unfathomable complexity of Hamlets mind and his heart (162). [ top ] Hopkins, Lisa. "Parison and the Impossible Comparison." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 153-64. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / RHETORICAL This article argues that Hamlet's length and enigmatic nature are two interrelated characteristics because the play "doubles and redoubles its situations, its characters, its events and, ultimately, its meaning" (153). The play abounds with "the rhetorical trope of parison," a repetition of "the same grammatical construction in successive clauses or sentences," but Claudius is particularly "fond of the parison" (155). For example, in his first speech (1.2.114), Claudius speaks in a "constant generation of twinned structures: by offering two possible locations of meaning, they cancel out the possibility of any ultimate, single, authoritative interpretation or label" (156). The Prince "no less than his uncle is caught in the trap of doubled language and of doubled rhetorical structures, and most particularly in that of parison" (158). From his initial pun to his "To be, or not to be" soliloquy, Hamlet's "obsessive use of parison" presents oppositional terms as "yoked together and forced into a position of syntactic and rhetorical similarity which militates considerably against the fact of their semantic difference" (160). An audience's every encounter with the play "becomes a complex negotiation between a series of incompatible choices where meaning is first offered and then shifted or denied, and where its production is always a delicate balancing act" (163). file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (7 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius [ top ] Jenkins, Ronald Bradford. The Case Against the King: The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.34 (Aug. 1996): 206-18. CLAUDIUS / LAW / OPHELIA / OPHELIA'S MURDER(ER) Narrated by the attorney representing Ophelias family, this essay presents the jurors (a.k.a. readers) with evidence that King Claudius seduced, impregnated, and murdered Ophelia. First, the prosecution establishes the Kings character for the court: Claudius is capable of murdering his brother, of plotting to kill his nephew/son-in-law, and of seducing his sister-in-law/wife. Although Ophelia is praised by several respected character witnesses (e.g., Campbell, Vischer, Coleridge, Johnson, Hazlitt, Jameson) (208), evidence emerges that Ophelia was not a chaste virgin. For example, Polonius and Laertes feel the need to warn Ophelia about protecting her chastity, and, in response to their cautions, Her lack of indignation is puzzling (209). According to the prosecution, Ophelias lack of chastity leads to her impregnation by Claudius. Hamlet and Gertrude learn about the scandalous pregnancy, and both shun the young girl. But Ophelia and her unborn child pose threats to the throne. Adopting the disguise of madness (like Hamlet), Ophelia uses sing-song ramblings and symbolic flowers to accuse her seducer. Claudius responds by ordering two men to follow her, and then she suddenly drowns, accidentally. Aside from the Queens enthusiasm to report the death of her rival, the description of events reveals that Ophelias garland was another attempt to accuse Claudius with symbolic flowers; also, the cumbersome clothes that drown Ophelia seem out of place for the warm season but appropriate for the concealment of her pregnancy. Aware of the unborn child, the church grudgingly provides a grave-side service for the unwed mother. In closing arguments, the attorney articulates Claudius motives for murdering Ophelia and begs simply that justice be done (218). [ top ] Lal, Sikandar. Secular Tragedythe Case of Claudius. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 49-64. CLAUDIUS While arguing that the phenomenon of Hamletism has deterred/prevented the emergence of a distinctly secular perspective on the play, this article file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (8 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius establishes the secular credentials of Claudius and deals with the tragic aspect of the case (49). Unlike Hamlet, Claudius represents an affirmative response to the phenomenon of secular transformation and conducts his life accordingly (51). In the earth-bound, man-centred, temporally ordained cognitively oriented, pragmatic, empirical and existential tenor of Claudiuss life, with its precedence of the public over the private, we have the secular parameters that govern the varied particulars of his conduct. Claudius stands out as an embodiment of the secularized perspective on life (55-56). But the internal reality revealed in the prayer scene, complete with religious vocabulary, suggests a repressed secondary self, a dismally divided state of being, the agony of a decentred soul (55), and a tormented self caught in a secular trap. The self-willed human change has brought him to a problematic pass where he will act at once as his own minister and scourge (57). Ultimately, Claudius finds himself too late and helpless to save Gertrude, betrayed/exposed by his ally Laertes, with no margin for the assertion of his mighty resourceful self, and absolutely shut up within himselfsuggesting the tragic state of his helplessness, isolation, alienation and loneliness in the final moments of his being (58). Unfortunately, the virtual denial of the tragic status of Claudius stands out as a marked feature of the history of Hamlet criticism (56). [ top ] Mollin, Alfred. On Hamlets Mousetrap. Interpretation 21.3 (Spring 1994): 35372. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP After debunking the popular theories of why Claudius fails to respond to The Mousetraps dumb show and makes a delayed exit during The Murder of Gonzago, this article offers a fresh approach by dissecting the reactions of Claudius and the stage audience to Hamlets The Mousetrap (359). The accuracy of the dumb show suggests to Claudius that Hamlet has some proof that may turn the stage audience against the King. But Claudius consistently maintains his composure during even the most volatile situations (e.g., Laertes mob riot), and the pantomime does not identify an incriminating familial relationship between Player-Murderer and Player-Victim. In the spoken play, the PlayerQueens similarities to Gertrude increase Claudius internal anxiety. But to halt the play would be to force Hamlets hand. Claudius has no choice but to wait and discover how severe Hamlets accusation will be (361). Hamlets identification of the murderer as a nephew, rather than a brother, initially causes Claudius relief that there is no public indictment; But the game is file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (9 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius over. The Mousetrap accomplished its purpose. Claudius has silently unmasked himself because an innocent person would have immediately responded (362). Meanwhile, the stage audience is shocked by the tasteless dumb-show and the insulting spoken play that makes Hamlets theater production appear treasonous (362). They must wonder why any king would endure such threats and insults (363). Fortunately, Hamlet calms the stage audience by interrupting the performance to explain the source and to indirectly note the dramas divergence from recent events. Claudius chooses this moment to exit because he realizes that, in remaining silent, he has revealed himself to Hamlet. He also recognizes the staged covert threat: the Player-Nephew kills the Player-King. Staging The Mousetrap with Claudius outwardly calm and unmoved throughout both the dumb-show and the spoken play, reacting only after his unmasking, seems preferable and most faithful to the text (369). [ top ] Nyberg, Lennart. "Hamlet, Student, Stoic-Stooge?" Cultural Exchange Between European Nations During the Renaissance: Proceedings of the Symposium Arranged in Uppsala by the Forum for Renaissance Studies of the English Department of Uppsala University, 5-7 June 1993. Ed. Gunnar Sorelius and Michael Srigley. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia 86. Uppsala: Uppsala U, 1994. 123-32. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS Attempting "a synthesis of what has been discovered about the intellectual and theatrical nature of the play," this study approaches Hamlet "from the point of view of the idea of role-playing, as it is explored in the play and reflected in the intellectual background, especially in the Italian sources of Castiglione and Machiavelli" (125). The very "idea of role-playing, which in many of the comedies is explored with a sense of joy and liberation, is in Hamlet more often than not viewed with disgust" (127). For example, Hamlet spends much of the play not only trying out roles for himself but making the masks of others slip (128-29). Castiglione considers an individuals mask "affectation" (127). Hamlet has the "skill to read the deceptive masks of others," as the nunnery scene proves (129). But he never really succeeds in unmasking Claudius with The Mousetrap. The problem is that the King "is as skillful a role-player as Hamlet himself" (129). Both share striking characteristics of Machiavellism (130) and of an adeptness with improvisation (129). Even their "expressions for a belief in providence" are eerily similar (130). Together, Claudius and Hamlet suggest the play's conflicting assessments of role-playing: "On the one hand the role-playing capacity of man is celebrated but, on the other hand, the immoral purposes it file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (10 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius can be employed for give it a dark tinge" (131). [ top ] Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85. CLAUDIUS / GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This essay examines the problematic poetry of Hamlet as an expression of the [Elizabethan] periods apocalyptic concerns (87). Prophetic signs (e.g., eclipse, a nova, the Armadas defeat) heightened a sense of millenarian expectations in Shakespeares audience (88-89). Hamlet contains an ominous sign foreshadowing some strange eruption that endows the play with a haunted sense of eschatology and that embodies and objectifies an apocalyptic ethos: the Ghost (89). Interestingly, fury, almost a violent ecstasy, is first and foremost triggered by the fatal encounter with the Ghost, that is, by an eschatological provocation (91). A brief history of self-flagellation shows that the eschatological ethos induced an ascetic self-torture in the hope of purging earthly sins from the body as well as engendered self-righteous violence towards Jews (and Turks), people marked as fatal sinners and Antichrist in the Christian tradition (90). This combination is labeled oxymoronic violence (91). In Hamlet, the Prince alternates between extrovert and introverted violence (92): he berates himself and attacks all perceived sinners (e.g., Gertrude, Ophelia). He is too intensely possessed with a disgust at fleshly corruption rather that with an interest in revenge (93). While Hamlet parallels radical sects (95), Claudius is similar to King James; both rulers fear the danger of fantasies or madness, a real political threat to any throne (96). Shakespeares play is a cultural rehearsal of an apocalyptic psychodrama which lies close to the heart of the Christian West (98). [ top ] Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Framed by introductory and concluding chapters that narrate personal file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (11 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius experience as well as insight, this monograph is only in the slightest sense a history of productionsreally imitating a rehearsal (22). The first chapter focuses on the action by following the script line by line in the style of a naive telling of the story which can often provoke a discovery (22). As in most productions, the script is an accumulated version: a combination of elements from the Second Quarto and the Folio and any number of later versions, with occasional mischievous forays into the First (Bad) Quarto (24). Act and scene designations are replaced by days to avoid confusion and to draw attention to the fact that, while five separate days of action are presented, Shakespeares manipulation of double time is so skilled that you can believe that several months have passed by between the beginning and the end (23). The chapter on Hamlets characters comes second because one should not make assumptions about character until the action proves them (22). Characters are approached in groups, such as The Royal Triangle (Claudius/the Ghost/Gertrude) and The Commoners (players/gravediggers/priest). Then attention shifts to Hamlet. After discussing the demands of casting and rehearsing the role of Hamlet, the second chapter describes the excitement of opening night and the energizing relationship an actor shares with the audience. Although challenging, playing the role of Hamlet will verify you: you will never be quite the same again (193). [ top ] Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Ghosts Speech. Modern Language Studies 28.3 (1998): 125-50. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GHOST / RHETORICAL This article argues that Claudius did not murder his brother and explores the Ghosts account of its poisoning as the imaginings of a world beyond the world of stage, a world of words in which the eye sees only what the ear hears, thereby sounding the limits of perception itself (126). The death of Old Hamlet is performed by means of words whose effect is to show us what cannot be shown (130). A detailed linguistic analysis of the Ghosts account highlights how the Ghosts words enter (as the poison entered the Ghosts body) not just Hamlets ears but ours as well (143). The experience of a multitude of casual, seemingly insignificant patterns of interaction among words in this speech invites the audience/reader to imagine and believe in something that doesnt happen in the playexcept in words (147). While The Mousetraps dumbshow echoes visually the Ghosts acoustic representation of that same event (133), Claudius response to it does not prove his guiltnor does his supposed confession. Claudius private words provide no details that would place him at file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (12 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius the scene of the crime that afternoon and use a syntactic construction whose hypothetical logic casts more shadow of doubt than light of certainty over what he is actually saying (135). And the confession comes from an unreliable source, a figure whose every action in the play has everything to do with subterfuge and deception (137). Perhaps, Claudius is not speaking from the bottom of his heart, as one who prays presumably does, but rather in this stage performance of a prayer means to deceive God (137). Besides, the confession from this master of deception (138) is for a purely imaginary, hypothetical event that takes place outside of the play, beyond the physical boundaries of the stage (139). [ top ] Rees-Mogg, Lord. The Politics of Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 17 (1995): 43-53. CLAUDIUS / NEW HISTORICISM By studying the politics of Hamlet, this article presents Claudius as a model of the new ruler. Like many British rulers (e.g., Henry IV, Elizabeth I, Richard III), Claudius kills a family member, performing an act of state and following a tradition which every English monarch had had to accept for two hundred years (45). Once on the throne, he must begin the process of securing his position: praising the dead king, forming political alliances, marrying Gertrude, dealing with the threat of Fortinbras, conciliating ministers (e.g., Polonius), and attempting a reconciliation with his primary rival Hamlet. Because Hamlet refuses to embrace the new king, Claudius must engage in spying tactics to gain knowledge about his potential enemy and, ultimately, decide to terminate the threat. But in Shakespeares political tragedy (unlike the realities of British history), murderers are destined to fail. Aside from the fact that all of his supporters die (e.g., Polonius, Laertes), Claudius proves a weak leader because he invariably prefers compromise to confrontation, placatory gestures to open defiance (51-52). Perhaps if Claudius had not delayed his efforts to kill Hamlet, he might have been able to maintain his position as ruler; but the King was such a nice man, in a way, that he decided to defer the action (52). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (13 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] Tkacz, Catherine Brown. The Wheel of Fortune, the Wheel of State, and Moral Choice in Hamlet. South Atlantic Review 57.4 (Nov. 1992): 21-38. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This essay explores the importance and ramifications of the prayer scene. Themes of duty and kingship, as well as motifs of the wheel and decent, prepare the audience for this crucial scene. The players Hecuba speech also anticipates the prayer scene because it provides an intriguing description of a hesitant Pyrrhus, who parallels Hamlet and Claudius. As Hamlet hesitates to avenge and Claudius hesitates to repent, these two kinsmen who will at last kill each other are here fatally alike (27). The key difference is that Claudius remains unchanged, while Hamlet develops a new viciousness that makes this scene the moral center of the play (28). After leaving Claudius to pray, Hamlet strikes the blow that kills Polonius, he orders the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and his cruelty to Ophelia, orphaned at his hands, leads at least indirectly to her drowning (31). But were Claudius apprehended, imprisoned, or slain before/during the pivotal prayer scene, these deaths and those of the final scene would be completely avoided (31). In the prayer scene, at the center of the play, Hamlets subjection to Fortune shows itself most crucially; by being passions slave, he subjects the wheel of state to the wheel of Fortune (35). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (14 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Claudius This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/claudius.html (15 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:24 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Adelman, Janet. Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeares Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37. n Aguirre, Manuel. Life, Crown, and Queen: Gertrude and the Theme of Sovereignty. Review of English Studies 47 (1996): 163-74.n Bergoffen, Debra B. Mourning, Woman, and the Phallus: Lacans Hamlet. Cultural Semiosis: Tracing the Signifier. Ed. Hugh J. Silverman. Continental Philosophy VI. New York: Routledge, 1998. 140-53.n Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. ShakespeareJahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Wormwood, Wormwood. Deutsche ShakespeareGesellschaft West: Jahrbuch [no vol. #] (1993): 150-62.n Jardine, Lisa. No offence i th world: Hamlet and Unlawful Marriage. Uses of History: Marxism, Postmodernism and the Renaissance. Ed. Francis Barker, Peter Hume, and Margaret Iverson. Essex Symposia: Literature/Politics/Theory. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991. 123-39. [Reprinted in David Scott Kastans Critical Essays on Shakespeares Hamlet (1995).]n Kusunoki, Akiko. Oh most pernicious woman: Gertrude in the Light of Ideas on Remarriage in Early Seventeenth-Century England. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 16984.n OBrien, Ellen J. Mapping the Role: Criticism and the Construction of Shakespearean Character. Shakespearean Illuminations: Essays in Honor of Marvin Rosenberg. Ed. Jay L. Halio and Hugh Richmond. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1998. 13-32.n Ouditt, Sharon. "Explaining Woman's Frailty: Feminist Readings of Gertrude." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 83-107.n Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996.n Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Queens file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (1 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Speech. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 123-44.n Roberts, Katherine. The Wandering Womb: Classical Medical Theory and the Formation of Female Characters in Hamlet. Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 15 (1995): 223-32.n Ronk, Martha C. "Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 2143.n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992.n Shand, G. B. Realising Gertrude: The Suicide Option. Elizabethan Theatre XIII. Ed. A. L. Magnusson and C. E. McGee. Toronto: Meany, 1994. 95-118.n Stanton, Kay. "Hamlet's Whores." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88.n Uno, Yoshiko. Three Gertrudes: Text and Subtext. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 155-68. Adelman, Janet. Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeares Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This monograph chapter argues that Hamlet redefines the sons position between two fathers by relocating it in relation to an indiscriminately sexual maternal body that threatens to annihilate the distinction between the fathers and hence problematizes the sons paternal identification (14-15). Hamlet rewrites the story of Cain and Abel as the story of Adam and Eve, relocating masculine identity in the presence of the adulterating female (30). Gertrude plays out the role of the missing Eve: her body is the garden in which her husband dies, her sexuality the poisonous weeds that kill him, and poison the worldand the selffor her son (30). The absence of the father combined with the presence of the engulfing mother awakens all the fears incident to the file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (2 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude primary mother-child bond (30). The solution is for Hamlet to remake his mother in the image of Virgin Mother who could guarantee his fathers purity, and his own, repairing the boundaries of his selfhood (31). In the closet scene, Hamlet attempts to remake his mother pure by divorcing her from her sexuality (32-33). Although Gertrude remains relatively opaque, more a screen for Hamlets fantasies about her than a fully developed character in her own right, the son at least believes that she has returned to him as the mother he can call good lady (3.4.182) (34). As a result, Hamlet achieves a new calm and self-possession but at a high price: for the parents lost to him at the beginning of the play can be restored only insofar as they are entirely separated from their sexual bodies. This is a pyrrhic solution to the problems of embodiedness and familial identity . . (35). [ top ] Aguirre, Manuel. Life, Crown, and Queen: Gertrude and the Theme of Sovereignty. Review of English Studies 47 (1996): 163-74. GERTRUDE / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This article seeks to explore Renaissance changes in the application of a traditional literary metaphor, sovereignty, by focusing on the mythical status of Gertrude and, beyond this, to explore the role, and the fate, of myth in Hamlet (163). Evidence in Celtic, Greek, and Germanic myths, including The Odyssey, demonstrates consistent attachment of significance to the symbols of cup, water, and clothcommonly associated with female sovereigns. The (re)appearance of these elements in Hamlet creates intriguing parallels and suggests that Gertrude, not Claudius, possesses sole authority to choose the new king. Some myths offer a defense of the charges against Gertrude (e.g., adultery). For example, in myth there appears a tendency to connect sovereignty with marriage/sexual union. Such myths afford an explanation for the immediacy and compression of wedding and coronation in Hamlet 1.2, which conflicts with the modern perspective of chronological order. While the queen is the life is the crown through validating traditional myth (169), the increasing realism of the Renaissance causes a loss of meaning and thus a crux in the play: Hamlet, a realist, views the Queens marriage to Claudius as stripped of symbolic meaning, as only adultery (171). Subsequently, Hamlet presents the conflict itself between the old and new as embodied in a modern heros confrontation with an ancient myth (174). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (3 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude Bergoffen, Debra B. Mourning, Woman, and the Phallus: Lacans Hamlet. Cultural Semiosis: Tracing the Signifier. Ed. Hugh J. Silverman. Continental Philosophy VI. New York: Routledge, 1998. 140-53. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / PSYCHOANALYTIC Concurring with Lacans notions of the phallus, jouissance, the symbolic, the imaginary, and the signifying chain (140), this article suggests that Gertrude demonstrates the way womans complicity is essential to the patriarchal order as she provides a glimpse of a woman who steps outside its parameters (141). In the role of mourning, woman represents the invisible medium through whom the phallus passes (144). But Gertrude substitutes marriage nuptials for mourning rituals; her marriage to Claudius violates the father who has not been properly remembered, and it violates the son who is denied his legacy (146). Gertrudes refusal to mourn brings back the ghost and fuels its impossible request: that the son do what the mother will not, legitimize the father (146). But Hamlet, a male bound by patriarchal laws, cannot perform the social act of mourning, as he and Laertes prove at Ophelias burial (141). And, as long as Gertrude confers legitimacy on Claudius, Hamlets action is barred (149). The son begins the process of re-inserting his mother into the patriarchal phallic order in the closet scene by accusing her of being too old to love, by de-legitimizing her mode of otherness (149). Gertrude, in death, finally frees Hamlet to act by being unable to mourn Claudius, but her absence means no mourning and, hence, no mediation for the transference of power: in the absence of women, Denmark comes under the rule of its enemy, Fortinbras (151-52). Rejecting the role of passive mediator Gertrude plays the game of jouissance (153). Yes, Gertrude is destroyed as a result, but she succeeds in exposing the myth of the male phallus and provides us with a glimpse of a signifier placed outside the patriarchal structure of silenced mourning women (153). [ top ] Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL This essay explores "cultural resonances between the politically unstable time of Judges in Israel's history, the political confusion in Hamlet's Denmark, and the file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (4 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude anxiety over succession in late-Elizabethan England" (133). While Jephthah's daughter and Ophelia share similarities, they also differ in an important way: the unnamed daughter is an obedient sacrifice, and Ophelia "develops from her status as a victim" to "an author of a potentially different story, a woman's story" (133-34). Ophelia comes to realize her subversive potential and, in a commanding oration about the weakening of Hamlet's "noble mind," laments the lose of her own political ambitions (135). But her madness empowers her with liberties, such as demanding a meeting with Gertrude. Once granted entrance, "she, like a wandering player, comes to hold a mirror up to the court" (136). Gone is her submissive voice, replaced by "a range of voices" (137). Ophelia now "commands attention" (137). Interestingly, her invasion of the court parallels Laertes' rebellious entrance: they have "competing political claims, his assertive and explicit, hers subversive and encoded in mad woman's language" (137). Because her songs "introduce the protesting voice of oppressed women in society" through the veils of a ballad culture, Ophelia is not understood by her male audience; but her "rebellion against the double standard and its oppression of women arouses fear in Gertrude, who understands" (138). When the Queen reports Ophelia's drowning, she insists "on her time and the attention of the plotting men" (138). Her description portrays "a woman who draws her understanding of her world from women's culture" (139). The Queen, "perhaps like Jephthah's daughter's maiden friends, returned from temporary exile to interpret the meaning of the sacrificed daughter's life" (140). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL Expanding on John Doeblers work, this essay explores the plethora of connotations of mouse and mousetrap. In relation to Gertrude, the mouse reference in the closet scene could be a term of endearment or a pejorative reference to a lustful person (79). Historically, mouse is also connected with the devils entrapment of human lust with the mousetrap (80); hence, Hamlets diction suggests that he perceives Gertrude at once as the snare that catches the devil Claudius (and the son Hamlet?) in lust, and snared herself in the same devils mousetrap (82). With Claudius, the mouse implies destructive and lascivious impulses (84). Hamlet also is associated with the mouse in his role as mouser or metaphorical cat. For example, the cat-like, teasing method in Hamlets madness appears in his dialogue with Claudius immediately prior to file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (5 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude the start of The Mousetrap (88). The mousetrap trope becomes part of a pattern of images in Hamlet that poises the clarity of poetic justice against a universe of dark of unknowing, as the trapper must himself die to purify a diseased kingdom (91). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Wormwood, Wormwood. Deutsche ShakespeareGesellschaft West: Jahrbuch [no vol. #] (1993): 150-62. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / THEOLOGICAL This study comments on Hamlets reference to Wormwood, Wormwood in The Mousetrap scene (3.2.173) with the belief that Herbal, literary and theological uses provide unexpectedly suggestive contexts for expanding our sense of Hamlet, Gertrude and Claudius within this highly charged dramatic moment, and in the larger play (150). Theological connotations of the word suggest, among other things, mortification, meaning that Hamlets words refer to the salutary contrition and confession Hamlet expects the Player-Queens words to induce in his mother (151). Persistently lacking contrition in the closet scene, Gertrude receives a continued, intensified dose of wormwood, administered by Hamlet (152). Also relevant to Gertrude, wormwood is biblically associated with harlotry and punishment/judgement (153). In Romeo and Juliet, wormwood is described as the bitter herb used in weaning a child from his mothers breast (154); hence, the implication in Hamlet is that the mother/son relationship alters. The herb was also used as a purgative medicine (156), an antidote (159), an air freshener (160), and a deterrent to mice and rats (160). All of these possibilities develop linguistic references, themes, and motifs in the play. For example, the last suggests that Hamlets wormwood might at once expel the mouse-like lust in his too-lascivious mother and deter the object of her lust, the devilish, mouse-like king Claudius, thus killing two mice with one trap (161). Perhaps no audience member could hold all of these theological and pharmaceutical associations in a kaleidoscopic response to one allusion, but the theatrical experience improves in relation to the degree of knowledge (161-62). And this learning impresses us with the unfathomable complexity of Hamlets mind and his heart (162). [ top ] Jardine, Lisa. No offence i th world: Hamlet and Unlawful Marriage. Uses of History: Marxism, Postmodernism and the Renaissance. Ed. Francis Barker, file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (6 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude Peter Hume, and Margaret Iverson. Essex Symposia: Literature/Politics/Theory. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991. 123-39. [Reprinted in David Scott Kastans Critical Essays on Shakespeares Hamlet (1995).] FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM While distinguishing its approach from retrospective critical activity (126), this essay sets out to provide a historical account which restores agency to groups hitherto marginalised or left out of what counts as historical explanationnonlite men and all women (125). In Hamlet, Gertrudes marriage to Claudius appears unlawful by the early modern periods standards, and it deprives Hamlet of his lawful succession (130). Gertrude has participated in the remarriagehas (literally) alienated her son, and Old Hamlets name (135). In denying Gertrude exoneration, we have recovered the guilt surrounding her as a condition of her oppression: women are not permanently in the object position, they are subjects. To be always object and victim is not the material reality of womans existence, nor is it her lived experience (135). [ top ] Kusunoki, Akiko. Oh most pernicious woman: Gertrude in the Light of Ideas on Remarriage in Early Seventeenth-Century England. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 169-84. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM Contending that Shakespeares original audience would have viewed the Queen as a potent figure in her flouting of patriarchal dictates through her remarriage, this reading of Hamlet examines the significance of the representation of Gertrude in the context of societys changing attitudes towards a widows remarriage in early seventeenth-century England (170). Gertrudes remarriage demonstrates an interesting possibility of female agency that contributes to the undermining of residual cultural values in the play (173). Religious and literary sources of the Elizabethan period (e.g., Characters, The Widows Tears) reflect dominant sentiments against a widows remarriage, but historical research shows the social reality that upper class widows often remarried (175). Their independence and ability to choose a new mate presented a contradiction to patriarchal ideology and posed a radical threat to the existing social structure (176). But changing attitudes were also emerging during this period: Puritans started to argue the benefits of a widows remarrying, and Montaignes Essays proposed an utterly realistic understanding of human natureparticularly of female sexuality (179-80). In this light, the file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (7 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude marriage between Claudius and Gertrude might not have seemed to some members of the Elizabethan audience particularly reprehensible (179). Although Hamlet succeeds in desexualizing his mother in the closet scene, Gertrude maintains her own authority by continuing to love Claudius while denying his order not to drink from the chalice (180). Her attitude to her remarriage points to the emergent forces in the changing attitude towards female sexuality in early seventeenth-century England (180). [ top ] OBrien, Ellen J. Mapping the Role: Criticism and the Construction of Shakespearean Character. Shakespearean Illuminations: Essays in Honor of Marvin Rosenberg. Ed. Jay L. Halio and Hugh Richmond. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1998. 13-32. GERTRUDE To gain an improved understanding of Gertrudes potentiality, this essay relies on role-criticism, a more open-ended and more self-conscious approach to the production of meaning than traditional character criticism (19). Patterns and shifts present important indications in this approach, as the closet scene demonstrates: all of the Queens habits of behavior and speech change around this scene (21). For example, she begins to use language that shifts responsibility (e.g., Ophelia is not responsible for her drowningan envious sliver and clothes are to blame) (22); and her entrances/exits no longer coincide with those of Claudius (23). While the overriding implication is that Gertrude shifts her devotion from her husband to her son, many maintain that Gertrudes obsession with the King remains intact after the closet scene because the Queen physically defends him from Laertes (24). But the context of mob rioting implies a moment when political forces rather than individual subjectivities are being embodied on the stage (27). Although it is important to include the anomalous moments in our mapping of the role, it does not follow that they should be regarded as the key to the construction of character because mapping is perhaps most valuable as a means of discouraging closure on character (28). [ top ] Ouditt, Sharon. "Explaining Woman's Frailty: Feminist Readings of Gertrude." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 83-107. file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (8 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude FEMINISM / GERTRUDE After discussing the premises of (and problems within) feminism, this essay examines three feminist perspectives of Gertrude and "the interpretive possibilities that they present": Rebecca Smith's "A Heart Cleft in Twain," an example of "reading as a woman"; Jaqueline Rose's "Sexuality in the Reading of Shakespeare: Hamlet and Measure for Measure," an example of psychoanalytic criticism; and Lisa Jardine's Still Harping on Daughters an example of materialistic, feminist criticism (87). Each perspective is summarized, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and is used as a launching pad for broader discussions. For example, Smith's article suffers from its pass political agenda, which views Gertrude as a nurturing-non-fictional-persona and raises questions about textual gaps being filled by critics/audiences/readers with ulterior motives; but it also leads to questions of Gertrude's guilt. Together, the three representatives "form part of a changing cultural and critical history" and reflect the "continuing project" of feminism (105). [ top ] Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Framed by introductory and concluding chapters that narrate personal experience as well as insight, this monograph is only in the slightest sense a history of productionsreally imitating a rehearsal (22). The first chapter focuses on the action by following the script line by line in the style of a naive telling of the story which can often provoke a discovery (22). As in most productions, the script is an accumulated version: a combination of elements from the Second Quarto and the Folio and any number of later versions, with occasional mischievous forays into the First (Bad) Quarto (24). Act and scene designations are replaced by days to avoid confusion and to draw attention to the fact that, while five separate days of action are presented, Shakespeares manipulation of double time is so skilled that you can believe that several months have passed by between the beginning and the end (23). The chapter on Hamlets characters comes second because one should not make assumptions about character until the action proves them (22). Characters are approached in groups, such as The Royal Triangle (Claudius/the Ghost/Gertrude) and The Commoners file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (9 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude (players/gravediggers/priest). Then attention shifts to Hamlet. After discussing the demands of casting and rehearsing the role of Hamlet, the second chapter describes the excitement of opening night and the energizing relationship an actor shares with the audience. Although challenging, playing the role of Hamlet will verify you: you will never be quite the same again (193). [ top ] Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Queens Speech. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 123-44. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GERTRUDE With a concentrated focus on Gertrudes report of Ophelias drowning, this article explores how something that doesnt happen in Hamlet happens, how action that takes place off stage happens in the words the play uses to perform it (125). The underlying hypothesis is that the drowning report suggests Gertrudes involvement with Ophelias murder. Every word of the speech receives meticulous dissection and analysisfrom the opening word there, which directs the audiences attention to the plays exterior, to the last word, as Ophelia vanishes in a muddy death. Plural meanings implied by audible homonyms and stark shifts in verbal descriptions appear when the progression of the lines is slowed to a snails pace. As each studied word provides suggestion and direction to the audience, a case against the Queen builds. For example, the language of flowers used by Gertrude in the drowning report and by Ophelia in her madness creates a relationship that in effect places them in close proximity to each other, as the first is the speaker and the latter becomes the object of her gaze, the person she herself [Gertrude] watched beside the stream (130-31). Although the critic humbly acknowledges the inability to prove (or disprove) speculations about off stage events, a singular certainty remains: Gertrude, as the reporter of Ophelias demise, removes herin effect kills herfrom the play (144). Ophelias death provides a paradigm of all off stage events, in a world of words called the theater (144). [ top ] Roberts, Katherine. The Wandering Womb: Classical Medical Theory and the Formation of Female Characters in Hamlet. Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 15 (1995): 223-32. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (10 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude This essay approaches wombsickness (a.k.a. hysteria) as a condition, described early in patriarchal Western culture, [which] has been a literary motif from classical to modern literature (223). Evidence spanning from Greek medical theories to the doctrines of sixteenth-century physicians testifies to the belief that the female womb has physiological needs (e.g., sexual intercourse); left unmet, these demands result in hysteria. Simultaneously, stringent social codes of the Renaissance restricted female sexuality. A patriarchal culture defined womensocially and medicallyby their relationships to men. Ophelia and Gertrude suffer classic symptoms of wombsickness. As a young girl of marriageable age and emotional instability, Ophelia is a prime candidate for wombsickness. She has been mentally and physically preparing herself for marriage/sex with Hamlet; but in the loss of all male figures to guide and support her, Ophelia becomes completely vulnerable to her own femaleness (229). Gertrude also suffers symptoms of hysteria, according to Hamlets account of a woman whose physiology apparently required frequent intercourse (230). In the absence of her original husband to sate and govern her sexual energies, Gertrude is easily seduced, and her disorderly behavior damages the society. As her natural guardian, Hamlet must intervene to constrain herhence the closet scene (231). While Gertrude properly responds to his chastising by transferring her allegiance from Claudius to Hamlet, and in a sense recovering from her wombsickness, it is too late to prevent the destruction of the thrones inhabitants. This article makes no definitive claims about Shakespeares intentions but notes that Renaissance literature reflects and reinforces previously developed concepts of women, bringing those concepts into the twentieth century (232). [ top ] Ronk, Martha C. Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 21-43. ART / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC Perceiving Ophelia as a mix of emblem and the projection of others, this dense article sets out to discover what Ophelias representation represents by focusing on the report of her drowning (23). Emblematic and allegorical characteristics of the speech reveal some insight into Opheliathe means particular to a historical period when the emblematic was a received mode of perceiving the world (27). But like emblem books of the period, the combination of the visual and verbal still leaves much unarticulated. Another component in the speech is the speaker, Queen Gertrude, who becomes an appropriate substitute for Ophelia based on their shared gender and roles within file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (11 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude the patriarchy. While Gertrude offers a dispassionate description of the drowning (29), she also becomes linked to Ophelias passive volition. The questioning of Gertrudes involvement in Ophelias death (and Hamlet Sr.s) provides reiteration of an insistent question within the play: what it means not to know what is going on (31). As Gertrude leisurely relates Ophelias demise, this ekphrastic moment presents a brief stillness within the play before the plot rushes to tragic fulfillment (32). The resulting ramifications elicit contemplation from the audience and move Ophelia out of narrative and into some cosmic order (34). As emblem (and myth) Ophelia possesses the capacity to arouse fear, referring to Freuds The Uncanny. Her ekphrastic presence implies the impossibility of more than seeing what the viewer could not have seen . to an audience intent on viewing what is not there (38). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] Shand, G. B. Realising Gertrude: The Suicide Option. Elizabethan Theatre XIII. Ed. A. L. Magnusson and C. E. McGee. Toronto: Meany, 1994. 95-118. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / PERFORMANCE This article uses an actorly exploration of Hamlet to account for how an file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (12 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude apparent subtextual subversion of the script [Gertrudes conscious act of suicide] might actually have its birth not in wilful actorly or directorly selfindulgence, but in close and honest realisation of the textual evidence (99). Gertrude exists in a male-dominated world, where she is commanded by males and offered no privacy. Her limited ability to speak does not reflect ignorance, as several critics have contended, but the Renaissances expectations of the female gender. These social constraints produce in Gertrude an impacted condition, a state of painfully ingrown pressure to react (106). Meanwhile, an astute Gertrude begins to recognize her sin in an incestuous marriage, as well as her inadvertent responsibility for the murder of Hamlet, Sr. and all subsequent events (e.g., Polonius death, Ophelias madness). The Mousetrap guarantees consequential guilt, which appears evident in the closet scene. While Polonius murder suggests her association between guilt and death, Gertrudes description of Ophelias drowning marks a personal desire for death. This alert Gertrude cannot miss the development of an alliance between Claudius and Laertes, the charge of murderer-with-poison against the King, the tension among the males, nor the tainted cup offered to Hamlet during the duel. She consciously drinks the poisoned wine after having been denied virtually any other independent action from the beginning of the play (118). [ top ] Stanton, Kay. "Hamlet's Whores." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / LAERTES / OPHELIA This interpretation explores all the variations of whore-dom in Hamlet. The women are not the only ones prostituted. Like Ophelia, Hamlet is "'whored' by the father": "The older generation incestuously prostitutes the innocence of the younger" (169). Further examples include Polonius prostituting Laertes and Reynaldo with plans of spying and Claudius, the "symbolic father," similarly misusing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (169). But the victims are not entirely innocent either. Hamlet "whores" the theater and its actors--"his great love"--by perverting artistic purpose and integrity (173), and the play-within-the-play "whores him as he has whored it, making him no longer one of the innocent, but one of the 'guilty creatures' at and in the play" (185). Laertes misuses his favorite pastime, fencing, to destroy his perceived enemy (180). The duel, "a gruesome perversion of the sex act" complete with phalluses and pudendum (181), leaves a dying Hamlet to whore Horatio, Fortinbras to whore Hamlet's story, and a new "bawd" to reestablish the patriarchy (182). Because these males insist on a binary opposition between genders, ever fearing womanly file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (13 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude characteristics within themselves, they project their "whorishness" onto female targets, covering over masculine violence (178). The closet scene exemplifies this technique: after Hamlet murders Polonius, Gertrude's "supposed sin is made to overshadow his actual sin and somehow to justify it" (179). Only in death does Ophelia escape the whore image, but she becomes the "worshipped Madonna as Hamlet and Laertes can then safely whore their own selfconstructed images of pure love for her as rationale for violence against each other" (179). The whoring consumes the play, as Hamlet "'whores' Hamlet the prince to be the organ for its art" (183). [ top ] Uno, Yoshiko. Three Gertrudes: Text and Subtext. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 155-68. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GERTRUDE / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This essay examines ambiguities inherent in Hamlet, or gaps between the text and subtext, with special attention to Gertrudes representation (156). Rather than possessing autonomy, the Queen exists only in relation to Claudius and Hamlet; she also refuses to choose between the two men, revealing her malleability (158). Hence, the lack of critical appreciation of Gertrude seems understandable. Although the closet scene should offer the greatest opportunity for insight into Gertrudes character, it leaves too many unanswered questions: does she know of Claudius involvement in Hamlet, Sr.s death? Is she guilty of infidelity with Claudius before this murder? Further uncertainties are raised by the scenes presentation of two Gertrudes: Gertrude herself and the Gertrude seen from Hamlets perspective (161). Such confusion leads todays audiences to share in Hamlets confrontation with the disintegration of reality (162). But the original audience at the Globe may have had the advantages of afterimages, preconceived notions of Hamlet informed by myth and legend. A survey of plausible literary sources (e.g., Historiae Danicae, Agamemnon, Histoires tragiques), with emphasis on the evolving transformations of Gertrude, presents a wide range of variants that Elizabethan audiences may have drawn on to resolve the ambiguities struggled with today (166). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (14 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Gertrude Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/gertrude.html (15 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Greenblatt, Stephen. Remember Me. Hamlet in Purgatory. By Greenblatt. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. 205-57.n Gross, Kenneth. The Rumor of Hamlet. Raritan 14.2 (Fall 1994): 43-67.n Harries, Martin. The Ghost of Hamlet in the Mine. Scare Quotes from Shakespeare: Marx, Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment. By Harries. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000. 93-122.n Kallendorf, Hilaire. Intertextual Madness in Hamlet: The Ghosts Fragmented Performativity. Renaissance and Reformation 22.4 (1998): 69-87.n Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30.n Low, Anthony. Hamlet and the Ghost of Purgatory: Intimations of Killing the Father. English Literary Renaissance 29.3 (Autumn 1999): 443-67.n Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63. n Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85.n Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996.n Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Ghosts Speech. Modern Language Studies 28.3 (1998): 125-50.n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992.n Sanchez, Reuben. Thou comst in such a questionable shape: Interpreting the Textual and Contextual Ghost in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 65-84.n Wagner, Joseph B. Hamlet Rewriting Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 75-92. Greenblatt, Stephen. Remember Me. Hamlet in Purgatory. By Greenblatt. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. 205-57. GHOST / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / THEOLOGICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (1 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological While continuing the monographs historical exploration of the afterlife of Purgatory and of remembrance of the dead in England (3), this chapter begins by examining Hamlets shift of spectral obligation from vengeance to remembrance (207) and by analyzing how Shakespeare weirdly and unexpectedly conjoins memory as haunting with its opposite, the fading of remembrance (218). It then approaches the core argument of the monograph: the psychological in Shakespeares tragedy is constructed almost entirely out of the theological, and specifically out of the issue of remembrance that . lay at the heart of the crucial early-sixteenth-century debate about Purgatory (229). Although the Church of England had explicitly rejected the Roman Catholic conception of Purgatory and the practices that had been developed around it in 1563 (235), the Elizabethan theater circumvented the resulting censorship by representing Purgatory as a sly jest, a confidence trick, a mistake . But it could not be represented as a frightening reality. Hamlet comes closer to doing so than any other play of this period (236). Through a network of allusions to Purgatory (e.g., for a certain term [1.5.10], burned and purged [1.5.13], Yes, by Saint Patrick [1.5.136], hic et ubique [1.5.156]), as well as Hamlets attention to (and brooding upon) the Ghosts residence/source (236-37), the play presents a frightening-yet-absolving alternative to Hell. The play also seems a deliberate forcing together of radically incompatible accounts of almost everything that matters in Hamlet, such as Catholic versus Protestant tenets regarding the body and rituals (240). The prevalent distribution of printed religious arguments heightens the possibility that these works are sources for Shakespeares play: they stage an ontological argument about spectrality and remembrance, a momentous public debate, that unsettled the institutional moorings of a crucial body of imaginative materials and therefore made them available for theatrical appropriation (249). For example, Foxes comedic derision of Mores theological stance helped make Shakespeares tragedy possible. It did so by participating in a violent ideological struggle that turned negotiations with the dead from an institutional process governed by the church to a poetic process governed by guilt, projection, and imagination (252). The Protestant attack on the middle state of souls . did not destroy the longings and fears that Catholic doctrine had focused and exploited; instead, the space of Purgatory becomes the space of the stage where old Hamlets Ghost is doomed for a certain term to walk the night (256-57). [ top ] Gross, Kenneth. The Rumor of Hamlet. Raritan 14.2 (Fall 1994): 43-67. GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (2 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost This study proposes that the nature of Hamlets verbal offense comes through with particular resonance if we read the play against the background of Elizabethan attitudes towards slander and rumor (45). Although Hamlet expresses a concern for reputation while waiting with Horatio for the Ghost and later in the final scene, he dons the disguise of madness which makes him nothing but a blot, a shame, on the memory of his former self and on the court of Denmark; he also becomes the plays chief slandererslandering the entire world, it seems (48). In Elizabethan England, the belief that human beings cannot escape slander is a commonplace (49). Hamlet is located in a historical context where slander is seen as the product of an uncontrollable passion and as a poison that wounds its speaker as much as its victims (50). The difficulty of controlling rumors invests them with a fearful power (52). Hamlets power is in his complexly staged desire to seal away a self, or the rumor of a self (57). Hamlets refusal to be known may constitute one facet of his revenge against the world for having had his liberty, his purposes and desires, stolen by the demands of the ghost (58). The Ghost is, like Hamlet, a figure at once subjected by and giving utterance to slander and rumor (60). Its account of Claudius crime, if true, offers one of the plays more troubling images of the way that scandalous rumor can circulate in the worlds ear (63). The scene also suggests that the authority which seeks to control or correct rumor is itself contaminated with rumor, even constituted by it (64). Perceiving the Ghost as rumor can prevent us from assuming that the words of the ghost have a nature essentially different from the words which other human characters speak, repeat, and recall within the course of the play (66). Perhaps we are endangered as much by our failure to hear certain rumors as by our taking others too much to heart (67). [ top ] Harries, Martin. The Ghost of Hamlet in the Mine. Scare Quotes from Shakespeare: Marx, Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment. By Harries. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000. 93-122. GHOST / MARXISM / NEW HISTORICISM While contributing to the monographs argument that Shakespeare provides a privileged language for the apprehension of the supernaturalwhat I call reenchantmentin works by Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and others (1), this chapter begins by identifying Marxs appropriation of Well said, old mole (1.5.162) as an instance of phantasmagoria of a kind, a moment where what is, in theory, emergentthe rupture caused by the revolutiontakes the form of old, in the allusion to Hamlet (97). In comparison, the Ghost, that old file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (3 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost mole, is an archaic face for a nascent world of economic exchange (97) because the Ghost in the mine is a spirit of capitalism (98). Hamlets reference to the Ghost as mole, pioneer (1.5.163), and truepenny (1.5.150)all mining termsand the spirits mobile presence in the cellarage scene initiate the matter of the relationship between the economic and authority in Hamlet as a whole (106). For example, Hamlet unsettles the Ghosts authority by calling attention to its theatricality (106)this fellow in the cellarage (1.5.151); but the scene links the Ghost and its haunting to one of the crucial phantasmagorical places of early modern culture: the mine. The mine was at once source for raw materials crucial to the growing capitalist culture and, so to speak, a super-nature preserve, a place where the spirits of popular belief had a continuing life, as historical accounts on mining show (108). Perhaps the cellarage scene aroused fears related to the rising hegemony of capitalist forms of value (108). By focusing on the entanglement of the Ghost and the mine, a different Hamlet becomes visible, one that locates a troubled nexus at the heart of modernitythe phantasmagorical intersection of antiquated but powerful authority, the supernatural, and, in the mines, the material base of a commodity culture (116). [ top ] Kallendorf, Hilaire. Intertextual Madness in Hamlet: The Ghosts Fragmented Performativity. Renaissance and Reformation 22.4 (1998): 69-87. GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM While arguing against a reductive/restrictive view of Hamlet, this essay proposes that the entextualization of the relevant passages of Reginald Scots The Discouerie of Witchcraft and King James Is Daemonologie from their original positions in the cultural dialogue, along with their appropriation by Shakespeare and recontextualization in his play, alter our understanding of Hamlets madness and add another dimension, another voiceby offering a diabolical mask for the Ghost to try on (70). The cultural and linguistic processes of entextualization, appropriation, and recontextualization inevitably result in the fragmentation of discourse; And what is madness but one potential fragmentation of discourse? (70-71). Hamlets madness, commonly perceived as a factor of the Ghosts message (77), is represented in terms of demonic possession. For example, when the Ghost appears in the closet scene, Gertrude describes Hamlets visual appearance using the language of the exorcists to describe demoniacs (77-78). Although critics generally attribute Hamlets symptoms to melancholy (78), the two demonological treatises (70) support the notion that many Elizabethans and Jacobeans viewed melancholy as file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (4 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost actually caused by demons (78). Interestingly, the Ghost, particularly in its first appearance, is also illuminated by these two treatises (75). From its armor to its ultimate purpose for revenge (77), the Ghost parallels details found in the two treatises regarding the supernatural. While one might see Hamlets mad fragmented discourse as part of a larger pattern in his character (79), few have interpreted the Ghost in light of this same performativity theme (80). In actuality, the Ghost, like Hamlet, tries on different identities in the course of the play (80-81). Perhaps the incessant trying on of different identities by both Hamlet and the Ghost in this play is what continues to fascinate audiences and scholars (81). [ top ] Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30. GHOST / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay proposes that, by considering Hamlet within the context of the Reformation and the concurrent skeptical crisis, the distinctly epistemological making of Hamlets ineffectuality takes on an intriguing historical dimension: it suggests the utter ineffectuality of human knowledge as this ineffectuality was advocated by contemporary skeptics (218). The opening scene presents the debacle of human knowledge (219), the mixed, inconsistent, confused, and tentative versions of human understanding through the uselessness of Horatios learning to communicate with the Ghost and the in-conclusiveness of Bernardos Christian narrative to explain the spirit (220). This contradistinction with standard versions of early modern skepticism, which vindicate and embrace human ignorance as against the violent pressures of early modern religious dogmatism, suggests Shakespeare to be anxious about uncertainty and its discontents in a way that Greek and humanist skeptics never are (220). Hamlets direct echoing of contemporary thinkers as diverse as Montaigne and Bruno only strengthens the impression that the play, far from representing a systematic or even coherent line of thought, virtually subsumes the intellectual confusion of the age (221). The ghost functions as the very emblem of such confusion (221), withholding the type of knowledge most crucial to early modern minds: religious knowledge (220). The very issues that are associated, in the Gospels, with the defeat of skeptical anxiety, had become, during the Reformation, axes of debate, rekindling skeptical anxiety rather than abating it (223). In this context, the Ghost appears as an implicit, or inverted, revelation (222), a grotesque, parodic version of Christ resurrected (223): file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (5 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost instead of elevating Hamlet to a truly novel and unprecedented level of knowledge (224), the Ghost leaves Hamlet with nothing but ignorance (222). Hamlet claims to believe the Ghost after The Mousetrap, but his ensuing blunders debunk the sense of certainty that he pretends to have established (227). The problem seems the inescapably political world of Denmark, where errors, partial judgements, and theological (mis)conceptions are never only academic, they cost people their lives and cannot, therefore, be dismissed as unavoidable and innocuous imperfections or indifferent trifles, as Montaigne and Pyrrhonist believe (228). [ top ] Low, Anthony. Hamlet and the Ghost of Purgatory: Intimations of Killing the Father. English Literary Renaissance 29.3 (Autumn 1999): 443-67. GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This article contends that Buried deeply in Hamlet, in the relationship between the prince and his father, is a source tale, an unspoken acknowledgement that the modernist project of achieving complete autonomy from the past rested . on the denial and forgetting of Purgatory (446). During the eve of the Reformation, the English peopleof all classeswere interested in Purgatory because of concern for their souls and those of their ancestors, together with a strong sense of communal solidarity between the living and the dead (447). But the reformation put an end to the belief and its practices. As inheritances of material goods replaced inheritances of the moral and legal obligation to pray for the dead (and hence to remember past/origin) (451), focus turned from community and solidarity, with the dead and the poor, toward self-concern and individual self-sufficiency (466). In Hamlet, the Ghost implies that he, King Hamlet, was Catholic (453) and that he has returned from Purgatory because of Claudius worst crime: callousness to a brothers eternal fate (454). Notably, when Hamlets father asks his son to remember him, he asks for something more than vengeance, but couches his request in terms less explicit than to ask him to lighten his burdens through prayer (458). Shakespeares caution with his mostly Protestant audience seems the obvious explanation for this subtlety, but the Ghosts stage audience suggests another possibility: throughout the play it appears that Hamlet and his friends, as members of the younger generation, simply are not prepared to hear such a request (458). Nowhere in the play does anyone mention Purgatory or pray for the dead (459), and Shakespeare leaves the present state of religion in Denmark ambiguous (461). Hamlet initially appears as the only person mourning Old Hamlet, but the son does not really remember why or how he should remember file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (6 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost his father; he has forgotten the old way to pray for the dead (463). When he is accused of unusual excess in his grief, Hamlet cannot grapple with the theological questions implied. Instead, he is driven inward, into the most famous of all early-modern gestures of radical individualist subjectivity: But I have that within which passes show, / These but the trappings and the suits of woe (1.2.85-86) (463). Hamlets plangent words reveal . that his deepest concern is not only for his lost father but for himself and for his innermost identity (463). The son does not forget his father, he remembers himinsofar as he is capable (465). But Hamlets ironic legacy is to complete, by driving further inward, that earlier self-regarding assertion of progressive, autonomous individualism by his predecessors, who in a moment struck out ruthlessly against the communal past and against the generous benefactions and the crying needs of the dead" ). [ top ] Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP / PERFORMANCE With the goal of bringing the self-effacing frames of Hamlet into focus (50), this essay examines the particular theatrical frame in which Hamlet was first performed, the Globe theater and considers thematic and formal issues of framing in Hamlet, positioning these textual issues within the discussion of the theatrical space (51). The performance space cannot be contained completely by the theatrical frame; it seeps outward: before [e.g., extruding limbs or bodies of actors], behind [e.g., actors holding place behind the stage], between [e.g., sites of transition between spectacle and spectator or inside and outside], above [e.g., the Globes open roof], below [e.g., the Ghosts voice from beneath the stage] (52). While the theatrical frame simultaneously defines and questions the boundaries of the performance space, Hamlet plays out a sequence of dramatic frames that mirror the theatrical frame and double its doubleness (53). For example, the Ghost provides the pretext for the revenge plot but functions at the outermost edges of the play (53), seeming to inhibit the very borders of the dramatic world (54); in The Mousetrap, Revenge drama is enacted within revenge drama, with the players of the central drama as audience, and stage as theater (57); Hamlet exists inside and outside of The Mousetrap, enacting the roles of both chorus and audience (58). But Claudiuss interruption of the play-within-the-play begins the process of closure for the configuration of frames (58), and All of the frames in the play undergo some transformation in the process of closure (59). For example, the file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (7 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost framing Ghost of Hamlet is internalized by the son when Hamlet fully appropriates his fathers name (59): This is I, / Hamlet the Dane (5.1.25051); Hamlet transforms into the avenger, murderer (Claudiuss double), and victim (Old Hamlets double) (59). Ultimately, he passes from the world of speech to the world beyond; in comparison, Horatio is released from his vow of silence, his function is transformed from providing the margin of silence surrounding Hamlets speech to presenting the now-dumb Prince (60). As Hamlets body is carried away, a figured silence closes the frame and dissolves into the background of life resumed (60). [ top ] Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85. CLAUDIUS / GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This essay examines the problematic poetry of Hamlet as an expression of the [Elizabethan] periods apocalyptic concerns (87). Prophetic signs (e.g., eclipse, a nova, the Armadas defeat) heightened a sense of millenarian expectations in Shakespeares audience (88-89). Hamlet contains an ominous sign foreshadowing some strange eruption that endows the play with a haunted sense of eschatology and that embodies and objectifies an apocalyptic ethos: the Ghost (89). Interestingly, fury, almost a violent ecstasy, is first and foremost triggered by the fatal encounter with the Ghost, that is, by an eschatological provocation (91). A brief history of self-flagellation shows that the eschatological ethos induced an ascetic self-torture in the hope of purging earthly sins from the body as well as engendered self-righteous violence towards Jews (and Turks), people marked as fatal sinners and Antichrist in the Christian tradition (90). This combination is labeled oxymoronic violence (91). In Hamlet, the Prince alternates between extrovert and introverted violence (92): he berates himself and attacks all perceived sinners (e.g., Gertrude, Ophelia). He is too intensely possessed with a disgust at fleshly corruption rather that with an interest in revenge (93). While Hamlet parallels radical sects (95), Claudius is similar to King James; both rulers fear the danger of fantasies or madness, a real political threat to any throne (96). Shakespeares play is a cultural rehearsal of an apocalyptic psychodrama which lies close to the heart of the Christian West (98). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (8 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Framed by introductory and concluding chapters that narrate personal experience as well as insight, this monograph is only in the slightest sense a history of productionsreally imitating a rehearsal (22). The first chapter focuses on the action by following the script line by line in the style of a naive telling of the story which can often provoke a discovery (22). As in most productions, the script is an accumulated version: a combination of elements from the Second Quarto and the Folio and any number of later versions, with occasional mischievous forays into the First (Bad) Quarto (24). Act and scene designations are replaced by days to avoid confusion and to draw attention to the fact that, while five separate days of action are presented, Shakespeares manipulation of double time is so skilled that you can believe that several months have passed by between the beginning and the end (23). The chapter on Hamlets characters comes second because one should not make assumptions about character until the action proves them (22). Characters are approached in groups, such as The Royal Triangle (Claudius/the Ghost/Gertrude) and The Commoners (players/gravediggers/priest). Then attention shifts to Hamlet. After discussing the demands of casting and rehearsing the role of Hamlet, the second chapter describes the excitement of opening night and the energizing relationship an actor shares with the audience. Although challenging, playing the role of Hamlet will verify you: you will never be quite the same again (193). [ top ] Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Ghosts Speech. Modern Language Studies 28.3 (1998): 125-50. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GHOST / RHETORICAL This article argues that Claudius did not murder his brother and explores the Ghosts account of its poisoning as the imaginings of a world beyond the world of stage, a world of words in which the eye sees only what the ear hears, thereby sounding the limits of perception itself (126). The death of Old Hamlet is performed by means of words whose effect is to show us what cannot be shown (130). A detailed linguistic analysis of the Ghosts account highlights file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (9 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost how the Ghosts words enter (as the poison entered the Ghosts body) not just Hamlets ears but ours as well (143). The experience of a multitude of casual, seemingly insignificant patterns of interaction among words in this speech invites the audience/reader to imagine and believe in something that doesnt happen in the playexcept in words (147). While The Mousetraps dumbshow echoes visually the Ghosts acoustic representation of that same event (133), Claudius response to it does not prove his guiltnor does his supposed confession. Claudius private words provide no details that would place him at the scene of the crime that afternoon and use a syntactic construction whose hypothetical logic casts more shadow of doubt than light of certainty over what he is actually saying (135). And the confession comes from an unreliable source, a figure whose every action in the play has everything to do with subterfuge and deception (137). Perhaps, Claudius is not speaking from the bottom of his heart, as one who prays presumably does, but rather in this stage performance of a prayer means to deceive God (137). Besides, the confession from this master of deception (138) is for a purely imaginary, hypothetical event that takes place outside of the play, beyond the physical boundaries of the stage (139). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (10 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost Sanchez, Reuben. Thou comst in such a questionable shape: Interpreting the Textual and Contextual Ghost in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 65-84. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GHOST / NEW HISTORICISM This article suggests that in rendering the shape of the Ghost questionable, or indeterminate, Shakespeare has created a text that both resists and embraces context (66). It begins with a survey of critical studies regarding the Ghost to show diversity based on selective contexts (68). A review of Levins and Fishs explanations for such diversity finds that the two seemingly-opposite methodologies complement one another in that neither argues that an understanding of context is irrelevant (69). In a historical context, Hamlets Ghost, a spirit, is perceived as distinct from a soul, and Protestants might very well suspect the spirit of having evil intentions (71). But Hamlet does not act as though he suspects the Ghost to be a devil (at least not initially), and the scene of this first meeting may be even humorous (71-72). In the plays opening scene, the Ghosts pattern of appearance / disappearance / reappearance conveys the fright and curiosity, perhaps even the humor, but also the extreme confusion resulting from the Ghosts appearances (75). Also in this scene, Horatio, Barnardo, and Marcellus attempt to explain the ghostly visitations, representing at least two different interpretive communities: Christian and Pagan (75). The Ghosts appearance in the closet scene is utilized to compare the Folio and the First Quarto, each text indeterminate in and of itself, each indeterminate when compared to the other (79). Whether one speaks of text or context, however, Shakespeare seems to be interested in presenting a Ghost who conveys information and withholds information, a Ghost who educates and confuses, a Ghost who evokes terror and humor, a Ghost whose signification is both textual and contextual (79). [ top ] Wagner, Joseph B. Hamlet Rewriting Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 7592. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / RHETORICAL This article posits two intertwined arguments: Hamlet identifies with his dead parent by reiterating language that honors the older character as a model of morality; and Hamlets need to adapt his own personality to be sufficiently compatible with his fathers motivates him to change or rewrite his play (76). Although the Ghost seems a rather limited character (rarely appearing or file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (11 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Ghost speaking on stage), Shakespeare establishesand maintainsthe audiences sharp awareness of the Ghosts controlling personality by taking the imagery, diction, and values that are present in the Ghosts brief speeches of 1.5 . and by re-using them in the thoughts and speeches of Prince Hamlet. Hamlet and the Ghost think alike, and they use almost exactly parallel diction: thus, as he describes his fathers virtues and imitates his fathers speech patterns, Hamlet continually invoked the fathers ethos, and in this way the Ghosts dynamic presence is maintained when it is not on stage at the same time that the son is going through the process of identification (78-79). The identification process culminates (66) when, in the dual persona of both son and father, he [Hamlet] appropriates the very image and seal of the father (77-78). Although it is an offstage decision that takes him for reaction to action (76), Hamlet describes an experience that might be called meta-theater in that he is director and observer, as well as actor: he writes the new commission and steers the play into its final course of confrontation with Claudius (77). But this is not Hamlets only attempt to transform the play (85). Aside from his addition of some dozen or sixteen lines (2.2.535) to the text of The Murder of Gonzago (86), his changes to the appropriated play during its performance, and his rewriting of Gertrude in the closet scene, a demonstrative example of Hamlet rewriting Hamlet includes his considering, like a writer, some alternative ways of rewriting the script so that he can more closely realize his fathers behavior and personality in the prayer scene (87). With every rewriting (and identification with the father), Hamlet slowly develops the power to choose action rather than delay or reaction (88). In the final scene, Hamlet performs one last rewrite: he gives his dying voice to Fortinbras and, thereby, corrects the forged process that Claudius used to claim the throne (89-90). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/ghost.html (12 of 12) [11/19/2002 11:38:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama Metaphysics n Adelman, Janet. Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeares Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37.n Ahrends, Gnter. "Word and Action in Shakespeare's Hamlet." Word and Action in Drama: Studies in Honour of Hans-Jrgen Diller on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. Ed. Gnter Ahrends, Stephan Kohl, Joachim Kornelius, Gerd Stratmann. Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1994. 93-105. n Amtower, Laurel. The Ethics of Subjectivity in Hamlet. Studies in the Humanities 21.2 (Dec. 1994): 120-33. n Anderson, Mary. Hamlet: The Dialect Between Eye and Ear. Renaissance and Reformation 27 (1991): 299-313.n Andreas, James R. The Vulgar and the Polite: Dialogue in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 9-23.n Arnett, David B. What Makes Hamlet Run? Framing Cognition Discursively. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 24-41.n Bristol, Michael D. "'Funeral bak'd-meats': Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: St. Martin's, 1994. 348-67. [Reprinted in Shakespeare's Tragedies, ed. Susan Zimmerman (1998).]n Brooks, Jean R. Hamlet and Ophelia as Lovers: Some Interpretations on Page and Stage. Aligorh Critical Miscellany 4.1 (1991): 1-25.n Brown, John Russell. Connotations of Hamlets Final Silence. Connotations 2 (1992): 275-86.n Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33.n Bugliani, Francesca. In the mind to suffer: Hamlets Soliloquy, To be, or not to be. Hamlet Studies 17.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1995): 10-42.n Burnett, Mark Thornton. "'For they are actions that a man might play': Hamlet as Trickster." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 24-54.n Byles, Joanna Montgomery. Tragic Alternatives: Eros and Superego Revenge in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 117-34.n Campbell, Dowling G. The Double Dichotomy and Paradox of Honor in file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (1 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Hamlet: With Possible Imagery and Rhetorical Sources for the Soliloquies. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 13-49.n Cefalu, Paul A. Damned Custom . Habits Devil: Shakespeares Hamlet, Anti-Dualism, and the Early Modern Philosophy of Mind. ELH 67 (2000): 399-431. 8 May 2001. n Clary, Frank Nicholas. The very cunning of the scene: Hamlets Divination and the Kings Occulted Guilt. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 7-28.n Coyle, Martin. Hamlet, Gertrude and the Ghost: The Punishment of Women in Renaissance Drama. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (Oct. 1996): 29-38.n de Grazia, Margreta. Hamlet Before Its Time. Modern Language Quarterly 62.4 (Dec. 2001): 355-75. n de Grazia, Margreta. Weeping For Hecuba. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 350-75.n Dews, C. L. Barney. Gender Tragedies: East Texas Cockfighting and Hamlet. Journal of Mens Studies 2 (1994): 253-67.n Dickson, Lisa. The Hermeneutics of Error: Reading and the First Witness in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1997): 64-77.n DiMatteo, Anthony. Hamlet as Fable: Reconstructing a Lost Code of Meaning. Connotations 6.2 (1996/1997): 158-79.n Duffy, Kevin Thomas, Marvin E. Frankel, Stephen Gillers, Norman L. Greene, Daniel J. Kornstein, and Jeanne A. Roberts. The Elsinore Appeal: People v. Hamlet. St. Martin's P: New York, 1996.n Engle, Lars. Discourse, Agency, and Therapy in Hamlet. Exemplaria 4 (1992): 441-53.n Faber, M. D. Hamlet and the Inner World of Objects. The Undiscovered Country: New Essays on Psychoanalysis and Shakespeare. Ed. B. J. Sokol. London: Free Assn., 1993. 57-90.n Fendt, Gene. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama? An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard. Marquette Studies in Philosophy 21. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1999.n Fike, Matthew A. Gertrudes Mermaid Allusion. On Page and Stage: Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. Krakw: Towarzystwo Autorw, 2000. 259-75. [Originally printed in the-hard-to-find B. A. S.: British and American Studies 2 (1999): 15-25.]n Findlay, Alison. "Hamlet: A Document in Madness." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (2 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet York: AMS, 1994. 189-205.n Finkelstein, Richard. Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity. Renaissance and Reformation 21.2 (Spring 1997): 5-22.n Fisher, Philip. Thinking About Killing: Hamlet and the Paths Among the Passions. Raritan 11 (1991): 43-77.n Foakes, R. A. The Reception of Hamlet. Shakespeare Survey 45 (1993): 113.n Gibinska, Marta. The plays the thing: The Play Scene in Hamlet. Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 175-88.n Habib, Imtiaz. Never doubt I love: Misreading Hamlet. College Literature 21.2 (1994): 19-32.n Halverson, John. The Importance of Horatio. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 57-70.n Hardy, John. Hamlets Modesty of nature. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 4256.n Hart, Jeffrey. Hamlets Great Song. Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Revival of Higher Education. By Hart. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. 169-86.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. How infinite in faculties: Hamlets Confusion of God and Man. Literature and Theology 8 (1994): 127-39.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. ShakespeareJahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84.n Holbrook, Peter. Nietzsches Hamlet. Shakespeare Survey 50 (1997): 17186.n Hopkins, Lisa. "Parison and the Impossible Comparison." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 153-64.n Hunt, Maurice. Art of Judgement, Art of Compassion: The Two Arts of Hamlet. Essays in Literature 18 (1991): 3-20.n Iwasaki, Soji. Hamlet and Melancholy: An Iconographical Approach. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 37-55.n Kllay, Gza. To be or not to be and Cogito, ergo sum: Thinking and Being in Shakespeares Hamlet Against a Cartesian Background. AnaChronist [no vol. #] (1996): 98-123.n Kawai, Shoichiro. Hamlets Imagination. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85. file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (3 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet n Kim, Jong-Hwan. Waiting for Justice: Shakespeares Hamlet and the Elizabethan Ethics of Revenge. English Language and Literature 43 (1997): 781-97.n Knowles, Ronald. Hamlet and Counter-Humanism. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 104669).n Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30.n Lawrence, Sen Kevin. As a stranger, bid it welcome: Alterity and Ethics in Hamlet and the New Historicism. European Journal of English 4.2 (2000): 155-69.n Levy, Eric P. Defeated joy: Melancholy and Eudaemonia in Hamlet. Upstart Crow 18 (1998): 95-109.n Levy, Eric P. Nor th exterior nor the inward man: The Problematics of Personal Identity in Hamlet. University of Toronto Quarterly 68.3 (Summer 1999): 711-27.n Levy, Eric. The Problematic Relation Between Reason and Emotion in Hamlet. Renascence 53.2 (Winter 2001): 83-95.n Levy, Eric P. Things standing thus unknown: The Epistemology of Ignorance in Hamlet. Studies in Philology 97 (Spring 2000): 192-209.n Low, Jennifer. Manhood and the Duel: Enacting Masculinity in Hamlet. Centennial Review 43.3 (Fall 1999): 501-12. n Lucking, David. Each word made true and good: Narrativity in Hamlet. Dalhouse Review 76 (1996): 177-96.n Mallette, Richard. From Gyves to Graces: Hamlet and Free Will. Journal of English and German Philology 93 (1994): 336-55.n Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63.n Milne, Joseph. Hamlet: The Conflict Between Fate and Grace. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 29-48.n Mollin, Alfred. On Hamlets Mousetrap. Interpretation 21.3 (Spring 1994): 353-72.n Morin, Gertrude. Depression and Negative Thinking: A Cognitive Approach to Hamlet. Mosaic 25.1 (1992): 1-12.n Nameri, Dorothy E. "The Dramatic Value of Hamlet's Verbal Expressions: A Linguistic-Literary Analysis." The Nineteenth LACUS Forum 1992. Lake Bluff: Linguistic Assoc., 1993. 409-21.n Nojima, Hidekatsu. The Mirror of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 21-35. file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (4 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet n Nyberg, Lennart. "Hamlet, Student, Stoic-Stooge?" Cultural Exchange Between European Nations During the Renaissance: Proceedings of the Symposium Arranged in Uppsala by the Forum for Renaissance Studies of the English Department of Uppsala University, 5-7 June 1993. Ed. Gunnar Sorelius and Michael Srigley. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia 86. Uppsala: Uppsala U, 1994. 123-32. n Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85.n Partee, Morriss Henry. Hamlet and the Persistence of Comedy. Hamlet Studies 14 (1992): 9-18.n Porterfield, Sally F. "Oh Dad, Poor Dad: The Universal Disappointment of Imperfect Parents in Hamlet." Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays. Drama and Theatre Studies 57. Westport: Greenwood P, 1994. 72-98.n Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Anti-theatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63.n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992.n Russell, John. Hamlet and Narcissus. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995.n Sadowski, Piotr. "The 'Dog's day' in Hamlet: A Forgotten Aspect of the Revenge Theme." Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Ed. Jerzy Liman and Jay L. Halio. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 159-68.n Scott, William O. The Liar Paradox as Self-Mockery: Hamlets Postmodern Cogito. Mosaic 24.1 (1991): 13-30.n Shimizu, Toyoko. Hamlets Method in madness in Search of Private and Public Justice. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 5772.n Simon, Bennett. Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation. American Imago 58.3 (Fall 2001): 707-22.n Stanton, Kay. "Hamlet's Whores." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88.n Takahashi, Yasunari. Speech, Deceit, and Catharsis: A Reading of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 3-19.n Taylor, James O. The Influence of Rapier Fencing on Hamlet. Forum for Modern Language Studies 29.3 (1993): 203-15. file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (5 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet n Terry, Reta A. Vows to the blackest death: Hamlet and the Evolving Code of Honor in Early Modern England. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 107086.n Thatcher, David. Sullied Flesh, Sullied Mind: Refiguring Hamlets Imaginations. Studia Neophilologica 68 (1996): 29-38.n Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. n Voss, Paul J. To Prey or Not To Prey: Prayer and Punning in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 59-74. n Wagner, Joseph B. Hamlet Rewriting Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 75-92.n Watterson, William Collins. Hamlets Lost Father. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 10-23.n Wiggins, Martin. "Hamlet Within the Prince." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 209-26.n Wright, Eugene P. Hamlet: From Physics to Metaphysics. Hamlet Studies 4 (1992): 19-31.n Yoshioka, Fumio. Silence, Speech, and Spectacle in Hamlet. Shakespeare Studies 31 (1996): 1-33.n Zimmermann, Heiner O. "Is Hamlet Germany? On the Political Reception of Hamlet." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 293-318. Adelman, Janet. Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeares Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This monograph chapter argues that Hamlet redefines the sons position between two fathers by relocating it in relation to an indiscriminately sexual maternal body that threatens to annihilate the distinction between the fathers and hence problematizes the sons paternal identification (14-15). Hamlet rewrites the story of Cain and Abel as the story of Adam and Eve, relocating masculine identity in the presence of the adulterating female (30). Gertrude plays out the role of the missing Eve: her body is the garden in which her husband dies, her sexuality the poisonous weeds that kill him, and poison the worldand the selffor her file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (6 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet son (30). The absence of the father combined with the presence of the engulfing mother awakens all the fears incident to the primary mother-child bond (30). The solution is for Hamlet to remake his mother in the image of Virgin Mother who could guarantee his fathers purity, and his own, repairing the boundaries of his selfhood (31). In the closet scene, Hamlet attempts to remake his mother pure by divorcing her from her sexuality (32-33). Although Gertrude remains relatively opaque, more a screen for Hamlets fantasies about her than a fully developed character in her own right, the son at least believes that she has returned to him as the mother he can call good lady (3.4.182) (34). As a result, Hamlet achieves a new calm and self-possession but at a high price: for the parents lost to him at the beginning of the play can be restored only insofar as they are entirely separated from their sexual bodies. This is a pyrrhic solution to the problems of embodiedness and familial identity . . (35). [ top ] Ahrends, Gnter. "Word and Action in Shakespeare's Hamlet." Word and Action in Drama: Studies in Honour of Hans-Jrgen Diller on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. Ed. Gnter Ahrends, Stephan Kohl, Joachim Kornelius, Gerd Stratmann. Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1994. 93-105. HAMLET / METADRAMA / PERFORMANCE While contending that Hamlet "is a meta-play dealing with fundamental principles of the art of acting," this essay analyzes the play's didactic presentation of word and action: "the verbal and the mimic-gesticulatory forms of expression are equally significant signs which have to be put into a balanced relationship with each other" (93), otherwise "they degenerate into deficient signs" (94). Through the player's excellence with the Hecuba speech and Hamlet's reaction to it, Shakespeare's "most famous tragedy contains not only a theory of mimesis but also a concrete example of how theoretical principles can be translated into practice" (98). Hamlet understands the principles of the art of acting, as he demonstrates in his advice to the players, and his insight motivates The Mousetrap. While The Mousetrap succeeds in provoking Claudius, the closet scene is "a continuation of the play within the play in so far as it is now Gertrude's turn to reveal her guilt" (100). Hamlet's initial effort with his mother fails because he "proves to be a bad actor" (101), but the son eventually remembers his own advice to the players and matches action with word; "It is exactly by making Hamlet's first attempt fail that Shakespeare turns the bedroom scene into a further example of how the principles of theatrical representation have to be transformed into practice" (100). Hamlet, like Claudius and Gertrude, "appears as a dissociated human being" for most of the play because his words and actions are unbalanced; but he distinguishes himself from the others with his knowledge "that file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (7 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet the art of theatrical representation makes it possible for man to overcome the state of dissociation by not tolerating the discrepancy between action and word" (102). [ top ] Amtower, Laurel. The Ethics of Subjectivity in Hamlet. Studies in the Humanities 21.2 (Dec. 1994): 120-33. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL This article approaches Hamlet as an exploration of the crisis of selfhood that results when Aquinas carefully observed laws collide, collapsing the hierarchical structure of being that defines the individual into a jumble of conflicting perspectives (123). In the play, any event in its actuality tends to get lost, and gives rise instead to a story or interpretation on the part of a witnessing agent, which then achieves a certain life of its own (124). For example, the murder of Old Hamlet is never known in its actuality, but is instead delivered as information, filtered through the suspicious perspectives of the characters, and acted upon accordingly (124). After gaining information about his fathers murder, Hamlet responds to the call for revenge by attempting to justify the task within the theological and political framework that structures not only his ethical sensibilities, but his very sensibilities regarding who and what he is (125). Hamlet is thus placed into a subjective crux within which intersect the exclusive values which frame his very being (125). But by believing he acts for a higher agency (e.g., the Ghost/father) and thus dismissing the claims of his own integrity, Hamlet begins to reinscribe the entities and relationships around him into narratives and texts, to be negotiated and interpreted according to his own absolute gloss (126). For him, absolutes become fluid, and life is nothing but a language game (126). Unfortunately, Hamlet is not just a player of games comprised of words and deceptions, but a product of these games (128). He feigns madness and manipulates The Mousetrap, all language-based methods, to extract truth from othersbut egotistically neglects the fact that the truth he seeks might well be a product of his own discursive devising (129). Leaving behind humanity and morality, he appoints himself scourge and minister (131) and perverts the discourse of religious dogma in the pursuit of selfish ends, for the subject at the end of this play is a tyrant, using the discourse of power to justify his abandonment of individual ethics (132). [ top ] Anderson, Mary. Hamlet: The Dialect Between Eye and Ear. Renaissance and file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (8 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Reformation 27 (1991): 299-313. EYE & EAR / HAMLET / METADRAMA This article analyzes Hamlet to discern Shakespeares comparison between the eye and the ear as the two faculties by which sense data are transmitted to the reason (299). A collaboration of the two senses must exist for the success of reason because, alone, the ear is prone to malignant information and the eye suffers incomplete or ineffectual information (302). For example, Hamlet mistakenly assumes that Claudius is at prayer based on only sight (similar to a dumb show) and accidentally kills Polonius based solely on sound. In comparison, the simultaneous use of ear and eye in The Mousetrap allows Hamlet to successfully confirm Claudius guilt. Various models of the eye/ear relationship emerge in the development of Polonius, Gertrude, Ophelia, and Fortinbras. In Hamlet, Shakespeare appears to defend the theatre as a very effective moral medium which stimulates both eye and ear into a dialectic within the reason and conscience (311). [ top ] Andreas, James R. The Vulgar and the Polite: Dialogue in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 9-23. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MARXISM / RHETORICAL Drawing on the ideas of Erving Goffman, Geoffrey Bateson, and Mikhail Bakhtin, this article examines the tension generated by the dialogic interaction of Hamlets rhetoric of the vulgus (the folk, villein, vulgar, the plain, the proverbial, and the parodically double) and Claudius rhetoric of the polis (the polity, policy, polite, police and politically duplicit) in Hamlet (10). The King (and his representatives, e.g., Polonius) attempts to control context, speaks in a fairly straightforward authoritarian voice (15), and restricts and restrains the vulgar (17); in comparison, the Prince fluctuates between multiple contexts, exercises verbal play and parody (15), and introduces the dialogically deviant (17). This dialogical clash of two verbal styles generates Hamlets energy (10). The literary styles and devices seem derived respectivelyand disrespectfullyfrom the master genres of the vulgar and the polite that can still be heard clashing in the streets and courts of today (20). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (9 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Arnett, David B. What Makes Hamlet Run? Framing Cognition Discursively. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 24-41. HAMLET / RHETORICAL Drawing strongly on William G. Perrys cognitive research, this essay discusses the conclusions we can come to about Hamlets vacillation by seeing them in a Perrian context (25). Perry studied students cognitive structures as those structures developed from Simple [linguistic] Dualism to Commitment with [linguistic] Relativism (27), leading to a linguistic or rhetorical theory, even if he characterizes it as a cognitive one (28). In Hamlet, the Princes language of politics evolves, based on the foundations laid by the already evolved language of study at Wittenberg (31). While his return to Elsinore for Old Hamlets funeral causes deflections from growth, the moralistic rage of Retreat into a dualism (32), the comforting presence of Horatio enables Hamlet to relinquish any hint of a moral polarity between himself and his opponent (33). With his classmate, Hamlet does not need to hide behind a corruption of words (34). He only adopts antic discourses in the company of those who manipulate language solely for their personal gain (e.g., Claudius) because the pose allows Perrys authentically Committed person to maintain a necessary presence where his or her Commitments lie without unduly jeopardizing his or her position (34). After learning of his fathers murder from the Ghost, Hamlet becomes committed to gaining sufficient knowledge for authentic action (35). The Mousetrap confirms Claudius guilt but leaves several uncertainties, such as the security of Gertrude and Denmark. Ultimately, Hamlet reaches a new Commitment with Relativism: he knows enough to act, he knows enough to die, and he is ready for whatever Providence may provide (37). To ask why Hamlet does not avenge his fathers murder sooner is not only to deny the very human process of growth but also to deny the validity of a liberal educationthe ultimate in revolutionary reconstructions (38). [ top ] Bristol, Michael D. "'Funeral bak'd-meats': Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: St. Martin's, 1994. 348-67. [Reprinted in Shakespeare's Tragedies, ed. Susan Zimmerman (1998).] CARNIVAL / CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MARXISM While supplying a summary of Marxist theory and of Bakhtin's principles of the Carnival, this essay contends that Claudius and Hamlet camouflage themselves with carnivalesque masks but that Hamlet has an advantageous "understanding of the corrosive and clarifying power of laughter" (350). Appearing "as a complex file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (10 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet variant of the Lord of Misrule," Claudius first speaks of a festive commingling between marriage and death, but he only appropriates carnivalesque themes and values "in order to make legitimate his own questionable authority" (355). Ironically, his means of securing the crown "typically mocks and uncrowns all authority" (356). Although Hamlet initially rejects festivities, his killing of Polonius marks the change in him. Hamlet's use of "grotesque Carnival equivocation" in the following scene with the King, his father/mother, suggests Hamlet's development (358). Hamlet's interaction with "actual representatives of the unprivileged," the Gravediggers, completes Hamlet's training in carnivalism (359). Aside from the "clear and explicit critique of the basis for social hierarchy" (360), this scene shows Hamlet reflecting on death, body identity, community, and laughter. He confronts Yorick's skull but learns that "the power of laughter is indestructible": "Even a dead jester can make us laugh" (361). Now Hamlet is ready to participate in Claudius' final festival, the duel. True to the carnival tendencies, the play ends with "violent social protest" and "a change in the political order" (364). Unfortunately, Fortinbras' claim to the throne maintains "the tension between 'high' political drama and a 'low' audience of nonparticipating witnesses" (365). [ top ] Brooks, Jean R. Hamlet and Ophelia as Lovers: Some Interpretations on Page and Stage. Aligorh Critical Miscellany 4.1 (1991): 1-25. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE This essay asserts that Getting Ophelia right involves, by implication, Hamlets love relationship with her, and a re-examination of the question, in what sense they can be considered as lovers (1). While literary scholars frequently get Ophelia wrong, actors and directors (e.g., Olivier, Jacobi) also make mistakes, such as altering the To be, or not to be soliloquy and negating textual evidence of Ophelias chastity. Actors also tend to stereotype Ophelia, whether as the unchaste young woman (e.g., West) (8) or as more child than woman (e.g., Mirren, McEwan, Tutin) (10). In actuality, the text purports a well-disciplined Renaissance woman, a young woman, not a child, with her chaste treasure unopend but at the peak of sexual attractiveness, because the key to the nunnery and play scenes lies in the difference between what the audience sees on stage and what Hamlet sees in his minds eye (12-13). He projects on to the innocent andas the audience can seeunpainted Ophelia the disgust he feels at his mothers sexual sins (13) and the self-disgust he feels for inheriting original sin from his parents (14). But his ordering of her to a nunnery suggests a kind of love that makes Hamlet wish to preserve Ophelias goodness untouched (15). Ultimately, it is Hamlet who rejects Ophelia, not Ophelia who rejects Hamlet (1516). But her constant love gives positive counterweight, for the audience, to file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (11 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Hamlets too extreme obsession with the processes of corruption (17). The good that Ophelias constant love does for her lover, from beyond the grave, is to affirm his commitment to the human condition he had wished to deny (21). Beside her grave, Hamlet belatedly testifies to his love for Ophelia, acknowledging the good in human nature that Ophelia had lived for, and that Hamlet finally dies to affirm. Given the tragic unfulfilment of the human condition, could lovers do more for each other? (23). [ top ] Brown, John Russell. Connotations of Hamlets Final Silence. Connotations 2 (1992): 275-86. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE This article responds to the criticism leveled at John Russell Browns Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet, particularly the charge of failure to show how the wide range of meanings in the single last sentence was related to the whole of the play in performance (275). This article insists that the Hamlet actors presence on stage and enactment of events provides the audience with a physical knowledge of Hamlet, void of the psychological dimension that ambiguous language camouflages. Hamlets wordplay is an essential quality of his nature, which remains intact during the process of his dying (275). While the original articles dismissal of the O, o, o, o addition (present in the Folio after Hamlets last words) received negative responses from Dieter Mehl and Maurice Charney, this article argues that doubts of authenticity, authority, and dramatic effectiveness justify this decision. The physical death on stage and the verbal descriptions of Hamlets body also negate the need for a last-minute groan. Ultimately, the stage reality co-exists with words yet seems beyond the reach of words; hence, in Hamlet, Shakespeare created a character who seems to carry within himself something unspoken and unexpressed . right up until the moment Hamlet dies (285). [ top ] Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL Given that a tragedy excites an audiences interest in the heros private file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (12 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet consciousness, this article asks, Has Shakespeare provided the means, in words or action, whereby this hero [Hamlet] comes, at last, to be denoted truly? (18). Throughout Hamlet, the protagonist speaks ambiguously. His linguistic trickery only heightens the audiences anticipation of resolution (and revelation of Hamlets inner thoughts). Yet the last line of the dying Princethe rest is silence (5.2.363)proves particularly problematic, with a minimum of five possible readings. For example, Shakespeare perhaps speaks through Hamlet, telling the audience and the actor that he, the dramatist, would not, or could not, go a word further in the presentation of this, his most verbally brilliant and baffling hero (27); the last lines of Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Loves Labors Lost suggest a pattern of this authorial style. While all five readings are plausible, they are also valuable, allowing audience and actor to choose an interpretation. This final act of multiplicity seems fitting for a protagonist whose mind is unconfined by any single issue (31). [ top ] Bugliani, Francesca. In the mind to suffer: Hamlets Soliloquy, To be, or not to be. Hamlet Studies 17.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1995): 10-42. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This article analyzes Hamlets To be, or not to be soliloquy as a deliberation on the conflict between reason and passion (11). After surveying the Elizabethan scholarship on passion, it examines how Shakespeare modelled Hamlet according to Elizabethan and Jacobean ideas of melancholy (11). Hamlet frequently assumes a melancholic mask when interacting with other characters, but his melancholic sentiments expressed through soliloquies appear genuine rather than stereotypical (14). A line-by-line analysis of the To be, or not to be soliloquy suggests that it encapsulates the main theme of Hamlet: Both the play and the soliloquy are animated by the conflict between the ideal of Socratic or, more precisely Stoic, imperturbability cherished by Hamlet and his guiltless, inevitable and tragic subjection to the perturbations of the mind (26). [ top ] Burnett, Mark Thornton. "'For they are actions that a man might play': Hamlet as Trickster." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 24-54. CARNIVAL / HAMLET / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (13 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet This essay's "hoped-for result is to draw attention to a set of relations between the trickster theme in the play and the social, economic and political forces which lend Hamlet its note of specifically Elizabethan urgency" (29). Shakespeare's play conjures "a spectrum of archetypal trickster intrigues" through multiple characters (34): "it "enlists the traditions of the fox, the fool, and the rogue, complicating the expectation that the play can be understood in terms of a diagrammatic relationship between those who trick and those who are tricked" (43). But the focus is primarily on "Hamlet's own tricksy practices" (34). While the Prince "follows in the path of the trickster in choosing words and theatre as the weapons with which he will secure his role as revenger," "his sense of purpose is often blunted, from within (by Claudius) and from without (by the Ghost)"-like the traditional trickster who battles multiple foes of "local or familial networks" (37). Historically, the trickster's "malleable form presented itself as an answer to, and an expression of, the early modern epistemological dilemma" (51). For example, Hamlet raises concerns of religion, succession, and gender, comparable to the "unprecedented social forms and new ideological configurations" experienced while Elizabeth I reigned as monarch (49-50). In a carnivalesque style, Hamlet affords Elizabethans "a release of tensions" and a means of "social protest" through its trickster(s) (50). [ top ] Byles, Joanna Montgomery. Tragic Alternatives: Eros and Superego Revenge in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 117-34. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC While exploring and defining Freuds principles of the superego aggression and Eros, this essay contends that, in Hamlet, the playwright subverts the essential logic of the revenge form by representing revenge as an inward tragic event, reinforced by destructive family relationships whose psychic energies violate and destroy the protagonists psychic wholeness, fragmenting and ultimately dissolving the personality (118). The tragic process, instead of strengthening the ego in its task of regulating Eros and aggression so that they do not clash with reality and defuse (separate), is one in which the ego is destroyed by the undermining of its total organization (123). The Ghost appears as a piece of theatrical aggression for it stops Hamlets initial fierce self-restraint; allows him to express his deeply conflicted feelings about Claudius (127), and affirms his intense feelings about his mother (128). But as a key producer of guilt, the self-torturing superego is dramatized as delay (121). Hamlet attempts to gain control over the destructiveness of the superego by projecting his guilt onto others and finds periods of relief when channeling his vengeful aggression, primarily through verbal file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (14 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet cruelty and hostility (129). Unfortunately, his failure to achieve revenge and his blunders that lead to the untimely deaths of Polonius and Ophelia create acute mental agony (130). Hamlets ego yields to his superego and takes the suffering the self-abusive superego produces, leading the tragic hero to exact revenge upon himself: Hamlet returns from sea resigned to his own death (130). This conflict between ego and superego constitutes the dynamic action of Hamlet (131). [ top ] Campbell, Dowling G. The Double Dichotomy and Paradox of Honor in Hamlet: With Possible Imagery and Rhetorical Sources for the Soliloquies. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 13-49. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / RHETORICAL In addition to proposing some important source considerations of publications on honor (19) and exploring how some critics (e.g., Watson, Desai) have come so close (but failed) to identifying the key dichotomy in Hamlet, this essay suggests that Shakespeare uses the vengeance convention to dramatize a paradox, one that is difficult to decipher because of language limitations: the inherently and tragically violent virtue/vengeance dichotomy within the honor code (13). To avoid linguistic confusion with a single English word that signals diverse/conflicting meanings, this article utilizes the Spanish terms honor and honra: honor refers to humility and forgiveness and expanded, private, internal goodness, whereas honra signifies pride and vengeance, public satisfaction or retribution (22). Honra seems the primary tenet of everyone in Denmarkexcept the Prince: honor is instinctive and implicit in Hamlets nature (13-14). But he also wants to believe that he shares the same principles, assumptions, and beliefs (and social constructs) as everyone else (24). It is Hamlets simultaneous and continuos struggle with both sides of the dichotomy that constitutes his superlative characterization . ., his depth of feeling, his passion (24). The devastating tug of war between private and public behaviors and values occurs in Hamlets soul, as the soliloquies confirm, and explains the hesitance or delay or dilemma (14). Shakespeare infuses Hamlets soliloquies with the dichotomy, starting with no blame, working into self-blame, and ending with a futile pledge of bloody vengeance. It is the failure of vengeance to uproot Hamlets sense of virtue which causes the underlying intensity (37). Nothing can shake an innate virtuous sensibility and spur Hamlet into killing, not the disgusting elemental considerations in the graveyard (36-37), and not the shock of Ophelias death (35). Claudius has to trick Hamlet into so much as drawing his sword (35). But even then, Virtue rules (35): Hamlet is apologetic to Laertes, causing the file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (15 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet conspirator to feel sorry and to lament the lethal plan in an aside (35). The split within the honor code, complete with devastating paradox, is what troubles Hamlet and Shakespeare (23). Shakespeare seems to be striving to articulate the hypocrisy of the honor code itself throughout his canon (43-44). In Hamlet (and Hamlet), he creates a major theme with the honor/honra paradox, even if he lacks those two little terms (46). [ top ] Cefalu, Paul A. Damned Custom . Habits Devil: Shakespeares Hamlet, AntiDualism, and the Early Modern Philosophy of Mind. ELH 67 (2000): 399-431. 8 May 2001. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay briefly examines some modern and pre-modern theories of the mindthose of Gilbert Ryle, Putnam, Augustine, Pomponazzi, and Jeremy Taylorin order to suggest first that Renaissance philosophy and theology held theories of the mind that resemble modern-day anti-dualistic accounts of behaviorism and functionalism, and second that Shakespeares Hamlet is implicated in this behaviorist-functionalist tradition rather than in the innatist tradition into which it has usually been placed (400). Too often critics mistakenly conflate third-person statements about Hamlets mental states with Hamlets firstperson reports, reports which aim to understand the role of behavior, habit, and custom in knowing and acting, rather than to explore any Cartesian theater of the mind (400). In actuality, for most of the play Hamlet is a radical Rylean behaviorist, inasmuch as he believes mental phenomena and predicates gain meaning only when they are identified in a one-to-one relationship with behavioral predicates (400). Shaping Hamlets behaviorism is the early modern assimilation of the Augustine-Protestant theory of the ineradicability of vicious habits (400). Hamlets understanding of the theological construal of habit helps to explain both his irresolution . and his sense that personal identity or subjective states are identical with customary behavioral dispositions (400-01). In reifying and objectifying habits, he imagines persons to be constituted by behavior, custom, and dispositional states all the way down, so that they are unendowed with what Derek Parfit would describe as any further facts to their psychological identity, such as disembodied minds or thoughts (401). Hamlet inherits a widely-held Augustine-Protestant preoccupation with the tortured relationship among habit, sin, and action. If there is any incredible objective correlative operating in the play, it describes Hamlets over-indulgence in, and misconstrual of, this tradition, which recognized the utility of retaining virtuous patterns of conduct as correctives to customary sin (428). file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (16 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet [ top ] Clary, Frank Nicholas. The very cunning of the scene: Hamlets Divination and the Kings Occulted Guilt. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 7-28. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM This essay argues that contemporary circumstances would have enabled late Elizabethan and early Jacobean audiences to recognize Hamlets Mousetrap play as an evocation of the theatricalized divinations of English cunning men (8). Reports of cunning men and cunning women (a.k.a. sorcerers and witches) reveal that these people were once popular in England and that they performed ritualistic functionssuch as detecting guilt in criminals. Hamlets Mousetrap duplicates methods of ceremony used by the cunning, suggesting his occultism; his language, particularly in the soliloquy following The Murder of Gonzago, implies that the Prince has been instructed in that devilish art (11). He becomes a mimic celebrant in an inversion ritual, which is a perverse imitation of the method of sacramental atonement (12). The Jacobean audiences would have recognized Hamlet as a cunning man because of King Jamess active persecution of sorcerers and witches, as well as his publications on the evils of occultism, perhaps explaining the renewed popularity of this revenge tragedy (14). Fortunately, Hamlet leaves his sinister education at sea and returns from his voyage with a new faith in Christian tenets (e.g., providence). When Hamlet does strike against Claudius, he reacts spontaneously as an instrument of divine retribution (15), proves his readiness and confirms his faith (16). By reworking the legend of Amleth, Shakespeare removes Hamlet from the clutches of the devil by having him place himself in the hands of providence (15). This tragic drama ultimately transcends the practical concerns of politics and exorcises the occultism of the blacker arts (16). [ top ] Coyle, Martin. Hamlet, Gertrude and the Ghost: The Punishment of Women in Renaissance Drama. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (Oct. 1996): 29-38. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM By presenting Hamlet in the context of the Renaissance drama canon, this essay argues that Hamlets difficulties over Gertrude are not so much psychological as political, or, more accurately perhaps, ideological (29). A survey of Renaissance revenge tragedies (e.g., A Woman Killed with Kindness, Othello, The Changeling, file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (17 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Tis Pity Shes a Whore, The Revengers Tragedy) reveals the key codes of disciplining an adulteress: the male has a duty to punish the female (and perhaps to rescue her soul) (31); the punishment is a reclaiming of rights over her body and control of her will (33); any physical violence must be within the boundaries of propriety (e.g., suffocation) (33); and only husbands or lovers are permitted to kill the woman (34). This brief study also highlights the importance of the marital bed as a symbol. Hamlets protagonist repeatedly stresses Gertrudes soiled bed, revealing a primary concern to restore the royal bed to its former status as a symbol of chaste marriage, fidelity, loyalty, innocence (37). In the closet scene, the son breaks with the Ghost by attempting to punish (and to save) the adulteress with verbal violence, but Gertrude can only be saved by her true husband, Old Hamlet, who, of course, cannot help or harm her (36); her destiny is sealed by sexual codes that lie outside their [the Ghosts and Hamlets] control and, indeed, outside the control of the text (36). In the final scene, Hamlet acts in his own right to avenge his mother and himself rather than as an agent of his father (35). By moving away from the tradition of the Oedipus Complex, this interpretation shows how different Hamlet is from the play modern psychological criticism had given us (37). [ top ] de Grazia, Margreta. Hamlet Before Its Time. Modern Language Quarterly 62.4 (Dec. 2001): 355-75. HAMLET / RECEPTION THEORY Focusing precisely on the period between 1600 and 1800, this article suggests that what appears modern in Hamlet seems not to have been acquired at a later point in history [the modern period] but to have been present from the start (356). From its initial performance on an Elizabethan stage, Hamlet was behind the times, a recycling of an earlier play (356) that retained the most archaic feature of all: the ghost of Old Hamlet (357). Hamlet continued to appear old after 1660, when Shakespeares plays were considered more old-fashioned than those of Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and Shirley (358). But, rather than fade away, Shakespeares works provided the perfect objects for the new art of criticism (361). While critics blamed the playwrights neglect of the classics (and his use of the wrong sources) for plot violations of the classical unities, they also maintained that his shoddy plots were offset by his excellent characters (362). When Romantic critics broke with the classical models, critical emphasis shifted from plot to character. An indirect result of this change included the newfound autonomy of Hamlets character (364). But the nagging question of Hamlets delay persisted, becoming now a psychological rather than a dramaturgical problem (365). One must wonder to what degree his problematic file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (18 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet interiority depends on the shift of delay from plot to character (365). Without being grounded in his own plot, he [Hamlet] accommodates whatever theory of mind, consciousness, or the unconscious can explain his inaction (367). For example, Freud, Lacan, Abraham and Torok, and Derrida have all offered new theories to answer a question framed two centuries ago (373)why does Hamlet delay? The question keeps the play modern, for the modern by definition must always look new, up-to-date, or, better yet, a bit ahead of its time, and Hamletonce abstracted from plot and absorbed in himselfremains open indefinitely to modernization (374). [ top ] de Grazia, Margreta. Weeping For Hecuba. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 350-75. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PSYCHOANALYTIC While Freud argued that the loss of the father greatly influenced Shakespeare during the writing of Hamlet, this article uses Freuds source (Brandes William Shakespeare: A Critical Study) to stress an overlooked historical fact of equal importance: Shakespeare bought land around this time because his fatherlike Hamletsdid not leave an inheritance for the son. This article suggests that Hamlet dramatizes the difficulty of mourning a father who did not make good the promise of the patronymic (360-61). The grave yard scene, the only instance when Hamlet truly expresses grief, focuses on property. For example, who does the grave belong to, the gravedigger or the dead? In his musings over the gravediggers handling of the dead, Hamlet mentions extinct world conquerors, emperors, landlords, and lawyersall who once held land, but who are now held by the land (357). While Hamlet derides the thirst for, quest after, and transience of property, he eagerly jumps into Ophelias grave to compete with Laertes for the property. But, in this all-consuming and passionate grief, Hamlet never mentions his father. Old Hamlet left his son none of the patrinomial properties that secure lineal continuityland, title, arms, signet, royal bed (364). Without these inheritances, Hamlets memory is insufficiently impressed to remember his father, causing the son to forget the date of his Old Hamlets death, for instance (365). In comparison, Shakespeare had to cope with the absence of an inheritance from his father and the lack of an heir to pass his own estate onto. Freuds father also could not leave an inheritance to his son because, at the time, laws restricted Jews from owning and transmitting property (369). These three sons share the meager legacy of guilt upon their fathers deaths: According to Freud, Freud experienced it while writing about Shakespeare, Shakespeare experienced it while writing Hamlet, and Hamlet experienced it in the play that file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (19 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet has continued since the onset of the modern period to bear so tellingly on the everchanging here and now (369). [ top ] Dews, C. L. Barney. Gender Tragedies: East Texas Cockfighting and Hamlet. Journal of Mens Studies 2 (1994): 253-67. FEMINISM / HAMLET / "TO BE, OR NOT TO BE" SOLILOQUY Written in an unorthodox style and laced with personal letters to familial models of gender, this article hopes to rectify the lack of scholarship about the harmful results of societys gender pressure on the male characters in Hamlet (255). Hamlets ideal model of masculinity is his father, whose ghost demands proof of the sons manliness. Similarly, Laertes dead father also becomes a source that demands a show of loyalty through revenge (due to Claudius manipulation). While Laertes appears to embrace the masculine ideals, Hamlet is in an ambivalent position, suspended between the masculine and feminine (259). The indoctrination pressures of Claudius and Polonius as well as the problematic female chastity of Gertrude and Ophelia deliver conflicting messages to Hamlet. His tragic flaw seems his inability to reconcile the mixed messages he is receiving regarding gender and the options available to him (261). But Hamlet has no options because of his royal title and destiny. The To be, or not to be soliloquy provides the simultaneous contemplation of suicide and gender conflict. This conflict and the lack of choices seems epitomized in the final scene, when Horatio and Fortinbras describe the dead Hamlet in different gender terms. Hamlet presents ambivalence about the dilemma of a reconciling of both masculine and feminine within an individual personality, a dilemma that men still face today (266). [ top ] Dickson, Lisa. The Hermeneutics of Error: Reading and the First Witness in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1997): 64-77. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE While occasionally using Hamlet productions to describe the potential audience experience, this article posits that Claudius and Hamlet are engaged in a border conflict where power is linked to the ability to control the dissemination of information, the passage of knowledge across the boundary between private and public (65). While Hamlet is about the hermeneutic task, its circles within file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (20 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet circles of overt and covert interpreters, of stage and theater audiences (65), displace Truth along the line of multiple and multiplying perspectives (66). Using his wit and word-play, to deflect the hermeneutic onslaught, Hamlet mobilizes his own interpretive strategies under the cover of the antic disposition, where madness, collapsing the categories of the hidden and the apparent, allows him to hide in plain sight (67). Likewise, Claudius attempts to hide in plain sight by providing the court with a reading of recent events that he hopes will neutralize [and silence] Hamlets threat and control the dissemination and reception of the facts of his own crime(s), as evident in act one, scene two (68). Although Claudius and Hamlet struggle to maintain the borders of silence and speech, public and private, hidden and apparent, they inevitably fail (69-70). In the nunnery scene, in which Hamlet is aware of the spies behind the curtain in most productions (e.g., 1992 BBC Radios, Zeffirellis, Halls), he attempts to hide behind his antic disposition, but the seeming truth in his anger suggests an explosion and collision between his inner and outer worlds (71). Claudius suffers a similar collapse: his hidden self erupting to the public view out of the body of the player-Lucianus (73). Claudius and Hamlet are also alike in their problematic perspectives: Hamlets desire to prove the Ghost honest and justify his revenge shapes his own discovery of Claudius (74); and Claudius reading of his [Hamlets] antic disposition is complicated by his own guilt (72). Within the circles upon circles of watching faces, the disease in Hamlet may well be the maddening proliferation of Perspectives on Hamlet, where the boundaries constructed between public and private selves collapse under the power of the gaze (75). [ top ] DiMatteo, Anthony. Hamlet as Fable: Reconstructing a Lost Code of Meaning. Connotations 6.2 (1996/1997): 158-79. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MYTHIC CRITICISM / OPHELIA This article explores how the nexus of Hamlet and mythic heroes links with another analogy between fable and history that involves an unsettling convergence of spirits (159), how Shakespeares audience perceived the myths cognitive potential . to have great speculative power (159-60), as well as how myths are enlisted but also deeply called into question by Hamlet (160). A comparison of terminology, imagery, and plot between mythology and the play identifies parallels between Hamlet / Adonis / Orpheus / Vulcan / Aeneas / Hercules and Ophelia / Venus / Dido. While classical points of contact suggest a symbolic coding and an implied range of meanings, they also locate Hamlet in a relationship to a specific audience or readership trained in academic recital and exegesis of Ovid and Virgil (164). Due to the hermeneutical traditions as they file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (21 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet had come to evolve in the late Renaissance, one must read myth allusions in Hamlet not archetypically but stenographically (165). For example, the acquired double potential of myth allowing it to serve simultaneously as examples of human virtue and vice complexly connects in the play with Hamlets anxiety not only about his fathers apparition but also his own thoughts (165). Is the Ghost a reliable source or Vulcan (a daimon) forging his son (or a soul) into an agent of evil (167)? Are Hamlets imaginings merely misconceptions or the results of a moral contamination (166)? The analogies between Hamlets experience and that of his mythic predecessors indicate how Hamlet in plot, terms and phrases lingers over a whole range of ancient concerns through which late Renaissance culture both couched and covered over its own ambition and fears (167-68). Arguably, Hamlet stages the death not only of Hamlet but of the typically Renaissance belief in eloquence as some ultimate civilizing or enlightening process (172). The implied cleft between the miraculous possibilities posited in fable and the brute mortality of historical events in Denmark can also be sensed in the play if we consider the contrary influences of Ovid and Virgil upon the myths that the play takes up (173): Hamlet seems caught between the Virgilian sublime and Ovidian mutability (173-74), and Virgils permanent order and Ovids flux seem to vie for influence over the play (174). By bringing these parallelisms with figures from epic and fable to bear upon the history of Hamlet, the play acts out the tragic pathos that results when history and myth are implicitly revealed to be irreconcilable (175). The conflict of myth and history and of art and life is densely articulated through symbolic shorthand in Hamlet (175). [ top ] Duffy, Kevin Thomas, Marvin E. Frankel, Stephen Gillers, Norman L. Greene, Daniel J. Kornstein, and Jeanne A. Roberts. The Elsinore Appeal: People v. Hamlet. St. Martin's P: New York, 1996. HAMLET / LAW Complete with legal jargon and New York law codes, this text works with the hypothetical scenario that Hamlet does not die but has been imprisoned for his crimes and is now filing appeals. The Appellant's Brief presents the defense's arguments: Laertes' death was in self-defense; Polonius' death was the result of "defense of justification"; because Ophelia ended the relationship, Hamlet is not responsible for her suicide; the court has no jurisdiction over Rosencrantz's and Guildenstern's deaths; in the death of Claudius, Hamlet "acted properly in bringing a murderer to justice"; and Hamlet's "diminished mental capacity" and status of sovereignty require "reversal on all counts" (2). The prosecution responds to these arguments in the Appellee's Brief: rather than remove himself from the threat, as file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (22 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet the law requires, Hamlet knowingly and intentionally used a lethal weapon against Laertes; Polonius posed no danger or threat but was murdered; "Hamlet's manslaughter conviction for 'recklessly' causing Ophelia's death should be affirmed"; because Rosencrantz's and Guildenstern's executions were initiated on a Danish vessel, Denmark has jurisdiction over the murders; Hamlet's murder of Claudius is the act of a "serial killer," not justice; and Hamlet is not a sovereign (Fortinbras is king) nor has he met the "burden of proving insanity" (12). The defense replies to these counter arguments and suggests a political agenda to keep "Fortinbras' only rival" imprisoned for life (27). On October 11, 1994, both sides present their arguments before the court at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. The lively debate is heard by a panel of judges: Jeanne Roberts (Shakespearean scholar), Kevin Duffy (U. S. District Judge), and Marvin Frankel (former U. S. District Judge). Although no rulings are passed, the courtroom dialogue presents an interesting introduction into the text of Hamlet. [ top ] Engle, Lars. Discourse, Agency, and Therapy in Hamlet. Exemplaria 4 (1992): 441-53. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTICAL / RHETORICAL Synthesizing the ideas of Foucault, Bakhtin, and Freud, this article offers a compressed reading of Hamlet as a meditation on the balance between the power of circumambient discourses and the capacity of an exemplary (and privileged) human subject to find his way among them toward a therapeutic and pragmatic kind of agency (444). Shakespeares play is dense with explorations of mental interiors through discourse, raising questions of agency. As Hamlet struggles to discover and accept a personal mode of agency, he shows other people what they are doing by demonstrating to them what discursive fields they have entered (446). For example, Hamlet parodies Laertes anger by Ophelias grave. He also considers the discursive control which preempts agency, as evident in the nunnery scene (448), and contemplates the philosophical complexity of the compromise between agency and discourse, as revealed after his meeting with the players (451). In all of these examples, Hamlet dramatizes/reenacts his horror, allowing him therapeutically to exorcise or destroy or understand or forgive it (452); hence, his calm attitude in the final act of the play. Hamlet learns to accept a personal mode of agency, the boundary condition of selfhood, and the allowance for meaningful action amid constitutive discourses (453). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (23 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Faber, M. D. Hamlet and the Inner World of Objects. The Undiscovered Country: New Essays on Psychoanalysis and Shakespeare. Ed. B. J. Sokol. London: Free Assn., 1993. 57-90. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This article advances the complex proposition that Western tragedy invariably presents us with characters who undergo a traumatic reactivation of infantile feelings (57). In Hamlet, the hero possesses idealized conceptions of his parents and of their marriage (which influence his self-perception)until Gertrude marries Claudius. This marring of the good mother forces Hamlet into a double-bind: he cannot maintain the illusions, but he cannot give up what his identity hinges upon (61). In addition, the reactivation of the heros unconscious aims manifests desires to overcome separation; Hamlets craving to take in and to be taken in by the bad object creates self-revulsion and desire for death (62-63). But the players offer Hamlet hope: The actor takes in the part or the character and then brings forth from within himself a version of the character that is bound up with an inner object to which the newly internalized character more or less corresponds (67). Also, the Hecuba performance, complete with good father and loyal mother-wife, allows Hamlet to reaffirm and reinforce the good objects that he is losing touch with in his ambivalence and confusion toward the bad objects (68). But the exercise with the good objects only succeeds in increasing feelings of guilt, self-revulsion, and confusion, leading Hamlet to examine the reality of the bad object through The Mousetrap (69). Unfortunately, this tactic also fails. Desperate to act, Hamlet goes to Gertrudes closet to gain control of his mother, to change her back into the good object (73). While the transformation of the mother allows Hamlet to regain some selfcontrol, he does not achieve a genuine resolution of deep, long-standing conflict (77). Because, as Hamlet sees it, Claudius possesses Gertrude, Hamlet must incorporate the rival . in order to get at the mother whom the rival possesses (79). An alternative method to merge with the maternal object is death, Hamlets primary topic in the graveyard scene. Not surprisingly, Hamlet accepts the challenge to a duel, seizing upon the opportunity to lose his life, passively surrendering to the part of himself that longs to be dead (87). Hamlet dies by a lethal poison that destroys him from within, like the bad object (89), proving that tragedy, at least as we know it in the Western world, results when the unconscious inner world of the hero is stirred to life (90). [ top ] Fendt, Gene. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama? An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard. Marquette Studies in Philosophy 21. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1999. file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (24 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet HAMLET / MARXISM / METAPHYSICS / THEOLOGICAL This monograph begins by surveying the different definitions of religious drama. Chapters two and three discuss the "scholarly cruxes" of Hamlet (e.g., Hamlet's delay) and evokes Aristotle and Aquinas to assist in comprehending "what a religious understanding of Hamlet might be" (16). Chapters four and five explore the contrast between Hamlet and Kierkegaard's and Taciturnus' writings on religious art, "examine the metaphysical and philosophical presuppositions of the ordinary understanding of religious drama as representations bearing on dogmatic truths," and "show how Kierkegaard's indirect communication seeks to avoid that philosophical problematic" (16). The last chapter uses Bataille's theories of religious economies to argue Hamlet's status as a religious drama. [ top ] Fike, Matthew A. Gertrudes Mermaid Allusion. On Page and Stage: Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. Krakw: Towarzystwo Autorw, 2000. 259-75. [Originally printed in the-hard-to-find B. A. S.: British and American Studies 2 (1999): 15-25.] HAMLET / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay proposes that the mermaid allusiona powerful nexus of mythological and folk materialenables a new perspective on Gertrudes speech and the play (259). Gertrudes description of Ophelia as mermaidlike (4.7.176) in the drowning report evokes a whole tradition from Homers sirens to mermaid references in Shakespeares own time because sirens and mermaids were conflated (and interchangeable) by the Elizabethan period (260-61). While the Christian Church linked both images to the temptations of the flesh (261), natural histories, literary works, travel literature, popular ballads, and reports of actual mermaid sightings all contributed to Elizabethans perception of a mermaid (262): eternally youthful, beautiful, embodying the mystery of the ocean, and possessing an alluring song (263). Although the first lines of Gertrudes speech do have unmistakable resonances with mermaid lore (265) and mermaid lore supports the possibility that being spurned by Hamlet may be a cause of both madness and suicide" (266), it is her [Ophelias] divergence from the myth that is significant (264). For example, legend held that a mortal male could trick a mermaid into marriage by stealing her cap; but, in Hamlet, the pattern is reversed: Hamlet gives Ophelia tokens of their betrothal which she returns to him in the nunnery scene (264). The implication is that Ophelia is not a mermaid shackled to a mortal husband because of a trick, but instead a young woman who knows her own mind and frankly brings the symbolism of her relationship into harmony with the loss of emotional warmth (364). Rather than a file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (25 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet derogatory description of a chaste Ophelia, the mermaid allusion echoes a native folk tradition of misogynistic insecurity (267) and participates in Hamlets larger image pattern of prostitution and sexuality (268). In addition, the mermaids human/beast duality suggests not only the danger of feminine seductiveness (Ophelia, Gertrude) but also the rational call (Horatio) to epic duty (the ghost)symbolically merging the two extremes that Hamlet struggles with in the play (270). [ top ] Findlay, Alison. "Hamlet: A Document in Madness." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 189-205. FEMINISM / HAMLET / OPHELIA / RHETORICAL By focusing on Hamlet and Ophelia, this essay examines "how gender dictates access to a language with which to cope with mental breakdown" and considers "how madness produces and is produced by a fragmentation of discourse" (189). The death of Old Hamlet marks the unraveling of language's "network of close knit meanings and signs" in Denmark (191). In this atmosphere, Hamlet and Ophelia "are threatened with mental breakdowns, rendering their need to define their experiences and re-define themselves particularly acute" (192). Hamlet attempts a "self-cure" to deal with his mental instability (192): he "uses his control over the written word to empower himself in emotionally disturbing situations"; examples include Hamlet's letters to Ophelia, Horatio, and Claudius, his forged orders to England, and his rewriting of The Murder of Gonzago (193). Hamlet discovers "a verbal and theatrical metalanguage with which to construct and contain the experience of insanity" (196), but Ophelia "does not have the same means for elaborating a delirium as a man" (197). She possesses "very limited access to any verbal communication with which to unpack her heart" before her father's death (199). After his passing, Ophelia is confronted "with an unprecedented access to language which is both liberating and frightening" (200). Her songs "are in the same mode as Hamlet's adaptation, The Mousetrap, and his use of ballad (III.ii.265-78); but, unlike Hamlet, she will not act as a chorus" (201). Also, she "cannot analyze her trauma" the way that he does (200). In the context of other Renaissance women dealing with insanity (e.g., Dionys Fitzherbert, Margaret Muschamp, Mary, Moore), Ophelia's experience of "trying to find a voice in the play" seems "a model for the difficulties facing Renaissance women writers" (202). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (26 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Finkelstein, Richard. Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity. Renaissance and Reformation 21.2 (Spring 1997): 5-22. FEMINISM / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay explores how Shakespeare uses Ophelia to expose an interplay between culture, epistemology, and psychology which constructs Hamlets heroic subjectivity, itself understood through his logic, development, and actions informed by agency (6). Hamlet and Ophelia are similar in various ways, including their fashioning a sense of interiority (6). But they also differ. For example, Hamlet goes out of its way to disassociate her [Ophelias] epistemological habits from the empirical exactitude Hamlet seeks (11). Ophelia signifies knowledge which cannot be known with certainty (10). According to contemporary French feminism, the opposition of Claudius, Horatio, Fortinbras, and Hamlet (prior to his fifth act embrace of providence) to Ophelias manner of signifying cannot be separated from challenges female bodies pose to gendered concepts of fixed subjectivity (13). Yet Ophelias disjointed speeches do not define a feminine language so much as they interrogate the related economies of object relations and a readiness to act which mark Hamlets developed subjectivity in the play (14). The uncertainties of Ophelias death also raise questions about whether agency itself can define subjectivity (15). While agency and intention do not function efficiently for either Hamlet or Ophelia, the play allows more than one means of defining subjectivity (17). Through Ophelia, the play interrogates its own longings, and its participation in defining subjectivity (18). [ top ] Fisher, Philip. Thinking About Killing: Hamlet and the Paths Among the Passions. Raritan 11 (1991): 43-77. HAMLET This article contends that the classical trajectory from anger to mourning . is in Hamlet forced backwards and that paralysis is the outcome of a paradox within the passions: anger and vengeance can precede settled mourning, but cannot follow it (45). Traditionally in literature (e.g., Iliad), one responds to murder by angry retaliation and then mourns the loss after performing retribution for the victim. This revenge ethic is the single most powerful rejection of the most damaging emotional conclusion of mourning, its helpless and inactive waiting (62), whereas mourning seems the one passion that stands in the aftermath of the passions themselves (76). But Hamlet learns of his fathers murder while file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (27 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet entrenched in the processes of mourning. In this state, Hamlet cannot act with vehemence, with single-minded directness, with courage and openness (47-48). His perhaps callous responses to the deaths of Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern provide testimony to the grip of his deep and primal mourning for his father, whose death makes all else trivial (61). The atmosphere of prolonged mourning and the settlement with mourning that the play enacts, point toward the kind of world lost in the death of the former king. The unsuccessful heir of the same name will never live to embody his virtues in the new world that follows (77). [ top ] Foakes, R. A. The Reception of Hamlet. Shakespeare Survey 45 (1993): 1-13. HAMLET / RECEPTION THEORY After identifying the negative connotations of Hamletism (e.g., melancholy, inaction), as a far cry from the heroic Hamlet portrayed on the eighteenthcentury stage, and from Ophelias and Horatios complimentary descriptions of the Prince, this article traces how and why this shift took place, and comment[s] in a preliminary way on its significance for interpreting Hamlet now (2). The idea of Hamletism as an attitude to life, a philosophy as we casually put it, developed after the Romantics freed Hamlet the character from the play into an independent existence as a figure embodying nobility, or at least good intentions, but disabled from action by a sense of inadequacy, of failure, or a diseased consciousness capable only of seeing the world as possessed utterly by things rank and gross in nature (12). Hamletism entered the public arena through its use by poets like Freiligrath, Valry or Yeats, novelists like Joseph Conrad, D. H. Lawrence, and James Joyce, and directors like Peter Hall, to characterize the condition of Germany, or Europe, or the world, or the decline of the aristocracy in the face of democracy, and above all to symbolize modern man (12). But, once set free from the play, Hamlet was not easily put back into itHamletism was (8). The prosperous idea of Hamletism came to affect the way the play was regarded, and the most widely accepted critical readings of it have for a long time presented us with a version of Shakespeares drama re-infected, so to speak, with the virus of Hamletism, and seen in its totality as a vision of failure in Man (12). But failure and success are narrow and inadequate terms . and to recover a fuller sense of the play, we need to put Hamlet back into it as fully as we can (12). [ top ] Gibinska, Marta. The plays the thing: The Play Scene in Hamlet. Shakespeare file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (28 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 175-88. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP This essay argues that the dumbshow and The Murder of Gonzago each has its own specific dramatic function and meaning, by no means identical, and that interpretations of both parts of The Mousetrap must be related to the interpretation of Hamlets words and behavior (176). Hamlets dialogue with Ophelia seems a dramatization of his Gertrude problem: men treat women as sexual objects and women show themselves to be so (179). Hence, the pantomime performance begins in the context of Gertrude, not Claudius (180). The dumbshows emphasis on the Player-Queens behavior creates an image of the moral censure passed on Gertrude by both Hamlet and the Ghost (181-82). During The Murder of Gonzago, Hamlet verbally responds to staged declarations of wifely love, creating a quasi-dialogue with the Player-Queen; then he launches a direct attack on his mother by asking her opinion of the play (182). Hamlets question shifts focus to the throne and corresponds to the Player-Kings lengthy speechwhich leads to the poisoning scene. After this pause, the trapping of the kings conscience begins(183). The exchange between Claudius and Hamlet is complicated by pretense and knowledge: each of them as the Speaker is motivated as the character he is and as a character he pretends to be; also, each of them as the Hearer may have more than one interpretation of the others utterances (184). Unfortunately, Hamlet can no longer control himself: acting contrary to his intentions, Hamlet voices implications that alert the King before the trap is sprung (185). Claudius sudden exit is a response to the two complimentary actions directed against himself: the play of Gonzago and the play of Hamlet (186). Hamlet, by bad acting, offers Claudius an opportunity to strengthen his position and, by proving the crime, puts himself in the tragic position of one who in condemning the crime must himself become a murderer (187). [ top ] Habib, Imtiaz. Never doubt I love: Misreading Hamlet. College Literature 21.2 (1994): 19-32. DECONSTUCTION / HAMLET / TEXTS Using Hamlets love poem to Ophelia as a launching pad, this essay proposes that the declaration of love affirms subversion as the chief ideology of Elsinore and misreading as its principle text, and announces his [Hamlets] mastery over both (22). Hamlets poem (similar to his rewrite of Claudiuss execution order and his file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (29 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet letter of return from the voyage) demonstrates an impenetrability suggestive of the Princes wish to be misread rather than to be understood satisfactorily (21). Efforts to be an enigma are spurred by chaos: the world has become unreadable to Hamlet, and with that Hamlet has become unreadable to others and to himself (23). But misreading is the principal Elsinorean activity, and a phenomenon that precedes the Ghosts disturbing revelation; for example, Claudius and Gertrude attempt (and fail) to read Hamlet in the coronation scene: In this tense verbal thrust and parry, readability, i.e., knowability, is established as the besieged site of fierce Elsinorean tactical struggle for dominance (24). Given the importance of revealing nothing but discovering all, Hamlet will not let his feelings for Ophelia become Elsinores vehicle of legibility into him; he allows others only the misreading of incoherence. The more anyone tries to read Hamlet the more he will be misread (25). Hamlet is trying to destroy the text of the self and of the worldsimultaneously disallowing the very idea of a text itself (26). Hamlets Mousetrap begins the disintegration of Elsinore and the Hamlet play, both of which become sites of defiance of form and meaning (27). The loss of text/textuality can only be a prelude to the worlds slide into the random incoherence of death (27); hence, the deaths of Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencratz, Guildenstern, Gertrude, and Laertes. While Elsinores texts disintegrate and characters collapse, its center, and its chief reader and author, Claudius, begins to deconstruct, losing his authority over both language and action (28). In the final scene, Claudius the murderer is murdered. The bodies littering the stage at the close of Hamlet are uniquely a function of this plays compulsion to consume itself (29). [ top ] Halverson, John. The Importance of Horatio. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 57-70. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / HORATIO By analyzing the role of Horatio, this essay attempts to show that Shakespeare had a much clearer and fuller conception of the part than is usually granted and that he developed the character with care and skill, though by extraordinarily minimal means, for a significant purpose (57). Inconsistencies in this character receive clarification, using textual evidence (e.g., age, knowledge, relationship with Hamlet at Wittenburg). Although Horatio seems expendable in Hamlets plot development, Shakespeare evidently thought him important enough to invent the character (probably) and have him dominate both the opening and closing scenes (62). Horatio is also invested with the favorable qualities of learning, courage, loyalty, and candor; he appears as the disinterested witness (63), who speaks directly and virtually compels trust (64). The strong bond that Horatio forms file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (30 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet with Hamlet encourages the audience to vicariously follow suit. Without Horatio, the audience would be suspicious of rather than sympathetic with Hamlet. Reducing Horatio to merely Hamlets foil/confidant belittles the importance of the role and Shakespeares artistry. Although Horatio is more stageworthy than text worthy due to his frequently silent-yet-important presence as witness (67), Shakespeare created the role, and with few but sure strokes of his theatrical brush, endowed it with complete credibility (68). [ top ] Hardy, John. Hamlets Modesty of nature. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 42-56. HAMLET This article characterizes Hamlet as possessing unpretentiousness, selfawareness, an integrated personality, and measured self-control; his keen moral sense is an uncompromising honesty or tendency to probe and question, in order to penetrate to the truth below the surface (42). Rather than mindlessly trusting the Ghost, Hamlet logically seeks confirmation of facts before taking action. But Hamlet must be circumspect and guarded to find truth in the claustrophobic and poisonous atmosphere of Denmark (46); hence, several scenes that are commonly interpreted as reflecting poorly on Hamlet, in actuality, are motivated by necessity or high moral purpose. For example, in the nunnery scene, Hamlets bitter cynicism with Ophelia seems less an act of counterfeiting (as her sudden rejection provides valid cause) and more likely calculated to shock the audience of Claudius and Polonius (48). Similarly, Hamlets sending of Rosencrantz and Guilderstern to death in England is a must, in order for Hamlet to survive the mortal peril (48). Hamlets use of The Mousetrap demonstrates the belief that Truth could only emanate from a convincing likeness (49). While he searches for truth, Hamlet also heroically ponders challenging questionsquestions sharpened by the circumstances that so sorely vex Hamlet (54). [ top ] Hart, Jeffrey. Hamlets Great Song. Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Revival of Higher Education. By Hart. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. 16986. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (31 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet While continuing the monographs argument that the Renaissance was marked by the intellectual availability of various and often incompatible ways of looking at the world (e.g., Christianity, Machiavellism) (181), this chapter contends that, in Hamlet, Shakespeare clearly decided to express a wide range of poetic possibilities and make him the epitome of his agethe artistic product is a credible human being and even a credible genius (175). Hamlet fully engages most or even all of the contradictory possibilities of the Renaissance, from the lofty aspirations of Pico della Mirandola to bottomless skepticism, from the ideals of humanism to recurrent thoughts of suicide, from the intellectual reaches of Wittenberg to mocking cynicism and an awareness of the yawning grave (178). The stature of Prince Hamlet as a great tragic hero rests upon the fact that though in all practical terms he was a catastrophethose bodies all over the stagehe nevertheless gave himself to and fully articulated the cosmos available to him in all of its splendor, horror, and multiple contradiction (182). What Hamlet says becomes the core of the play. It is his voice, not his deeds, that dominates the stage . . (169). The great loss, the terror, we feel at the end of the play comes from the realization that his voice, that great song, is now stilled and that nothing like it will be heard again (169). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. How infinite in faculties: Hamlets Confusion of God and Man. Literature and Theology 8 (1994): 127-39. HAMLET / THEOLOGICAL Aside from debunking R. M. Fryes reading of Hamlet, this article argues that Hamlet is frustrated throughout most of the play precisely because he does not balance thought and action, or understand the proper relationship between his faculties of memory, reason, and will and those of his maker (127). Hamlets comment: Sure he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not That capability and godlike reason To fust in us unused. (4.4.36-39) marks his confusion about his own moral faculties of reason and memory and their role in the relationship between God the maker and man the made (128). Donne, Andrews, Luther, and Calvin describe the creation of man as a discourse among the Holy Trinity, but because Hamlet holds himself up as author and finisher of his own salvation, not God, not Christ, he will remain outside the discourse of faith (131). Rather than heed Donnes sermon on the subject, he file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (32 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet also mistakenly assumes that his understanding, will, and memory do not require grace. Hamlet complains about the malfunctioning of his moral faculties and criticizes the place of original sin in Gods providential plan (135). He does not comprehend that these natural faculties can only be serviceable to God, as Donne cautions (134); nor does his self-absorption allow him to appreciate fully the traditional competing vision of faith in providence, which is the paradox of our remembering both where we have come [creation] and where we are going [redemption] (136). The accidental killing of Polonius allows Hamlet a glimpse of his personal imperfection and initiates the concession that grace is needed (134). Hamlet returns from sea trusting providence, seeming to have escaped at last from the augury of his mind (137). This essay concludes by studying the conflicting religious implications of Hamlets last spoken words to show that closure is out of the question, whether our visions are Christian or otherwise (138). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL Expanding on John Doeblers work, this essay explores the plethora of connotations of mouse and mousetrap. In relation to Gertrude, the mouse reference in the closet scene could be a term of endearment or a pejorative reference to a lustful person (79). Historically, mouse is also connected with the devils entrapment of human lust with the mousetrap (80); hence, Hamlets diction suggests that he perceives Gertrude at once as the snare that catches the devil Claudius (and the son Hamlet?) in lust, and snared herself in the same devils mousetrap (82). With Claudius, the mouse implies destructive and lascivious impulses (84). Hamlet also is associated with the mouse in his role as mouser or metaphorical cat. For example, the cat-like, teasing method in Hamlets madness appears in his dialogue with Claudius immediately prior to the start of The Mousetrap (88). The mousetrap trope becomes part of a pattern of images in Hamlet that poises the clarity of poetic justice against a universe of dark of unknowing, as the trapper must himself die to purify a diseased kingdom (91). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (33 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84. ART / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL After exploring the representations of Annunciation in art and religion, this essay argues that Hamlets parodies and distortions of a rich array of traditional Annunciation motifs are set ironically but not didactically against his tendency to trust his own reason and to assert his own will against the inscrutable will of God (58). The nunnery scene, with Ophelia manipulated into the posturing of a pseudo Mary, merits intense focus. For example, the curtains that Claudius and Polonius hide behind are, by the late sixteenth century, quite commonly a part of Annunciation iconography (63). Such distorted and parodied Annunciation motifs inform the impossible miracles that Hamlet demands of Ophelia and Gertrude, his maid and his mother, as only Mary can fulfill both roles chastely (67). While evidence in the text suggests Ophelias virginity, the maid is only a poor imitation of the thing itself, of Mary (73): she is a victim rather than a hero, used, manipulated, betrayed (72). Hamlet too is unlike Mary due to his distrust of Gods Providence (73) and his rejection of the traditional Christian scheme of fall and redemption (74). Although Hamlet is never painted simply in Marys image (76), he is moving at the end of the play, inexorably if also inconsistently, towards letting be, rest in a silence, a wisdom, of Marian humility (77). [ top ] Holbrook, Peter. Nietzsches Hamlet. Shakespeare Survey 50 (1997): 171-86. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL / RECEPTION THEORY While exploring some of the ways Hamlet mattered to Nietzsche, this essay suggests that he seems to have used Hamlet to interpret his own life and that his views on revenge . illuminate a central issue on the play (171). In Hamlet, Nietzsche discovers a hero who finally achieves the active forgetfulness essential for psychic order, and who helps explain his own life, which has meant the progressive detachment of himself from those people and places and tasks that took him away from himself, and yet which were, in the end, justified in so far as they made him what he is (185). Hamlet also provides Nietzsche with his most desired self-image: the modern affirming tragic philosopher, he who has seen through the fictions of the world to the bitter truth of its chaos and meaninglessness yet who in spite of that does not succumb to nihilism (185). Nietzsche admires Hamlets reluctance to have his task given him, for his life to lack its signature and become anothers (his fathers in his case): It had been by not reacting to a great stimulus that he has achieved a self (185). Seen from the point of view of self-affirmation, the lives of both Hamlet and Nietzsche are file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (34 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet meaningful because highly individualized (186). [ top ] Hopkins, Lisa. "Parison and the Impossible Comparison." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 153-64. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / RHETORICAL This article argues that Hamlet's length and enigmatic nature are two interrelated characteristics because the play "doubles and redoubles its situations, its characters, its events and, ultimately, its meaning" (153). The play abounds with "the rhetorical trope of parison," a repetition of "the same grammatical construction in successive clauses or sentences," but Claudius is particularly "fond of the parison" (155). For example, in his first speech (1.2.1-14), Claudius speaks in a "constant generation of twinned structures: by offering two possible locations of meaning, they cancel out the possibility of any ultimate, single, authoritative interpretation or label" (156). The Prince "no less than his uncle is caught in the trap of doubled language and of doubled rhetorical structures, and most particularly in that of parison" (158). From his initial pun to his "To be, or not to be" soliloquy, Hamlet's "obsessive use of parison" presents oppositional terms as "yoked together and forced into a position of syntactic and rhetorical similarity which militates considerably against the fact of their semantic difference" (160). An audience's every encounter with the play "becomes a complex negotiation between a series of incompatible choices where meaning is first offered and then shifted or denied, and where its production is always a delicate balancing act" (163). [ top ] Hunt, Maurice. Art of Judgement, Art of Compassion: The Two Arts of Hamlet. Essays in Literature 18 (1991): 3-20. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP This article uses the Troy playlet, which Hamlet requests of a player, and The Murder of Gonzago to argue two points: Shakespeares idea of the relevance of mimetic art for the past and future, and Shakespeares conception of the humane use of his tragic art (3). The Troy playlet seems an odd choice for Hamlet because it displaces sympathy from the avenger to his victim; but, for Shakespeare, its blending of vengeance and compassion seems to imply that art file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (35 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet does not mirror life, it refines human experience. Although Hamlet initially praises the Troy performance, his hunger for revenge overrules his appreciation of art. He misuses art in The Mousetrap scene, with the utilitarian hope of detecting guilt and without recognition of the forms power to influence/transform will. The player king recommends human compassion, but Hamlet only judges others. His (unmerited) condemnation of Gertrude leads him to fail in his goals with The Mousetrap. While Hamlet remains unmoved by The Murder of Gonzago, the theater audience is encouraged to join him in scrutinizing Claudius (and Gertrudes) reaction. Yorks skull offers another example of Shakespeares metadramatic commentary because it resembles dramatic tragedy in its effect upon certain viewers (14). After shifting from pity for to criticism of the skull, Hamlet exploits the object as an iconographically stereotyped battering ram in the Princes campaign against women (14). The skull is misused, just like The Murder of Gonzago. In the course of Hamlet, the protagonist harshly assesses others who seem deserving of pity but never questions the Ghost, who is suffering for previous crimes. Hamlets judgement reminds the audience of what makes his experience tragic, and of what we might attempt to avoid in our lives beyond the theater (16). [ top ] Iwasaki, Soji. Hamlet and Melancholy: An Iconographical Approach. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 37-55. ART / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This argument interprets Hamlet as Shakespeares play of Saturn in that the Saturnine atmosphere of melancholy and death, initially brought by the ghost of the dead King Hamlet in the opening scene, is dominant throughout (37). The plays combinations of doomsday/prelapsarian paradise, light/darkness, mirth/mourning, time/timeless (38), uncle/father, aunt/mother, appearance/reality, (40), and order/chaos cause Hamlet to slip into melancholy and to suffer from disillusionment and doubt (41). His posture of melancholy replicates that of the classical Saturn on which is based the icon of melancholy in Renaissance art: a figure who is supposed to be of a melancholy humour, sinister, fond of solitude and to dislike women (39). But Hamlet matures. After experiencing God while at sea, Hamlet is now ready to accept whatever should come (44). Although the final scene is a dramatic version of the Triumph of Death, Hamlet perceives that this scene of so many deaths is neither the triumph of Death nor that of Fortune (45). Because of his readiness, Hamlet finally transcends the life of meditation to attain a higher idealmeditation and action synthesized (46). Hamlet achieves the ideal of the Renaissance, but the real tragedy is that his life is so brief (47). file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (36 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet [ top ] Kllay, Gza. To be or not to be and Cogito, ergo sum: Thinking and Being in Shakespeares Hamlet Against a Cartesian Background. AnaChronist [no vol. #] (1996): 98-123. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay juxtaposes some aspects of a dramatised, metaphorical display and a systematically argued, conceptualised presentation of the question as to the relationship between thinking and being, while drawing on Cavells insightful dramatisation of Descartes universal doubt on the one hand, and on the widelyknown (though of course by no means exclusive) conception of Hamlet as the tragic philosopher on the other (102). According to Descartes, thinking ensures the fact of his existence, and, further, the existence of God, who will, in turn, ensure the existence of the Universe (120). In comparison, Hamlet uses thinking not so much to settle the question of what exists and what does not, but to give its extent, to mark out its bourn, the frontier dividing being and non-being, only to see one always in terms of the other. The major reason for Descartes and Hamlets different approaches is, of course, that in Hamlets world there is no final and absolute guarantee: in Shakespeares Hamlet God seems to interfere neither with thinking, nor with being (120). But, late in the play, Hamlet claims, There is a divinity that shapes our end (5.2.10). These words signify that his principle of possibility in full operation, paraphrasable as follows: It is indeed doubtful to count with God as an absolute guarantee. But this uncertainty should not make us discard the possibility. It might be the case that he is even willing to ensure and assure us through his bare existence or otherwise, so we must give both alternatives equal chance. (121). [ top ] Kawai, Shoichiro. Hamlets Imagination. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS The thesis of this article is that Imagination is closely related to both passion and reason, and it is through his imagination that he [Hamlet] regains his composure in the last Act (74). Notable philosophers (e.g., Bacon, Plato, Burton, Wright, Donne) have long considered imagination as the intermediary between sense and reason: the senses perceive information to create a phantasma or image of an file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (37 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet object that the reason judges (74). Hamlet does not have an overactive or problematic imagination; for example, he sees the same ghost that others witness (76), but his awareness of potentially interfering passions motivates him to test his judgement, ergo The Mousetrap. Because passion betrays itself and brings forth a misconceived action (e.g., Polonius murder), Hamlet continuously tries to control his emotions (78). As the arguments surrounding Sir James Hales suicide and the three branches of action show, one has to have some emotions and impulses aroused by imagination in order to complete an act (80). Unfortunately, Hamlets imagination works in such a way that it weakens his resolution instead of strengthening it (81). After his voyage, Hamlets imagination helps him to realize that he was not born to set things right, nor is he Hercules facing a most difficult task (83): if he is to be the heavens scourge and minister (III.iv.175), it is not through his own will, but heavens (83-84). [ top ] Kim, Jong-Hwan. Waiting for Justice: Shakespeares Hamlet and the Elizabethan Ethics of Revenge. English Language and Literature 43 (1997): 781-97. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This study focuses on the Elizabethan ethics concerning revenge and the meaning of Hamlets waiting for justice or delaying for revenge and its meaning will be discussed with reference to the Elizabethan ethics of revenge (782). Shakespeare endows the Ghost with ambiguity, mixing personal vindictiveness with a concern for Gertrude (782), and Elizabethan audiences regarded the ghost which keeps on urging to revenge as a devil (783). Naturally, Hamlet has suspicions about the nature of the Ghost as Elizabethans did, and it is natural that he waits for revenge until he confirms the credibility of the Ghosts statements (782). While The Mousetrap elicits proof of the Ghosts accusations, the command to revenge still contains ethical problems in terms of the Elizabethan ethics (784): All Elizabethan orthodoxy condemned and punished personal revenge (785). But Shakespeares contemporary audience was still influenced by a residual pagan revenge ethic which commanded a person to avenge the murder of a family member. Perhaps Shakespeare hoped to appeal to audiences instinct by presenting an individuals struggle against ruthless revenge and his reluctance to be the conventional revenger (788). Fortunately, the contradiction between the official code of the Elizabethan ethics of revenge and the popular code of revenge is resolved in the final scene of the play (794). Hamlet appears as an agent to practice the public revenge or justice through the hand of Providence, when Claudius crime was exposed to public. Through this device, Shakespeare made the Elizabethan audiences sympathize strongly with Hamlets final action; he abstains from ruthless vengeance. His action might have file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (38 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet had their emotional approval and not disturbed their moral judgement (788). Hamlets action of waiting for justice and delaying injustice, the core of his action, may be admired from either the Christian point of view or the view point of the Elizabethan ethics (795). [ top ] Knowles, Ronald. Hamlet and Counter-Humanism. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 1046-69). HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This essay reexamines the question of subjectivity in Hamlet by reappraising the significance of the Renaissance revival of philosophic skepticism; the continued debate between medieval views of the misery of mans life and the Renaissance celebration of existence; the particular importance of the commonplace in the theory and practice of dialectical and rhetorical topics (1066). In the anguish of grief and loathing Hamlets subjectivity is realized in a consciousness which rejects the wisdom of tradition for the unique selfhood of the individual (1066). Yet culture is as much within as without the mind and Hamlet is forced to submit to the plot and history, albeit in a series of burlesque roles, but for a moment he has stood seemingly, Looking before and after (4.4.37), back to antiquity and forward to our own age . in which identity crisis has become a commonplace expression (1066-67). [ top ] Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30. GHOST / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay proposes that, by considering Hamlet within the context of the Reformation and the concurrent skeptical crisis, the distinctly epistemological making of Hamlets ineffectuality takes on an intriguing historical dimension: it suggests the utter ineffectuality of human knowledge as this ineffectuality was advocated by contemporary skeptics (218). The opening scene presents the debacle of human knowledge (219), the mixed, inconsistent, confused, and tentative versions of human understanding through the uselessness of Horatios learning to communicate with the Ghost and the in-conclusiveness of Bernardos Christian narrative to explain the spirit (220). This contradistinction with file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (39 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet standard versions of early modern skepticism, which vindicate and embrace human ignorance as against the violent pressures of early modern religious dogmatism, suggests Shakespeare to be anxious about uncertainty and its discontents in a way that Greek and humanist skeptics never are (220). Hamlets direct echoing of contemporary thinkers as diverse as Montaigne and Bruno only strengthens the impression that the play, far from representing a systematic or even coherent line of thought, virtually subsumes the intellectual confusion of the age (221). The ghost functions as the very emblem of such confusion (221), withholding the type of knowledge most crucial to early modern minds: religious knowledge (220). The very issues that are associated, in the Gospels, with the defeat of skeptical anxiety, had become, during the Reformation, axes of debate, rekindling skeptical anxiety rather than abating it (223). In this context, the Ghost appears as an implicit, or inverted, revelation (222), a grotesque, parodic version of Christ resurrected (223): instead of elevating Hamlet to a truly novel and unprecedented level of knowledge (224), the Ghost leaves Hamlet with nothing but ignorance (222). Hamlet claims to believe the Ghost after The Mousetrap, but his ensuing blunders debunk the sense of certainty that he pretends to have established (227). The problem seems the inescapably political world of Denmark, where errors, partial judgements, and theological (mis)conceptions are never only academic, they cost people their lives and cannot, therefore, be dismissed as unavoidable and innocuous imperfections or indifferent trifles, as Montaigne and Pyrrhonist believe (228). [ top ] Lawrence, Sen Kevin. As a stranger, bid it welcome: Alterity and Ethics in Hamlet and the New Historicism. European Journal of English 4.2 (2000): 15569. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL After exploring the competing theories of Levinas and Heideggar and supporting the first, this essay contends that while Hamlet recognizes the ethical demands impinging upon him, he avoids them; he attempts to reduce the Other to the Same (163). The Ghost ultimately charges Hamlet to Remember me (1.4.91), and Hamlet writes down the order. But penning the command is a significant gesture in Hamlets effort to sidestep it, to transform it into my word (1.5.110) (167). Hamlet tries to avoid the past as responsibility, defining the Ghost and thereby conquering its alterity (167). Hamlet also tries to conquer/control death by killing (166). For example, in the prayer scene, Hamlet decides to refrain from murder until he cannot only control Claudius death, but also effectively avert any threat that his ghost, like the elder Hamlets, might return from purgatory (166). To bring death within his control and to avoid the conscientious claim which the file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (40 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet death of the Other would have upon him, Hamlet must turn the Other into something at least theoretically capable of appropriation (166). But Hamlets struggles against conscience only end in his becoming a sort of tyrant (163). Like Hamlet, critics try to shake the hold which the past as Other has upon us, but new historicists should avoid repeating Hamlets mistakes (169). [ top ] Levy, Eric P. Defeated joy: Melancholy and Eudaemonia in Hamlet. Upstart Crow 18 (1998): 95-109. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL Approaching Hamlets melancholy in terms of eudaemonia or the classical idea of happiness, this article explores how Hamlets pain is eventually linked with a distinctly tragic doctrine of eudaemonia according to which unhappiness or dysdaemonia can fulfill a purpose higher than eudaemonia (95). In a classical context, happiness is not merely a state but the ultimate goal or telos of life, directed by virtue and achieved by the appropriate use of an aptitude or capacity (96). Unfortunately, the Ghosts call for revenge launches Hamlet on a dramatically ambivalent course of thought (III.iii.83) concerning the proper exercise of his own thinking (97), making him eudaemonistically challenged (98). Hamlets antithetical pronouncements on the proper exercise of reason reflectand to some extent epitomizethe great antipodes of Renaissance moral doctrine: Stoicism and opportunism (98). According to Stoicism, happiness or eudaemonia requires emotionless acceptance of circumstance over which the individual has no final control; But according to opportunism, happiness or eudaemonia results from the deft exploitation of circumstance (105). The Murder of Gonzago emphasizes the conflict between these opponent interpretations of fortune: the impromptu staging of that play exemplifies shrewd opportunism, but the Player-King stoically articulates the fragility of human enterprises (III.i.86) (105). The disjunction between Stoicism and opportunismacceptance of universal scheme or exploitation of immediate circumstanceachieves reconcilement (V.ii.243) in the notion of the drama, Hamlet, as subsuming design unfolded through the singular actions of character (106). For example, Hamlet opportunistically rewrites his own death warrant but is acutely aware of a higher power directing his destiny. Hence, the notion of play or drama not only becomes a metaphor for the encompassing design of end-shaping divinity, but also underscores Hamlets own status as the eponymous hero of the tragedy concerning him (106). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (41 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Levy, Eric P. Nor th exterior nor the inward man: The Problematics of Personal Identity in Hamlet. University of Toronto Quarterly 68.3 (Summer 1999): 711-27. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay argues that Hamlet profoundly critiques prevailing assumptions regarding this relation [of inner/outer dimensions], and dramatizes an alternate conceptualization of human identity (711). In Hamlet, inwardness is notoriously problematic and in need of outward verification (712). But outward verification of inwardness is itself notoriously problematized in the world of the play, where characters hide behind false exteriors to probe behind the presumedly false exteriors of another (715). While exemplifying this problem in the play, Claudius and Polonius hiding behind the curtain to spy on Hamlet and Ophelia also epitomizes the notorious discord between inward and outward during the Renaissance (715). The periods emphasis on self-presentation led to suspicions concerning authenticity (715); hence, Hamlet applauds the actors skills at simulating the emotions deemed appropriate (717). This stress on outwardness also created an inconsolable isolation, as individuals had to conform to the moral expectations of their audiences rather than their own inner worlds (716). In the play, death appears as a metaphor for the plight of inwardness, isolated from authentic and intelligible outward expression (717). For example, the Ghosts private suffering cannot be spoken of because the horror is too great (717), and a dying Hamlets assertion that the rest is silence (5.2.363) associates death with the incommunicable privacy of that centre of interiority (718). But, in the closet scene, Hamlet seems to realize that behavior can do more than confirm the inmost part. It can also modify or transform it (722). He directs Gertrude to Assume a virtue (3.4.162), not a false appearance, but a sincere imitation of virtue in order to overcome habits evil (3.4.164) (723). This notion of cathartic action, outward expression becomes the means of effecting inward reform (725). Unfortunately, Hamlet cannot completely reconcile the inner/outer reciprocal estrangement in the world of the play because he does not possess exclusive control (724). The play ends with Horatios and Fortinbras eulogies of the Prince, which transform Hamlets own exterior man (724). [ top ] Levy, Eric. The Problematic Relation Between Reason and Emotion in Hamlet. Renascence 53.2 (Winter 2001): 83-95. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This article suggests that, though Hamlet is filled with references to the need for file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (42 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet rational control of emotion, the play probes much deeper into the relation between reason and emotionparticularly with respect to the role of reason in provoking as opposed to controlling emotion (84). According to the classical definition, man is the rational animal whose reason has the ethical task of rationally ordering the passions or emotional disturbances of what is formally termed the sensitive appetite (83). But the Aristotelian-Thomist notion of sorrow holds that reason not only controls emotion but also provokes it, as inward pain is perceived by the minda mental event that cannot exist without thought (88). The Aristotelian-Thomist synthesis proposes that inward pain seeks relief through outward expression (90). Yet such a purging of inner pain can subject its audience to tremendous strain, as the play demonstrates, for example, through the effects that Hamlets destructive guise of madness have on Ophelia (90). Instead of relief through outer expression, the play suggests that inward pain can be escaped by recognition/understanding of how thought contributes to it and by modification of the mode of thought creating that pain (89). For example, Claudius advises Hamlet to end his prolonged mourning by accepting the inevitability of death (89); and Hamlet soothes his misgiving prior to the duel by shifting his focus to providence (90). Interestingly, his embracing of providence allows Hamlet to convert, what the Aristotelian-Thomist doctrine terms as the anxiety and perplexity induced by unforeseen circumstance into emotional peace through mental awareness (91-92)Let be (5.2.220). While AristotelianThomist synthesis perceives the role of reason as controlling emotion, through moderation, Hamlet uses his thinking to transform emotion (93)there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so (2.2.249-50). The highest task of conscience in Hamlet concerns the moral evaluation not only of the objects of thought or apprehension, but also of the act of thinking about those objects, for There remains the responsibility of thought to recognize the emotional consequences of its own activity (94). [ top ] Levy, Eric P. Things standing thus unknown: The Epistemology of Ignorance in Hamlet. Studies in Philology 97 (Spring 2000): 192-209. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL This article approaches Hamlet as an epistemological tragedy in which the need to know collides with the need to maintain the security of ignorance which, in turn, intensifies the turmoil caused by unexpected knowledge (193-94). While some of the plays characters (e.g., Claudius) work to maintain ignorance of the truth, those who gain knowledge (e.g., Hamlet) consequentially suffer; hence, the urge to know threatens the safety of ignorance (199). The plays fundamental epitemological problem seems the disruptive effect of acquiring file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (43 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet knowledge. Yet in Hamlet, the knowledge most urgently needed but most reluctantly acquired is self-knowledge (198). A review of Platonic notions suggests that one achieves self-knowledge through the recognition/acceptance of ignorance and the exertion of self-control (201). In this light, Hamlets delay is the means by which he progressively directs the need to know towards its morally obligatory goal: self-knowledge (207). Only when Hamlet masters his own insistent need to know and probes the implications of ignorance can he move successfully to revenge (206). The unexamined irony of Hamlets progress toward revenge is that it foregrounds and sets in tragic opposition contradictory aspects of his character: successful thought maturation, with respect to deepening awareness of ignorance, versus enraged reaction to his own censorious judgement (208). But Hamlet ultimately achieves epistemological self-control through acceptance of the limits of knowledge, an attitude echoed in his last four lines: the rest is silence (5.2.363) (209). [ top ] Low, Jennifer. Manhood and the Duel: Enacting Masculinity in Hamlet. Centennial Review 43.3 (Fall 1999): 501-12. DUEL / FEMINISM / HAMLET This essay proposes that in the course of the fencing exhibition, Hamlet discovers a means of performance acceptable to him (501). Prior to this climactic scene, Hamlet struggles to balance the expectations of his public persona (e.g., prince) with those of his domestic roles (e.g., son). The conflict between the rational thoughts of ideal masculinity and the violent actions necessary to exact revenge compound Hamlets dilemma. Hamlet can only act when he finds a personal form of masculine decorum, uniting private and public identities and performing the part of a man according to his fathers model (504). A brief history of dueling proves that Hamlet finds a fitting means to act: the duel embodies the notion of manhood, both through the correspondence of word and deed and through the implicit legitimization of vigilantism (and, by extension, individualism) as a means of achieving justice (505). While the duel is initiated with the formality of tradition and ritual, its context within the theatrical production interrogates the very structure of dramas mimetic framework (506). The nature of this lawful duel for entertainment is also altered by the unlawful and lethal intentions of Claudius and Laertes. Claudius seems solely responsible for the deadly results because The violence set in motion by the king becomes the swordsmans prerogative (508). Thanks to Claudius ploy, Hamlet is able to die as an avenger and a true prince (509). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (44 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:38 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Lucking, David. Each word made true and good: Narrativity in Hamlet. Dalhouse Review 76 (1996): 177-96. DECONSTRUCTION / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP This article explores Hamlets preoccupation with what might be termed selfactualizing narrativization, the process that is by which narrative not only reflects but in some sense constitutes the reality with which it engages (178). When the Ghost appears in the first scene, interrupting Barnardos narrative of previous sightings, words are translated into facts, story becomes history (181); but the Ghost does not speak, he does not narrate. In the next scene, the audience meets Hamlet, a figure destitute of a role but obviously seeking a cause to warrant his animosity towards Claudius (184): he has the elements of a story already prepared, and only requires confirmation of that story in order to establish a role for himself as the avenger (186). Horatios report of the Ghost meets Hamlets need, and the Prince works quickly to appropriate the phantom for his own story by swearing all parties to secrecy. When he meets alone with the Ghost, Hamlet hears confirmation of his suspicions in a linguistic style remarkably similar to his own. He then uses The Murder of Gonzago to manipulate Claudiuss behavior in a manner that will fulfil the narrative demands the prince is making on reality, to determine the course of nature and not to mirror it (190). Regardless of the various possible reasons for Claudius reaction to the play, Hamlet interprets guilt to suit his narrative. But the other characters have their own stories, in which Hamlet is interpreted. In the final scene, Horatio is invested with narrative control, and there is no certainty that he reports Hamlets storyor his own (195). [ top ] Mallette, Richard. From Gyves to Graces: Hamlet and Free Will. Journal of English and German Philology 93 (1994): 336-55. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This essay places Hamlet in the context of sixteenth-century Protestant controversies regarding fate and free will in order to suggest how, in the last act, Hamlet transcends Reformation discourse even while incorporating their understandings of human freedom (338). Although the Calvinist view of human will held that sin was innate and unavoidable, a moderate Protestant undercurrent promoted a capability to choose correct action. Both views appear, file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (45 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet and at times conflict, within the play, as Hamlet appears to develop an understanding of human potency. Initially he bemoans his sense of spiritual imprisonment (even though he voluntarily submits, for example, to the Ghosts wish for revenge). The killing of Polonius seems the first commitment to action and suggests Hamlets growing awareness of freedom. Rather than the sudden ideological shift frequently claimed, Hamlets return from the sea voyage marks the continuation of an evolving sense of will. He ultimately achieves spiritual understanding of fate and free willtheir sharing in mutual and cooperative interaction (350). But Calvinist tenets have not been eradicated from the play: Hamlets salvation remains in question, and human wickedness increases during the plots final stages of progression (351). Judgement beyond the grave remains undetermined by the play; instead, Hamlet fixates on a reckoning to death itself (353). In the end, Hamlets embrace of the mystery of his mortality has mysteriously liberated his will (354-55). [ top ] Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP / PERFORMANCE With the goal of bringing the self-effacing frames of Hamlet into focus (50), this essay examines the particular theatrical frame in which Hamlet was first performed, the Globe theater and considers thematic and formal issues of framing in Hamlet, positioning these textual issues within the discussion of the theatrical space (51). The performance space cannot be contained completely by the theatrical frame; it seeps outward: before [e.g., extruding limbs or bodies of actors], behind [e.g., actors holding place behind the stage], between [e.g., sites of transition between spectacle and spectator or inside and outside], above [e.g., the Globes open roof], below [e.g., the Ghosts voice from beneath the stage] (52). While the theatrical frame simultaneously defines and questions the boundaries of the performance space, Hamlet plays out a sequence of dramatic frames that mirror the theatrical frame and double its doubleness (53). For example, the Ghost provides the pretext for the revenge plot but functions at the outermost edges of the play (53), seeming to inhibit the very borders of the dramatic world (54); in The Mousetrap, Revenge drama is enacted within revenge drama, with the players of the central drama as audience, and stage as theater (57); Hamlet exists inside and outside of The Mousetrap, enacting the roles of both chorus and audience (58). But Claudiuss interruption of the play within the play begins the process of closure for the configuration of frames (58), and All of the frames in the play undergo some transformation in the process of closure (59). For example, the framing Ghost of Hamlet is file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (46 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet internalized by the son when Hamlet fully appropriates his fathers name (59): This is I, / Hamlet the Dane (5.1.250-51); Hamlet transforms into the avenger, murderer (Claudiuss double), and victim (Old Hamlets double) (59). Ultimately, he passes from the world of speech to the world beyond; in comparison, Horatio is released from his vow of silence, his function is transformed from providing the margin of silence surrounding Hamlets speech to presenting the now-dumb Prince (60). As Hamlets body is carried away, a figured silence closes the frame and dissolves into the background of life resumed (60). [ top ] Milne, Joseph. Hamlet: The Conflict Between Fate and Grace. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 29-48. HAMLET / THEOLOGICAL This article proposes that Hamlet did have the choice to submit to Fate or not and that the option of regenerative Grace was open to him but that he rejected it (32). Shakespeare is concerned with ultimate choices, life or death choices, and these are dramatically framed within the Christian Platonism of the Renaissance: the election of grace/heaven brings the power of love and of regenerative mercy, while the selection of fate/hell brings sin, chaos, destruction, and a reversed order of nature (31). In the plays first act, Hamlet is at the crossroads of a higher or a lower state of being. These two states are represented by the demands of the Ghost on the one hand, and those of Ophelia on the other; the first demands death, and the latter demands new life (37-38). Unfortunately, Hamlet rejects Ophelia and the Absolute Beauty that she represents, marking a decisive change in his state of being (38). The consequence is a negation of the power of Grace and a reversal of the unitive power of Love (41). For example, Claudius possesses the possibility of redemption (particularly in his postMousetrap attempts with prayer), but Hamlets thirst for revengenot mercy, not even justicecauses the Prince to miss a golden opportunity in the prayer scene (43). Instead, of redeeming or even slaying Claudius, Hamlet goes to his mothers closet and kills Polonius. With this deed the first steps of Claudius upon the path of salvation are halted and reversed, as they are also for Laertes (44). Polonius son now mirrors Hamlets original situation exactly (45). In the final scene, Hamlet apologizes to Laertes by drawing distinctions between himself and his deedsa merciful separation that he could not make with Claudius and his fathers murder. Had Hamlet applied this transformative principle to Claudius, then the play would not have been a tragedy (46). But it is. The play ends with the natural order reversed, with vengeance lord where Grace should rule, death where life should be (47). file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (47 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet [ top ] Mollin, Alfred. On Hamlets Mousetrap. Interpretation 21.3 (Spring 1994): 35372. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP After debunking the popular theories of why Claudius fails to respond to The Mousetraps dumb show and makes a delayed exit during The Murder of Gonzago, this article offers a fresh approach by dissecting the reactions of Claudius and the stage audience to Hamlets The Mousetrap (359). The accuracy of the dumb show suggests to Claudius that Hamlet has some proof that may turn the stage audience against the King. But Claudius consistently maintains his composure during even the most volatile situations (e.g., Laertes mob riot), and the pantomime does not identify an incriminating familial relationship between PlayerMurderer and Player-Victim. In the spoken play, the Player-Queens similarities to Gertrude increase Claudius internal anxiety. But to halt the play would be to force Hamlets hand. Claudius has no choice but to wait and discover how severe Hamlets accusation will be (361). Hamlets identification of the murderer as a nephew, rather than a brother, initially causes Claudius relief that there is no public indictment; But the game is over. The Mousetrap accomplished its purpose. Claudius has silently unmasked himself because an innocent person would have immediately responded (362). Meanwhile, the stage audience is shocked by the tasteless dumb-show and the insulting spoken play that makes Hamlets theater production appear treasonous (362). They must wonder why any king would endure such threats and insults (363). Fortunately, Hamlet calms the stage audience by interrupting the performance to explain the source and to indirectly note the dramas divergence from recent events. Claudius chooses this moment to exit because he realizes that, in remaining silent, he has revealed himself to Hamlet. He also recognizes the staged covert threat: the PlayerNephew kills the Player-King. Staging The Mousetrap with Claudius outwardly calm and unmoved throughout both the dumb-show and the spoken play, reacting only after his unmasking, seems preferable and most faithful to the text (369). [ top ] Morin, Gertrude. Depression and Negative Thinking: A Cognitive Approach to Hamlet. Mosaic 25.1 (1992): 1-12. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (48 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Using the cognitive-behavior approach, this essay hopes to demonstrate that Hamlet is, essentially, a portrayal of a tortured, depressed young man who loses his way in the labyrinth of his negative thoughts (2). Rather than agree with Freuds assessment of Hamlet as a victim of the unconscious, this article presents the protagonist as the responsible party of a common occurrencedepression (2). Hamlet reacts to the loss of his father and his mothers hasty remarriage by employing negative schematic processeslearned responses (3). His soliloquies reveal examples of cognitive logic error that leads to and reinforces the depressives negative view (4): Hamlets fascination with death reflects selective abstraction, in which the positive aspects of life are overlooked (5-6), in favor of absolutist, dichotomous thinking, which views death as the principal reality (6); he suffers from the cognitive error of overgeneralization when he concludes that Gertrudes flaws extend to all women (7-8); his poor prediction for the marriage of Claudius and Gertrude (and thus the creation of a self-fulfilling prophesy) demonstrates arbitrary inference (8); Hamlets various methods of self-criticism include magnification and minimization (9), inexact labeling (910), as well as self-coercive thoughts (10). According to this approach, the depressed person thinks him/herself into an impaired mood (11). While literary studies may benefit from the new insights of cognitive-behavioral research, the simultaneous hope is that psychologists, researchers, and patients may benefit from reading Hamlet (11). [ top ] Nameri, Dorothy E. "The Dramatic Value of Hamlet's Verbal Expressions: A Linguistic-Literary Analysis." The Nineteenth LACUS Forum 1992. Lake Bluff: Linguistic Assoc., 1993. 409-21. HAMLET / RHETORICAL Utilizing "a linguistic-stylistic approach as an enlightening aid in literary analysis," this scientific study examines the playwright's "application of the dramatic value of the verb in depicting the character of his most diverse, controversial hero-Hamlet" (409). The linguistic methodology of Dorothy Nameri mathematically measures Hamlet's "semantic role that of an agentive ('active') or a non-agentive participant in the action described by the verb in the proposition" (410). Validating this thesis, charts, graphs, and percentages show "the compatibility between Hamlet's A [Agentive]/NA [Non-Agentive] verbal expressions and his corresponding semantic role" (417). For example, the closet scene marks a "rise in the percentage of his AVE [Agentive verbal expressions] here-71%-the highest in the play" (415). His lowest percentage of AVE-31%-appears in act four, scene four, when Hamlet is departing Denmark and encounters Fortinbras' forces (417). This study's results file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (49 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet "illustrate an additional aspect of Shakespeare's artistry where he merges linguistics and stylistics in the creation of character" (418). [ top ] Nojima, Hidekatsu. The Mirror of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 21-35. ART / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM This article approaches Hamlet as a play reflective of the Renaissances discovery of perspective (21). A survey of innovations in visual and literary arts shows that the discovery of an individual point of view necessarily brings about a subjective or relativistic perception of the world (24). In Hamlet, the Prince, after his mothers re-marriage, becomes a prisoner of the curious perspective in which everything seems double (28): The conscience (consciousness) of Hamlet caught in the collusion of these double-images [e.g., reality/dream, waking/sleeping, action/inaction, reason/madness] is imprisoned in a labyrinth of mirrors (28-29). In the curious perspective, the revenging hero (by feigning madness) doubles as the fool; hence, Hamlets motives for revenge are undermined by the complicity of the Fool with the Hero which necessarily reduces all to absurdity or nothing (30). The good or bad is nothing but an anamorphosis reflected in the curious perspective of Hamlets inner world (30). The structure of this play is likewise a labyrinth of mirrors. Various themes echo with one another like images reflected between mirrors (31). Examples include the multiple models of the father/son relationship and the revenge theme. In addition, Almost all the characters are spies in Hamlet, further suggesting the curious perspective; the recurrent poison theme also seems reflected in the mirror (32). All of the plotting characters become ensnared in their own traps, because reflexives of plotting and plotter are nothing but an image in the reflector (33). Adding to the complexity, the dramatic genre leaves Hamlet to the liberty and responsibility of an actors or an audiences or a readers several curious perspective (34). [ top ] Nyberg, Lennart. "Hamlet, Student, Stoic-Stooge?" Cultural Exchange Between European Nations During the Renaissance: Proceedings of the Symposium Arranged in Uppsala by the Forum for Renaissance Studies of the English Department of Uppsala University, 5-7 June 1993. Ed. Gunnar Sorelius and Michael Srigley. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia 86. Uppsala: Uppsala U, 1994. 123-32. file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (50 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS Attempting "a synthesis of what has been discovered about the intellectual and theatrical nature of the play," this study approaches Hamlet "from the point of view of the idea of role-playing, as it is explored in the play and reflected in the intellectual background, especially in the Italian sources of Castiglione and Machiavelli" (125). The very "idea of role-playing, which in many of the comedies is explored with a sense of joy and liberation, is in Hamlet more often than not viewed with disgust" (127). For example, Hamlet spends much of the play not only trying out roles for himself but making the masks of others slip (128-29). Castiglione considers an individuals mask "affectation" (127). Hamlet has the "skill to read the deceptive masks of others," as the nunnery scene proves (129). But he never really succeeds in unmasking Claudius with The Mousetrap. The problem is that the King "is as skillful a role-player as Hamlet himself" (129). Both share striking characteristics of Machiavellism (130) and of an adeptness with improvisation (129). Even their "expressions for a belief in providence" are eerily similar (130). Together, Claudius and Hamlet suggest the play's conflicting assessments of role-playing: "On the one hand the role-playing capacity of man is celebrated but, on the other hand, the immoral purposes it can be employed for give it a dark tinge" (131). [ top ] Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85. CLAUDIUS / GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This essay examines the problematic poetry of Hamlet as an expression of the [Elizabethan] periods apocalyptic concerns (87). Prophetic signs (e.g., eclipse, a nova, the Armadas defeat) heightened a sense of millenarian expectations in Shakespeares audience (88-89). Hamlet contains an ominous sign foreshadowing some strange eruption that endows the play with a haunted sense of eschatology and that embodies and objectifies an apocalyptic ethos: the Ghost (89). Interestingly, fury, almost a violent ecstasy, is first and foremost triggered by the fatal encounter with the Ghost, that is, by an eschatological provocation (91). A brief history of self-flagellation shows that the eschatological ethos induced an ascetic self-torture in the hope of purging earthly sins from the body as well as engendered self-righteous violence towards Jews (and Turks), people marked as fatal sinners and Antichrist in the Christian tradition (90). This combination is labeled oxymoronic violence (91). In Hamlet, the Prince file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (51 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet alternates between extrovert and introverted violence (92): he berates himself and attacks all perceived sinners (e.g., Gertrude, Ophelia). He is too intensely possessed with a disgust at fleshly corruption rather that with an interest in revenge (93). While Hamlet parallels radical sects (95), Claudius is similar to King James; both rulers fear the danger of fantasies or madness, a real political threat to any throne (96). Shakespeares play is a cultural rehearsal of an apocalyptic psychodrama which lies close to the heart of the Christian West (98). [ top ] Partee, Morriss Henry. Hamlet and the Persistence of Comedy. Hamlet Studies 14 (1992): 9-18. GENRE / HAMLET This article views Hamlet as a profound comic figure developing within an intensely tragic context (9). Hamlet initially appears to be the young lover and student, without volition, responsibility, nor self-awareness; he alternates between the extremes of depression and merriment, while remaining subordinate to authority (e.g., Claudius). But he gradually sheds these trappings of comic detachment (13) and begins to acquire the traditional characteristics of a tragic figure (e.g., personal guilt, moral responsibility). Hamlets shift parallels the state of Denmark, which originally seems stable but is slowly revealed as corrupt. Hamlets transformation is complete in the final moments of his life, when political concerns receive his focused attention and mature handling. Interestingly, Fortinbras convenient claiming of the throne represents a distinct return to the domestic tranquility of comedy (16). Ultimately, Hamlets complexity stems from the interacting modes of comedy and tragedy (16). [ top ] Porterfield, Sally F. "Oh Dad, Poor Dad: The Universal Disappointment of Imperfect Parents in Hamlet." Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays. Drama and Theatre Studies 57. Westport: Greenwood P, 1994. 72-98. HAMLET / JUNGIAN / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay presents a Jungian reading of Hamlet's "universal experience of parental discovery" (74). The death of the "good father" and the remarriage that transforms the "good mother" into a sexual being force "the ideal, archetypal parents of imagination to die a violent death" (75). Hamlet copes with the file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (52 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet psychological upheaval by regressing "to an earlier stage of his development": he becomes the "trickster" (75). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern represent "another manifestation of the trickster" (76); hence, the pair must die to mark Hamlet's "integration of the trickster figure" (77) and his ability to leave childhood behind (94). The Gravediggers also appear as the trickster figure to show that "he is not within Hamlet" and that "he has been integrated" (94). In this scene, Laertes functions as the "shadow" and Ophelia as the "rejected anima"; Hamlet "becomes one with both" when he leaps into the grave (94). Horatio is the "self" for Hamlet, "the ideal man he would become" (88), and Fortinbras offers another form of the "self," "the man of action" (97); "these two symbols of the self" merge in the final scene (96-97). But Hamlet's progression towards integration proves difficult, alternating between depression and mania. Only the presence of art (symbolized by the players) causes Hamlet to be "taken out of himself by interest in the world around him," demonstrating his "dependence upon art as salvation" (86). Hamlet's use of The Mousetrap drama suggests a hope "not simply to kill but to redeem" Claudius and "to rediscover the goodness he seeks so desperately in those around him" (87). Ultimately, Hamlet cannot avoid violence, "but he gives us courage, generation after generation, to attempt the ideal while existing with the sometimes nearly unbearable realities that life imposes" (97). [ top ] Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Anti-theatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63. FEMINISM / HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / QUEER THEORY After acknowledging the complications of studying sexuality before the late eighteen hundreds and the feminist efforts to historicize misogyny, this article examines Hamlet to demonstrate how misogyny intersects with a nascent form of homophobia, a cultural fear of male-male sexual bonding articulated in the antitheatrical tracts (49). A survey of anti-theatrical propaganda reveals cultural anxieties about effeminacy, sexual promiscuity (e.g., sodomy), and any behavior that undermines social/patriarchal institutions (53). Hamlet seems to embody the specific juncture of misogyny and fear of male-male sexual desire that the antitheatrical tracts begin to coordinate (55): he clearly shows misogynistic tendencies with Gertrude and Ophelia; he also voices his attraction to dead or distant men (e.g., Old Hamlet, Yorick, Fortinbras) because his fears of the sodomy stigma restrict the expression of such sentiments to men only in relationships in which physical contact is impossible (56); with Horatio, Hamlet disrupts every moment of potential intimacy by interrupting himself, trivializing his own thoughts, pausing, and then changing the discussion topic to theatrical plays (57). Hamlets behavior demonstrates the power of anti-theatrical file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (53 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet homophobia to regulate male behavior and expresses the anti-theatrical complex that . anticipates modern homophobia (57). While the playwright comes close to overtly acknowledging the cultural/anti-theatrical association of sodomy with the male homosociality of theatre life, A metaphoric treatment of anti-theatrical concerns, including homophobia, corresponds toand possibly follows fromthe meta-theatrical concerns that structure form and character in Hamlet (58). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] Russell, John. Hamlet and Narcissus. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. HAMLET / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC In the introduction, this monograph presents comprehensive descriptions of Freuds psychoanalytic premises (e.g., Oedipus Complex, Pleasure Principle), of Margaret Mahlers advancements in the study of infant development, and of Heinz Kohuts explorations of the self and its development. The primary arguments are that distinctions seperate the Freudian and psychoanalytic projects, that the conflicts that inform and structure Shakespearean tragedy are precisely those elucidated by contemporary psychoanalysis (16), and that Hamlets commitment finally is not to reality but to the distortions of narcissistic fantasy (23). After this laying of groundwork, the first chapter focuses on the distortions in Hamlets file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (54 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet behavior that are the result of that most characteristic pre-Oedipal strategy of defense, splitting; the next chapter examines Hamlets mother/son relationship with Gertrude; chapter three draws on Kohuts understanding of the Oedipal period in order to explore the Princes father/son relationship with the Ghost/Hamlet, Sr.; chapter four explains the puzzling and controversial delay in Hamlet; and the final chapter treats Hamlets surrender to one of the deepest and most powerful of narcissistic fantasies, the fantasy of death (38). Similar to psychoanalysis, the great theme of Shakespearean tragedy is the death of fathers and the complex of narcissistic conflicts that congregate around the passage of authority from one generation to the next (180-81). [ top ] Sadowski, Piotr. "The 'Dog's day' in Hamlet: A Forgotten Aspect of the Revenge Theme." Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Ed. Jerzy Liman and Jay L. Halio. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 15968. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS Focusing primary on Hamlet's words to Laertes-"The cat will mew, and dog will have his day" (5.1.292)-this essay proposes that many of Hamlet's "cryptic statements" have a "profound significance and point to a complex of ideas existing outside of Shakespeare's text in the sources and traditions to which Hamlet's story originally belonged" (159). For example, possible Hamlet sources (e.g., Historia Danica, History of Rome, Ambales saga, Shahname) consistently contain "the identification of the heroes with dogs or wolves in their role of fierce avengers and rectifiers of their wrongs" (161). These "canine allusions" "refer to a well-defined complex of cultural ideas and rituals, particularly characteristic of pre-Christian Scandinavia, in which canine symbolism played a dominant role" (161). Hamlet's "barbaric, 'canine' soul" ultimately awakens in the play's final scene, doing justice to "the vast and old heroic tradition of pagan Scandinavia" (166). [ top ] Scott, William O. The Liar Paradox as Self-Mockery: Hamlets Postmodern Cogito. Mosaic 24.1 (1991): 13-30. DECONSTRUCTION / HAMLET By studying Hamlets attempts to refashion himself, this article hopes to clarify file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (55 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet selfhood and the self-reflexive nature of speech and action as well as some relationships among the phenomena of postmodernism (13). Hamlet demonstrates psychologist T. S. Champlins self-contradiction, self-evidence, selfknowledge, self-deception, and paradoxical self-reference. The theatrical dimension of Hamlet only contributes to the paradoxes of self-refashionings linguistic methods. Fortunately, Montaigne offers insights. After exercising this gamut, Hamlet discovers providence, the external form to embody the mystery and to direct an ultimate, fatal self-fashioning (28). Hamlet has already taken actions and set events into motion; hence, his providence completes a process that begins in a paradoxical knowing and accepting of ones weakness (28). Hamlets passiveness and his ironic view of self-consciousness make him in effect a precursor of postmodernism, and locate postmodernism itself in ancient paradox (29). [ top ] Shimizu, Toyoko. Hamlets Method in madness in Search of Private and Public Justice. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 5772. HAMLET After reviewing critics who proclaim Hamlet mad, this article contends that the Prince only feigns the appearance of insanity to pursue his reality, his own identity as an avenger and a monarch (61). Although Gertrude, Polonius, and Ophelia are fooled, Claudius could never mistake Hamlets assumed madness as real (67). The King correctly identifies insanity in Ophelia and sanity in Hamlet, only agreeing with others psychological evaluations of the Prince as a pretense to send Hamlet away. Unfortunately, Hamlet is obliged to obey Claudius order to England because he is at a disadvantage (68). Hamlet is in the most passive and most uncertain situation (62): he can do nothing because he does not have any facts that would enable him to verify the ghosts story of royal crime (63). The Mousetrap does not provide psychological confirmation (67), and the execution commission to England offers tangible but indirect proof (69). As the first modern revenger on the Elizabethan stage to doubt the objectivity of a ghost, Hamlet is indeed a man of modern consciousness, who suffers from a moral dilemma of logic and reasoning (65). He experiences a succession of deeply disturbing events, but he retains his inner self all the time, never forgetting his personal and social duties (64). Hamlet returns from the voyage prepared for his destiny in a state of serenity and awaiting divine justice in the duel (69). While he may suffer from melancholy, Hamlet maintains his noble mind to search for private and public justice (69-70). file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (56 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet [ top ] Simon, Bennett. Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation. American Imago 58.3 (Fall 2001): 707-22. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC After reviewing several broad trends in the history of interpretation of the play and locating within those trends some dominant themes in psychoanalytic interpretation, this essay offers a late-twentieth-century psychoanalytic interpretationboth of Hamlet and Hamletbased on trauma theory (707). Trauma research provides insights pertinent to Hamlet: trauma victims often experience oscillations between numbness and overwhelming emotions, difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy, a sense of unreality, a sense that the self and the world become loathsome, a thirsting for revenge or scapegoat, and a profound mistrust of the future as well as of other people (e.g., family members, friends) (712). But secrecy associated with a trauma is especially devastating because secrets combined with confusion about fact and fantasy often lead to incomplete or fragmented narratives; a story that cannot be told directly in narrative discourse finds expression through displacement, symbolization, and action (713). In Hamlet, the protagonists trauma derives from his first encounter with the Ghost, which leaves Hamlet both certain and uncertain of his fathers death, his uncles responsibility, and his mothers involvement (714). Following this meeting, Hamlet mutely expresses his story in Ophelias closet (717). His madness (perhaps more real than even Hamlet realizes) is a symptom of the feigning and deceit around him, such as Claudius secrecy and Ophelias seeming betrayal (715). In comparison, Ophelia experiences various traumas, including a web of half-truths, paternal attempts to deny her perceptions, the loss of male protection (716), the secrecy surrounding her fathers murder (and her lovers responsibility), as well as the impossibility of any kind of open grieving or raginglet alone discussion (715-16). While her feelings are consistently ignored and she is silenced, Ophelias madness is focused on her speaking in such a way that she cannot be ignored (715). In this aura of a traumatized environment, the theater audience must live with a discomforting set of ambiguities that Horatios promised narrative cannot entirely clarify (717). [ top ] Stanton, Kay. "Hamlet's Whores." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88. file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (57 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / LAERTES / OPHELIA This interpretation explores all the variations of whore-dom in Hamlet. The women are not the only ones prostituted. Like Ophelia, Hamlet is "'whored' by the father": "The older generation incestuously prostitutes the innocence of the younger" (169). Further examples include Polonius prostituting Laertes and Reynaldo with plans of spying and Claudius, the "symbolic father," similarly misusing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (169). But the victims are not entirely innocent either. Hamlet "whores" the theater and its actors--"his great love"--by perverting artistic purpose and integrity (173), and the play-within-the-play "whores him as he has whored it, making him no longer one of the innocent, but one of the 'guilty creatures' at and in the play" (185). Laertes misuses his favorite pastime, fencing, to destroy his perceived enemy (180). The duel, "a gruesome perversion of the sex act" complete with phalluses and pudendum (181), leaves a dying Hamlet to whore Horatio, Fortinbras to whore Hamlet's story, and a new "bawd" to reestablish the patriarchy (182). Because these males insist on a binary opposition between genders, ever fearing womanly characteristics within themselves, they project their "whorishness" onto female targets, covering over masculine violence (178). The closet scene exemplifies this technique: after Hamlet murders Polonius, Gertrude's "supposed sin is made to overshadow his actual sin and somehow to justify it" (179). Only in death does Ophelia escape the whore image, but she becomes the "worshipped Madonna as Hamlet and Laertes can then safely whore their own self-constructed images of pure love for her as rationale for violence against each other" (179). The whoring consumes the play, as Hamlet "'whores' Hamlet the prince to be the organ for its art" (183). [ top ] Takahashi, Yasunari. Speech, Deceit, and Catharsis: A Reading of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 3-19. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC / RHETORICAL Drawing heavily on the linguistic theories of J. L. Austin, J. R. Searle, and Keir Elam, this article approaches Hamlet as a remarkably complex and rich essay into the possible modes of speech and narrative (6). Analysis of the plays first five lines initiates a study of expressionistic possibilities of language (3). For example, Barnardos Whos there? (1.1.1) suggests the settings dark lighting, the speakers anxiety, and the plays central theme of uncertain identity (3-4). The protagonists psychological complexity provides particularly intriguing examples of language. In act one, scene two, Hamlet attempts to speak of something within that cannot be adequately expressed and at the same time to file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (58 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet hide that within which cannot be adequately hidden, meaning that his speaking is indistinguishable from counterfeiting (9). After meeting the Ghost, he appropriates as his own style the pretended forms of speech by donning the guise of madness (11). Hamlet leaps out of the bounds of his antic disposition to discover the role of playwright / director, as a result of the players Hecuba speech (14). Unfortunately, Hamlets theory of acting seems at odds with what he practices; the sons overacting in the closet scene presents but one example of the gap between the representor and the represented (15). During his voyage at sea, Hamlet takes an important step towards recovering his identity by using his fathers seal as his own (16). Upon his return to Denmark, he speaks without counterfeiting, and his speech on the fall of a sparrow provides ultimate proof of his transformation (16). When Hamlet unwittingly plays the role that providence has allotted to him, in the final scene, the gap between role and actor disappears (17). [ top ] Taylor, James O. The Influence of Rapier Fencing on Hamlet. Forum for Modern Language Studies 29.3 (1993): 203-15. DUEL / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This article contends that Hamlets transformation in the last act of the play, Rosencrantz and Guildensterns execution, as well as the slayings of Claudius and Laertes are best understood if seen in the context of fencing, the imagery of which informs and illuminates the play (203). A brief survey of Elizabethan fencing trends and of Vincentio Saviolos guidance to duelers provides an informative backdrop for the argument based on the relationship between the rapier as an effective weapon and the word as a rapieran even more effective weapon (205). Throughout Hamlet, fencing and language are related because Hamlets metaphorical sharpening and focusing of language mirrors the duelists need to keep his weapon honed and his skill exercised so that he will be ready to counter any attack (206). For example, Hamlets words in 2.2 moves toward the satiric tradition in which words are wielded as whips and lances and daggers; the Prince turns to Juvenal for instruction in their [words] use because he has not yet fully mastered their power (208); Hamlets meeting with the players marks the moment when the satirist and avenger coalesce in Hamlet, as he grasps the potential of language to strip pretence from the hypocrites and cut deceit from corrupt statesmen (209); with Gertrude and Ophelia, Hamlets speech becomes pointed and rapier-edged: he is as menacing and relentless as the aggressive swordsman who presses every advantage in the fray (212). With the death order for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet heeds Saviolos warning that the duellist could not afford the luxury of merely wounding or disabling his opponent. file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (59 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet The duel was an all-or-nothing venture (213). Saviolos wisdom is also obeyed when Hamlet launches a proper frontal assault on Claudius in the final scene. Although hardened by his duel with evil and his futile attempts to avenge his fathers murder, Hamlet of the final act has maintained his humanity (214). [ top ] Terry, Reta A. Vows to the blackest death: Hamlet and the Evolving Code of Honor in Early Modern England. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 1070-86. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This article attests that analysis of Shakespeares Hamlet, and in particular its characters use of promise, provides new and revealing insights into evolving Renaissance codes of honor (1070). Historical documents show that the Renaissance period marked a transition in the evolution of the code of honor: the medieval external code (e.g., lineage, deeds, loyalty to a lord) coexisted and overlapped with an internalized concept (e.g., conscience, godliness, political allegiance) (1071). But, for all of the changes, the concept of promise did not diminish (1074). In Hamlet, the major characters represent different stages in the evolution of a changing code of honor (1076). For example, Horatio, utterly loyal and obedient to Hamlet, represents the chivalric, medieval concept of honor (1077); and Claudius, manipulator of loyal courtiers, epitomizes the way in which a system of honor that is entirely politicized can be perverted (1082). In comparison, Hamlet appears as a transitional character in the changing code of honor (1079): his initial oath commits him to kill Claudius based on familial loyalty, while his later vows are voiced in terms of Christian images (e.g., Sblod [2.2.336], Gods bodkin [2.2.485]); also, he voices the first oath privately, in a soliloquy but converts it to a public form of oath in discussion with Horatio (1.5.140-41) (1080-81). By medieval standards, Hamlet must avenge his fathers murder; but to kill a king, Gods anointed ruler and an elected king, is to go against the new honor of conscience (1081). Interestingly, Hamlet exacts revenge for his fathers murder only after Claudiuss treachery has been publicly revealed by both Gertrude and Laertes, allowing him to fulfill the initial vow of vengeance and to retain his political/theological honor (1082). But Hamlets effort to find a balance in the shifting honor codes contributes not only to his own tragic death, but to the deaths of several others as well (1084). Through Hamlets characters and their promises, Shakespeare takes a conventional stance in a period of change (1084). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (60 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Thatcher, David. Sullied Flesh, Sullied Mind: Refiguring Hamlets Imaginations. Studia Neophilologica 68 (1996): 29-38. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay hopes to ascertain what specific imaginations (=mental pictures, imaginings, figures) were in Hamlets mind, to ask whether they were transitory, and to pose this crucial question: which they do gravitate towards morehis fathers murder or his mothers behavior? (29). While his imaginations are visual, the Prince does not imagine the Ghost, nor does his melancholy create the mental projection. However, an awareness of his emotional vulnerability motivates Hamlet to seek confirmation of the Ghosts report. Hamlet doubts his source immediately prior to the testing of Claudius guilt: imaginations are as foul / As Vulcans stithy. His reference to Vulcan, both the Roman cuckold and the black lord of hell, metaphorically reflects on Hamlet, Sr., the Ghost, and Gertrudes adulterous relationship with Claudius (33). Aside from the fact that Hamlet actually fails to confirm the Ghosts report and Claudius guilt, this article doubts that Hamlets imaginations would cease if the King were found innocent because the Oedipal fixation on Gertrudes sexual abandonment would remain, as it actually does, uneradicated, a proliferating and contaminating source of foul imaginations (36). [ top ] Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / RHETORICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay contends that Hamlets use of the tropes of performance to combat illicit performance parallels a paradoxical strategy which . proved useful in the published pamphlets of Puritan reformers of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries; it also discloses the structural centrality of these prophetic anti-theatrical discourses to the great anti-play of Hamlet (63). As the writings of Puritan reformers (e.g., Munday, Gosson, Rainolds, Prynne) show, Puritanisms anti-theatricalism consisted of three discursive elements: social disgust framed in anti-theatrical terms, explicit longing for withdrawal into an as yet unrealized world, and a call for authentic military action to purge the present rotten state (65). In act one, scene two, Hamlet displays several of these characteristics: his unique dark clothing signals his puritanist refusal to don the ceremonial garb worn by Gertrude, Claudius, and the rest of the court (65); in soliloquy, he rejects all the worlds uses (ceremonies) (I. ii. 134) (65-66); and file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (61 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet his frustrated desire to return to Wittenberg (symbolically important to Elizabethans as the originating site of Reformation discourse) is replaced by a vaguer desire to be taken out of this world (recalling Prynnes phrase) (66). His resistance to illicit social theater ultimately taints Hamlets response to the traveling players, as his soliloquy upon their exit runs curiously parallel to two passages in Saint Augustines Confessions, oft quoted by Puritans in condemnation of playhouses (66-67). Paradoxically, like the puritanist pamphlets that used the language of play-acting to damn play-acting (69), Hamlets Mousetrap constitutes anti-theatrical theater, employing role-play to blast role-play (6970). The-play-within-the-play also provides an example of Hamlets resistance to traditional tragic plot structures (68): its obviousness makes clear Hamlets awareness of Claudius guilt and his plan to punish it (70). Hamlet rejects the conventional revenge behaviors of plotting, feigning, and backstabbing and embraces overt military action: authentic performance in the genuine theater of war (71). In the plays final scene, Hamlet kills Claudius openly, nontheaterically, and spontaneously . he completes the total extermination of a corrupted order (71). Like Renaissance puritanist discourse, Hamlets rhetoric and action bespeak a mood of the age: an unwillingness to negotiate with a culture whose institutions were perceived as fundamentally corrupt, and an increasing preference for the alternatives of flight or purgative destruction (72). [ top ] Voss, Paul J. To Prey or Not To Prey: Prayer and Punning in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 59-74. HAMLET / RHETORICAL This article promotes a punning between prey and pray because such a pun captures a central ethical debate surrounding the revenge tragedy (to avenge or to wait for Gods justice?), makes the reader aware of Hamlets primary dilemma shortly after the appearance of the ghost, and helps, finally, to concentrate the distinction between mercy and vengeance, meditation and action, reflection and instinct (59). As evidence of Conspicuous punning in Elizabethan English (60), the prey/pray pun appears in Marlowes Hero and Leander, Spensers Amoretti, Sidneys Astrophil and Stella, as well as several of Shakespeares plays and poems (e.g., 1 Henry IV, Sonnet 143). In Hamlet, punning, the guarded expression, the enigmatic reply, becomes Hamlets modus operandi, with examples spanning from the opening scene to the last (61). When he tells Horatio, I will go pray (1.5.132), his rebuttal disseminates and dissembles, promulgates and withholds: Although Hamlet conceals a truth, he also utters one (63). Given his fresh promise of action, not contemplation to the Ghost (63) and Horatios immediate alliterative response and apparent surprise (These are but wild and whirling file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (62 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet words, my lord [1.5.133]), the text supports the prey/pray pun (64). In addition to illuminating elements of the prayer and closet scenes, recognition of this pun throws into relief two of Hamlets primary concerns in the O what a rogue and peasant slave am I soliloquy (2.2.560-617): he berates himself for a lack of action, the inability to prey and voices the theological consideration that the Ghost may be a devil in disguise, supporting the notion that Hamlets earlier intention to pray may not have been idle or feigned (67). Interestingly, the preyer, like the prayer, required both internal and external action: thoughts alone, without execution, make for an ineffectual revenger. In this way the distinction between revenge and meditation, or between action and thoughts, become rather more pronounced (69). The recognition of a single pun between pray and prey allows for a more complex and yet coherent understanding of the events in Hamlet (69). [ top ] Wagner, Joseph B. Hamlet Rewriting Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 75-92. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / RHETORICAL This article posits two intertwined arguments: Hamlet identifies with his dead parent by reiterating language that honors the older character as a model of morality; and Hamlets need to adapt his own personality to be sufficiently compatible with his fathers motivates him to change or rewrite his play (76). Although the Ghost seems a rather limited character (rarely appearing or speaking on stage), Shakespeare establishesand maintainsthe audiences sharp awareness of the Ghosts controlling personality by taking the imagery, diction, and values that are present in the Ghosts brief speeches of 1.5 . and by reusing them in the thoughts and speeches of Prince Hamlet. Hamlet and the Ghost think alike, and they use almost exactly parallel diction: thus, as he describes his fathers virtues and imitates his fathers speech patterns, Hamlet continually invoked the fathers ethos, and in this way the Ghosts dynamic presence is maintained when it is not on stage at the same time that the son is going through the process of identification (78-79). The identification process culminates (66) when, in the dual persona of both son and father, he [Hamlet] appropriates the very image and seal of the father (77-78). Although it is an offstage decision that takes him for reaction to action (76), Hamlet describes an experience that might be called meta-theater in that he is director and observer, as well as actor: he writes the new commission and steers the play into its final course of confrontation with Claudius (77). But this is not Hamlets only attempt to transform the play (85). Aside from his addition of some dozen or sixteen lines (2.2.535) to the text of The Murder of Gonzago (86), his changes to the appropriated play during its performance, and his rewriting of Gertrude in the file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (63 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet closet scene, a demonstrative example of Hamlet rewriting Hamlet includes his considering, like a writer, some alternative ways of rewriting the script so that he can more closely realize his fathers behavior and personality in the prayer scene (87). With every rewriting (and identification with the father), Hamlet slowly develops the power to choose action rather than delay or reaction (88). In the final scene, Hamlet performs one last rewrite: he gives his dying voice to Fortinbras and, thereby, corrects the forged process that Claudius used to claim the throne (89-90). [ top ] Watterson, William Collins. Hamlets Lost Father. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 1023. HAMLET / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC / YORICK This article asserts that Yoricks abstract presence and Hamlets memories of the court jester constitute a benign inscription of paternity in the play, one which actively challenges the masculine ideals of emotional repression and military virtus otherwise featured so prominently in Shakespeares drama of revenge (10). Unlike the other father figures in Hamlet who represent patriarchal authority (e.g., the Ghost, Claudius, Polonius), Yorick is the absent surrogate parent who showed a young Hamlet alternatives to phallocentric oppression and who remains a central figure in Hamlets psyche precisely because he has been lost (11). By prematurely dying (possibly due to syphilis), Yorick abandoned a seven-year-old Hamlet in the pre-genital stage; hence, Hamlet identifies him as the cause of his sexual deficiency and associates him permanently with his own anality (18). Yet Yorick also endowed Hamlet with the skills of jesting and merrymaking, which are so evident in the exchange between Hamlet and the gravediggers. All play is set aside during Hamlets interaction with Yoricks skull, as the residual child in Hamlet articulates the pain of loss over his childhood mentor (16). Perhaps the mournful sentiments were shared by Shakespeare, who lost his father around the time that Hamlet was being written (17). While Yorick contradicts paternal cliches, he also raises questions regarding maternal stereotypes and the femininity of death. Even the origin of Yoricks name suggests an obscure conflation of gender, [which] actually encodes the idea of feminine fatherhood (18). Ultimately, Yorick instills in Hamlet values and emotions fundamentally at odds with the patriarchal codes of masculine behavior (19). [ top ] Wiggins, Martin. "Hamlet Within the Prince." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (64 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 209-26. HAMLET / RECEPTION THEORY After identifying the weaknesses in readings of Hamlet by psychoanalysts (e.g., Freud, Jones) and distinguishing dramatic characters from actual human beings, this article charges that "if there are mysterious depths to be sounded in Hamlet, the text itself must refer us to them"-not a knowledge of the Oedipus complex (215). For example, psychoanalytic critics devote a great deal of energy to accounting for Hamlet's delay; but Hamlet directly states his motive when he finds Claudius at prayer: the villain deserves to go to hell (3.3.93-95). Dating back to the 1750's, critics have struggled with a hero voicing plans for a person's damnation. The speech has been censored, denied, and omitted, but disbelieving Hamlet's own words "lies at the root of the internalizing urge in critical readings of the character" (218). Those "who internalize the action of Hamlet are not in fact discussing Shakespeare's play at all, but a palimpsest created through repression in the middle of the eighteenth century, a palimpsest that was subsequently digested and transmitted into the folklore of the play" (220). [ top ] Wright, Eugene P. Hamlet: From Physics to Metaphysics. Hamlet Studies 4 (1992): 19-31. HAMLET / METAPHYSICS / PHILOSOPHICAL This article analyzes Hamlets struggle with the spiritual mystery of the nature of the cosmos, the nature of mankind, and mankinds relationship with the cosmos (20). Hamlet initially views the cosmos as a chaotic garden, but he discovers evidence of moral order in the grave yard (23). The unearthed skulls provide tangible evidence, showing clearly that emphasis upon things physical [e.g., material gains, heroic deeds, death] is useless and insignificant (24). His shift to metaphysical contemplation is based upon his understanding of the physical (25). Although not a product of distinct logic, the conclusion Hamlet comes to is that indeed a moral order of the universe does exist and that he, and by implication all humans, must act in accordance with that order (22). Ultimately, Hamlet uses the best that mankind has, reason, to get at the answers of challenging questions (28). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (65 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet Yoshioka, Fumio. Silence, Speech, and Spectacle in Hamlet. Shakespeare Studies 31 (1996): 1-33. HAMLET / PERFORMANCE This study aims to analyse and interpret Hamlet on the premise that the tragedy opens in silence, with a sort of dumb-show (4-5). Like most early modern play texts, Hamlets opening scene is not furnished with elaborate stage directions, but the two watchmen most likely do not embark on conversation right upon their entrance (6). During this silent posturing, Francisco approaches Barnardo, creating an instant shift of balance: the one who watches is suddenly transformed into the one who is watched (6). This blurring of watcher/watched initiates the inseparable and insoluble questions that the play continues to pose through double spying and The Mousetrap, for example (7). In addition, Barnardos groping in the night anticipates Hamlets struggle with darkness, blocked vision and invisibility in the Danish court (7-8). The scenes dark lighting, suggesting night, eventually relieved by the dawning sun, also creates a binary of black/red that bears psychological implications (10): the protagonist hesitates at the entrance of the grim world of black and red, black for revenge and red for blood (11). For example, the initial section of Priams slaughter is portrayed conspicuously in black and red, while Hamlet calls for a drink of hot blood (3.2.381) and for bloody thoughts (4.4.65-66) after gaining confidence with The Mousetrap (12). The opening scenes first lines foreshadow the ensuing play: Whos there? and Stand and unfold yourself (1.1.1-2). While the first suggests Hamlets silent question to the people around him and to himself, the latter highlights the lack of answers, the rift in communication (23-24), and the drive to uncover mysteriesall concerns that consume the play (27). The cemetery scene unfolds the ultimate phase of human nature and existence to the protagonist (28). The Prince discovers spiritual tranquility but only briefly (29). At the plays end, a dying Hamlet declares, the rest is silence (5.2.359), and the muted funeral procession that follows is the last of a string of dumb-shows whose theatrical eloquence has served to tell so much of the tragedy (30). [ top ] Zimmermann, Heiner O. "Is Hamlet Germany? On the Political Reception of Hamlet." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 293-318. HAMLET / RECEPTION THEORY This essay examines the "appropriation or, rather, the national German file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (66 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Hamlet 'expropriation' of Hamlet . as an example to show how thoroughly the recipient's historical position and interests can predetermine the meaning distilled from a text, and how far the history of the reception of a text in another culture can acquire an autonomous momentum" (293). When Germans discovered Hamlet in the 1790's, they identified with its protagonist and established the play's mythic importance (293). Since then, the German audiences have alternated between love and hate of the Danish Prince. But by "finding ever new ways of recognizing themselves in Hamlet, the Germans made their understanding of him a pattern of their national comprehension of themselves in crucial historical situations over the last two centuries" (293). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/hamlet.html (67 of 67) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Horatio Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Halverson, John. The Importance of Horatio. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 57-70.n Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996.n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. Halverson, John. The Importance of Horatio. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 5770. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / HORATIO By analyzing the role of Horatio, this essay attempts to show that Shakespeare had a much clearer and fuller conception of the part than is usually granted and that he developed the character with care and skill, though by extraordinarily minimal means, for a significant purpose (57). Inconsistencies in this character receive clarification, using textual evidence (e.g., age, knowledge, relationship with Hamlet at Wittenburg). Although Horatio seems expendable in Hamlets plot development, Shakespeare evidently thought him important enough to invent the character (probably) and have him dominate both the opening and closing scenes (62). Horatio is also invested with the favorable qualities of learning, courage, loyalty, and candor; he appears as the disinterested witness (63), who speaks directly and virtually compels trust (64). The strong bond that Horatio forms with Hamlet encourages the audience to vicariously follow suit. Without Horatio, the audience would be suspicious of rather than sympathetic with Hamlet. Reducing Horatio to merely Hamlets foil/confidant belittles the importance of the role and Shakespeares artistry. Although Horatio is more stageworthy than text worthy due to his frequently silent-yetimportant presence as witness (67), Shakespeare created the role, and with few but sure strokes of his theatrical brush, endowed it with complete credibility (68). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/horatio.html (1 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Horatio Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Framed by introductory and concluding chapters that narrate personal experience as well as insight, this monograph is only in the slightest sense a history of productionsreally imitating a rehearsal (22). The first chapter focuses on the action by following the script line by line in the style of a naive telling of the story which can often provoke a discovery (22). As in most productions, the script is an accumulated version: a combination of elements from the Second Quarto and the Folio and any number of later versions, with occasional mischievous forays into the First (Bad) Quarto (24). Act and scene designations are replaced by days to avoid confusion and to draw attention to the fact that, while five separate days of action are presented, Shakespeares manipulation of double time is so skilled that you can believe that several months have passed by between the beginning and the end (23). The chapter on Hamlets characters comes second because one should not make assumptions about character until the action proves them (22). Characters are approached in groups, such as The Royal Triangle (Claudius/the Ghost/Gertrude) and The Commoners (players/gravediggers/priest). Then attention shifts to Hamlet. After discussing the demands of casting and rehearsing the role of Hamlet, the second chapter describes the excitement of opening night and the energizing relationship an actor shares with the audience. Although challenging, playing the role of Hamlet will verify you: you will never be quite the same again (193). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the file:///S|/bev/loberg/horatio.html (2 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Horatio variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/horatio.html (3 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:39 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Laertes Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992.n Stanton, Kay. Hamlets Whores. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88. Stanton, Kay. Hamlets Whores. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / LAERTES / OPHELIA This interpretation explores all the variations of whore-dom in Hamlet. The women are not the only ones prostituted. Like Ophelia, Hamlet is whored by the father: The older generation incestuously prostitutes the innocence of the younger (169). Further examples include Polonius prostituting Laertes and Reynaldo with plans of spying and Claudius, the symbolic father, similarly misusing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (169). But the victims are not entirely innocent either. Hamlet whores the theater and its actorshis great loveby perverting artistic purpose and integrity (173), and the play-within-the-play whores him as he has whored it, making him no longer one of the innocent, but one of the guilty creatures at and in the play (185). Laertes misuses his favorite pastime, fencing, to destroy his perceived enemy (180). The duel, a gruesome perversion of the sex act complete with phalluses and pudendum (181), leaves a dying Hamlet to whore Horatio, Fortinbras to whore Hamlets story, and a new bawd to reestablish the patriarchy (182). Because these males insist on a binary opposition between genders, ever fearing womanly characteristics within themselves, they project their whorishness onto female targets, covering over masculine violence (178). The closet scene exemplifies this technique: after Hamlet murders Polonius, Gertrudes supposed sin is made to overshadow his actual sin and somehow to justify it (179). Only in death does Ophelia escape the whore image, but she becomes the worshipped Madonna as Hamlet and Laertes can then safely whore their own selfconstructed images of pure love for her as rationale for violence against each file:///S|/bev/loberg/laertes.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:40 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Laertes Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological other (179). The whoring consumes the play, as Hamlet whores Hamlet the prince to be the organ for its art (183). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/laertes.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:40 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Brooks, Jean R. Hamlet and Ophelia as Lovers: Some Interpretations on Page and Stage. Aligorh Critical Miscellany 4.1 (1991): 1-25.n Dane, Gabrielle. Reading Ophelias Madness. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 405-23.n DiMatteo, Anthony. Hamlet as Fable: Reconstructing a Lost Code of Meaning. Connotations 6.2 (1996/1997): 158-79.n Dunn, Leslie C. Ophelias Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine. Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones. New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 50-64.n Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43.n Fike, Matthew A. Gertrudes Mermaid Allusion. On Page and Stage: Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. Krakw: Towarzystwo Autorw, 2000. 259-75. [Originally printed in the-hard-to-find B. A. S.: British and American Studies 2 (1999): 15-25.]n Findlay, Alison. "Hamlet: A Document in Madness." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 189-205.n Finkelstein, Richard. Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity. Renaissance and Reformation 21.2 (Spring 1997): 5-22.n Floyd-Wilson, Mary. Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: 'Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.' Womens Studies 21 (1992): 397-409.n Fox-Good, Jacquelyn A. Ophelias Mad Songs: Music, Gender, Power. Subjects on the Worlds Stage: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. David C. Allen and Robert A. White. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 217-38.n Hamana, Emi. Whose Body Is It, Anyway?A re-Reading of Ophelia. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 143-54.n Harris, Arthur John. Ophelias Nothing: It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter." Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer-Winter 1997): 20-46. file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (1 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84.n Jenkins, Ronald Bradford. The Case Against the King: The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.3-4 (Aug. 1996): 206-18.n Oshio, Toshiko. Ophelia: Experience into Song. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 131-42.n Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996.n Peterson, Kaara. Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition. Mosaic 31.3 (1998): 1-24.n Philip, Ranjini. The Shattered Glass: The Story of (O)phelia. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 73-84.n Roberts, Katherine. The Wandering Womb: Classical Medical Theory and the Formation of Female Characters in Hamlet. Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 15 (1995): 223-32.n Ronk, Martha C. Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 2143. n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992.n Simon, Bennett. Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation. American Imago 58.3 (Fall 2001): 707-22.n Stanton, Kay. "Hamlet's Whores." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88. Brooks, Jean R. Hamlet and Ophelia as Lovers: Some Interpretations on Page and Stage. Aligorh Critical Miscellany 4.1 (1991): 1-25. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE This essay asserts that Getting Ophelia right involves, by implication, Hamlets love relationship with her, and a re-examination of the question, in what sense file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (2 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia they can be considered as lovers (1). While literary scholars frequently get Ophelia wrong, actors and directors (e.g., Olivier, Jacobi) also make mistakes, such as altering the To be, or not to be soliloquy and negating textual evidence of Ophelias chastity. Actors also tend to stereotype Ophelia, whether as the unchaste young woman (e.g., West) (8) or as more child than woman (e.g., Mirren, McEwan, Tutin) (10). In actuality, the text purports a welldisciplined Renaissance woman, a young woman, not a child, with her chaste treasure unopend but at the peak of sexual attractiveness, because the key to the nunnery and play scenes lies in the difference between what the audience sees on stage and what Hamlet sees in his minds eye (12-13). He projects on to the innocent andas the audience can seeunpainted Ophelia the disgust he feels at his mothers sexual sins (13) and the self-disgust he feels for inheriting original sin from his parents (14). But his ordering of her to a nunnery suggests a kind of love that makes Hamlet wish to preserve Ophelias goodness untouched (15). Ultimately, it is Hamlet who rejects Ophelia, not Ophelia who rejects Hamlet (15-16). But her constant love gives positive counterweight, for the audience, to Hamlets too extreme obsession with the processes of corruption (17). The good that Ophelias constant love does for her lover, from beyond the grave, is to affirm his commitment to the human condition he had wished to deny (21). Beside her grave, Hamlet belatedly testifies to his love for Ophelia, acknowledging the good in human nature that Ophelia had lived for, and that Hamlet finally dies to affirm. Given the tragic unfulfilment of the human condition, could lovers do more for each other? (23). [ top ] Dane, Gabrielle. Reading Ophelias Madness. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 405-23. FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA Admittedly negotiating the simultaneous rationalization and preservation of insantiy, this article attempts to answer the important question of how to read Ophelias madness. Ophelia initially appears shaped to conform to external demands, to reflect others desires (406): she is Laertes angel, Polonius commodity (407), and Hamlets spectre of his psychic fears (410). While the conflicting messages from these male/masculine sources damage Ophelias psychological identity, their sudden absence provokes her mental destruction. Optimistically, Ophelias madness offers the capability of speech, the opportunity to discover individual identity, and the power to verbally undermine authority. A thorough analysis of Ophelias mad ramblings (and their mutual levels of meaning) provides a singular expos of society, of the turbulent reality beneath its surface veneer of calm (418); but her words still suggest a fragmented self file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (3 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia and provide others the opportunity to manipulate meanings that best suit them. Ophelias death is also open to interpretation. While the Queen describes the accidental drowning of an unconsciously precocious child (422), this article suggests that Ophelias choice might be seen as the only courageousindeed rationaldeath in Shakespeares bloody drama (423). [ top ] DiMatteo, Anthony. Hamlet as Fable: Reconstructing a Lost Code of Meaning. Connotations 6.2 (1996/1997): 158-79. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MYTHIC CRITICISM / OPHELIA This article explores how the nexus of Hamlet and mythic heroes links with another analogy between fable and history that involves an unsettling convergence of spirits (159), how Shakespeares audience perceived the myths cognitive potential . to have great speculative power (159-60), as well as how myths are enlisted but also deeply called into question by Hamlet (160). A comparison of terminology, imagery, and plot between mythology and the play identifies parallels between Hamlet / Adonis / Orpheus / Vulcan / Aeneas / Hercules and Ophelia / Venus / Dido. While classical points of contact suggest a symbolic coding and an implied range of meanings, they also locate Hamlet in a relationship to a specific audience or readership trained in academic recital and exegesis of Ovid and Virgil (164). Due to the hermeneutical traditions as they had come to evolve in the late Renaissance, one must read myth allusions in Hamlet not archetypically but stenographically (165). For example, the acquired double potential of myth allowing it to serve simultaneously as examples of human virtue and vice complexly connects in the play with Hamlets anxiety not only about his fathers apparition but also his own thoughts (165). Is the Ghost a reliable source or Vulcan (a daimon) forging his son (or a soul) into an agent of evil (167)? Are Hamlets imaginings merely misconceptions or the results of a moral contamination (166)? The analogies between Hamlets experience and that of his mythic predecessors indicate how Hamlet in plot, terms and phrases lingers over a whole range of ancient concerns through which late Renaissance culture both couched and covered over its own ambition and fears (167-68). Arguably, Hamlet stages the death not only of Hamlet but of the typically Renaissance belief in eloquence as some ultimate civilizing or enlightening process (172). The implied cleft between the miraculous possibilities posited in fable and the brute mortality of historical events in Denmark can also be sensed in the play if we consider the contrary influences of Ovid and Virgil upon the myths that the play takes up (173): Hamlet seems caught between the Virgilian sublime and Ovidian mutability file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (4 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia (173-74), and Virgils permanent order and Ovids flux seem to vie for influence over the play (174). By bringing these parallelisms with figures from epic and fable to bear upon the history of Hamlet, the play acts out the tragic pathos that results when history and myth are implicitly revealed to be irreconcilable (175). The conflict of myth and history and of art and life is densely articulated through symbolic shorthand in Hamlet (175). [ top ] Dunn, Leslie C. Ophelias Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine. Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones. New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 50-64. FEMINISM / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MUSIC / OPHELIA This essay argues that the representation of Ophelias madness involves a mapping of her sexual and psychological difference onto the discursive difference of music and that this dramatic use of music reflects the broader discourse of music in early modern English culture, with its persistent associations between music, excess and the feminine (52). Early modern British writers contend with the conflicting ideologies of music inherited from Platonic and Christian thought: music represents the earthly embodiment of divine order, but it also introduces sensuous immediacy and semantic indeterminacy (56). While Pythagorean harmony is music in its positive or masculine aspect, music also possesses the capability of cultural dissonance in its negative or feminine aspect (58). In Hamlet, singing allows Ophelia to become both the literal and the figurative dissonance that expresses marginalities (59). Her representation draws on gender stereotypes of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage and simultaneously dislocates them (60): If Ophelias singing lets the woman out, then, it does so in such a way as to problematize cultural constructions of womens song, even while containing her within their re-presentation; but her disruptive feminine energy must be reabsorbed into both the social and the discursive orders of the play (62). Gertrudes description of Ophelias drowning re-appropriates Ophelias music and aestheticizes her madness, makes it pretty (63). Rather than dismiss Ophelias singing as a conventional sign of madness, critics should acknowledge its significance by making her singing our subject (64). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (5 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL This essay explores "cultural resonances between the politically unstable time of Judges in Israel's history, the political confusion in Hamlet's Denmark, and the anxiety over succession in late-Elizabethan England" (133). While Jephthah's daughter and Ophelia share similarities, they also differ in an important way: the unnamed daughter is an obedient sacrifice, and Ophelia "develops from her status as a victim" to "an author of a potentially different story, a woman's story" (133-34). Ophelia comes to realize her subversive potential and, in a commanding oration about the weakening of Hamlet's "noble mind," laments the lose of her own political ambitions (135). But her madness empowers her with liberties, such as demanding a meeting with Gertrude. Once granted entrance, "she, like a wandering player, comes to hold a mirror up to the court" (136). Gone is her submissive voice, replaced by "a range of voices" (137). Ophelia now "commands attention" (137). Interestingly, her invasion of the court parallels Laertes' rebellious entrance: they have "competing political claims, his assertive and explicit, hers subversive and encoded in mad woman's language" (137). Because her songs "introduce the protesting voice of oppressed women in society" through the veils of a ballad culture, Ophelia is not understood by her male audience; but her "rebellion against the double standard and its oppression of women arouses fear in Gertrude, who understands" (138). When the Queen reports Ophelia's drowning, she insists "on her time and the attention of the plotting men" (138). Her description portrays "a woman who draws her understanding of her world from women's culture" (139). The Queen, "perhaps like Jephthah's daughter's maiden friends, returned from temporary exile to interpret the meaning of the sacrificed daughter's life" (140). [ top ] Fike, Matthew A. Gertrudes Mermaid Allusion. On Page and Stage: Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. Krakw: Towarzystwo Autorw, 2000. 259-75. [Originally printed in the-hard-tofind B. A. S.: British and American Studies 2 (1999): 15-25.] HAMLET / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay proposes that the mermaid allusiona powerful nexus of mythological and folk materialenables a new perspective on Gertrudes speech file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (6 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia and the play (259). Gertrudes description of Ophelia as mermaidlike (4.7.176) in the drowning report evokes a whole tradition from Homers sirens to mermaid references in Shakespeares own time because sirens and mermaids were conflated (and interchangeable) by the Elizabethan period (260-61). While the Christian Church linked both images to the temptations of the flesh (261), natural histories, literary works, travel literature, popular ballads, and reports of actual mermaid sightings all contributed to Elizabethans perception of a mermaid (262): eternally youthful, beautiful, embodying the mystery of the ocean, and possessing an alluring song (263). Although the first lines of Gertrudes speech do have unmistakable resonances with mermaid lore (265) and mermaid lore supports the possibility that being spurned by Hamlet may be a cause of both madness and suicide" (266), it is her [Ophelias] divergence from the myth that is significant (264). For example, legend held that a mortal male could trick a mermaid into marriage by stealing her cap; but, in Hamlet, the pattern is reversed: Hamlet gives Ophelia tokens of their betrothal which she returns to him in the nunnery scene (264). The implication is that Ophelia is not a mermaid shackled to a mortal husband because of a trick, but instead a young woman who knows her own mind and frankly brings the symbolism of her relationship into harmony with the loss of emotional warmth (364). Rather than a derogatory description of a chaste Ophelia, the mermaid allusion echoes a native folk tradition of misogynistic insecurity (267) and participates in Hamlets larger image pattern of prostitution and sexuality (268). In addition, the mermaids human/beast duality suggests not only the danger of feminine seductiveness (Ophelia, Gertrude) but also the rational call (Horatio) to epic duty (the ghost)symbolically merging the two extremes that Hamlet struggles with in the play (270). [ top ] Findlay, Alison. "Hamlet: A Document in Madness." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 189-205. FEMINISM / HAMLET / OPHELIA / RHETORICAL By focusing on Hamlet and Ophelia, this essay examines "how gender dictates access to a language with which to cope with mental breakdown" and considers "how madness produces and is produced by a fragmentation of discourse" (189). The death of Old Hamlet marks the unraveling of language's "network of close knit meanings and signs" in Denmark (191). In this atmosphere, Hamlet and Ophelia "are threatened with mental breakdowns, rendering their need to file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (7 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia define their experiences and re-define themselves particularly acute" (192). Hamlet attempts a "self-cure" to deal with his mental instability (192): he "uses his control over the written word to empower himself in emotionally disturbing situations"; examples include Hamlet's letters to Ophelia, Horatio, and Claudius, his forged orders to England, and his rewriting of The Murder of Gonzago (193). Hamlet discovers "a verbal and theatrical metalanguage with which to construct and contain the experience of insanity" (196), but Ophelia "does not have the same means for elaborating a delirium as a man" (197). She possesses "very limited access to any verbal communication with which to unpack her heart" before her father's death (199). After his passing, Ophelia is confronted "with an unprecedented access to language which is both liberating and frightening" (200). Her songs "are in the same mode as Hamlet's adaptation, The Mousetrap, and his use of ballad (III.ii.265-78); but, unlike Hamlet, she will not act as a chorus" (201). Also, she "cannot analyze her trauma" the way that he does (200). In the context of other Renaissance women dealing with insanity (e.g., Dionys Fitzherbert, Margaret Muschamp, Mary, Moore), Ophelia's experience of "trying to find a voice in the play" seems "a model for the difficulties facing Renaissance women writers" (202). [ top ] Finkelstein, Richard. Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity. Renaissance and Reformation 21.2 (Spring 1997): 5-22. FEMINISM / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay explores how Shakespeare uses Ophelia to expose an interplay between culture, epistemology, and psychology which constructs Hamlets heroic subjectivity, itself understood through his logic, development, and actions informed by agency (6). Hamlet and Ophelia are similar in various ways, including their fashioning a sense of interiority (6). But they also differ. For example, Hamlet goes out of its way to disassociate her [Ophelias] epistemological habits from the empirical exactitude Hamlet seeks (11). Ophelia signifies knowledge which cannot be known with certainty (10). According to contemporary French feminism, the opposition of Claudius, Horatio, Fortinbras, and Hamlet (prior to his fifth act embrace of providence) to Ophelias manner of signifying cannot be separated from challenges female bodies pose to gendered concepts of fixed subjectivity (13). Yet Ophelias disjointed speeches do not define a feminine language so much as they interrogate the related economies of object relations and a readiness to act which mark Hamlets developed subjectivity in the play (14). The uncertainties of Ophelias death also raise questions about whether agency itself can define file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (8 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia subjectivity (15). While agency and intention do not function efficiently for either Hamlet or Ophelia, the play allows more than one means of defining subjectivity (17). Through Ophelia, the play interrogates its own longings, and its participation in defining subjectivity (18). [ top ] Floyd-Wilson, Mary. Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: 'Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.' Womens Studies 21 (1992): 397409. FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / RECEPTION THEORY This article contends that by the late eighteenth century, the eras evolving notions of gender and the paradoxical effects of censorship actually infused representations of Ophelia with erotic and discordant elements (397). Performance reviews and the script from William Davenants revival of Hamlet present the Prince as the ideal and honorable hero, Ophelia as the ideal woman, and their relationship as (the ideal) romance. Such changes from the original source are made possible through the deletion of dialogue: Laertes cautioning of Ophelia about Hamlets intentions, Polonius directing of Ophelia to withdraw from Hamlets suit, Ophelias replies to Hamlets sexual innuendoes, and Ophelias most bawdy lines in the mad scene. The final product is a sexually unaware and innocent Ophelia, but this shadow of Shakespeares character combines the residual (though censored) sexual awareness of the Renaissance with an emerging ideal of the inherently pure and moral female (402). Almost a century later, David Garrick introduced large production changes, including modifications to endow Ophelia with the natural feminine qualities valued in his own period: passivity and emotionalism (403). His Ophelia actor, Susannah Cibber, initiated the femininity in Ophelia. The contrasts between the two productions of Hamlet and the social periods suggest that the eighteenth centurys censorship helped turn sex into a secretsynonymous with truthresulting in the modern desire to release it from its repressive constraints (407). [ top ] Fox-Good, Jacquelyn A. Ophelias Mad Songs: Music, Gender, Power. Subjects on the Worlds Stage: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. David C. Allen and Robert A. White. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 217-38. file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (9 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia FEMINISM / MUSIC / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA After discussing the study of Shakespearean music, this essay approaches the words and music of Ophelias mad songs as constituting her own story, using her own voice for her own grief, and for rage and protest (222). In the historical context of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, music is associated with madness, a female malady to borrow Showalters phrase (231-32). Aside from the subversive power of music, this mediums identification with the female/effeminate creates fear, which led many writers of the period to issue strong warnings against the dangers of music and music education (232). Ophelias songs end her dutiful silence and constitute her character (233). Specifically, in their melodies, harmonies, tempos, and generally in the bodily power of their music, her songs are expressions of loss and emptiness but also of a specifically female power (233). Ophelias assertion of her power in music makes music a kind of secret code, a deceptively pretty language; music is nothing (nothing but all things); it is noting; it is to be noted, and reckoned with (234). [ top ] Hamana, Emi. Whose Body Is It, Anyway?A re-Reading of Ophelia. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 14354. FEMINISM / HISTORY OF IDEAS / OPHELIA According to this article, although Hamlet treats the question of the female body through masculine ideologies and fantasies, the text is not a closed, monolithic structure, as is demonstrated by the contradictions discussed in this essay (143). A brief examination of Christian tradition and Cartesian dualism explains the Elizabethan tendencies towards misogyny and somatophobia (143). In Hamlet, Gertrudes sinful lust is punished by the objectification and desexualization of the body, but the innocent and puppet-like Ophelia also suffers a series of patriarchal oppressions (145). While the mad scene follows the Renaissance theatrical convention and the masculine assumption of mad women as erotomaniacs, it also has a subversive dimension: It invites us to rethink the conceptualization and representation of the female body with contradictions that question patriarchal ideology (146). Ophelias madness disrupts the plays dynamics (146), and grants her autonomy as a subject (147); most importantly, it shows the dualism of mind and body, not as binary opposites but as inseparably related (147-148). This embodying of the mind file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (10 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia (149) contrasts sharply with Hamlets aspirations of separating the masculine mind (reason) from the feminine body (148). In the drowning report, the similar merger of mind/body and subject/object represents a different kind of female body: not a fixed entity but a mutable structure (151). Ophelia revolts against those forces that shape her textual boundary, destabilizes patriarchal control, and resists masculine fantasy of order and universalization (152). [ top ] Harris, Arthur John. Ophelias Nothing: It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer-Winter 1997): 20-46. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / OPHELIA While exploring what J. Max Patrick calls the erotic estimate of Ophelia, this essay argues that audiences are to suspect Claudius himself as the principle cause of Ophelias madness and death; specifically, that at some point shortly before her madness there has been a liaison between the two, that she has been sexually abused, and that he has been not only the sexual predator but also the one who dispatched (1.5.75) Ophelia to her grave (21). In Hamlet, Shakespeare creates a world that one senses is somehow thoroughly contaminated and a pervasive sense of uncertainty, suspicion, and doubt (22). The ambiguity surrounding Ophelia contributes to this aesthetic project. For example, the sexually suggestive language of her mad songs (e.g., tricks, hems, beats, spurns) encourages audiences to suspect misfortune (24). In addition, her statement, It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter (4.5.171-72), strongly implicates the King as the thief. Upon hearing these words, Laertes suspects This nothings more than matter (4.5.173). But the King, Ophelias frequent interrupter, attributes Ophelias behavior to excessive grief. In actuality, the mad scene presents evidence that Ophelia has been sexually abused by the King (31). Further proof appears in the curious (and obvious) stress upon sexual imagery in Gertrudes report of Ophelias drowning (35), the gravediggers exposition on the uncertainty of the death and cryptic ballad (which seems intentionally altered from the original to raise suspicions), and the priests oddly timed stress on Ophelias chastity. Perhaps the formation of suspicionswithout sufficient evidence as proofis exactly what Shakespeare intends to elicit (24). But, while Horatio is responsible for telling Hamlets story, audiences are responsible for hearing Ophelias story (42). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (11 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84. ART / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL After exploring the representations of Annunciation in art and religion, this essay argues that Hamlets parodies and distortions of a rich array of traditional Annunciation motifs are set ironically but not didactically against his tendency to trust his own reason and to assert his own will against the inscrutable will of God (58). The nunnery scene, with Ophelia manipulated into the posturing of a pseudo Mary, merits intense focus. For example, the curtains that Claudius and Polonius hide behind are, by the late sixteenth century, quite commonly a part of Annunciation iconography (63). Such distorted and parodied Annunciation motifs inform the impossible miracles that Hamlet demands of Ophelia and Gertrude, his maid and his mother, as only Mary can fulfill both roles chastely (67). While evidence in the text suggests Ophelias virginity, the maid is only a poor imitation of the thing itself, of Mary (73): she is a victim rather than a hero, used, manipulated, betrayed (72). Hamlet too is unlike Mary due to his distrust of Gods Providence (73) and his rejection of the traditional Christian scheme of fall and redemption (74). Although Hamlet is never painted simply in Marys image (76), he is moving at the end of the play, inexorably if also inconsistently, towards letting be, rest in a silence, a wisdom, of Marian humility (77). [ top ] Jenkins, Ronald Bradford. The Case Against the King: The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.34 (Aug. 1996): 206-18. CLAUDIUS / LAW / OPHELIA / OPHELIA'S MURDER(ER) Narrated by the attorney representing Ophelias family, this essay presents the jurors (a.k.a. readers) with evidence that King Claudius seduced, impregnated, and murdered Ophelia. First, the prosecution establishes the Kings character for the court: Claudius is capable of murdering his brother, of plotting to kill his nephew/son-in-law, and of seducing his sister-in-law/wife. Although Ophelia is praised by several respected character witnesses (e.g., Campbell, Vischer, Coleridge, Johnson, Hazlitt, Jameson) (208), evidence emerges that Ophelia was not a chaste virgin. For example, Polonius and Laertes feel the need to warn Ophelia about protecting her chastity, and, in response to their cautions, Her lack of indignation is puzzling (209). According to the prosecution, Ophelias file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (12 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia lack of chastity leads to her impregnation by Claudius. Hamlet and Gertrude learn about the scandalous pregnancy, and both shun the young girl. But Ophelia and her unborn child pose threats to the throne. Adopting the disguise of madness (like Hamlet), Ophelia uses sing-song ramblings and symbolic flowers to accuse her seducer. Claudius responds by ordering two men to follow her, and then she suddenly drowns, accidentally. Aside from the Queens enthusiasm to report the death of her rival, the description of events reveals that Ophelias garland was another attempt to accuse Claudius with symbolic flowers; also, the cumbersome clothes that drown Ophelia seem out of place for the warm season but appropriate for the concealment of her pregnancy. Aware of the unborn child, the church grudgingly provides a grave-side service for the unwed mother. In closing arguments, the attorney articulates Claudius motives for murdering Ophelia and begs simply that justice be done (218). [ top ] Oshio, Toshiko. Ophelia: Experience into Song. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 131-42. MUSIC / OPHELIA / RHETORICAL This essay contrasts Ophelias inability to express herself by means of words (131) with her expressiveness and impressiveness in her singing (132). Ophelia first appears to possess a degree of wit, not unlike Hamlets opening puns (132) and an earnest truthfulness in her exchanges with Laertes and Polonius (133). Her description of Hamlets madness to Polonius reveals dashing eloquence, attention to detail, and a compulsion to tell all, even though she may be extremely frightened (133). As a mere puppet in the nunnery scene, Ophelias words do not sound like her own, and Hamlets vicious attack leaves her split in twain or, even three (134). But her soliloquy at the end of the scene reasserts her straightforwardness, as she disregards the audience behind the arras (135). Unfortunately, Ophelia fails to act, to fully express herself, or to defend her relation with Hamlet in the first scene: By internalizing her grief, she breaks into madness (135). She now finds release in songs that present a range of different images, sharply contrasted one to another, from innocent or sacrificial victim to experienced whore (136). During these alternate tones of joy and despair Ophelia pours out her inner thoughts and feelings (139). Fittingly, Ophelia dies singing, expressing herself in a powerful mode. The sheer profusion of her songs is unrivaled in Shakespeares tragedies and contrasts keenly with the sparingness of her speech, suggesting that this character is represented fully in songs. Shakespeare made her entire being lyrical (141). file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (13 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia [ top ] Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Framed by introductory and concluding chapters that narrate personal experience as well as insight, this monograph is only in the slightest sense a history of productionsreally imitating a rehearsal (22). The first chapter focuses on the action by following the script line by line in the style of a naive telling of the story which can often provoke a discovery (22). As in most productions, the script is an accumulated version: a combination of elements from the Second Quarto and the Folio and any number of later versions, with occasional mischievous forays into the First (Bad) Quarto (24). Act and scene designations are replaced by days to avoid confusion and to draw attention to the fact that, while five separate days of action are presented, Shakespeares manipulation of double time is so skilled that you can believe that several months have passed by between the beginning and the end (23). The chapter on Hamlets characters comes second because one should not make assumptions about character until the action proves them (22). Characters are approached in groups, such as The Royal Triangle (Claudius/the Ghost/Gertrude) and The Commoners (players/gravediggers/priest). Then attention shifts to Hamlet. After discussing the demands of casting and rehearsing the role of Hamlet, the second chapter describes the excitement of opening night and the energizing relationship an actor shares with the audience. Although challenging, playing the role of Hamlet will verify you: you will never be quite the same again (193). [ top ] Peterson, Kaara. Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition. Mosaic 31.3 (1998): 1-24. ART / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay strives to position Ophelias dual representational history more precisely within both art-historical and dramatic-critical frameworks (2). While eighteenth-century Shakespearean painters generally limited Ophelia to the file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (14 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia unstressed presence of a group, the mid-nineteenth-century artists increasingly focused on the moments of Ophelias drowning. Interestingly, the original source of this scene is presented as a second-hand account of events, reducing Gertrudes narrative to a ventriloquized history (8). Regardless of textual authority, visual artists consistently use standard conventions of Ophelias death scene (e.g., dress, flowers, water) from the nineteenth century to the present. According to the work of Elisabeth Bronfen, the merger of the feminine body and death threaten masculinity with radical instability (18); hence, visual artists prevent their Ophelias from looking truly dead. Ironically, the image of Ophelia, a Shakespeare-brand product, is currently being misapplied to unrelated materials (e.g., souvenirs, CD covers)creating an issue precisely of nonreferentiality (20). After arguing that Ophelias literary and visual bodies converge, this article concludes that Ophelias complete story can only be discerned from the original source, the text (22-23). [ top ] Philip, Ranjini. The Shattered Glass: The Story of (O)phelia. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 73-84. FEMINISM / OPHELIA This article proposes that Ophelias story anticipates Gilbert and Gubars analysis of the way to achieve an integrated self transcending the dichotomy of good and bad women (73). Ophelia initially appears as a nothing and has been critically viewed as a negative nothing (74), but she moves to a greater, though incomplete, reconciliation of self (75): her madness liberates her voice and sexuality; and, as an assertion of will, her suicide is an act that confronts disillusionment, madness, and death (80). Unlike Gertrude (who cannot look at Hamlets mirror), Ophelia meets and momentarily merges with her reflection/double in the surface of the water. She metaphorically shatters the glass, as Gilbert and Gubar prescribe. Her resultant death suggests Shakespeares understanding of his Elizabethan audience and of its perceptions of the female/feminine. Ophelias death leads to the climactic confrontation among the males and allows her to fulfill the role of mythic heroine (81). The story of Ophelia then is one of nobility and heroism, of self-awareness and selfintegration (81). [ top ] Roberts, Katherine. The Wandering Womb: Classical Medical Theory and the file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (15 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia Formation of Female Characters in Hamlet. Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 15 (1995): 223-32. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay approaches wombsickness (a.k.a. hysteria) as a condition, described early in patriarchal Western culture, [which] has been a literary motif from classical to modern literature (223). Evidence spanning from Greek medical theories to the doctrines of sixteenth-century physicians testifies to the belief that the female womb has physiological needs (e.g., sexual intercourse); left unmet, these demands result in hysteria. Simultaneously, stringent social codes of the Renaissance restricted female sexuality. A patriarchal culture defined womensocially and medicallyby their relationships to men. Ophelia and Gertrude suffer classic symptoms of wombsickness. As a young girl of marriageable age and emotional instability, Ophelia is a prime candidate for wombsickness. She has been mentally and physically preparing herself for marriage/sex with Hamlet; but in the loss of all male figures to guide and support her, Ophelia becomes completely vulnerable to her own femaleness (229). Gertrude also suffers symptoms of hysteria, according to Hamlets account of a woman whose physiology apparently required frequent intercourse (230). In the absence of her original husband to sate and govern her sexual energies, Gertrude is easily seduced, and her disorderly behavior damages the society. As her natural guardian, Hamlet must intervene to constrain herhence the closet scene (231). While Gertrude properly responds to his chastising by transferring her allegiance from Claudius to Hamlet, and in a sense recovering from her wombsickness, it is too late to prevent the destruction of the thrones inhabitants. This article makes no definitive claims about Shakespeares intentions but notes that Renaissance literature reflects and reinforces previously developed concepts of women, bringing those concepts into the twentieth century (232). [ top ] Ronk, Martha C. Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 21-43. ART / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC Perceiving Ophelia as a mix of emblem and the projection of others, this dense article sets out to discover what Ophelias representation represents by focusing on the report of her drowning (23). Emblematic and allegorical characteristics of the speech reveal some insight into Opheliathe means particular to a historical period when the emblematic was a received mode of file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (16 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia perceiving the world (27). But like emblem books of the period, the combination of the visual and verbal still leaves much unarticulated. Another component in the speech is the speaker, Queen Gertrude, who becomes an appropriate substitute for Ophelia based on their shared gender and roles within the patriarchy. While Gertrude offers a dispassionate description of the drowning (29), she also becomes linked to Ophelias passive volition. The questioning of Gertrudes involvement in Ophelias death (and Hamlet Sr.s) provides reiteration of an insistent question within the play: what it means not to know what is going on (31). As Gertrude leisurely relates Ophelias demise, this ekphrastic moment presents a brief stillness within the play before the plot rushes to tragic fulfillment (32). The resulting ramifications elicit contemplation from the audience and move Ophelia out of narrative and into some cosmic order (34). As emblem (and myth) Ophelia possesses the capacity to arouse fear, referring to Freuds The Uncanny. Her ekphrastic presence implies the impossibility of more than seeing what the viewer could not have seen . to an audience intent on viewing what is not there (38). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] Simon, Bennett. Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation. American Imago 58.3 (Fall 2001): 707-22. file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (17 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC After reviewing several broad trends in the history of interpretation of the play and locating within those trends some dominant themes in psychoanalytic interpretation, this essay offers a late-twentieth-century psychoanalytic interpretationboth of Hamlet and Hamletbased on trauma theory (707). Trauma research provides insights pertinent to Hamlet: trauma victims often experience oscillations between numbness and overwhelming emotions, difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy, a sense of unreality, a sense that the self and the world become loathsome, a thirsting for revenge or scapegoat, and a profound mistrust of the future as well as of other people (e.g., family members, friends) (712). But secrecy associated with a trauma is especially devastating because secrets combined with confusion about fact and fantasy often lead to incomplete or fragmented narratives; a story that cannot be told directly in narrative discourse finds expression through displacement, symbolization, and action (713). In Hamlet, the protagonists trauma derives from his first encounter with the Ghost, which leaves Hamlet both certain and uncertain of his fathers death, his uncles responsibility, and his mothers involvement (714). Following this meeting, Hamlet mutely expresses his story in Ophelias closet (717). His madness (perhaps more real than even Hamlet realizes) is a symptom of the feigning and deceit around him, such as Claudius secrecy and Ophelias seeming betrayal (715). In comparison, Ophelia experiences various traumas, including a web of half-truths, paternal attempts to deny her perceptions, the loss of male protection (716), the secrecy surrounding her fathers murder (and her lovers responsibility), as well as the impossibility of any kind of open grieving or raginglet alone discussion (71516). While her feelings are consistently ignored and she is silenced, Ophelias madness is focused on her speaking in such a way that she cannot be ignored (715). In this aura of a traumatized environment, the theater audience must live with a discomforting set of ambiguities that Horatios promised narrative cannot entirely clarify (717). [ top ] Stanton, Kay. "Hamlet's Whores." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / LAERTES / OPHELIA This interpretation explores all the variations of whore-dom in Hamlet. The women are not the only ones prostituted. Like Ophelia, Hamlet is "'whored' by file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (18 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Ophelia the father": "The older generation incestuously prostitutes the innocence of the younger" (169). Further examples include Polonius prostituting Laertes and Reynaldo with plans of spying and Claudius, the "symbolic father," similarly misusing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (169). But the victims are not entirely innocent either. Hamlet "whores" the theater and its actors--"his great love"--by perverting artistic purpose and integrity (173), and the play-within-the-play "whores him as he has whored it, making him no longer one of the innocent, but one of the 'guilty creatures' at and in the play" (185). Laertes misuses his favorite pastime, fencing, to destroy his perceived enemy (180). The duel, "a gruesome perversion of the sex act" complete with phalluses and pudendum (181), leaves a dying Hamlet to whore Horatio, Fortinbras to whore Hamlet's story, and a new "bawd" to reestablish the patriarchy (182). Because these males insist on a binary opposition between genders, ever fearing womanly characteristics within themselves, they project their "whorishness" onto female targets, covering over masculine violence (178). The closet scene exemplifies this technique: after Hamlet murders Polonius, Gertrude's "supposed sin is made to overshadow his actual sin and somehow to justify it" (179). Only in death does Ophelia escape the whore image, but she becomes the "worshipped Madonna as Hamlet and Laertes can then safely whore their own selfconstructed images of pure love for her as rationale for violence against each other" (179). The whoring consumes the play, as Hamlet "'whores' Hamlet the prince to be the organ for its art" (183). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/ophelia.html (19 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:38:43 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Polonius Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Cleaves, David. To Thine Own Self be False: Polonius as a Danish Seneca. Shakespeare Yearbook 3 (1992): 45-61.n Oakes, Elizabeth. Polonius, the Man Behind the Arras: A Jungian Study. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 103-16.n Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996.n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. Cleaves, David. To Thine Own Self be False: Polonius as a Danish Seneca. Shakespeare Yearbook 3 (1992): 45-61. HISTORY OF IDEAS / POLONIUS This article proposes that Polonius invites comparison to Senecanot to the tragedies or essays, but rather to the biography of Seneca himself (45). Regardless of current research on Seneca, Renaissance publications, as well as John Marstons The Malcontent, reflect negative opinions of the Roman. In this historical context, Seneca and Polonius share several characteristics: both are hypocrites, flatters, and ministers to tyrants (Nero and Claudius, respectively). Although Polonius appears as an imitation of Seneca, he also mocks the Senecan philosophy; but perhaps parody is a necessary choice for the playwright trying to avoid the unfashionable style of Senecan imitation. Fluctuating between derision and concurrence, Shakespeare reveals his familiarity with Thomas Nashes criticism of Senecan imitations through subtle clues within the play. According to this article, Shakespeare found the advice of Nashe and of Nashes supporters to be worth not only ridicule but obedience (57). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/polonius.html (1 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:44 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Polonius Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Oakes, Elizabeth. Polonius, the Man Behind the Arras: A Jungian Study. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 103-16. HAMLET / JUNGIAN / POLONIUS / PSYCHOANALYTIC This reading of Hamlet argues that Polonius represents the archetypal figures of wise old man, fool and scapegoat and that his truncated sacrifice, the climax of the action, contrasts with the transcendent one of Hamlet, the climax of the symbolic level (103). Through Hamlets and Ophelias various references to and descriptions of Polonius, he is linked with the wise old man figure. But unlike the figure responsible for guiding and instructing the hero, Polonius inverts the figure by being overly concerned with his own social/political position (105). Aside from linguistic allusions, the lethal closet scene confirms Polonius status as scapegoat. Polonius is mistaken for the King, suggesting the role of the fool. While Polonius incorporates the fathers in the play into one figure whom Hamlet can confront, the Prince similarly plays the roles of fool and scapegoat (107): His adoption of an antic disposition with a conscious purpose suggests the first, and his sacrifice in the final scene exemplifies the latter (108). But the deaths of the two scapegoats differ: Through symbols connected with the mother archetype, Hamlets sacrifice is, both individually and in its effect on the community, consummate, while Polonius is void (108). For example, Hamlets rebirth occurs at sea, water being a symbolic element of the mother archetype (110), but Polonius does not have such an experience. Also, Hamlets return to Denmark marks a shift in his priorities, from the personal to the communal (111)something Polonius never achieves. In death, Hamlet moves beyond the communal to the spiritual, existing as a realized ideal in Horatios narration, while the dead Polonius is only noted for the details concerning his corpse (11112). Perhaps Shakespeares true source is not an Ur-Hamlet but the archetypes that in this play vibrate beneath the surface (112). [ top ] Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, 1996. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Framed by introductory and concluding chapters that narrate personal experience as well as insight, this monograph is only in the slightest sense a file:///S|/bev/loberg/polonius.html (2 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:44 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Polonius history of productionsreally imitating a rehearsal (22). The first chapter focuses on the action by following the script line by line in the style of a naive telling of the story which can often provoke a discovery (22). As in most productions, the script is an accumulated version: a combination of elements from the Second Quarto and the Folio and any number of later versions, with occasional mischievous forays into the First (Bad) Quarto (24). Act and scene designations are replaced by days to avoid confusion and to draw attention to the fact that, while five separate days of action are presented, Shakespeares manipulation of double time is so skilled that you can believe that several months have passed by between the beginning and the end (23). The chapter on Hamlets characters comes second because one should not make assumptions about character until the action proves them (22). Characters are approached in groups, such as The Royal Triangle (Claudius/the Ghost/Gertrude) and The Commoners (players/gravediggers/priest). Then attention shifts to Hamlet. After discussing the demands of casting and rehearsing the role of Hamlet, the second chapter describes the excitement of opening night and the energizing relationship an actor shares with the audience. Although challenging, playing the role of Hamlet will verify you: you will never be quite the same again (193). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/polonius.html (3 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:44 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Polonius This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/polonius.html (4 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:44 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Yorick Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Watterson, William Collins. Hamlets Lost Father. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 10-23. Watterson, William Collins. Hamlets Lost Father. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 10-23. HAMLET / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC / YORICK This article asserts that Yoricks abstract presence and Hamlets memories of the court jester constitute a benign inscription of paternity in the play, one which actively challenges the masculine ideals of emotional repression and military virtus otherwise featured so prominently in Shakespeares drama of revenge (10). Unlike the other father figures in Hamlet who represent patriarchal authority (e.g., the Ghost, Claudius, Polonius), Yorick is the absent surrogate parent who showed a young Hamlet alternatives to phallocentric oppression and who remains a central figure in Hamlets psyche precisely because he has been lost (11). By prematurely dying (possibly due to syphilis), Yorick abandoned a seven-year-old Hamlet in the pre-genital stage; hence, Hamlet identifies him as the cause of his sexual deficiency and associates him permanently with his own anality (18). Yet Yorick also endowed Hamlet with the skills of jesting and merrymaking, which are so evident in the exchange between Hamlet and the gravediggers. All play is set aside during Hamlets interaction with Yoricks skull, as the residual child in Hamlet articulates the pain of loss over his childhood mentor (16). Perhaps the mournful sentiments were shared by Shakespeare, who lost his father around the time that Hamlet was being written (17). While Yorick contradicts paternal cliches, he also raises questions regarding maternal stereotypes and the femininity of death. Even the origin of Yoricks name suggests an obscure conflation of gender, [which] actually encodes the idea of feminine fatherhood (18). Ultimately, Yorick instills in Hamlet values and emotions fundamentally at odds with the patriarchal codes of masculine behavior (19). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/yorick.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:44 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Yorick Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/yorick.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:44 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: ART Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Barker, Walter L. The heart of my mystery: Emblematic Revelation in the Hamlet Play Scene. Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 75-98.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84.n Iwasaki, Soji. Hamlet and Melancholy: An Iconographical Approach. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 37-55. n Nojima, Hidekatsu. The Mirror of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 21-35.n Peterson, Kaara. Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition. Mosaic 31.3 (1998): 1-24.n Ronk, Martha C. "Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 2143. Barker, Walter L. The heart of my mystery: Emblematic Revelation in the Hamlet Play Scene. Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 75-98. ART / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MOUSETRAP In an effort to explicate the coherence of the Hamlet play scene and the function of The Murther of Gonzago, this essay proposes a description of the scene in the context of emblematic theatre (75). Artistically, an emblem both represents some phenomena or human experience and interprets it in the context of Neoplatonic truths, patterns, principles, etc., which the Elizabethans in general held to be universal (75). By inserting an emblem (e.g., masque), Shakespeare exploits the interplay of limited and omniscient points of view in order to provide his theatrical audience with an interpretive context for the stage audiences behavior in both the play scene and the drama as a whole (76). Hamlets discussions on theater with Polonius, Horatio, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and the players prepare theatergoers for (and alert them to) the emblematic presentation in the play scene. The dumb-show represents and interprets stage audience behavior by delineating a psychomachia model of human nature which compels the interplay of value oriented and passion driven responses to lost love in all human beings (86). In comparison, the dialogue of the Player-King and Player-King provides voices for the conflicting principles file:///S|/bev/loberg/art.html (1 of 5) [11/19/2002 11:38:45 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: ART Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological through which transcendental Love shapes the Psychomachia responses to lost love in human nature (91). The Murther of Gonzago, as a figurative mirror of macrocosmic principle and microcosmic human nature, delineates the variable pattern of moral reductiveness, passionate actions, and slanderous misreadings in which all human beings, individually and collectively, act out blind and poisoning responses to lost love (91). Aside from the various emotional, spiritual, and mental poisonings in Hamlet, the final scene stages a dance macabre of literal poisoningsby sword and cup, by intent and mischance, feigned and overt, forced and accidental, single and doublein which the characters complete their tragic destruction of each other (96). Seen historically, Shakespeares use of The Murther of Gonzago masque demonstrates that he thought and wrote in the modes of emblematic and Neoplatonic discourse that dominated Elizabethan art and sensibilities, and that he was very good at it (96). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84. ART / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL After exploring the representations of Annunciation in art and religion, this essay argues that Hamlets parodies and distortions of a rich array of traditional Annunciation motifs are set ironically but not didactically against his tendency to trust his own reason and to assert his own will against the inscrutable will of God (58). The nunnery scene, with Ophelia manipulated into the posturing of a pseudo Mary, merits intense focus. For example, the curtains that Claudius and Polonius hide behind are, by the late sixteenth century, quite commonly a part of Annunciation iconography (63). Such distorted and parodied Annunciation motifs inform the impossible miracles that Hamlet demands of Ophelia and Gertrude, his maid and his mother, as only Mary can fulfill both roles chastely (67). While evidence in the text suggests Ophelias virginity, the maid is only a poor imitation of the thing itself, of Mary (73): she is a victim rather than a hero, used, manipulated, betrayed (72). Hamlet too is unlike Mary due to his distrust of Gods Providence (73) and his rejection of the traditional Christian scheme of fall and redemption (74). Although Hamlet is never painted simply in Marys image (76), he is moving at the end of the play, inexorably if also inconsistently, towards letting be, rest in a silence, a wisdom, of Marian humility (77). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/art.html (2 of 5) [11/19/2002 11:38:45 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: ART Iwasaki, Soji. Hamlet and Melancholy: An Iconographical Approach. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 3755. ART / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This argument interprets Hamlet as Shakespeares play of Saturn in that the Saturnine atmosphere of melancholy and death, initially brought by the ghost of the dead King Hamlet in the opening scene, is dominant throughout (37). The plays combinations of doomsday/prelapsarian paradise, light/darkness, mirth/mourning, time/timeless (38), uncle/father, aunt/mother, appearance/reality, (40), and order/chaos cause Hamlet to slip into melancholy and to suffer from disillusionment and doubt (41). His posture of melancholy replicates that of the classical Saturn on which is based the icon of melancholy in Renaissance art: a figure who is supposed to be of a melancholy humour, sinister, fond of solitude and to dislike women (39). But Hamlet matures. After experiencing God while at sea, Hamlet is now ready to accept whatever should come (44). Although the final scene is a dramatic version of the Triumph of Death, Hamlet perceives that this scene of so many deaths is neither the triumph of Death nor that of Fortune (45). Because of his readiness, Hamlet finally transcends the life of meditation to attain a higher idealmeditation and action synthesized (46). Hamlet achieves the ideal of the Renaissance, but the real tragedy is that his life is so brief (47). [ top ] Nojima, Hidekatsu. The Mirror of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 21-35. ART / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM This article approaches Hamlet as a play reflective of the Renaissances discovery of perspective (21). A survey of innovations in visual and literary arts shows that the discovery of an individual point of view necessarily brings about a subjective or relativistic perception of the world (24). In Hamlet, the Prince, after his mothers re-marriage, becomes a prisoner of the curious perspective in which everything seems double (28): The conscience (consciousness) of Hamlet caught in the collusion of these double-images [e.g., reality/dream, waking/sleeping, action/inaction, reason/madness] is imprisoned in a labyrinth of mirrors (28-29). In the curious perspective, the revenging hero (by feigning madness) doubles as the fool; hence, Hamlets motives for revenge file:///S|/bev/loberg/art.html (3 of 5) [11/19/2002 11:38:45 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: ART are undermined by the complicity of the Fool with the Hero which necessarily reduces all to absurdity or nothing (30). The good or bad is nothing but an anamorphosis reflected in the curious perspective of Hamlets inner world (30). The structure of this play is likewise a labyrinth of mirrors. Various themes echo with one another like images reflected between mirrors (31). Examples include the multiple models of the father/son relationship and the revenge theme. In addition, Almost all the characters are spies in Hamlet, further suggesting the curious perspective; the recurrent poison theme also seems reflected in the mirror (32). All of the plotting characters become ensnared in their own traps, because reflexives of plotting and plotter are nothing but an image in the reflector (33). Adding to the complexity, the dramatic genre leaves Hamlet to the liberty and responsibility of an actors or an audiences or a readers several curious perspective (34). [ top ] Peterson, Kaara. Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition. Mosaic 31.3 (1998): 1-24. ART / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay strives to position Ophelias dual representational history more precisely within both art-historical and dramatic-critical frameworks (2). While eighteenth-century Shakespearean painters generally limited Ophelia to the unstressed presence of a group, the mid-nineteenth-century artists increasingly focused on the moments of Ophelias drowning. Interestingly, the original source of this scene is presented as a second-hand account of events, reducing Gertrudes narrative to a ventriloquized history (8). Regardless of textual authority, visual artists consistently use standard conventions of Ophelias death scene (e.g., dress, flowers, water) from the nineteenth century to the present. According to the work of Elisabeth Bronfen, the merger of the feminine body and death threaten masculinity with radical instability (18); hence, visual artists prevent their Ophelias from looking truly dead. Ironically, the image of Ophelia, a Shakespeare-brand product, is currently being misapplied to unrelated materials (e.g., souvenirs, CD covers)creating an issue precisely of nonreferentiality (20). After arguing that Ophelias literary and visual bodies converge, this article concludes that Ophelias complete story can only be discerned from the original source, the text (22-23). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/art.html (4 of 5) [11/19/2002 11:38:45 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: ART Ronk, Martha C. Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 21-43. ART / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC Perceiving Ophelia as a mix of emblem and the projection of others, this dense article sets out to discover what Ophelias representation represents by focusing on the report of her drowning (23). Emblematic and allegorical characteristics of the speech reveal some insight into Opheliathe means particular to a historical period when the emblematic was a received mode of perceiving the world (27). But like emblem books of the period, the combination of the visual and verbal still leaves much unarticulated. Another component in the speech is the speaker, Queen Gertrude, who becomes an appropriate substitute for Ophelia based on their shared gender and roles within the patriarchy. While Gertrude offers a dispassionate description of the drowning (29), she also becomes linked to Ophelias passive volition. The questioning of Gertrudes involvement in Ophelias death (and Hamlet Sr.s) provides reiteration of an insistent question within the play: what it means not to know what is going on (31). As Gertrude leisurely relates Ophelias demise, this ekphrastic moment presents a brief stillness within the play before the plot rushes to tragic fulfillment (32). The resulting ramifications elicit contemplation from the audience and move Ophelia out of narrative and into some cosmic order (34). As emblem (and myth) Ophelia possesses the capacity to arouse fear, referring to Freuds The Uncanny. Her ekphrastic presence implies the impossibility of more than seeing what the viewer could not have seen . to an audience intent on viewing what is not there (38). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/art.html (5 of 5) [11/19/2002 11:38:45 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Carnival Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100.n Bristol, Michael D. "'Funeral bak'd-meats': Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: St. Martin's, 1994. 348-67. [Reprinted in Shakespeare's Tragedies, ed. Susan Zimmerman (1998).]n Burnett, Mark Thornton. "'For they are actions that a man might play': Hamlet as Trickster." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 24-54.n Gorfain, Phyllis. Toward a Theory of Play and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 25-49. [Reprinted in Donald Keeseys Contexts for Criticism (1994) and in Ronald Knowles Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin (1998).] Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CARNIVAL / DECONSTRUCTION / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE This essay approaches Hamlet as his own Fool, who can be seen to subvert Hamlet so thoroughly as to reduce to laughter the very idea of serious tragedy (83). A review of concurring critics (e.g., Levin, Graves, McGee, Wiles, Bristol) provides some basis for this argument. Theater history suggests changes in theatrical conventions to explain why Hamlets laughter has been subverted: while Elizabethan audiences were encouraged to participate, modern audiences fear making a faux pas and suffer from the social constraints of an elitist forum (91). Perhaps Elizabethan audiences would have perceived Hamlets insults to the groundlings as rough intimacies (92), laughing at the ritualistic sacrifice of the fool in carnivalesque style and at Horatios suggestion of singing angels (94). Hamlet appears to erase itself not merely through metadrama or other linguistics-based critical theory, but through the laughter of Death, which file:///S|/bev/loberg/carnival.html (1 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:46 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Carnival Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological is not satirical laughter but the inclusive, absolute, all-affirming, feasting, social laughter of the folk (all the people), the laughter of carnival (97). [ top ] Bristol, Michael D. "'Funeral bak'd-meats': Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: St. Martin's, 1994. 348-67. [Reprinted in Shakespeare's Tragedies, ed. Susan Zimmerman (1998).] CARNIVAL / CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MARXISM While supplying a summary of Marxist theory and of Bakhtin's principles of the Carnival, this essay contends that Claudius and Hamlet camouflage themselves with carnivalesque masks but that Hamlet has an advantageous "understanding of the corrosive and clarifying power of laughter" (350). Appearing "as a complex variant of the Lord of Misrule," Claudius first speaks of a festive commingling between marriage and death, but he only appropriates carnivalesque themes and values "in order to make legitimate his own questionable authority" (355). Ironically, his means of securing the crown "typically mocks and uncrowns all authority" (356). Although Hamlet initially rejects festivities, his killing of Polonius marks the change in him. Hamlet's use of "grotesque Carnival equivocation" in the following scene with the King, his father/mother, suggests Hamlet's development (358). Hamlet's interaction with "actual representatives of the unprivileged," the Gravediggers, completes Hamlet's training in carnivalism (359). Aside from the "clear and explicit critique of the basis for social hierarchy" (360), this scene shows Hamlet reflecting on death, body identity, community, and laughter. He confronts Yorick's skull but learns that "the power of laughter is indestructible": "Even a dead jester can make us laugh" (361). Now Hamlet is ready to participate in Claudius' final festival, the duel. True to the carnival tendencies, the play ends with "violent social protest" and "a change in the political order" (364). Unfortunately, Fortinbras' claim to the throne maintains "the tension between 'high' political drama and a 'low' audience of nonparticipating witnesses" (365). [ top ] Burnett, Mark Thornton. "'For they are actions that a man might play': Hamlet as Trickster." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 24-54. file:///S|/bev/loberg/carnival.html (2 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:46 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Carnival CARNIVAL / HAMLET / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This essay's "hoped-for result is to draw attention to a set of relations between the trickster theme in the play and the social, economic and political forces which lend Hamlet its note of specifically Elizabethan urgency" (29). Shakespeare's play conjures "a spectrum of archetypal trickster intrigues" through multiple characters (34): "it "enlists the traditions of the fox, the fool, and the rogue, complicating the expectation that the play can be understood in terms of a diagrammatic relationship between those who trick and those who are tricked" (43). But the focus is primarily on "Hamlet's own tricksy practices" (34). While the Prince "follows in the path of the trickster in choosing words and theatre as the weapons with which he will secure his role as revenger," "his sense of purpose is often blunted, from within (by Claudius) and from without (by the Ghost)"-like the traditional trickster who battles multiple foes of "local or familial networks" (37). Historically, the trickster's "malleable form presented itself as an answer to, and an expression of, the early modern epistemological dilemma" (51). For example, Hamlet raises concerns of religion, succession, and gender, comparable to the "unprecedented social forms and new ideological configurations" experienced while Elizabeth I reigned as monarch (49-50). In a carnivalesque style, Hamlet affords Elizabethans "a release of tensions" and a means of "social protest" through its trickster(s) (50). [ top ] Gorfain, Phyllis. Toward a Theory of Play and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 25-49. [Reprinted in Donald Keeseys Contexts for Criticism (1994) and in Ronald Knowles Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin (1998).] AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CARNIVAL / METADRAMA Drawing heavily on Bakhtins understanding of carnivalesque, this article approaches Hamlet as Shakespeares most ludic and metatheatrical tragedy (26). The carnivalesque in Hamlet intensifies its complex tragic mode (27), as the irreversible and vertical movement of tragic form joins to the reversible and horizontal continuum of carnival in Hamlet to produce the double vision (28). The alliance of linear consequence with cyclical carnivalesque reversibility becomes most evident in the final act of Hamlet: on the one hand, the play concludes with a carnivalesque fearlessness and freedom as Hamlet decides to engage in an open-ended fencing match; but, on the other hand, it also concludes with a devastating finality when the cheating and intrigue of Claudius defeat this ludic spirit (31). This consolidation of irreversible history and file:///S|/bev/loberg/carnival.html (3 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:46 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Carnival reversible art matches other patterns of assertion and denial in the play (31), such as wordplay (punning, witty literalism, clownish malapropism, word corruptions, nonsense) (31) and storytelling (which in Hamlet then replaces revenge) (29). The repetitive presentation of Old Hamlets murder, through narrative, mime, and performance, demonstrates how the self-reflexive play with the boundaries between event and representation, past and present, subjunctive and actual, audience and performers defines and dissolves the differences between the world of the play and the world of the theater (29). As carnival obscures the differences between performers and audience, blending us all in a comedic vision of performance culture, so Hamlet uses its reflexive ending to make us observers of our own observing, objects of our own subjective knowledge, inheritors of the playful knowledge paradox (43)and the noblest audience (5.21.88). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/carnival.html (4 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:46 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Duel Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Low, Jennifer. Manhood and the Duel: Enacting Masculinity in Hamlet. Centennial Review 43.3 (Fall 1999): 501-12.n Taylor, James O. The Influence of Rapier Fencing on Hamlet. Forum for Modern Language Studies 29.3 (1993): 203-15. Low, Jennifer. Manhood and the Duel: Enacting Masculinity in Hamlet. Centennial Review 43.3 (Fall 1999): 501-12. DUEL / FEMINISM / HAMLET This essay proposes that in the course of the fencing exhibition, Hamlet discovers a means of performance acceptable to him (501). Prior to this climactic scene, Hamlet struggles to balance the expectations of his public persona (e.g., prince) with those of his domestic roles (e.g., son). The conflict between the rational thoughts of ideal masculinity and the violent actions necessary to exact revenge compound Hamlets dilemma. Hamlet can only act when he finds a personal form of masculine decorum, uniting private and public identities and performing the part of a man according to his fathers model (504). A brief history of dueling proves that Hamlet finds a fitting means to act: the duel embodies the notion of manhood, both through the correspondence of word and deed and through the implicit legitimization of vigilantism (and, by extension, individualism) as a means of achieving justice (505). While the duel is initiated with the formality of tradition and ritual, its context within the theatrical production interrogates the very structure of dramas mimetic framework (506). The nature of this lawful duel for entertainment is also altered by the unlawful and lethal intentions of Claudius and Laertes. Claudius seems solely responsible for the deadly results because The violence set in motion by the king becomes the swordsmans prerogative (508). Thanks to Claudius ploy, Hamlet is able to die as an avenger and a true prince (509). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/duel.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:47 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Duel Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Taylor, James O. The Influence of Rapier Fencing on Hamlet. Forum for Modern Language Studies 29.3 (1993): 203-15. DUEL / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This article contends that Hamlets transformation in the last act of the play, Rosencrantz and Guildensterns execution, as well as the slayings of Claudius and Laertes are best understood if seen in the context of fencing, the imagery of which informs and illuminates the play (203). A brief survey of Elizabethan fencing trends and of Vincentio Saviolos guidance to duelers provides an informative backdrop for the argument based on the relationship between the rapier as an effective weapon and the word as a rapieran even more effective weapon (205). Throughout Hamlet, fencing and language are related because Hamlets metaphorical sharpening and focusing of language mirrors the duelists need to keep his weapon honed and his skill exercised so that he will be ready to counter any attack (206). For example, Hamlets words in 2.2 moves toward the satiric tradition in which words are wielded as whips and lances and daggers; the Prince turns to Juvenal for instruction in their [words] use because he has not yet fully mastered their power (208); Hamlets meeting with the players marks the moment when the satirist and avenger coalesce in Hamlet, as he grasps the potential of language to strip pretence from the hypocrites and cut deceit from corrupt statesmen (209); with Gertrude and Ophelia, Hamlets speech becomes pointed and rapier-edged: he is as menacing and relentless as the aggressive swordsman who presses every advantage in the fray (212). With the death order for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet heeds Saviolos warning that the duellist could not afford the luxury of merely wounding or disabling his opponent. The duel was an all-ornothing venture (213). Saviolos wisdom is also obeyed when Hamlet launches a proper frontal assault on Claudius in the final scene. Although hardened by his duel with evil and his futile attempts to avenge his fathers murder, Hamlet of the final act has maintained his humanity (214). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/duel.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:47 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Eye & Ear Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Anderson, Mary. Hamlet: The Dialect Between Eye and Ear. Renaissance and Reformation 27 (1991): 299-313.n Readings, Bill. Hamlets Thing. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 47-65. Anderson, Mary. Hamlet: The Dialect Between Eye and Ear. Renaissance and Reformation 27 (1991): 299-313. EYE & EAR / HAMLET / METADRAMA This article analyzes Hamlet to discern Shakespeares comparison between the eye and the ear as the two faculties by which sense data are transmitted to the reason (299). A collaboration of the two senses must exist for the success of reason because, alone, the ear is prone to malignant information and the eye suffers incomplete or ineffectual information (302). For example, Hamlet mistakenly assumes that Claudius is at prayer based on only sight (similar to a dumb show) and accidentally kills Polonius based solely on sound. In comparison, the simultaneous use of ear and eye in The Mousetrap allows Hamlet to successfully confirm Claudius guilt. Various models of the eye/ear relationship emerge in the development of Polonius, Gertrude, Ophelia, and Fortinbras. In Hamlet, Shakespeare appears to defend the theatre as a very effective moral medium which stimulates both eye and ear into a dialectic within the reason and conscience (311). [ top ] Readings, Bill. Hamlets Thing. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 47-65. EYE & EAR / HAMLET By tracing the folds of the eye and the ear in the text and asking how they file:///S|/bev/loberg/eyeear.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:47 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Eye & Ear Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological relate to the unfolding of the drama, this article hopes to throw some critical light upon the enigma of Hamlet as a play caught between the lure of visual representation and the grip of (the obligation to) the heard command of the Father (47). An example of the disjunction between the eye and ear occurs in the closet scene, when the unseen Polonius is heard and then killed. But the Ghost epitomizes the trouble. It is seen but not heard by Horatio and the other men in the first scene, and it is not seen by the Queen in the closet scene but is heard vicariously through her son. Only Hamlet experiences the Ghost through the eye and the ear, but he fixates on the visual representation, perhaps because the Ghost cannot tell of everything (1.5.13-20). So instead of Hamlets ear receiving the full command (and his thus being impelled to action), Hamlet attempts to translate the audible into the visual. Hence, after the initial encounter with the Ghost, Hamlet sits down to write in his book: he attempts to reduce the heard command into something for the eye (55). The Mousetrap, with its dumbshow and unfinished/interrupted dialogue, is another effort to bring the Ghosts command to visual representation (57). But any transition between the ear and the eye creates a pause, a delay, a period of inactivity. Hamlet errs in seeking to unify a heard command and a visual representation (63). Critics who believe that Horatios version of events will somehow succeed in this unification are inevitably disappointed. [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/eyeear.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:47 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Final Scene Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Brown, John Russell. Connotations of Hamlets Final Silence. Connotations 2 (1992): 275-86.n Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33. Brown, John Russell. Connotations of Hamlets Final Silence. Connotations 2 (1992): 275-86. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE This article responds to the criticism leveled at John Russell Browns Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet, particularly the charge of failure to show how the wide range of meanings in the single last sentence was related to the whole of the play in performance (275). This article insists that the Hamlet actors presence on stage and enactment of events provides the audience with a physical knowledge of Hamlet, void of the psychological dimension that ambiguous language camouflages. Hamlets wordplay is an essential quality of his nature, which remains intact during the process of his dying (275). While the original articles dismissal of the O, o, o, o addition (present in the Folio after Hamlets last words) received negative responses from Dieter Mehl and Maurice Charney, this article argues that doubts of authenticity, authority, and dramatic effectiveness justify this decision. The physical death on stage and the verbal descriptions of Hamlets body also negate the need for a last-minute groan. Ultimately, the stage reality co-exists with words yet seems beyond the reach of words; hence, in Hamlet, Shakespeare created a character who seems to carry within himself something unspoken and unexpressed . right up until the moment Hamlet dies (285). [ top ] Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33. file:///S|/bev/loberg/finalscene.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:48 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Final Scene Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL Given that a tragedy excites an audiences interest in the heros private consciousness, this article asks, Has Shakespeare provided the means, in words or action, whereby this hero [Hamlet] comes, at last, to be denoted truly? (18). Throughout Hamlet, the protagonist speaks ambiguously. His linguistic trickery only heightens the audiences anticipation of resolution (and revelation of Hamlets inner thoughts). Yet the last line of the dying Princethe rest is silence (5.2.363)proves particularly problematic, with a minimum of five possible readings. For example, Shakespeare perhaps speaks through Hamlet, telling the audience and the actor that he, the dramatist, would not, or could not, go a word further in the presentation of this, his most verbally brilliant and baffling hero (27); the last lines of Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Loves Labors Lost suggest a pattern of this authorial style. While all five readings are plausible, they are also valuable, allowing audience and actor to choose an interpretation. This final act of multiplicity seems fitting for a protagonist whose mind is unconfined by any single issue (31). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/finalscene.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:48 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Friendship Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Evans, Robert C. Friendship in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 33 (1999): 88-124. Evans, Robert C. Friendship in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 33 (1999): 88124. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FRIENDSHIP This article modestly hopes to establish the general importance of friendship in Hamlet by showing its presence throughout the entire play (88). The opening scene initiates the plays theme: Barnardo, Francisco, and Horatio begin to form a bond, which is strengthened by the shared experience of the Ghosts appearance. The interaction among these friends works dramatically to contrast sharply with Hamlets social isolation in the following scene and to present Horatio with the potential of becoming a good friend to Hamlet. The friendship between Hamlet and Horatio that develops throughout the play eloquently culminates in the final scene; but the Hamlet/Horatio relationship is not the only example of friendship treated. Ophelia / Laertes, Hamlet / Rosencrantz / Guildenstern, Hamlet / Ghost, Hamlet / players, Claudius / Laertes, the gravediggers, as well as Hamlet / Laertes all receive attention. Line-by-line analysis of dialogue among these friends, potential friends, and false friends highlights linguistic ambiguity; but the multiple meanings behind every word illustrates the difficulty of making clear, unambiguous interpretations of others motivesa difficulty relevant to the friendship theme (105). Through their interactions, Shakespeares characters easily seem as complex as our own friends or ourselves (119). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/friendship.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:48 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Friendship Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological file:///S|/bev/loberg/friendship.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:48 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Law Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Duffy, Kevin Thomas, Marvin E. Frankel, Stephen Gillers, Norman L. Greene, Daniel J. Kornstein, and Jeanne A. Roberts. The Elsinore Appeal: People v. Hamlet. St. Martin's P: New York, 1996.n Jenkins, Ronald Bradford. The Case Against the King: The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.3-4 (Aug. 1996): 206-18.n Wilson, Luke. Hamlet, Hales V. Petit, and the Hysteresis of Action. ELH 60.1 (Spring 1993): 17-55. 20 Feb. 2002. Duffy, Kevin Thomas, Marvin E. Frankel, Stephen Gillers, Norman L. Greene, Daniel J. Kornstein, and Jeanne A. Roberts. The Elsinore Appeal: People v. Hamlet. St. Martin's P: New York, 1996. HAMLET / LAW Complete with legal jargon and New York law codes, this text works with the hypothetical scenario that Hamlet does not die but has been imprisoned for his crimes and is now filing appeals. The Appellant's Brief presents the defense's arguments: Laertes' death was in self-defense; Polonius' death was the result of "defense of justification"; because Ophelia ended the relationship, Hamlet is not responsible for her suicide; the court has no jurisdiction over Rosencrantz's and Guildenstern's deaths; in the death of Claudius, Hamlet "acted properly in bringing a murderer to justice"; and Hamlet's "diminished mental capacity" and status of sovereignty require "reversal on all counts" (2). The prosecution responds to these arguments in the Appellee's Brief: rather than remove himself from the threat, as the law requires, Hamlet knowingly and intentionally used a lethal weapon against Laertes; Polonius posed no danger or threat but was murdered; "Hamlet's manslaughter conviction for 'recklessly' causing Ophelia's death should be affirmed"; because Rosencrantz's and Guildenstern's executions were initiated on a Danish vessel, Denmark has jurisdiction over the murders; Hamlet's murder of Claudius is the act of a "serial killer," not justice; and Hamlet is not a sovereign (Fortinbras is king) nor has he met the "burden of proving insanity" (12). The defense replies to these counter arguments and file:///S|/bev/loberg/law.html (1 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:49 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Law Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological suggests a political agenda to keep "Fortinbras' only rival" imprisoned for life (27). On October 11, 1994, both sides present their arguments before the court at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. The lively debate is heard by a panel of judges: Jeanne Roberts (Shakespearean scholar), Kevin Duffy (U. S. District Judge), and Marvin Frankel (former U. S. District Judge). Although no rulings are passed, the courtroom dialogue presents an interesting introduction into the text of Hamlet. [ top ] Jenkins, Ronald Bradford. The Case Against the King: The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.34 (Aug. 1996): 206-18. CLAUDIUS / LAW / OPHELIA / OPHELIA'S MURDER(ER) Narrated by the attorney representing Ophelias family, this essay presents the jurors (a.k.a. readers) with evidence that King Claudius seduced, impregnated, and murdered Ophelia. First, the prosecution establishes the Kings character for the court: Claudius is capable of murdering his brother, of plotting to kill his nephew/son-in-law, and of seducing his sister-in-law/wife. Although Ophelia is praised by several respected character witnesses (e.g., Campbell, Vischer, Coleridge, Johnson, Hazlitt, Jameson) (208), evidence emerges that Ophelia was not a chaste virgin. For example, Polonius and Laertes feel the need to warn Ophelia about protecting her chastity, and, in response to their cautions, Her lack of indignation is puzzling (209). According to the prosecution, Ophelias lack of chastity leads to her impregnation by Claudius. Hamlet and Gertrude learn about the scandalous pregnancy, and both shun the young girl. But Ophelia and her unborn child pose threats to the throne. Adopting the disguise of madness (like Hamlet), Ophelia uses sing-song ramblings and symbolic flowers to accuse her seducer. Claudius responds by ordering two men to follow her, and then she suddenly drowns, accidentally. Aside from the Queens enthusiasm to report the death of her rival, the description of events reveals that Ophelias garland was another attempt to accuse Claudius with symbolic flowers; also, the cumbersome clothes that drown Ophelia seem out of place for the warm season but appropriate for the concealment of her pregnancy. Aware of the unborn child, the church grudgingly provides a grave-side service for the unwed mother. In closing arguments, the attorney articulates Claudius motives for murdering Ophelia and begs simply that justice be done (218). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/law.html (2 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:49 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Law Wilson, Luke. Hamlet, Hales V. Petit, and the Hysteresis of Action. ELH 60.1 (Spring 1993): 17-55. 20 Feb. 2002. LAW / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM In response to attacks that new historicism lacks an adequate account of agency and action (17), this article counters that Hamlet and Renaissance legal discourse seem to anticipate a post-structuralist hysteresis of action by attempting to reconsider the structure of action in Hamlet and to account for the ways conceptualizations of action moved between legal and theatrical fields (22). Hamlets groundwork with The Mousetrap provides a key example of the theatrical action structure: in soliloquy, Hamlet announces his new-found planafter setting it in motion with the players. The theatrical necessities of informing the audience about motives behind The Mousetrap and of getting Hamlet alone on stage to provide the soliloquy force the intrusion of the temporal logic of compositional activity into the temporality of dramatic representation (25). The resulting structure of action is organized by an entanglement of prospective and retrospective, since it is in retrospection that the prospective is constituted as such, that is, since the teleological structure of intentional action entails a retroactive element (25). The legal analysis of action finds its way into Hamlet in the form of structures and concepts immanent in a shared rhetoric of action (28). The Elizabethan period marked an increase in the sophistication of legal conceptualizations of intention (31). For example, in the Hales vs. Petit case (the gravediggers source for arguments determining Ophelias cause of death), the court retrospectively examined the evidence of a drowning/suicide to hypothesize intention and to determine liability. In this way, theater and law shared the temporal folding that structures action (34) and the fictionalizations of intention (31). The increasingly litigious and legalistic culture in which Hamlet was produced made the means to manipulate accounts of intentional action widely available for use in both inculpatory and exculpatory schemes, at the same time that new market forcesboth produced by and enabling this cultureled to conceptualizations of person that tended to frustrate the business of linking actions to agents (44). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/law.html (3 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:49 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Law file:///S|/bev/loberg/law.html (4 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:49 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Mousetrap Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Barker, Walter L. The heart of my mystery: Emblematic Revelation in the Hamlet Play Scene. Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 75-98.n Edelman, Charles. The very cunning of the scene: Claudius and the Mousetrap. Parergon 12 (1994): 15-25.n Gibinska, Marta. The plays the thing: The Play Scene in Hamlet. Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 175-88.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. ShakespeareJahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792.n Hunt, Maurice. Art of Judgement, Art of Compassion: The Two Arts of Hamlet. Essays in Literature 18 (1991): 3-20.n Lucking, David. Each word made true and good: Narrativity in Hamlet. Dalhouse Review 76 (1996): 177-96.n Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63.n Mollin, Alfred. On Hamlets Mousetrap. Interpretation 21.3 (Spring 1994): 353-72. Barker, Walter L. The heart of my mystery: Emblematic Revelation in the Hamlet Play Scene. Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 75-98. ART / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MOUSETRAP In an effort to explicate the coherence of the Hamlet play scene and the function of The Murther of Gonzago, this essay proposes a description of the scene in the context of emblematic theatre (75). Artistically, an emblem both represents some phenomena or human experience and interprets it in the context of Neoplatonic truths, patterns, principles, etc., which the Elizabethans in general held to be universal (75). By inserting an emblem (e.g., masque), Shakespeare exploits the interplay of limited and omniscient points of view in order to provide his theatrical audience with an interpretive context for the file:///S|/bev/loberg/mousetrap.html (1 of 7) [11/19/2002 11:38:50 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Mousetrap Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological stage audiences behavior in both the play scene and the drama as a whole (76). Hamlets discussions on theater with Polonius, Horatio, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and the players prepare theatergoers for (and alert them to) the emblematic presentation in the play scene. The dumb-show represents and interprets stage audience behavior by delineating a psychomachia model of human nature which compels the interplay of value oriented and passion driven responses to lost love in all human beings (86). In comparison, the dialogue of the Player-King and Player-King provides voices for the conflicting principles through which transcendental Love shapes the Psychomachia responses to lost love in human nature (91). The Murther of Gonzago, as a figurative mirror of macrocosmic principle and microcosmic human nature, delineates the variable pattern of moral reductiveness, passionate actions, and slanderous misreadings in which all human beings, individually and collectively, act out blind and poisoning responses to lost love (91). Aside from the various emotional, spiritual, and mental poisonings in Hamlet, the final scene stages a dance macabre of literal poisoningsby sword and cup, by intent and mischance, feigned and overt, forced and accidental, single and doublein which the characters complete their tragic destruction of each other (96). Seen historically, Shakespeares use of The Murther of Gonzago masque demonstrates that he thought and wrote in the modes of emblematic and Neoplatonic discourse that dominated Elizabethan art and sensibilities, and that he was very good at it (96). [ top ] Edelman, Charles. The very cunning of the scene: Claudius and the Mousetrap. Parergon 12 (1994): 15-25. CLAUDIUS / MOUSETRAP / PERFORMANCE This article hopes to resolve the apparent inconsistency of the ineffective dumb show in The Mousetrap in a manner which takes audiences more deeply into the text, while enriching both the theatrical power and thematic significance of The Murder of Gonzaga (15). Although generations of critics and editors have attempted to define the stage business during the silent prologue, they mistakenly assume that Claudius guilt is proclaimed by some outward display of emotion when Lucianus poisons the Player King a second time (19). Instead, arguments could be made that The Mousetrap, in its entirety, is a methodically drawn out processes of imposing pain/discomfort. For example, the dumb show is similar to a dentists extraction of the first tooth in that Claudius can endure the experience and his suffering; The Murder of Gonzaga, the pulling of a second tooth, proves more difficult to bear; the verbal exchanges between Claudius and file:///S|/bev/loberg/mousetrap.html (2 of 7) [11/19/2002 11:38:50 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Mousetrap Hamlet may even constitute the figurative removal of a third and a fourth to a weakened tolerance. But how does Claudius react to The Mousetrap? A hysterical departure or a passive retreat seem unlikely. Rather, textual evidence suggests that Claudius expresses disgust and defiance, when he tells Hamlet, Away (23). Aside from the theatrical power and climactic energy of such a staging, this reading permits consistency in Claudius and the play because the advantage is with Claudius after The Mousetrap (24). [ top ] Gibinska, Marta. The plays the thing: The Play Scene in Hamlet. Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 175-88. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP This essay argues that the dumbshow and The Murder of Gonzago each has its own specific dramatic function and meaning, by no means identical, and that interpretations of both parts of The Mousetrap must be related to the interpretation of Hamlets words and behavior (176). Hamlets dialogue with Ophelia seems a dramatization of his Gertrude problem: men treat women as sexual objects and women show themselves to be so (179). Hence, the pantomime performance begins in the context of Gertrude, not Claudius (180). The dumbshows emphasis on the Player-Queens behavior creates an image of the moral censure passed on Gertrude by both Hamlet and the Ghost (181-82). During The Murder of Gonzago, Hamlet verbally responds to staged declarations of wifely love, creating a quasi-dialogue with the Player-Queen; then he launches a direct attack on his mother by asking her opinion of the play (182). Hamlets question shifts focus to the throne and corresponds to the PlayerKings lengthy speechwhich leads to the poisoning scene. After this pause, the trapping of the kings conscience begins(183). The exchange between Claudius and Hamlet is complicated by pretense and knowledge: each of them as the Speaker is motivated as the character he is and as a character he pretends to be; also, each of them as the Hearer may have more than one interpretation of the others utterances (184). Unfortunately, Hamlet can no longer control himself: acting contrary to his intentions, Hamlet voices implications that alert the King before the trap is sprung (185). Claudius sudden exit is a response to the two complimentary actions directed against himself: the play of Gonzago and the play of Hamlet (186). Hamlet, by bad acting, offers Claudius an opportunity to strengthen his position and, by proving the crime, puts himself in the tragic position of one who in condemning the crime must himself become a murderer (187). file:///S|/bev/loberg/mousetrap.html (3 of 7) [11/19/2002 11:38:50 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Mousetrap [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL Expanding on John Doeblers work, this essay explores the plethora of connotations of mouse and mousetrap. In relation to Gertrude, the mouse reference in the closet scene could be a term of endearment or a pejorative reference to a lustful person (79). Historically, mouse is also connected with the devils entrapment of human lust with the mousetrap (80); hence, Hamlets diction suggests that he perceives Gertrude at once as the snare that catches the devil Claudius (and the son Hamlet?) in lust, and snared herself in the same devils mousetrap (82). With Claudius, the mouse implies destructive and lascivious impulses (84). Hamlet also is associated with the mouse in his role as mouser or metaphorical cat. For example, the cat-like, teasing method in Hamlets madness appears in his dialogue with Claudius immediately prior to the start of The Mousetrap (88). The mousetrap trope becomes part of a pattern of images in Hamlet that poises the clarity of poetic justice against a universe of dark of unknowing, as the trapper must himself die to purify a diseased kingdom (91). [ top ] Hunt, Maurice. Art of Judgement, Art of Compassion: The Two Arts of Hamlet. Essays in Literature 18 (1991): 3-20. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP This article uses the Troy playlet, which Hamlet requests of a player, and The Murder of Gonzago to argue two points: Shakespeares idea of the relevance of mimetic art for the past and future, and Shakespeares conception of the humane use of his tragic art (3). The Troy playlet seems an odd choice for Hamlet because it displaces sympathy from the avenger to his victim; but, for Shakespeare, its blending of vengeance and compassion seems to imply that art does not mirror life, it refines human experience. Although Hamlet initially praises the Troy performance, his hunger for revenge overrules his appreciation of art. He misuses art in The Mousetrap scene, with the utilitarian hope of file:///S|/bev/loberg/mousetrap.html (4 of 7) [11/19/2002 11:38:50 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Mousetrap detecting guilt and without recognition of the forms power to influence/transform will. The player king recommends human compassion, but Hamlet only judges others. His (unmerited) condemnation of Gertrude leads him to fail in his goals with The Mousetrap. While Hamlet remains unmoved by The Murder of Gonzago, the theater audience is encouraged to join him in scrutinizing Claudius (and Gertrudes) reaction. Yorks skull offers another example of Shakespeares metadramatic commentary because it resembles dramatic tragedy in its effect upon certain viewers (14). After shifting from pity for to criticism of the skull, Hamlet exploits the object as an iconographically stereotyped battering ram in the Princes campaign against women (14). The skull is misused, just like The Murder of Gonzago. In the course of Hamlet, the protagonist harshly assesses others who seem deserving of pity but never questions the Ghost, who is suffering for previous crimes. Hamlets judgement reminds the audience of what makes his experience tragic, and of what we might attempt to avoid in our lives beyond the theater (16). [ top ] Lucking, David. Each word made true and good: Narrativity in Hamlet. Dalhouse Review 76 (1996): 177-96. DECONSTRUCTION / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP This article explores Hamlets preoccupation with what might be termed selfactualizing narrativization, the process that is by which narrative not only reflects but in some sense constitutes the reality with which it engages (178). When the Ghost appears in the first scene, interrupting Barnardos narrative of previous sightings, words are translated into facts, story becomes history (181); but the Ghost does not speak, he does not narrate. In the next scene, the audience meets Hamlet, a figure destitute of a role but obviously seeking a cause to warrant his animosity towards Claudius (184): he has the elements of a story already prepared, and only requires confirmation of that story in order to establish a role for himself as the avenger (186). Horatios report of the Ghost meets Hamlets need, and the Prince works quickly to appropriate the phantom for his own story by swearing all parties to secrecy. When he meets alone with the Ghost, Hamlet hears confirmation of his suspicions in a linguistic style remarkably similar to his own. He then uses The Murder of Gonzago to manipulate Claudiuss behavior in a manner that will fulfil the narrative demands the prince is making on reality, to determine the course of nature and not to mirror it (190). Regardless of the various possible reasons for Claudius reaction to the play, Hamlet interprets guilt to suit his narrative. But the other characters have their own stories, in which Hamlet is interpreted. In the final file:///S|/bev/loberg/mousetrap.html (5 of 7) [11/19/2002 11:38:50 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Mousetrap scene, Horatio is invested with narrative control, and there is no certainty that he reports Hamlets storyor his own (195). [ top ] Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP / PERFORMANCE With the goal of bringing the self-effacing frames of Hamlet into focus (50), this essay examines the particular theatrical frame in which Hamlet was first performed, the Globe theater and considers thematic and formal issues of framing in Hamlet, positioning these textual issues within the discussion of the theatrical space (51). The performance space cannot be contained completely by the theatrical frame; it seeps outward: before [e.g., extruding limbs or bodies of actors], behind [e.g., actors holding place behind the stage], between [e.g., sites of transition between spectacle and spectator or inside and outside], above [e.g., the Globes open roof], below [e.g., the Ghosts voice from beneath the stage] (52). While the theatrical frame simultaneously defines and questions the boundaries of the performance space, Hamlet plays out a sequence of dramatic frames that mirror the theatrical frame and double its doubleness (53). For example, the Ghost provides the pretext for the revenge plot but functions at the outermost edges of the play (53), seeming to inhibit the very borders of the dramatic world (54); in The Mousetrap, Revenge drama is enacted within revenge drama, with the players of the central drama as audience, and stage as theater (57); Hamlet exists inside and outside of The Mousetrap, enacting the roles of both chorus and audience (58). But Claudiuss interruption of the play-within-the-play begins the process of closure for the configuration of frames (58), and All of the frames in the play undergo some transformation in the process of closure (59). For example, the framing Ghost of Hamlet is internalized by the son when Hamlet fully appropriates his fathers name (59): This is I, / Hamlet the Dane (5.1.25051); Hamlet transforms into the avenger, murderer (Claudiuss double), and victim (Old Hamlets double) (59). Ultimately, he passes from the world of speech to the world beyond; in comparison, Horatio is released from his vow of silence, his function is transformed from providing the margin of silence surrounding Hamlets speech to presenting the now-dumb Prince (60). As Hamlets body is carried away, a figured silence closes the frame and dissolves into the background of life resumed (60). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/mousetrap.html (6 of 7) [11/19/2002 11:38:50 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: The Mousetrap Mollin, Alfred. On Hamlets Mousetrap. Interpretation 21.3 (Spring 1994): 35372. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP After debunking the popular theories of why Claudius fails to respond to The Mousetraps dumb show and makes a delayed exit during The Murder of Gonzago, this article offers a fresh approach by dissecting the reactions of Claudius and the stage audience to Hamlets The Mousetrap (359). The accuracy of the dumb show suggests to Claudius that Hamlet has some proof that may turn the stage audience against the King. But Claudius consistently maintains his composure during even the most volatile situations (e.g., Laertes mob riot), and the pantomime does not identify an incriminating familial relationship between Player-Murderer and Player-Victim. In the spoken play, the PlayerQueens similarities to Gertrude increase Claudius internal anxiety. But to halt the play would be to force Hamlets hand. Claudius has no choice but to wait and discover how severe Hamlets accusation will be (361). Hamlets identification of the murderer as a nephew, rather than a brother, initially causes Claudius relief that there is no public indictment; But the game is over. The Mousetrap accomplished its purpose. Claudius has silently unmasked himself because an innocent person would have immediately responded (362). Meanwhile, the stage audience is shocked by the tasteless dumb-show and the insulting spoken play that makes Hamlets theater production appear treasonous (362). They must wonder why any king would endure such threats and insults (363). Fortunately, Hamlet calms the stage audience by interrupting the performance to explain the source and to indirectly note the dramas divergence from recent events. Claudius chooses this moment to exit because he realizes that, in remaining silent, he has revealed himself to Hamlet. He also recognizes the staged covert threat: the Player-Nephew kills the Player-King. Staging The Mousetrap with Claudius outwardly calm and unmoved throughout both the dumb-show and the spoken play, reacting only after his unmasking, seems preferable and most faithful to the text (369). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/mousetrap.html (7 of 7) [11/19/2002 11:38:50 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: music Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Dunn, Leslie C. Ophelias Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine. Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones. New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 50-64.n Fox-Good, Jacquelyn A. Ophelias Mad Songs: Music, Gender, Power. Subjects on the Worlds Stage: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. David C. Allen and Robert A. White. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 217-38.n Oshio, Toshiko. Ophelia: Experience into Song. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 131-42. Dunn, Leslie C. Ophelias Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine. Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones. New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 50-64. FEMINISM / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MUSIC / OPHELIA This essay argues that the representation of Ophelias madness involves a mapping of her sexual and psychological difference onto the discursive difference of music and that this dramatic use of music reflects the broader discourse of music in early modern English culture, with its persistent associations between music, excess and the feminine (52). Early modern British writers contend with the conflicting ideologies of music inherited from Platonic and Christian thought: music represents the earthly embodiment of divine order, but it also introduces sensuous immediacy and semantic indeterminacy (56). While Pythagorean harmony is music in its positive or masculine aspect, music also possesses the capability of cultural dissonance in its negative or feminine aspect (58). In Hamlet, singing allows Ophelia to become both the literal and the figurative dissonance that expresses marginalities (59). Her representation draws on gender stereotypes of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage and simultaneously dislocates them (60): If file:///S|/bev/loberg/music.html (1 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:51 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: music Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Ophelias singing lets the woman out, then, it does so in such a way as to problematize cultural constructions of womens song, even while containing her within their re-presentation; but her disruptive feminine energy must be reabsorbed into both the social and the discursive orders of the play (62). Gertrudes description of Ophelias drowning re-appropriates Ophelias music and aestheticizes her madness, makes it pretty (63). Rather than dismiss Ophelias singing as a conventional sign of madness, critics should acknowledge its significance by making her singing our subject (64). [ top ] Fox-Good, Jacquelyn A. Ophelias Mad Songs: Music, Gender, Power. Subjects on the Worlds Stage: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. David C. Allen and Robert A. White. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 217-38. FEMINISM / MUSIC / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA After discussing the study of Shakespearean music, this essay approaches the words and music of Ophelias mad songs as constituting her own story, using her own voice for her own grief, and for rage and protest (222). In the historical context of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, music is associated with madness, a female malady to borrow Showalters phrase (231-32). Aside from the subversive power of music, this mediums identification with the female/effeminate creates fear, which led many writers of the period to issue strong warnings against the dangers of music and music education (232). Ophelias songs end her dutiful silence and constitute her character (233). Specifically, in their melodies, harmonies, tempos, and generally in the bodily power of their music, her songs are expressions of loss and emptiness but also of a specifically female power (233). Ophelias assertion of her power in music makes music a kind of secret code, a deceptively pretty language; music is nothing (nothing but all things); it is noting; it is to be noted, and reckoned with (234). [ top ] Oshio, Toshiko. Ophelia: Experience into Song. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 131-42. MUSIC / OPHELIA / RHETORICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/music.html (2 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:51 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: music This essay contrasts Ophelias inability to express herself by means of words (131) with her expressiveness and impressiveness in her singing (132). Ophelia first appears to possess a degree of wit, not unlike Hamlets opening puns (132) and an earnest truthfulness in her exchanges with Laertes and Polonius (133). Her description of Hamlets madness to Polonius reveals dashing eloquence, attention to detail, and a compulsion to tell all, even though she may be extremely frightened (133). As a mere puppet in the nunnery scene, Ophelias words do not sound like her own, and Hamlets vicious attack leaves her split in twain or, even three (134). But her soliloquy at the end of the scene reasserts her straightforwardness, as she disregards the audience behind the arras (135). Unfortunately, Ophelia fails to act, to fully express herself, or to defend her relation with Hamlet in the first scene: By internalizing her grief, she breaks into madness (135). She now finds release in songs that present a range of different images, sharply contrasted one to another, from innocent or sacrificial victim to experienced whore (136). During these alternate tones of joy and despair Ophelia pours out her inner thoughts and feelings (139). Fittingly, Ophelia dies singing, expressing herself in a powerful mode. The sheer profusion of her songs is unrivaled in Shakespeares tragedies and contrasts keenly with the sparingness of her speech, suggesting that this character is represented fully in songs. Shakespeare made her entire being lyrical (141). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/music.html (3 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:51 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: opheliasmurderer Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Harris, Arthur John. Ophelias Nothing: It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer-Winter 1997): 20-46.n Jenkins, Ronald Bradford. The Case Against the King:The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.3-4 (Aug. 1996): 206-18.n Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Queens Speech. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 123-44. Harris, Arthur John. Ophelias Nothing: It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer-Winter 1997): 20-46. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / OPHELIA While exploring what J. Max Patrick calls the erotic estimate of Ophelia, this essay argues that audiences are to suspect Claudius himself as the principle cause of Ophelias madness and death; specifically, that at some point shortly before her madness there has been a liaison between the two, that she has been sexually abused, and that he has been not only the sexual predator but also the one who dispatched (1.5.75) Ophelia to her grave (21). In Hamlet, Shakespeare creates a world that one senses is somehow thoroughly contaminated and a pervasive sense of uncertainty, suspicion, and doubt (22). The ambiguity surrounding Ophelia contributes to this aesthetic project. For example, the sexually suggestive language of her mad songs (e.g., tricks, hems, beats, spurns) encourages audiences to suspect misfortune (24). In addition, her statement, It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter (4.5.171-72), strongly implicates the King as the thief. Upon hearing these words, Laertes suspects This nothings more than matter (4.5.173). But the King, Ophelias frequent interrupter, attributes Ophelias behavior to excessive grief. In actuality, the mad scene presents evidence that Ophelia has been sexually abused by the King (31). Further proof appears in the curious (and obvious) stress upon sexual imagery in Gertrudes report of Ophelias drowning file:///S|/bev/loberg/opheliasmurderer.html (1 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:51 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: opheliasmurderer Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological (35), the gravediggers exposition on the uncertainty of the death and cryptic ballad (which seems intentionally altered from the original to raise suspicions), and the priests oddly timed stress on Ophelias chastity. Perhaps the formation of suspicionswithout sufficient evidence as proofis exactly what Shakespeare intends to elicit (24). But, while Horatio is responsible for telling Hamlets story, audiences are responsible for hearing Ophelias story (42). [ top ] Jenkins, Ronald Bradford. The Case Against the King: The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.34 (Aug. 1996): 206-18. CLAUDIUS / LAW / OPHELIA / OPHELIA'S MURDER(ER) Narrated by the attorney representing Ophelias family, this essay presents the jurors (a.k.a. readers) with evidence that King Claudius seduced, impregnated, and murdered Ophelia. First, the prosecution establishes the Kings character for the court: Claudius is capable of murdering his brother, of plotting to kill his nephew/son-in-law, and of seducing his sister-in-law/wife. Although Ophelia is praised by several respected character witnesses (e.g., Campbell, Vischer, Coleridge, Johnson, Hazlitt, Jameson) (208), evidence emerges that Ophelia was not a chaste virgin. For example, Polonius and Laertes feel the need to warn Ophelia about protecting her chastity, and, in response to their cautions, Her lack of indignation is puzzling (209). According to the prosecution, Ophelias lack of chastity leads to her impregnation by Claudius. Hamlet and Gertrude learn about the scandalous pregnancy, and both shun the young girl. But Ophelia and her unborn child pose threats to the throne. Adopting the disguise of madness (like Hamlet), Ophelia uses sing-song ramblings and symbolic flowers to accuse her seducer. Claudius responds by ordering two men to follow her, and then she suddenly drowns, accidentally. Aside from the Queens enthusiasm to report the death of her rival, the description of events reveals that Ophelias garland was another attempt to accuse Claudius with symbolic flowers; also, the cumbersome clothes that drown Ophelia seem out of place for the warm season but appropriate for the concealment of her pregnancy. Aware of the unborn child, the church grudgingly provides a grave-side service for the unwed mother. In closing arguments, the attorney articulates Claudius motives for murdering Ophelia and begs simply that justice be done (218). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/opheliasmurderer.html (2 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:51 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: opheliasmurderer Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Queens Speech. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 123-44. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GERTRUDE With a concentrated focus on Gertrudes report of Ophelias drowning, this article explores how something that doesnt happen in Hamlet happens, how action that takes place off stage happens in the words the play uses to perform it (125). The underlying hypothesis is that the drowning report suggests Gertrudes involvement with Ophelias murder. Every word of the speech receives meticulous dissection and analysisfrom the opening word there, which directs the audiences attention to the plays exterior, to the last word, as Ophelia vanishes in a muddy death. Plural meanings implied by audible homonyms and stark shifts in verbal descriptions appear when the progression of the lines is slowed to a snails pace. As each studied word provides suggestion and direction to the audience, a case against the Queen builds. For example, the language of flowers used by Gertrude in the drowning report and by Ophelia in her madness creates a relationship that in effect places them in close proximity to each other, as the first is the speaker and the latter becomes the object of her gaze, the person she herself [Gertrude] watched beside the stream (130-31). Although the critic humbly acknowledges the inability to prove (or disprove) speculations about off stage events, a singular certainty remains: Gertrude, as the reporter of Ophelias demise, removes herin effect kills herfrom the play (144). Ophelias death provides a paradigm of all off stage events, in a world of words called the theater (144). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/opheliasmurderer.html (3 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:51 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Parenthood Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological n Porterfield, Sally F. "Oh Dad, Poor Dad: The Universal Disappointment of Imperfect Parents in Hamlet." Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays. Drama and Theatre Studies 57. Westport: Greenwood P, 1994. 72-98.n Russell, John. Hamlet and Narcissus. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995.n Watterson, William Collins. Hamlets Lost Father. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 10-23. Porterfield, Sally F. "Oh Dad, Poor Dad: The Universal Disappointment of Imperfect Parents in Hamlet." Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays. Drama and Theatre Studies 57. Westport: Greenwood P, 1994. 72-98. HAMLET / JUNGIAN / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay presents a Jungian reading of Hamlet's "universal experience of parental discovery" (74). The death of the "good father" and the remarriage that transforms the "good mother" into a sexual being force "the ideal, archetypal parents of imagination to die a violent death" (75). Hamlet copes with the psychological upheaval by regressing "to an earlier stage of his development": he becomes the "trickster" (75). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern represent "another manifestation of the trickster" (76); hence, the pair must die to mark Hamlet's "integration of the trickster figure" (77) and his ability to leave childhood behind (94). The Gravediggers also appear as the trickster figure to show that "he is not within Hamlet" and that "he has been integrated" (94). In this scene, Laertes functions as the "shadow" and Ophelia as the "rejected anima"; Hamlet "becomes one with both" when he leaps into the grave (94). Horatio is the "self" for Hamlet, "the ideal man he would become" (88), and Fortinbras offers another form of the "self," "the man of action" (97); "these two symbols of the self" merge in the final scene (96-97). But Hamlet's progression towards integration proves difficult, alternating between depression and mania. Only the presence of art (symbolized by the players) causes Hamlet to be "taken out of himself by interest in the world around him," demonstrating his "dependence upon art as salvation" (86). Hamlet's use of The Mousetrap drama suggests a hope "not simply to kill but to redeem" Claudius and "to rediscover the goodness he seeks so desperately in those around him" (87). Ultimately, Hamlet cannot avoid violence, "but he gives us courage, generation after generation, to attempt the ideal while existing with the sometimes nearly unbearable realities that life imposes" (97). [ top ] Russell, John. Hamlet and Narcissus. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. HAMLET / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC In the introduction, this monograph presents comprehensive descriptions of Freuds psychoanalytic premises (e.g., Oedipus Complex, Pleasure Principle), of Margaret Mahlers advancements in the study of infant development, and of Heinz Kohuts explorations of the self and its development. The primary arguments are that distinctions seperate the Freudian and psychoanalytic projects, that the conflicts that inform and structure Shakespearean tragedy are precisely those elucidated by contemporary psychoanalysis (16), and file:///S|/bev/loberg/parenthood.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:52 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Parenthood that Hamlets commitment finally is not to reality but to the distortions of narcissistic fantasy (23). After this laying of groundwork, the first chapter focuses on the distortions in Hamlets behavior that are the result of that most characteristic pre-Oedipal strategy of defense, splitting; the next chapter examines Hamlets mother/son relationship with Gertrude; chapter three draws on Kohuts understanding of the Oedipal period in order to explore the Princes father/son relationship with the Ghost/Hamlet, Sr.; chapter four explains the puzzling and controversial delay in Hamlet; and the final chapter treats Hamlets surrender to one of the deepest and most powerful of narcissistic fantasies, the fantasy of death (38). Similar to psychoanalysis, the great theme of Shakespearean tragedy is the death of fathers and the complex of narcissistic conflicts that congregate around the passage of authority from one generation to the next (180-81). [ top ] Watterson, William Collins. Hamlets Lost Father. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 10-23. HAMLET / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC / YORICK This article asserts that Yoricks abstract presence and Hamlets memories of the court jester constitute a benign inscription of paternity in the play, one which actively challenges the masculine ideals of emotional repression and military virtus otherwise featured so prominently in Shakespeares drama of revenge (10). Unlike the other father figures in Hamlet who represent patriarchal authority (e.g., the Ghost, Claudius, Polonius), Yorick is the absent surrogate parent who showed a young Hamlet alternatives to phallocentric oppression and who remains a central figure in Hamlets psyche precisely because he has been lost (11). By prematurely dying (possibly due to syphilis), Yorick abandoned a seven-year-old Hamlet in the pre-genital stage; hence, Hamlet identifies him as the cause of his sexual deficiency and associates him permanently with his own anality (18). Yet Yorick also endowed Hamlet with the skills of jesting and merrymaking, which are so evident in the exchange between Hamlet and the gravediggers. All play is set aside during Hamlets interaction with Yoricks skull, as the residual child in Hamlet articulates the pain of loss over his childhood mentor (16). Perhaps the mournful sentiments were shared by Shakespeare, who lost his father around the time that Hamlet was being written (17). While Yorick contradicts paternal cliches, he also raises questions regarding maternal stereotypes and the femininity of death. Even the origin of Yoricks name suggests an obscure conflation of gender, [which] actually encodes the idea of feminine fatherhood (18). Ultimately, Yorick instills in Hamlet values and emotions fundamentally at odds with the patriarchal codes of masculine behavior (19). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/parenthood.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:52 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Proverbs Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Champion, Larry S. A springe to catch woodcocks: Proverbs, Characterization, and Political Ideology in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 24-39.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. ShakespeareJahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792. Champion, Larry S. A springe to catch woodcocks: Proverbs, Characterization, and Political Ideology in Hamlet. Studies 15 (1993): 24-39. HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL This article analyzes Shakespeares conscious use of proverbs to develop and enhance characterization and also to lend emotional and intellectual credibility to an ideological leitmotif that foregrounds political issues of concern to the Elizabethan spectator (26). The proverbs spoken by Polonius, Laertes, and Ophelia reflect an intellectual shallowness; Claudius proverbs suggest something sinister and Machiavellian about his character; and Hamlets proverbs (as well as the ones others use to describe the Prince) reveal something of the complexity of the man (28). Aside from helping to develop characters, Shakespeares application of proverbs also forces the spectators attention to political issues that underlie the major action (32), such as the struggle for power and concern for legitimacy. Given the political climate of the Elizabethan period, Shakespeares audience was interested in these political matters. The playwright uses proverbs to generate a high degree of interest in oppositional politics by depicting diverse ideologies that compete on stage in recreated Denmark and in the minds of the English spectators (34). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/proverbs.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:53 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Proverbs Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Expanding on John Doeblers work, this essay explores the plethora of connotations of mouse and mousetrap. In relation to Gertrude, the mouse reference in the closet scene could be a term of endearment or a pejorative reference to a lustful person (79). Historically, mouse is also connected with the devils entrapment of human lust with the mousetrap (80); hence, Hamlets diction suggests that he perceives Gertrude at once as the snare that catches the devil Claudius (and the son Hamlet?) in lust, and snared herself in the same devils mousetrap (82). With Claudius, the mouse implies destructive and lascivious impulses (84). Hamlet also is associated with the mouse in his role as mouser or metaphorical cat. For example, the cat-like, teasing method in Hamlets madness appears in his dialogue with Claudius immediately prior to the start of The Mousetrap (88). The mousetrap trope becomes part of a pattern of images in Hamlet that poises the clarity of poetic justice against a universe of dark of unknowing, as the trapper must himself die to purify a diseased kingdom (91). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/proverbs.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:38:53 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Texts Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Ayers, P. K. Reading, Writing, and Hamlet. Shakespeare Quarterly 44 (1995): 423-39.n Habib, Imtiaz. Never doubt I love: Misreading Hamlet. College Literature 21.2 (1994): 19-32. Ayers, P. K. Reading, Writing, and Hamlet. Shakespeare Quarterly 44 (1995): 423-39. NEW HISTORICISM / TEXTS This article analyzes the literal and metaphorical texts involved in Hamlet and the various reading practices they generate (423). Hamlet reflects the Renaissances transition from scribal culture to print culture. For example, Hamlets manipulation of a text, to taunt Polonius indirectly (II, ii), demonstrates that the signifier/signified relationship has shifted from a solid association to an opportunity for creative invention and linguistic crisis; Hamlets silent reading, in the same scene, suggests that reading has progressed from the audible and social interaction of limited scribal texts to the private experience allowed by plentiful print texts. Historical perception also alters: past and present were once bonded by scribal texts, and then were divided by print texts; Fortinbras disregard for the land compact written by his father and Hamlet, Sr. demonstrates a concern for the present and a disassociation from the past. Another loss brought by the transition is the commonplaces of the scribal culture, which Polonius seems so fond of reciting; in actuality, he possesses a superficial reading of the ethical rhetoric (430), and his faulty reading practices suggest a problem associated with the increasing availability of books (431). Reading Hamlet becomes a problem because Hamlet, by asking Horatio to tell his story, has authored a compromised text that is self-generated within a closed system (436). The dramatic text suffers by the processes of print, performance, etc., resulting in a deeply corrupt record of scribal original(s) (436). Hamlet reflects the shifting cultural landscape from the perspective of the no-mans land situated between the lines of the great textual boundary disputes of the early seventeenth century (438-39). file:///S|/bev/loberg/texts.html (1 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:53 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Texts Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological [ top ] Habib, Imtiaz. Never doubt I love: Misreading Hamlet. College Literature 21.2 (1994): 19-32. DECONSTUCTION / HAMLET / TEXTS Using Hamlets love poem to Ophelia as a launching pad, this essay proposes that the declaration of love affirms subversion as the chief ideology of Elsinore and misreading as its principle text, and announces his [Hamlets] mastery over both (22). Hamlets poem (similar to his rewrite of Claudiuss execution order and his letter of return from the voyage) demonstrates an impenetrability suggestive of the Princes wish to be misread rather than to be understood satisfactorily (21). Efforts to be an enigma are spurred by chaos: the world has become unreadable to Hamlet, and with that Hamlet has become unreadable to others and to himself (23). But misreading is the principal Elsinorean activity, and a phenomenon that precedes the Ghosts disturbing revelation; for example, Claudius and Gertrude attempt (and fail) to read Hamlet in the coronation scene: In this tense verbal thrust and parry, readability, i.e., knowability, is established as the besieged site of fierce Elsinorean tactical struggle for dominance (24). Given the importance of revealing nothing but discovering all, Hamlet will not let his feelings for Ophelia become Elsinores vehicle of legibility into him; he allows others only the misreading of incoherence. The more anyone tries to read Hamlet the more he will be misread (25). Hamlet is trying to destroy the text of the self and of the worldsimultaneously disallowing the very idea of a text itself (26). Hamlets Mousetrap begins the disintegration of Elsinore and the Hamlet play, both of which become sites of defiance of form and meaning (27). The loss of text/textuality can only be a prelude to the worlds slide into the random incoherence of death (27); hence, the deaths of Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencratz, Guildenstern, Gertrude, and Laertes. While Elsinores texts disintegrate and characters collapse, its center, and its chief reader and author, Claudius, begins to deconstruct, losing his authority over both language and action (28). In the final scene, Claudius the murderer is murdered. The bodies littering the stage at the close of Hamlet are uniquely a function of this plays compulsion to consume itself (29). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg file:///S|/bev/loberg/texts.html (2 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:53 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Texts Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/texts.html (3 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:38:53 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: "To Be..." Soliloquy Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Bugliani, Francesca. In the mind to suffer: Hamlets Soliloquy, To be, or not to be. Hamlet Studies 17.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1995): 10-42.n Dews, C. L. Barney. Gender Tragedies: East Texas Cockfighting and Hamlet. Journal of Mens Studies 2 (1994): 253-67.n Hirsh, James. Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies. Modern Language Quarterly 58 (March 1997): 1-26.n Jenkins, Harold. To be, or not to be: Hamlets Dilemma. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 8-24. n Newell, Alex. The Soliloquies in Hamlet: The Structural Design. Rutherford: Associated UP, 1991. Bugliani, Francesca. In the mind to suffer: Hamlets Soliloquy, To be, or not to be. Hamlet Studies 17.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1995): 10-42. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This article analyzes Hamlets To be, or not to be soliloquy as a deliberation on the conflict between reason and passion (11). After surveying the Elizabethan scholarship on passion, it examines how Shakespeare modelled Hamlet according to Elizabethan and Jacobean ideas of melancholy (11). Hamlet frequently assumes a melancholic mask when interacting with other characters, but his melancholic sentiments expressed through soliloquies appear genuine rather than stereotypical (14). A line-by-line analysis of the To be, or not to be soliloquy suggests that it encapsulates the main theme of Hamlet: Both the play and the soliloquy are animated by the conflict between the ideal of Socratic or, more precisely Stoic, imperturbability cherished by Hamlet and his guiltless, inevitable and tragic subjection to the perturbations of the mind (26). [ top ] Dews, C. L. Barney. Gender Tragedies: East Texas Cockfighting and Hamlet. Journal of Mens Studies 2 (1994): 253-67. file:///S|/bev/loberg/tobe.html (1 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:54 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: "To Be..." Soliloquy Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological FEMINISM / HAMLET / "TO BE, OR NOT TO BE" SOLILOQUY Written in an unorthodox style and laced with personal letters to familial models of gender, this article hopes to rectify the lack of scholarship about the harmful results of societys gender pressure on the male characters in Hamlet (255). Hamlets ideal model of masculinity is his father, whose ghost demands proof of the sons manliness. Similarly, Laertes dead father also becomes a source that demands a show of loyalty through revenge (due to Claudius manipulation). While Laertes appears to embrace the masculine ideals, Hamlet is in an ambivalent position, suspended between the masculine and feminine (259). The indoctrination pressures of Claudius and Polonius as well as the problematic female chastity of Gertrude and Ophelia deliver conflicting messages to Hamlet. His tragic flaw seems his inability to reconcile the mixed messages he is receiving regarding gender and the options available to him (261). But Hamlet has no options because of his royal title and destiny. The To be, or not to be soliloquy provides the simultaneous contemplation of suicide and gender conflict. This conflict and the lack of choices seems epitomized in the final scene, when Horatio and Fortinbras describe the dead Hamlet in different gender terms. Hamlet presents ambivalence about the dilemma of a reconciling of both masculine and feminine within an individual personality, a dilemma that men still face today (266). [ top ] Hirsh, James. Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies. Modern Language Quarterly 58 (March 1997): 1-26. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This article declares that the To be, or not to be passage was originally staged as a feigned soliloquy, spoken by Hamlet to mislead other characters about his state of mind (2). The Shakespearean canon provides evidence that Shakespeare, perhaps more than other playwrights, explored the potential consequences, comic and tragic, of the fact that human beings do not have access to one anothers minds (9). He was able to do so because Elizabethan theatergoers were not required to distinguish soliloquies that represent speech from those that represent thought (7). In Hamlet, when a suspicious Hamlet arrives at the location designated by his enemy, sees Ophelia, and draws the obvious conclusion that she has been enlisted in a conspiracy against him, he also sees an opportunity to turn the tables on the conspirators (12). He does not mention his real concerns: the Ghost, Claudius, and The Mousetrap. And, file:///S|/bev/loberg/tobe.html (2 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:54 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: "To Be..." Soliloquy departing from his other soliloquies, Hamlet never refers to his personal situation or uses a first-person singular pronoun (12). Although the To be, or not to be passage was originally staged as a feigned soliloquy (14), the closing of the theaters in 1642 broke the English theatrical tradition (15). When they reopened in 1660, preferences had changed: Restoration playgoers lacked the taste for elaborate eavesdropping episodes that had so fascinated Renaissance playgoers (15). A historical survey charts the results of this profound change in taste, such as the misapplication of the term soliloquy and the obliteration of any distinction between the representation of speech and the representation of thought (17). Unfortunately, the erroneous belief that the To be soliloquy represented Hamlets thoughts and the erroneous belief that soliloquies of all ages typically represented the thoughts of characters became mutually reinforcing (22). If critics continue to operate with a blind adherence to untenable orthodox assumptions, then this most famous passage in literature, countless other episodes in plays before the middle of the seventeenth century, the history of dramatic technique, and the history of the construction of subjectivity will all continue to be grossly misunderstood (26). [ top ] Jenkins, Harold. To be, or not to be: Hamlets Dilemma. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 8-24. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This article suggests that the question of to be, or not to be, though it does not relate directly to Hamlets particular problems, is nevertheless evoked by Hamlets dramatic role, so that the heros particular dilemma is set in context with an archetypal dilemma which enables it to be viewed in a universal perspective (13-14). The question is applied to the universal man in whom the particular revenger is subsumed (21). Hamlet, no less than Augustine, is working out a theorem, which is of general application (13) based on a fundamental questionperhaps the fundamental oneconcerning human life, the desirability of having it at all (12). The response found in this famous soliloquy seems a grudging affirmative: one decides in favour of life from a fear that death might be worse (21-22). But the answer that springs from Hamlet when he speaks of his own individual plight and gives vent to his personal feelings is most often negative, the answer which Augustine thought improbable and even reprehensible (22). For example, directly after the To be, or not to be soliloquy, Hamlet rejects Ophelia, rejecting life and its opportunities for love, marriage and procreation. It is the choice of not to be (22). Yet this negative answer is not the playss final answer (sic 22). In the file:///S|/bev/loberg/tobe.html (3 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:54 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: "To Be..." Soliloquy graveyard scene, Hamlet comes to accept his mortal destiny, thus allowing him to achieve the readiness to do the deed of revenge which he has so long delayed (22). Ultimately, Hamlet and Laertes both avenge their fathers murders as well as forgive and absolve one anothersuggesting a very moral play (23). Hamlet recognizes original sin, the presence of evil in mans nature; and it accepts that guilt must be atoned for (23). It offers us a hero who, in a world where good and evil inseparably mingle, is tempted to shun the human lot but comes at length to embrace it, choosing finally to be (23). [ top ] Newell, Alex. The Soliloquies in Hamlet: The Structural Design. Rutherford: Associated UP, 1991. HAMLET / RHETORICAL / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This monograph locates the soliloquies primarily in their dramatic contexts (e.g., dramatic, poetic, verbal, structural/formal) to determine their roleindividually, in groups, and collectivelyin portraying Hamlet and in clarifying the larger structure and meaning of the play (24). It blends discussion of the soliloquies as a collective whole with detailed attention to many of them individually (23) in six theme-based chapters (e.g., Images of the Mind, Discourse of Reason, Wills and Fates: Intimations of Providence). It also refers sparingly rather than abundantly to critical scholarship on the play (23-24) and refrains from unnecessary forays into textual matters concerning the Quartos/Folio debates (25). As attention to each soliloquys context enables one to see the speech as a part of the action, not apart from it (23), findings are presented as they arise simultaneously from the poetics of language and action, which often have various kinds of contextual significance that need to be recognized and understood (24). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/tobe.html (4 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:54 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic n Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100.n Brooks, Jean R. Hamlet and Ophelia as Lovers: Some Interpretations on Page and Stage. Aligorh Critical Miscellany 4.1 (1991): 1-25.n Brown, John Russell. Connotations of Hamlets Final Silence. Connotations 2 (1992): 275-86.n Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33.n Clary, Frank Nicholas. The very cunning of the scene: Hamlets Divination and the Kings Occulted Guilt. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 7-28.n Dickson, Lisa. The Hermeneutics of Error: Reading and the First Witness in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1997): 64-77. n Dollerup, Cay. Filters in Our Understanding of Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 5063.n Evans, Robert C. Friendship in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 33 (1999): 88-124.n Goldman, Michael. Hamlet: Entering the Text. Theatre Journal 44 (1992): 449-60.n Gorfain, Phyllis. Toward a Theory of Play and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 25-49. [Reprinted in Donald Keeseys Contexts for Criticism (1994) and in Ronald Knowles Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin (1998).]n Halverson, John. The Importance of Horatio. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 57-70.n Harris, Arthur John. Ophelias Nothing: It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer-Winter 1997): 20-46.n Hunt, Maurice. Art of Judgement, Art of Compassion: The Two Arts of Hamlet. Essays in Literature 18 (1991): 3-20.n Kim, Jong-Hwan. Waiting for Justice: Shakespeares Hamlet and the Elizabethan Ethics of Revenge. English Language and Literature 43 (1997): 781-97.n Matsuoka, Kazuko. Metamorphosis of Hamlet in Tokyo. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 227-37.n McGuire, Philip C. Bearing A wary eye: Ludic Vengeance and Doubtful Suicide in Hamlet. From Page to Performance: Essays in Early English Drama. Ed. John Alford. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 1995. 235-53.n Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Ghosts Speech. Modern Language Studies 28.3 (1998): 125-50.n Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Queens Speech. Exemplaria file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (1 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological 10 (1998): 123-44.n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992.n Sanchez, Reuben. Thou comst in such a questionable shape: Interpreting the Textual and Contextual Ghost in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 6584.n Simon, Bennett. Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation. American Imago 58.3 (Fall 2001): 707-22.n Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996.n Uno, Yoshiko. Three Gertrudes: Text and Subtext. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 155-68.n Wagner, Valeria. Losing the Name of Action. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 13552. Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CARNIVAL / DECONSTRUCTION / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE This essay approaches Hamlet as his own Fool, who can be seen to subvert Hamlet so thoroughly as to reduce to laughter the very idea of serious tragedy (83). A review of concurring critics (e.g., Levin, Graves, McGee, Wiles, Bristol) provides some basis for this argument. Theater history suggests changes in theatrical conventions to explain why Hamlets laughter has been subverted: while Elizabethan audiences were encouraged to participate, modern audiences fear making a faux pas and suffer from the social constraints of an elitist forum (91). Perhaps Elizabethan audiences would have perceived Hamlets insults to the groundlings as rough intimacies (92), laughing at the ritualistic sacrifice of the fool in carnivalesque style and at Horatios suggestion of singing angels (94). Hamlet appears to erase itself not merely through metadrama or other linguistics-based critical theory, but through the laughter of Death, which is not satirical laughter but the inclusive, absolute, allaffirming, feasting, social laughter of the folk (all the people), the laughter of carnival (97). [ top ] Brooks, Jean R. Hamlet and Ophelia as Lovers: Some Interpretations on Page and Stage. Aligorh Critical Miscellany 4.1 (1991): 1-25. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (2 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response This essay asserts that Getting Ophelia right involves, by implication, Hamlets love relationship with her, and a re-examination of the question, in what sense they can be considered as lovers (1). While literary scholars frequently get Ophelia wrong, actors and directors (e.g., Olivier, Jacobi) also make mistakes, such as altering the To be, or not to be soliloquy and negating textual evidence of Ophelias chastity. Actors also tend to stereotype Ophelia, whether as the unchaste young woman (e.g., West) (8) or as more child than woman (e.g., Mirren, McEwan, Tutin) (10). In actuality, the text purports a well-disciplined Renaissance woman, a young woman, not a child, with her chaste treasure unopend but at the peak of sexual attractiveness, because the key to the nunnery and play scenes lies in the difference between what the audience sees on stage and what Hamlet sees in his minds eye (12-13). He projects on to the innocent andas the audience can seeunpainted Ophelia the disgust he feels at his mothers sexual sins (13) and the self-disgust he feels for inheriting original sin from his parents (14). But his ordering of her to a nunnery suggests a kind of love that makes Hamlet wish to preserve Ophelias goodness untouched (15). Ultimately, it is Hamlet who rejects Ophelia, not Ophelia who rejects Hamlet (15-16). But her constant love gives positive counterweight, for the audience, to Hamlets too extreme obsession with the processes of corruption (17). The good that Ophelias constant love does for her lover, from beyond the grave, is to affirm his commitment to the human condition he had wished to deny (21). Beside her grave, Hamlet belatedly testifies to his love for Ophelia, acknowledging the good in human nature that Ophelia had lived for, and that Hamlet finally dies to affirm. Given the tragic unfulfilment of the human condition, could lovers do more for each other? (23). [ top ] Brown, John Russell. Connotations of Hamlets Final Silence. Connotations 2 (1992): 275-86. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE This article responds to the criticism leveled at John Russell Browns Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet, particularly the charge of failure to show how the wide range of meanings in the single last sentence was related to the whole of the play in performance (275). This article insists that the Hamlet actors presence on stage and enactment of events provides the audience with a physical knowledge of Hamlet, void of the psychological dimension that ambiguous language camouflages. Hamlets wordplay is an essential quality of his nature, which remains intact during the process of his dying (275). While the original articles dismissal of the O, o, o, o addition (present in the Folio after Hamlets last words) received negative responses from Dieter Mehl and Maurice Charney, this article argues that doubts of authenticity, authority, and dramatic effectiveness justify this decision. The physical death on stage and the verbal descriptions of Hamlets body also negate the need for a lastminute groan. Ultimately, the stage reality co-exists with words yet seems beyond the reach of words; hence, in Hamlet, Shakespeare created a character who seems to carry within himself something unspoken and unexpressed . right up until the moment Hamlet dies (285). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (3 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL Given that a tragedy excites an audiences interest in the heros private consciousness, this article asks, Has Shakespeare provided the means, in words or action, whereby this hero [Hamlet] comes, at last, to be denoted truly? (18). Throughout Hamlet, the protagonist speaks ambiguously. His linguistic trickery only heightens the audiences anticipation of resolution (and revelation of Hamlets inner thoughts). Yet the last line of the dying Princethe rest is silence (5.2.363)proves particularly problematic, with a minimum of five possible readings. For example, Shakespeare perhaps speaks through Hamlet, telling the audience and the actor that he, the dramatist, would not, or could not, go a word further in the presentation of this, his most verbally brilliant and baffling hero (27); the last lines of Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Loves Labors Lost suggest a pattern of this authorial style. While all five readings are plausible, they are also valuable, allowing audience and actor to choose an interpretation. This final act of multiplicity seems fitting for a protagonist whose mind is unconfined by any single issue (31). [ top ] Clary, Frank Nicholas. The very cunning of the scene: Hamlets Divination and the Kings Occulted Guilt. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 7-28. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM This essay argues that contemporary circumstances would have enabled late Elizabethan and early Jacobean audiences to recognize Hamlets Mousetrap play as an evocation of the theatricalized divinations of English cunning men (8). Reports of cunning men and cunning women (a.k.a. sorcerers and witches) reveal that these people were once popular in England and that they performed ritualistic functionssuch as detecting guilt in criminals. Hamlets Mousetrap duplicates methods of ceremony used by the cunning, suggesting his occultism; his language, particularly in the soliloquy following The Murder of Gonzago, implies that the Prince has been instructed in that devilish art (11). He becomes a mimic celebrant in an inversion ritual, which is a perverse imitation of the method of sacramental atonement (12). The Jacobean audiences would have recognized Hamlet as a cunning man because of King Jamess active persecution of sorcerers and witches, as well as his publications on the evils of occultism, perhaps explaining the renewed popularity of this revenge tragedy (14). Fortunately, Hamlet leaves his sinister education at sea and returns from his voyage with a new faith in Christian tenets (e.g., providence). When Hamlet does strike against Claudius, he reacts spontaneously as an instrument of divine retribution (15), proves his readiness and confirms his faith (16). By reworking the legend of Amleth, Shakespeare removes Hamlet from the clutches of the devil by having him place himself in the hands of providence (15). This tragic drama ultimately transcends the practical concerns of politics and exorcises the occultism of the blacker arts (16). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (4 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response Dickson, Lisa. The Hermeneutics of Error: Reading and the First Witness in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1997): 64-77. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE While occasionally using Hamlet productions to describe the potential audience experience, this article posits that Claudius and Hamlet are engaged in a border conflict where power is linked to the ability to control the dissemination of information, the passage of knowledge across the boundary between private and public (65). While Hamlet is about the hermeneutic task, its circles within circles of overt and covert interpreters, of stage and theater audiences (65), displace Truth along the line of multiple and multiplying perspectives (66). Using his wit and word-play, to deflect the hermeneutic onslaught, Hamlet mobilizes his own interpretive strategies under the cover of the antic disposition, where madness, collapsing the categories of the hidden and the apparent, allows him to hide in plain sight (67). Likewise, Claudius attempts to hide in plain sight by providing the court with a reading of recent events that he hopes will neutralize [and silence] Hamlets threat and control the dissemination and reception of the facts of his own crime(s), as evident in act one, scene two (68). Although Claudius and Hamlet struggle to maintain the borders of silence and speech, public and private, hidden and apparent, they inevitably fail (69-70). In the nunnery scene, in which Hamlet is aware of the spies behind the curtain in most productions (e.g., 1992 BBC Radios, Zeffirellis, Halls), he attempts to hide behind his antic disposition, but the seeming truth in his anger suggests an explosion and collision between his inner and outer worlds (71). Claudius suffers a similar collapse: his hidden self erupting to the public view out of the body of the playerLucianus (73). Claudius and Hamlet are also alike in their problematic perspectives: Hamlets desire to prove the Ghost honest and justify his revenge shapes his own discovery of Claudius (74); and Claudius reading of his [Hamlets] antic disposition is complicated by his own guilt (72). Within the circles upon circles of watching faces, the disease in Hamlet may well be the maddening proliferation of Perspectives on Hamlet, where the boundaries constructed between public and private selves collapse under the power of the gaze (75). [ top ] Dollerup, Cay. Filters in Our Understanding of Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 50-63. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / PERFORMANCE This article argues that although any treatment of Hamlet (e.g., performance, reading, interpretation) reflects individual views, the act of filtering is an integral and indissoluble part of Shakespeares play (50). For modern audiences, some filters prove involuntary, such as the loss of historical relevance and of dramatic anticipation. Some prove necessary, like the cutting of lines and scenes for performance. While textual modifications can alter Hamlets characters (e.g., Polonius), themes (e.g., death, love), emphasis (e.g., revenge), and imagery (e.g., botany), each individuals decision can lead to new insights, experiences, and interpretations. Ultimately, as receptors of the artefact, as editors, critics, as directors and actors, as audience or readers, the artefact forces us to take a stand on a number of points on which we simply cannot reach an agreementand perhaps Shakespeare never expected/intended us to (63). file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (5 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response [ top ] Evans, Robert C. Friendship in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 33 (1999): 88-124. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FRIENDSHIP This article modestly hopes to establish the general importance of friendship in Hamlet by showing its presence throughout the entire play (88). The opening scene initiates the plays theme: Barnardo, Francisco, and Horatio begin to form a bond, which is strengthened by the shared experience of the Ghosts appearance. The interaction among these friends works dramatically to contrast sharply with Hamlets social isolation in the following scene and to present Horatio with the potential of becoming a good friend to Hamlet. The friendship between Hamlet and Horatio that develops throughout the play eloquently culminates in the final scene; but the Hamlet/Horatio relationship is not the only example of friendship treated. Ophelia / Laertes, Hamlet / Rosencrantz / Guildenstern, Hamlet / Ghost, Hamlet / players, Claudius / Laertes, the gravediggers, as well as Hamlet / Laertes all receive attention. Line-byline analysis of dialogue among these friends, potential friends, and false friends highlights linguistic ambiguity; but the multiple meanings behind every word illustrates the difficulty of making clear, unambiguous interpretations of others motivesa difficulty relevant to the friendship theme (105). Through their interactions, Shakespeares characters easily seem as complex as our own friends or ourselves (119). [ top ] Goldman, Michael. Hamlet: Entering the Text. Theatre Journal 44 (1992): 449-60. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE While suggesting that drama may provide, at least in some respects, the more illuminating case of the encounter with writing, this article explores Shakespeares treatment of the person/text negotiation in Hamlet (449). Through the dynamism of performance, script and actor become inseparable (450) because scriptedness and improvisation merge on stage (450). This interplay of script and improvisation underlies the call to revenge in Hamlet: the Ghost seems to provide a clear cut script for his son, but Hamlets path to revenge is tortuous, filled with improvised diversions and digressions (452). While the play explores the necessary relation between scriptedness and improvisation, it is also concerned . with whats involved in entering into a script (452). Hamlet regularly reenacts the basic scene that takes place when an actor prepares or performs a part, the entry into the text (453), such as the replaying of a situation (e.g., Old Hamlets murder) (453). While such a metadramatic acting exercise (453) suggests one method of entering the text, a concern with the stability and instability of texts runs through the play (454). Hamlets sense of a tense and uncertain relation to a text, which exacts both commitment and risky departure, may have had a special relevance to the circumstances of Elizabethan dramatic production (455) because the performance of an Elizabethan play momentarily stabilized the uncertain mix of possibilities contained in the playhouse manuscript (456). The plays exploration of file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (6 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response play-acting and the relation of texts and scripts to performance may also be reflective of the larger problematic of human action that Hamlet experiences and, ultimately, comes to terms with: human action itself, like the performance of an actor, is an intervention, an entry into something very like a script, a text of interwoven actions, an entry that, though it raises the central questions of human choice and responsibility, can never be made in full knowledge or confidence about the ultimate result of that choice (457). This article recommendation is to conceive of this critical relation . of reader and text, in a way that acknowledges something of that importance which is felt by all who are drawn to literatureas a relation of commitment, a relation of responsibility, a relation certainly requiring the focus of ones full bodily life on something which is not oneself, a relation constrained by time and history and the need for choice, but above all a relation of adventure (460). [ top ] Gorfain, Phyllis. Toward a Theory of Play and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 25-49. [Reprinted in Donald Keeseys Contexts for Criticism (1994) and in Ronald Knowles Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin (1998).] AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CARNIVAL / METADRAMA Drawing heavily on Bakhtins understanding of carnivalesque, this article approaches Hamlet as Shakespeares most ludic and metatheatrical tragedy (26). The carnivalesque in Hamlet intensifies its complex tragic mode (27), as the irreversible and vertical movement of tragic form joins to the reversible and horizontal continuum of carnival in Hamlet to produce the double vision (28). The alliance of linear consequence with cyclical carnivalesque reversibility becomes most evident in the final act of Hamlet: on the one hand, the play concludes with a carnivalesque fearlessness and freedom as Hamlet decides to engage in an open-ended fencing match; but, on the other hand, it also concludes with a devastating finality when the cheating and intrigue of Claudius defeat this ludic spirit (31). This consolidation of irreversible history and reversible art matches other patterns of assertion and denial in the play (31), such as wordplay (punning, witty literalism, clownish malapropism, word corruptions, nonsense) (31) and storytelling (which in Hamlet then replaces revenge) (29). The repetitive presentation of Old Hamlets murder, through narrative, mime, and performance, demonstrates how the self-reflexive play with the boundaries between event and representation, past and present, subjunctive and actual, audience and performers defines and dissolves the differences between the world of the play and the world of the theater (29). As carnival obscures the differences between performers and audience, blending us all in a comedic vision of performance culture, so Hamlet uses its reflexive ending to make us observers of our own observing, objects of our own subjective knowledge, inheritors of the playful knowledge paradox (43)and the noblest audience (5.21.88). [ top ] Halverson, John. The Importance of Horatio. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 57-70. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / HORATIO file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (7 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response By analyzing the role of Horatio, this essay attempts to show that Shakespeare had a much clearer and fuller conception of the part than is usually granted and that he developed the character with care and skill, though by extraordinarily minimal means, for a significant purpose (57). Inconsistencies in this character receive clarification, using textual evidence (e.g., age, knowledge, relationship with Hamlet at Wittenburg). Although Horatio seems expendable in Hamlets plot development, Shakespeare evidently thought him important enough to invent the character (probably) and have him dominate both the opening and closing scenes (62). Horatio is also invested with the favorable qualities of learning, courage, loyalty, and candor; he appears as the disinterested witness (63), who speaks directly and virtually compels trust (64). The strong bond that Horatio forms with Hamlet encourages the audience to vicariously follow suit. Without Horatio, the audience would be suspicious of rather than sympathetic with Hamlet. Reducing Horatio to merely Hamlets foil/confidant belittles the importance of the role and Shakespeares artistry. Although Horatio is more stageworthy than text worthy due to his frequently silent-yet-important presence as witness (67), Shakespeare created the role, and with few but sure strokes of his theatrical brush, endowed it with complete credibility (68). [ top ] Harris, Arthur John. Ophelias Nothing: It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer-Winter 1997): 20-46. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / OPHELIA While exploring what J. Max Patrick calls the erotic estimate of Ophelia, this essay argues that audiences are to suspect Claudius himself as the principle cause of Ophelias madness and death; specifically, that at some point shortly before her madness there has been a liaison between the two, that she has been sexually abused, and that he has been not only the sexual predator but also the one who dispatched (1.5.75) Ophelia to her grave (21). In Hamlet, Shakespeare creates a world that one senses is somehow thoroughly contaminated and a pervasive sense of uncertainty, suspicion, and doubt (22). The ambiguity surrounding Ophelia contributes to this aesthetic project. For example, the sexually suggestive language of her mad songs (e.g., tricks, hems, beats, spurns) encourages audiences to suspect misfortune (24). In addition, her statement, It is the false steward that stole his masters daughter (4.5.171-72), strongly implicates the King as the thief. Upon hearing these words, Laertes suspects This nothings more than matter (4.5.173). But the King, Ophelias frequent interrupter, attributes Ophelias behavior to excessive grief. In actuality, the mad scene presents evidence that Ophelia has been sexually abused by the King (31). Further proof appears in the curious (and obvious) stress upon sexual imagery in Gertrudes report of Ophelias drowning (35), the gravediggers exposition on the uncertainty of the death and cryptic ballad (which seems intentionally altered from the original to raise suspicions), and the priests oddly timed stress on Ophelias chastity. Perhaps the formation of suspicionswithout sufficient evidence as proofis exactly what Shakespeare intends to elicit (24). But, while Horatio is responsible for telling Hamlets story, audiences are responsible for hearing Ophelias story (42). file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (8 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response [ top ] Hunt, Maurice. Art of Judgement, Art of Compassion: The Two Arts of Hamlet. Essays in Literature 18 (1991): 3-20. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP This article uses the Troy playlet, which Hamlet requests of a player, and The Murder of Gonzago to argue two points: Shakespeares idea of the relevance of mimetic art for the past and future, and Shakespeares conception of the humane use of his tragic art (3). The Troy playlet seems an odd choice for Hamlet because it displaces sympathy from the avenger to his victim; but, for Shakespeare, its blending of vengeance and compassion seems to imply that art does not mirror life, it refines human experience. Although Hamlet initially praises the Troy performance, his hunger for revenge overrules his appreciation of art. He misuses art in The Mousetrap scene, with the utilitarian hope of detecting guilt and without recognition of the forms power to influence/transform will. The player king recommends human compassion, but Hamlet only judges others. His (unmerited) condemnation of Gertrude leads him to fail in his goals with The Mousetrap. While Hamlet remains unmoved by The Murder of Gonzago, the theater audience is encouraged to join him in scrutinizing Claudius (and Gertrudes) reaction. Yorks skull offers another example of Shakespeares metadramatic commentary because it resembles dramatic tragedy in its effect upon certain viewers (14). After shifting from pity for to criticism of the skull, Hamlet exploits the object as an iconographically stereotyped battering ram in the Princes campaign against women (14). The skull is misused, just like The Murder of Gonzago. In the course of Hamlet, the protagonist harshly assesses others who seem deserving of pity but never questions the Ghost, who is suffering for previous crimes. Hamlets judgement reminds the audience of what makes his experience tragic, and of what we might attempt to avoid in our lives beyond the theater (16). [ top ] Kim, Jong-Hwan. Waiting for Justice: Shakespeares Hamlet and the Elizabethan Ethics of Revenge. English Language and Literature 43 (1997): 781-97. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This study focuses on the Elizabethan ethics concerning revenge and the meaning of Hamlets waiting for justice or delaying for revenge and its meaning will be discussed with reference to the Elizabethan ethics of revenge (782). Shakespeare endows the Ghost with ambiguity, mixing personal vindictiveness with a concern for Gertrude (782), and Elizabethan audiences regarded the ghost which keeps on urging to revenge as a devil (783). Naturally, Hamlet has suspicions about the nature of the Ghost as Elizabethans did, and it is natural that he waits for revenge until he confirms the credibility of the Ghosts statements (782). While The Mousetrap elicits proof of the Ghosts accusations, the command to revenge still contains ethical problems in terms of the Elizabethan ethics (784): All Elizabethan orthodoxy condemned and punished personal revenge (785). But Shakespeares contemporary audience was still influenced by a residual pagan revenge ethic which commanded a person to avenge file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (9 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response the murder of a family member. Perhaps Shakespeare hoped to appeal to audiences instinct by presenting an individuals struggle against ruthless revenge and his reluctance to be the conventional revenger (788). Fortunately, the contradiction between the official code of the Elizabethan ethics of revenge and the popular code of revenge is resolved in the final scene of the play (794). Hamlet appears as an agent to practice the public revenge or justice through the hand of Providence, when Claudius crime was exposed to public. Through this device, Shakespeare made the Elizabethan audiences sympathize strongly with Hamlets final action; he abstains from ruthless vengeance. His action might have had their emotional approval and not disturbed their moral judgement (788). Hamlets action of waiting for justice and delaying injustice, the core of his action, may be admired from either the Christian point of view or the view point of the Elizabethan ethics (795). [ top ] Matsuoka, Kazuko. Metamorphosis of Hamlet in Tokyo. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 227-37. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / RECEPTION THEORY Initially discussing Bergmans Hamlet in Tokyo and other daring, new interpretations of the play, this essay attempts to explain why Japan has had a long love-affair with Hamlet (229). One explanation is that this tragedy possesses the most references to foreign countries closely related to the plot and the life situations of the characters in the Shakespearean canon, creating an open basis that fosters adoption/adaptation (232). Also, Hamlets peculiarly modern sense of powerlessness (232) may draw Japanese audiences because they feel powerless due to the bombardment of the worlds troubles through information networks (233). Also, the increasing life-span in Japan allows the older generation to retain (and to withhold) power from the younger generation (233). The modern Japanese people may see themselves in Shakespeares image of a thirty-year-old eternal prince (233). [ top ] McGuire, Philip C. Bearing A wary eye: Ludic Vengeance and Doubtful Suicide in Hamlet. From Page to Performance: Essays in Early English Drama. Ed. John Alford. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 1995. 235-53. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / METADRAMA / PERFORMANCE This essay explores how audiences and readers find themselves engaged in judging and interpreting Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (235). For example, in the final scene, how does Hamlet stab and poison Claudius? In what manner? Does he balance reason and passion during the act(s) (241)? Actors and directors must judge and interpret the ambiguous stage directions, as must audiences and readers. Fortinbras interprets the dead Hamlet to be a potential soldier in order to convert his claim to the Danish throne into a political fact (245); and Horatio interprets events for reasons that are at least partly political: to avoid social and political disorder (245-46). By ending with these acts of interpretation and judgement, file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (10 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response Hamlet holds up a mirror in which those who experience the playin performance or on the pagecan see the processes of interpretation and judgement in which they are themselves engaged (246). Ophelias questionable demise provides one facet of this mirror, as several characters (e.g., grave diggers, priest) impose certainty of judgement on what is doubtful (248-49). Hamlet is profoundly concerned with the specific judgements and interpretations one comes to, but it is also concerned, at least equally, with the processes by which they are reached (250). [ top ] Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Ghosts Speech. Modern Language Studies 28.3 (1998): 125-50. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GHOST / RHETORICAL This article argues that Claudius did not murder his brother and explores the Ghosts account of its poisoning as the imaginings of a world beyond the world of stage, a world of words in which the eye sees only what the ear hears, thereby sounding the limits of perception itself (126). The death of Old Hamlet is performed by means of words whose effect is to show us what cannot be shown (130). A detailed linguistic analysis of the Ghosts account highlights how the Ghosts words enter (as the poison entered the Ghosts body) not just Hamlets ears but ours as well (143). The experience of a multitude of casual, seemingly insignificant patterns of interaction among words in this speech invites the audience/reader to imagine and believe in something that doesnt happen in the playexcept in words (147). While The Mousetraps dumbshow echoes visually the Ghosts acoustic representation of that same event (133), Claudius response to it does not prove his guiltnor does his supposed confession. Claudius private words provide no details that would place him at the scene of the crime that afternoon and use a syntactic construction whose hypothetical logic casts more shadow of doubt than light of certainty over what he is actually saying (135). And the confession comes from an unreliable source, a figure whose every action in the play has everything to do with subterfuge and deception (137). Perhaps, Claudius is not speaking from the bottom of his heart, as one who prays presumably does, but rather in this stage performance of a prayer means to deceive God (137). Besides, the confession from this master of deception (138) is for a purely imaginary, hypothetical event that takes place outside of the play, beyond the physical boundaries of the stage (139). [ top ] Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Queens Speech. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 123-44. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GERTRUDE With a concentrated focus on Gertrudes report of Ophelias drowning, this article explores how something that doesnt happen in Hamlet happens, how action that takes place off stage happens in the words the play uses to perform it (125). The underlying hypothesis is that the file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (11 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response drowning report suggests Gertrudes involvement with Ophelias murder. Every word of the speech receives meticulous dissection and analysisfrom the opening word there, which directs the audiences attention to the plays exterior, to the last word, as Ophelia vanishes in a muddy death. Plural meanings implied by audible homonyms and stark shifts in verbal descriptions appear when the progression of the lines is slowed to a snails pace. As each studied word provides suggestion and direction to the audience, a case against the Queen builds. For example, the language of flowers used by Gertrude in the drowning report and by Ophelia in her madness creates a relationship that in effect places them in close proximity to each other, as the first is the speaker and the latter becomes the object of her gaze, the person she herself [Gertrude] watched beside the stream (130-31). Although the critic humbly acknowledges the inability to prove (or disprove) speculations about off stage events, a singular certainty remains: Gertrude, as the reporter of Ophelias demise, removes herin effect kills herfrom the play (144). Ophelias death provides a paradigm of all off stage events, in a world of words called the theater (144). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] Sanchez, Reuben. Thou comst in such a questionable shape: Interpreting the Textual and Contextual Ghost in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 65-84. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GHOST / NEW HISTORICISM This article suggests that in rendering the shape of the Ghost questionable, or indeterminate, Shakespeare has created a text that both resists and embraces context (66). It begins with a survey of critical studies regarding the Ghost to show diversity based on selective contexts (68). A review of Levins and Fishs explanations for such diversity finds that the two seemingly-opposite methodologies complement one another in that neither argues that an understanding of context is irrelevant (69). In a historical context, Hamlets file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (12 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response Ghost, a spirit, is perceived as distinct from a soul, and Protestants might very well suspect the spirit of having evil intentions (71). But Hamlet does not act as though he suspects the Ghost to be a devil (at least not initially), and the scene of this first meeting may be even humorous (71-72). In the plays opening scene, the Ghosts pattern of appearance / disappearance / reappearance conveys the fright and curiosity, perhaps even the humor, but also the extreme confusion resulting from the Ghosts appearances (75). Also in this scene, Horatio, Barnardo, and Marcellus attempt to explain the ghostly visitations, representing at least two different interpretive communities: Christian and Pagan (75). The Ghosts appearance in the closet scene is utilized to compare the Folio and the First Quarto, each text indeterminate in and of itself, each indeterminate when compared to the other (79). Whether one speaks of text or context, however, Shakespeare seems to be interested in presenting a Ghost who conveys information and withholds information, a Ghost who educates and confuses, a Ghost who evokes terror and humor, a Ghost whose signification is both textual and contextual (79). [ top ] Simon, Bennett. Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation. American Imago 58.3 (Fall 2001): 707-22. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC After reviewing several broad trends in the history of interpretation of the play and locating within those trends some dominant themes in psychoanalytic interpretation, this essay offers a late-twentieth-century psychoanalytic interpretationboth of Hamlet and Hamletbased on trauma theory (707). Trauma research provides insights pertinent to Hamlet: trauma victims often experience oscillations between numbness and overwhelming emotions, difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy, a sense of unreality, a sense that the self and the world become loathsome, a thirsting for revenge or scapegoat, and a profound mistrust of the future as well as of other people (e.g., family members, friends) (712). But secrecy associated with a trauma is especially devastating because secrets combined with confusion about fact and fantasy often lead to incomplete or fragmented narratives; a story that cannot be told directly in narrative discourse finds expression through displacement, symbolization, and action (713). In Hamlet, the protagonists trauma derives from his first encounter with the Ghost, which leaves Hamlet both certain and uncertain of his fathers death, his uncles responsibility, and his mothers involvement (714). Following this meeting, Hamlet mutely expresses his story in Ophelias closet (717). His madness (perhaps more real than even Hamlet realizes) is a symptom of the feigning and deceit around him, such as Claudius secrecy and Ophelias seeming betrayal (715). In comparison, Ophelia experiences various traumas, including a web of half-truths, paternal attempts to deny her perceptions, the loss of male protection (716), the secrecy surrounding her fathers murder (and her lovers responsibility), as well as the impossibility of any kind of open grieving or raginglet alone discussion (715-16). While her feelings are consistently ignored and she is silenced, Ophelias madness is focused on her speaking in such a way that she cannot be ignored (715). In this aura of a traumatized environment, the theater audience must live with a discomforting set of ambiguities that Horatios promised narrative cannot entirely clarify (717). file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (13 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response [ top ] Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / BIBLIOGRAPHIC / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL This text begins with a questioning of Hamlet's status within the canon. Although other Shakespearean tragedies (e.g., King Lear) have threatened to displace Hamlet in the past, its position currently seems secure. The section titled "Which Hamlet?" discusses the Folio/Quartos debate, as well as how understanding of the play's meanings and values vary "according to the reader, the actor or the audience" (17). The third chapter examines Hamlet "as a self-contained fiction which takes history and politics as part of its subject matter" and "as a late-Elizabethan play which can be seen in relation to the history and politics of its own time" (23). The next section explores rhetoric in the play, such as how all of the characters seem to speak in the same linguistic style and how some quotes from the play "have passed into common usage," creating challenges for performers (33). The chapter on gender examines the history of female Hamlets, questions of Hamlet's sex/gender, the play's female characters, and feminism's influence on the study of this tragedy. "The Afterlife of Hamlet" discusses how editors, actors, and directors "have added to the multiplicity of Hamlets by cutting and rearranging that text" (52), how the drama has been adapted to popular mediums, and how it has been appropriated for political purposes in various countries. The conclusion foresees an optimistic future for Hamlet, and assortment of illustrations and a select bibliography round out the monograph. [ top ] Uno, Yoshiko. Three Gertrudes: Text and Subtext. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 155-68. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GERTRUDE / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This essay examines ambiguities inherent in Hamlet, or gaps between the text and subtext, with special attention to Gertrudes representation (156). Rather than possessing autonomy, the Queen exists only in relation to Claudius and Hamlet; she also refuses to choose between the two men, revealing her malleability (158). Hence, the lack of critical appreciation of Gertrude seems understandable. Although the closet scene should offer the greatest opportunity for insight into Gertrudes character, it leaves too many unanswered questions: does she know of Claudius involvement in Hamlet, Sr.s death? Is she guilty of infidelity with Claudius before this murder? Further uncertainties are raised by the scenes presentation of two Gertrudes: Gertrude herself and the Gertrude seen from Hamlets perspective (161). Such confusion leads todays audiences to share in Hamlets confrontation with the disintegration of reality (162). But the original audience at the Globe may have had the advantages of after-images, preconceived notions of Hamlet informed by myth and legend. A file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (14 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Audience Response survey of plausible literary sources (e.g., Historiae Danicae, Agamemnon, Histoires tragiques), with emphasis on the evolving transformations of Gertrude, presents a wide range of variants that Elizabethan audiences may have drawn on to resolve the ambiguities struggled with today (166). [ top ] Wagner, Valeria. Losing the Name of Action. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 135-52. AUDIENCE RESPONSE This article proposes that the instability of Hamlet encourages readers/critics to feel as if their readings of the play are new (136) and to make omissions/additions with elements of the play (e.g., acts, protagonists, words) because alterations are encouraged, if not demanded, by the text itself (137). For example, Horatios retelling of events is a correct and corrective reading (138). Ophelias interpretation of Hamlets actions in her closet is also demonstrative: although his silent gesturing actually denies her access to him, his meaning and his language (143), Ophelia struggles to render Hamlets actions intelligible, mainly by attributing purposes to them; Hamlet as subject temporarily disappears in the sight of his acts (144). Such a transition from act to sighta recurrent issue in Hamletis a function of the passing of time (138). Perhaps critics mistakenly feel that they are the link between the incomplete and complete versions of Hamlet. But what is missing in Hamlet, as in all texts, is the moment of intersubjectivity which could reconstitute the text for us as one, simultaneous, happening, as it were, all at once (151). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/audienceresponse.html (15 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:38:57 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Bibliographic Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Dietrich, Julia. Hamlet in the 1960s: An Annotated Bibliography. Garland Shakespeare Bibliographies 18. New York: Garland, 1992.n Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 1: 1600-1790. Hamlet Collection 3. AMS P: New York, 1996.n Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 2: 1790-1838. Hamlet Collection 4 AMS P: New York, 1996.n Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 3: 1839-1854. Hamlet Collection 5. AMS P: New York, 1996.n Mooney, Michael E., ed. Hamlet: An Annotated Bibliography of Shakespeare Studies, 16041998. Asheville: Pegasus, 1999.n Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996. Dietrich, Julia. Hamlet in the 1960s: An Annotated Bibliography. Garland Shakespeare Bibliographies 18. New York: Garland, 1992. BIBLIOGRAPHIC This annotated bibliography of 1960's scholarship on Hamlet includes "all works dealing with the play, its influences, and its adaptations, excluding only the reviews of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" (xxvi-xxvii). While "it would be difficult to generalize about Hamlet criticism over the decade," the Introduction surveys the major topics discussed (and the areas neglected) during this period (xi). Annotations are categorized by theme (e.g., criticism, dating, editions) and are subcategorized by year. They vary in length and depth, depending on the individual item listed. [ top ] Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 1: 16001790. Hamlet Collection 3. AMS P: New York, 1996. BIBLIOGRAPHIC / RECEPTION THEORY This collection of references to Hamlet includes manuscript notes, private epistolaries, literary allusions, unpublished scholarship (e.g., Ph. D. thesis), file:///S|/bev/loberg/bibliographic.html (1 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:58 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Bibliographic Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological performance reviews, anonymous materials, diary entries, etc. Items are chronologically organized, and each is headed with an individual description of context and/or explanation of meaning. The volume's introduction refers to individual entries but also looks at the broad picture produced by this collage of Hamlet references. It discusses the history of criticism, which shifted from the study of the play on stage to the "neo-classical theory" of "application and adaptation of classical literary theory to contemporary conditions" (xix). This introduction charts the shifting attitudes of Hamlet audiences and of literary scholars. [ top ] Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 2: 17901838. Hamlet Collection 4. AMS P: New York, 1996. BIBLIOGRAPHIC / RECEPTION THEORY This volume spans a broad spectrum of sources between 1790-1838. The collage of insights and opinions from "major critics of the day" and "lesser commentators" allows the volume "to show what is characteristic of the age and, among other things, throw light on the attitudes of the audiences and readers" (xiii). Because the goal is "to show how Hamlet was received by the English-speaking public during the period in question," the selection is composed of "texts that were widely available in the nineteenth century" (ix). But the inclusion of French and German interpretations of Hamlet represent the intricacies of Shakespearean criticism becoming "truly international" (xiv). [NOTE: see detailed description of format under listing of Vol. 1] [ top ] Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 3: 18391854. Hamlet Collection 5. AMS P: New York, 1996. BIBLIOGRAPHIC / RECEPTION THEORY Spanning the years between 1839 and 1854, this volume is the first "in the series where foreign contributions in English outnumber the native British": "interest in Shakespeare was moving outwards from its British centre in ever widening circles" (ix). While French and American contributions are represented, German interpretations come "to be widely recognised during this period, and it is no exaggeration to say that in the second half of the nineteenth century file:///S|/bev/loberg/bibliographic.html (2 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:58 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Bibliographic British criticism of Shakespeare cannot be fully appreciated without taking the German influence into account" (xii). Rising conflicts over interpretations and the diversifying of critical styles also emerge during these years. [NOTE: see detailed description of format under listing of Vol. 1] [ top ] Mooney, Michael E., ed. Hamlet: An Annotated Bibliography of Shakespeare Studies, 16041998. Asheville: Pegasus, 1999. BIBLIOGRAPHIC This highly selective bibliography includes only work that is of high quality or of great influence (vii). It begins with a section on principle editions and primary references to Shakespeares plays. The second section deals specifically with Hamlet; examples of subcategories include Criticism, Bibliographies, and Pedagogy. Annotations are descriptive rather than evaluative (viii), and crossreferences appear at the end of each subsection (except for the unit titled Criticism). [ top ] Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / BIBLIOGRAPHIC / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL This text begins with a questioning of Hamlet's status within the canon. Although other Shakespearean tragedies (e.g., King Lear) have threatened to displace Hamlet in the past, its position currently seems secure. The section titled "Which Hamlet?" discusses the Folio/Quartos debate, as well as how understanding of the play's meanings and values vary "according to the reader, the actor or the audience" (17). The third chapter examines Hamlet "as a selfcontained fiction which takes history and politics as part of its subject matter" and "as a late-Elizabethan play which can be seen in relation to the history and politics of its own time" (23). The next section explores rhetoric in the play, such as how all of the characters seem to speak in the same linguistic style and how some quotes from the play "have passed into common usage," creating challenges for performers (33). The chapter on gender examines the history of female Hamlets, questions of Hamlet's sex/gender, the play's female characters, file:///S|/bev/loberg/bibliographic.html (3 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:58 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Bibliographic and feminism's influence on the study of this tragedy. "The Afterlife of Hamlet" discusses how editors, actors, and directors "have added to the multiplicity of Hamlets by cutting and rearranging that text" (52), how the drama has been adapted to popular mediums, and how it has been appropriated for political purposes in various countries. The conclusion foresees an optimistic future for Hamlet, and assortment of illustrations and a select bibliography round out the monograph. [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/bibliographic.html (4 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:58 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Deconstruction Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100.n Habib, Imtiaz. Never doubt I love: Misreading Hamlet. College Literature 21.2 (1994): 19-32.n Kerrigan, William. Hamlets Perfection. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994.n Lucking, David. Each word made true and good: Narrativity in Hamlet. Dalhouse Review 76 (1996): 177-96.n Scott, William O. The Liar Paradox as Self-Mockery: Hamlets Postmodern Cogito. Mosaic 24.1 (1991): 13-30. Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CARNIVAL / DECONSTRUCTION / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE This essay approaches Hamlet as his own Fool, who can be seen to subvert Hamlet so thoroughly as to reduce to laughter the very idea of serious tragedy (83). A review of concurring critics (e.g., Levin, Graves, McGee, Wiles, Bristol) provides some basis for this argument. Theater history suggests changes in theatrical conventions to explain why Hamlets laughter has been subverted: while Elizabethan audiences were encouraged to participate, modern audiences fear making a faux pas and suffer from the social constraints of an elitist forum (91). Perhaps Elizabethan audiences would have perceived Hamlets insults to the groundlings as rough intimacies (92), laughing at the ritualistic sacrifice of the fool in carnivalesque style and at Horatios suggestion of singing angels (94). Hamlet appears to erase itself not merely through metadrama or other linguistics-based critical theory, but through the laughter of Death, which is not satirical laughter but the inclusive, absolute, all-affirming, feasting, social laughter of the folk (all the people), the laughter of carnival (97). file:///S|/bev/loberg/deconstruction.html (1 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:59 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Deconstruction Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological [ top ] Habib, Imtiaz. Never doubt I love: Misreading Hamlet. College Literature 21.2 (1994): 19-32. DECONSTUCTION / HAMLET / TEXTS Using Hamlets love poem to Ophelia as a launching pad, this essay proposes that the declaration of love affirms subversion as the chief ideology of Elsinore and misreading as its principle text, and announces his [Hamlets] mastery over both (22). Hamlets poem (similar to his rewrite of Claudiuss execution order and his letter of return from the voyage) demonstrates an impenetrability suggestive of the Princes wish to be misread rather than to be understood satisfactorily (21). Efforts to be an enigma are spurred by chaos: the world has become unreadable to Hamlet, and with that Hamlet has become unreadable to others and to himself (23). But misreading is the principal Elsinorean activity, and a phenomenon that precedes the Ghosts disturbing revelation; for example, Claudius and Gertrude attempt (and fail) to read Hamlet in the coronation scene: In this tense verbal thrust and parry, readability, i.e., knowability, is established as the besieged site of fierce Elsinorean tactical struggle for dominance (24). Given the importance of revealing nothing but discovering all, Hamlet will not let his feelings for Ophelia become Elsinores vehicle of legibility into him; he allows others only the misreading of incoherence. The more anyone tries to read Hamlet the more he will be misread (25). Hamlet is trying to destroy the text of the self and of the worldsimultaneously disallowing the very idea of a text itself (26). Hamlets Mousetrap begins the disintegration of Elsinore and the Hamlet play, both of which become sites of defiance of form and meaning (27). The loss of text/textuality can only be a prelude to the worlds slide into the random incoherence of death (27); hence, the deaths of Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencratz, Guildenstern, Gertrude, and Laertes. While Elsinores texts disintegrate and characters collapse, its center, and its chief reader and author, Claudius, begins to deconstruct, losing his authority over both language and action (28). In the final scene, Claudius the murderer is murdered. The bodies littering the stage at the close of Hamlet are uniquely a function of this plays compulsion to consume itself (29). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/deconstruction.html (2 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:59 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Deconstruction Kerrigan, William. Hamlets Perfection. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. DECONSTRUCTION / RHETORICAL Self-described as a love affair with Hamlet, this monograph begins with a historical review of Hamlet interpretations that reveals a finite number of frameworks within which specific interpretations unwind (2). The second chapter traces the journey of a single phrase, good night, through the text of Hamlet, as the statement presupposes two divisions, those of day from night and good from evil (xiii). Chapters three and four continue the theme of division by concentrating on Hamlets split apprehension of women and his attempt to salvage purity from an initial conviction of general debasement (xiii). The final chapter treats the self-revised Hamlet of Act 5 (xiii). [ top ] Lucking, David. Each word made true and good: Narrativity in Hamlet. Dalhouse Review 76 (1996): 177-96. DECONSTRUCTION / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP This article explores Hamlets preoccupation with what might be termed selfactualizing narrativization, the process that is by which narrative not only reflects but in some sense constitutes the reality with which it engages (178). When the Ghost appears in the first scene, interrupting Barnardos narrative of previous sightings, words are translated into facts, story becomes history (181); but the Ghost does not speak, he does not narrate. In the next scene, the audience meets Hamlet, a figure destitute of a role but obviously seeking a cause to warrant his animosity towards Claudius (184): he has the elements of a story already prepared, and only requires confirmation of that story in order to establish a role for himself as the avenger (186). Horatios report of the Ghost meets Hamlets need, and the Prince works quickly to appropriate the phantom for his own story by swearing all parties to secrecy. When he meets alone with the Ghost, Hamlet hears confirmation of his suspicions in a linguistic style remarkably similar to his own. He then uses The Murder of Gonzago to manipulate Claudiuss behavior in a manner that will fulfil the narrative demands the prince is making on reality, to determine the course of nature and not to mirror it (190). Regardless of the various possible reasons for Claudius reaction to the play, Hamlet interprets guilt to suit his narrative. But the other characters have their own stories, in which Hamlet is interpreted. In the final scene, Horatio is invested with narrative control, and there is no certainty that he reports Hamlets storyor his own (195). file:///S|/bev/loberg/deconstruction.html (3 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:59 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Deconstruction [ top ] Scott, William O. The Liar Paradox as Self-Mockery: Hamlets Postmodern Cogito. Mosaic 24.1 (1991): 13-30. DECONSTRUCTION / HAMLET By studying Hamlets attempts to refashion himself, this article hopes to clarify selfhood and the self-reflexive nature of speech and action as well as some relationships among the phenomena of postmodernism (13). Hamlet demonstrates psychologist T. S. Champlins self-contradiction, self-evidence, selfknowledge, self-deception, and paradoxical self-reference. The theatrical dimension of Hamlet only contributes to the paradoxes of self-refashionings linguistic methods. Fortunately, Montaigne offers insights. After exercising this gamut, Hamlet discovers providence, the external form to embody the mystery and to direct an ultimate, fatal self-fashioning (28). Hamlet has already taken actions and set events into motion; hence, his providence completes a process that begins in a paradoxical knowing and accepting of ones weakness (28). Hamlets passiveness and his ironic view of self-consciousness make him in effect a precursor of postmodernism, and locate postmodernism itself in ancient paradox (29). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/deconstruction.html (4 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:38:59 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Adelman, Janet. Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeares Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37.n Bergoffen, Debra B. Mourning, Woman, and the Phallus: Lacans Hamlet. Cultural Semiosis: Tracing the Signifier. Ed. Hugh J. Silverman. Continental Philosophy VI. New York: Routledge, 1998. 140-53.n Dane, Gabrielle. Reading Ophelias Madness. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 405-23.n Dews, C. L. Barney. Gender Tragedies: East Texas Cockfighting and Hamlet. Journal of Mens Studies 2 (1994): 253-67.n Dunn, Leslie C. Ophelias Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine. Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones. New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 50-64.n Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43.n Findlay, Alison. "Hamlet: A Document in Madness." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 189-205.n Finkelstein, Richard. Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity. Renaissance and Reformation 21.2 (Spring 1997): 5-22.n Floyd-Wilson, Mary. Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: 'Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.' Womens Studies 21 (1992): 397-409.n Fox-Good, Jacquelyn A. Ophelias Mad Songs: Music, Gender, Power. Subjects on the Worlds Stage: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. David C. Allen and Robert A. White. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 217-38.n Hamana, Emi. Whose Body Is It, Anyway?A re-Reading of Ophelia. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 143-54.n Jardine, Lisa. No offence i th world: Hamlet and Unlawful Marriage. Uses of History: Marxism, Postmodernism and the Renaissance. Ed. Francis Barker, Peter Hume, and Margaret Iverson. Essex Symposia: file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (1 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Literature/Politics/Theory. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991. 123-39. [Reprinted in David Scott Kastans Critical Essays on Shakespeares Hamlet (1995).]n Kusunoki, Akiko. Oh most pernicious woman: Gertrude in the Light of Ideas on Remarriage in Early Seventeenth-Century England. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 16984.n Low, Jennifer. Manhood and the Duel: Enacting Masculinity in Hamlet. Centennial Review 43.3 (Fall 1999): 501-12.n Ouditt, Sharon. "Explaining Woman's Frailty: Feminist Readings of Gertrude." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 83-107. n Peterson, Kaara. Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition. Mosaic 31.3 (1998): 1-24.n Philip, Ranjini. The Shattered Glass: The Story of (O)phelia. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 73-84.n Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Antitheatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63. n Roberts, Katherine. The Wandering Womb: Classical Medical Theory and the Formation of Female Characters in Hamlet. Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 15 (1995): 223-32.n Shand, G. B. Realising Gertrude: The Suicide Option. Elizabethan Theatre XIII. Ed. A. L. Magnusson and C. E. McGee. Toronto: Meany, 1994. 95-118.n Stanton, Kay. "Hamlet's Whores." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88.n Stone, James W. Androgynous Union and the Woman in Hamlet. Shakespeare Studies 23 (1995): 71-99.n Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996. Adelman, Janet. Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeares Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This monograph chapter argues that Hamlet redefines the sons position file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (2 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism between two fathers by relocating it in relation to an indiscriminately sexual maternal body that threatens to annihilate the distinction between the fathers and hence problematizes the sons paternal identification (14-15). Hamlet rewrites the story of Cain and Abel as the story of Adam and Eve, relocating masculine identity in the presence of the adulterating female (30). Gertrude plays out the role of the missing Eve: her body is the garden in which her husband dies, her sexuality the poisonous weeds that kill him, and poison the worldand the selffor her son (30). The absence of the father combined with the presence of the engulfing mother awakens all the fears incident to the primary mother-child bond (30). The solution is for Hamlet to remake his mother in the image of Virgin Mother who could guarantee his fathers purity, and his own, repairing the boundaries of his selfhood (31). In the closet scene, Hamlet attempts to remake his mother pure by divorcing her from her sexuality (32-33). Although Gertrude remains relatively opaque, more a screen for Hamlets fantasies about her than a fully developed character in her own right, the son at least believes that she has returned to him as the mother he can call good lady (3.4.182) (34). As a result, Hamlet achieves a new calm and self-possession but at a high price: for the parents lost to him at the beginning of the play can be restored only insofar as they are entirely separated from their sexual bodies. This is a pyrrhic solution to the problems of embodiedness and familial identity . . (35). [ top ] Bergoffen, Debra B. Mourning, Woman, and the Phallus: Lacans Hamlet. Cultural Semiosis: Tracing the Signifier. Ed. Hugh J. Silverman. Continental Philosophy VI. New York: Routledge, 1998. 140-53. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / PSYCHOANALYTIC Concurring with Lacans notions of the phallus, jouissance, the symbolic, the imaginary, and the signifying chain (140), this article suggests that Gertrude demonstrates the way womans complicity is essential to the patriarchal order as she provides a glimpse of a woman who steps outside its parameters (141). In the role of mourning, woman represents the invisible medium through whom the phallus passes (144). But Gertrude substitutes marriage nuptials for mourning rituals; her marriage to Claudius violates the father who has not been properly remembered, and it violates the son who is denied his legacy (146). Gertrudes refusal to mourn brings back the ghost and fuels its impossible request: that the son do what the mother will not, legitimize the father (146). But Hamlet, a male bound by patriarchal laws, cannot perform the social act of mourning, as he and Laertes prove at Ophelias burial (141). And, file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (3 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism as long as Gertrude confers legitimacy on Claudius, Hamlets action is barred (149). The son begins the process of re-inserting his mother into the patriarchal phallic order in the closet scene by accusing her of being too old to love, by de-legitimizing her mode of otherness (149). Gertrude, in death, finally frees Hamlet to act by being unable to mourn Claudius, but her absence means no mourning and, hence, no mediation for the transference of power: in the absence of women, Denmark comes under the rule of its enemy, Fortinbras (151-52). Rejecting the role of passive mediator Gertrude plays the game of jouissance (153). Yes, Gertrude is destroyed as a result, but she succeeds in exposing the myth of the male phallus and provides us with a glimpse of a signifier placed outside the patriarchal structure of silenced mourning women (153). [ top ] Dane, Gabrielle. Reading Ophelias Madness. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 405-23. FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA Admittedly negotiating the simultaneous rationalization and preservation of insantiy, this article attempts to answer the important question of how to read Ophelias madness. Ophelia initially appears shaped to conform to external demands, to reflect others desires (406): she is Laertes angel, Polonius commodity (407), and Hamlets spectre of his psychic fears (410). While the conflicting messages from these male/masculine sources damage Ophelias psychological identity, their sudden absence provokes her mental destruction. Optimistically, Ophelias madness offers the capability of speech, the opportunity to discover individual identity, and the power to verbally undermine authority. A thorough analysis of Ophelias mad ramblings (and their mutual levels of meaning) provides a singular expos of society, of the turbulent reality beneath its surface veneer of calm (418); but her words still suggest a fragmented self and provide others the opportunity to manipulate meanings that best suit them. Ophelias death is also open to interpretation. While the Queen describes the accidental drowning of an unconsciously precocious child (422), this article suggests that Ophelias choice might be seen as the only courageousindeed rationaldeath in Shakespeares bloody drama (423). [ top ] Dews, C. L. Barney. Gender Tragedies: East Texas Cockfighting and Hamlet. Journal of Mens Studies 2 (1994): 253-67. file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (4 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism FEMINISM / HAMLET / "TO BE, OR NOT TO BE" SOLILOQUY Written in an unorthodox style and laced with personal letters to familial models of gender, this article hopes to rectify the lack of scholarship about the harmful results of societys gender pressure on the male characters in Hamlet (255). Hamlets ideal model of masculinity is his father, whose ghost demands proof of the sons manliness. Similarly, Laertes dead father also becomes a source that demands a show of loyalty through revenge (due to Claudius manipulation). While Laertes appears to embrace the masculine ideals, Hamlet is in an ambivalent position, suspended between the masculine and feminine (259). The indoctrination pressures of Claudius and Polonius as well as the problematic female chastity of Gertrude and Ophelia deliver conflicting messages to Hamlet. His tragic flaw seems his inability to reconcile the mixed messages he is receiving regarding gender and the options available to him (261). But Hamlet has no options because of his royal title and destiny. The To be, or not to be soliloquy provides the simultaneous contemplation of suicide and gender conflict. This conflict and the lack of choices seems epitomized in the final scene, when Horatio and Fortinbras describe the dead Hamlet in different gender terms. Hamlet presents ambivalence about the dilemma of a reconciling of both masculine and feminine within an individual personality, a dilemma that men still face today (266). [ top ] Dunn, Leslie C. Ophelias Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine. Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones. New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 50-64. FEMINISM / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MUSIC / OPHELIA This essay argues that the representation of Ophelias madness involves a mapping of her sexual and psychological difference onto the discursive difference of music and that this dramatic use of music reflects the broader discourse of music in early modern English culture, with its persistent associations between music, excess and the feminine (52). Early modern British writers contend with the conflicting ideologies of music inherited from Platonic and Christian thought: music represents the earthly embodiment of divine order, but it also introduces sensuous immediacy and semantic indeterminacy (56). While Pythagorean harmony is music in its positive or masculine aspect, music also possesses the capability of cultural dissonance file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (5 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism in its negative or feminine aspect (58). In Hamlet, singing allows Ophelia to become both the literal and the figurative dissonance that expresses marginalities (59). Her representation draws on gender stereotypes of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage and simultaneously dislocates them (60): If Ophelias singing lets the woman out, then, it does so in such a way as to problematize cultural constructions of womens song, even while containing her within their re-presentation; but her disruptive feminine energy must be reabsorbed into both the social and the discursive orders of the play (62). Gertrudes description of Ophelias drowning re-appropriates Ophelias music and aestheticizes her madness, makes it pretty (63). Rather than dismiss Ophelias singing as a conventional sign of madness, critics should acknowledge its significance by making her singing our subject (64). [ top ] Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL This essay explores "cultural resonances between the politically unstable time of Judges in Israel's history, the political confusion in Hamlet's Denmark, and the anxiety over succession in late-Elizabethan England" (133). While Jephthah's daughter and Ophelia share similarities, they also differ in an important way: the unnamed daughter is an obedient sacrifice, and Ophelia "develops from her status as a victim" to "an author of a potentially different story, a woman's story" (133-34). Ophelia comes to realize her subversive potential and, in a commanding oration about the weakening of Hamlet's "noble mind," laments the lose of her own political ambitions (135). But her madness empowers her with liberties, such as demanding a meeting with Gertrude. Once granted entrance, "she, like a wandering player, comes to hold a mirror up to the court" (136). Gone is her submissive voice, replaced by "a range of voices" (137). Ophelia now "commands attention" (137). Interestingly, her invasion of the court parallels Laertes' rebellious entrance: they have "competing political claims, his assertive and explicit, hers subversive and encoded in mad woman's language" (137). Because her songs "introduce the protesting voice of oppressed women in society" through the veils of a ballad culture, Ophelia is not understood by her male audience; but her "rebellion against the double standard and its oppression of women arouses fear in Gertrude, who understands" (138). When the Queen reports Ophelia's drowning, she insists "on her time and the attention of the plotting men" (138). Her description portrays "a woman who draws her file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (6 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism understanding of her world from women's culture" (139). The Queen, "perhaps like Jephthah's daughter's maiden friends, returned from temporary exile to interpret the meaning of the sacrificed daughter's life" (140). [ top ] Findlay, Alison. "Hamlet: A Document in Madness." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 189-205. FEMINISM / HAMLET / OPHELIA / RHETORICAL By focusing on Hamlet and Ophelia, this essay examines "how gender dictates access to a language with which to cope with mental breakdown" and considers "how madness produces and is produced by a fragmentation of discourse" (189). The death of Old Hamlet marks the unraveling of language's "network of close knit meanings and signs" in Denmark (191). In this atmosphere, Hamlet and Ophelia "are threatened with mental breakdowns, rendering their need to define their experiences and re-define themselves particularly acute" (192). Hamlet attempts a "self-cure" to deal with his mental instability (192): he "uses his control over the written word to empower himself in emotionally disturbing situations"; examples include Hamlet's letters to Ophelia, Horatio, and Claudius, his forged orders to England, and his rewriting of The Murder of Gonzago (193). Hamlet discovers "a verbal and theatrical metalanguage with which to construct and contain the experience of insanity" (196), but Ophelia "does not have the same means for elaborating a delirium as a man" (197). She possesses "very limited access to any verbal communication with which to unpack her heart" before her father's death (199). After his passing, Ophelia is confronted "with an unprecedented access to language which is both liberating and frightening" (200). Her songs "are in the same mode as Hamlet's adaptation, The Mousetrap, and his use of ballad (III.ii.265-78); but, unlike Hamlet, she will not act as a chorus" (201). Also, she "cannot analyze her trauma" the way that he does (200). In the context of other Renaissance women dealing with insanity (e.g., Dionys Fitzherbert, Margaret Muschamp, Mary, Moore), Ophelia's experience of "trying to find a voice in the play" seems "a model for the difficulties facing Renaissance women writers" (202). [ top ] Finkelstein, Richard. Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity. Renaissance and Reformation 21.2 (Spring 1997): 5-22. file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (7 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism FEMINISM / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay explores how Shakespeare uses Ophelia to expose an interplay between culture, epistemology, and psychology which constructs Hamlets heroic subjectivity, itself understood through his logic, development, and actions informed by agency (6). Hamlet and Ophelia are similar in various ways, including their fashioning a sense of interiority (6). But they also differ. For example, Hamlet goes out of its way to disassociate her [Ophelias] epistemological habits from the empirical exactitude Hamlet seeks (11). Ophelia signifies knowledge which cannot be known with certainty (10). According to contemporary French feminism, the opposition of Claudius, Horatio, Fortinbras, and Hamlet (prior to his fifth act embrace of providence) to Ophelias manner of signifying cannot be separated from challenges female bodies pose to gendered concepts of fixed subjectivity (13). Yet Ophelias disjointed speeches do not define a feminine language so much as they interrogate the related economies of object relations and a readiness to act which mark Hamlets developed subjectivity in the play (14). The uncertainties of Ophelias death also raise questions about whether agency itself can define subjectivity (15). While agency and intention do not function efficiently for either Hamlet or Ophelia, the play allows more than one means of defining subjectivity (17). Through Ophelia, the play interrogates its own longings, and its participation in defining subjectivity (18). [ top ] Floyd-Wilson, Mary. Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: 'Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.' Womens Studies 21 (1992): 397409. FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / RECEPTION THEORY This article contends that by the late eighteenth century, the eras evolving notions of gender and the paradoxical effects of censorship actually infused representations of Ophelia with erotic and discordant elements (397). Performance reviews and the script from William Davenants revival of Hamlet present the Prince as the ideal and honorable hero, Ophelia as the ideal woman, and their relationship as (the ideal) romance. Such changes from the original source are made possible through the deletion of dialogue: Laertes cautioning of Ophelia about Hamlets intentions, Polonius directing of Ophelia to withdraw from Hamlets suit, Ophelias replies to Hamlets sexual innuendoes, and Ophelias most bawdy lines in the mad scene. The final product is a sexually file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (8 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism unaware and innocent Ophelia, but this shadow of Shakespeares character combines the residual (though censored) sexual awareness of the Renaissance with an emerging ideal of the inherently pure and moral female (402). Almost a century later, David Garrick introduced large production changes, including modifications to endow Ophelia with the natural feminine qualities valued in his own period: passivity and emotionalism (403). His Ophelia actor, Susannah Cibber, initiated the femininity in Ophelia. The contrasts between the two productions of Hamlet and the social periods suggest that the eighteenth centurys censorship helped turn sex into a secretsynonymous with truthresulting in the modern desire to release it from its repressive constraints (407). [ top ] Fox-Good, Jacquelyn A. Ophelias Mad Songs: Music, Gender, Power. Subjects on the Worlds Stage: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. David C. Allen and Robert A. White. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 217-38. FEMINISM / MUSIC / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA After discussing the study of Shakespearean music, this essay approaches the words and music of Ophelias mad songs as constituting her own story, using her own voice for her own grief, and for rage and protest (222). In the historical context of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, music is associated with madness, a female malady to borrow Showalters phrase (231-32). Aside from the subversive power of music, this mediums identification with the female/effeminate creates fear, which led many writers of the period to issue strong warnings against the dangers of music and music education (232). Ophelias songs end her dutiful silence and constitute her character (233). Specifically, in their melodies, harmonies, tempos, and generally in the bodily power of their music, her songs are expressions of loss and emptiness but also of a specifically female power (233). Ophelias assertion of her power in music makes music a kind of secret code, a deceptively pretty language; music is nothing (nothing but all things); it is noting; it is to be noted, and reckoned with (234). [ top ] Hamana, Emi. Whose Body Is It, Anyway?A re-Reading of Ophelia. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 143file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (9 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism 54. FEMINISM / HISTORY OF IDEAS / OPHELIA According to this article, although Hamlet treats the question of the female body through masculine ideologies and fantasies, the text is not a closed, monolithic structure, as is demonstrated by the contradictions discussed in this essay (143). A brief examination of Christian tradition and Cartesian dualism explains the Elizabethan tendencies towards misogyny and somatophobia (143). In Hamlet, Gertrudes sinful lust is punished by the objectification and desexualization of the body, but the innocent and puppet-like Ophelia also suffers a series of patriarchal oppressions (145). While the mad scene follows the Renaissance theatrical convention and the masculine assumption of mad women as erotomaniacs, it also has a subversive dimension: It invites us to rethink the conceptualization and representation of the female body with contradictions that question patriarchal ideology (146). Ophelias madness disrupts the plays dynamics (146), and grants her autonomy as a subject (147); most importantly, it shows the dualism of mind and body, not as binary opposites but as inseparably related (147-148). This embodying of the mind (149) contrasts sharply with Hamlets aspirations of separating the masculine mind (reason) from the feminine body (148). In the drowning report, the similar merger of mind/body and subject/object represents a different kind of female body: not a fixed entity but a mutable structure (151). Ophelia revolts against those forces that shape her textual boundary, destabilizes patriarchal control, and resists masculine fantasy of order and universalization (152). [ top ] Jardine, Lisa. No offence i th world: Hamlet and Unlawful Marriage. Uses of History: Marxism, Postmodernism and the Renaissance. Ed. Francis Barker, Peter Hume, and Margaret Iverson. Essex Symposia: Literature/Politics/Theory. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991. 123-39. [Reprinted in David Scott Kastans Critical Essays on Shakespeares Hamlet (1995).] FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM While distinguishing its approach from retrospective critical activity (126), this essay sets out to provide a historical account which restores agency to groups hitherto marginalised or left out of what counts as historical explanationnonlite men and all women (125). In Hamlet, Gertrudes marriage to Claudius appears unlawful by the early modern periods standards, and it deprives Hamlet of his lawful succession (130). Gertrude has participated in the file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (10 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism remarriagehas (literally) alienated her son, and Old Hamlets name (135). In denying Gertrude exoneration, we have recovered the guilt surrounding her as a condition of her oppression: women are not permanently in the object position, they are subjects. To be always object and victim is not the material reality of womans existence, nor is it her lived experience (135). [ top ] Kusunoki, Akiko. Oh most pernicious woman: Gertrude in the Light of Ideas on Remarriage in Early Seventeenth-Century England. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 169-84. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM Contending that Shakespeares original audience would have viewed the Queen as a potent figure in her flouting of patriarchal dictates through her remarriage, this reading of Hamlet examines the significance of the representation of Gertrude in the context of societys changing attitudes towards a widows remarriage in early seventeenth-century England (170). Gertrudes remarriage demonstrates an interesting possibility of female agency that contributes to the undermining of residual cultural values in the play (173). Religious and literary sources of the Elizabethan period (e.g., Characters, The Widows Tears) reflect dominant sentiments against a widows remarriage, but historical research shows the social reality that upper class widows often remarried (175). Their independence and ability to choose a new mate presented a contradiction to patriarchal ideology and posed a radical threat to the existing social structure (176). But changing attitudes were also emerging during this period: Puritans started to argue the benefits of a widows remarrying, and Montaignes Essays proposed an utterly realistic understanding of human natureparticularly of female sexuality (179-80). In this light, the marriage between Claudius and Gertrude might not have seemed to some members of the Elizabethan audience particularly reprehensible (179). Although Hamlet succeeds in desexualizing his mother in the closet scene, Gertrude maintains her own authority by continuing to love Claudius while denying his order not to drink from the chalice (180). Her attitude to her remarriage points to the emergent forces in the changing attitude towards female sexuality in early seventeenth-century England (180). [ top ] Low, Jennifer. Manhood and the Duel: Enacting Masculinity in Hamlet. file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (11 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism Centennial Review 43.3 (Fall 1999): 501-12. DUEL / FEMINISM / HAMLET This essay proposes that in the course of the fencing exhibition, Hamlet discovers a means of performance acceptable to him (501). Prior to this climactic scene, Hamlet struggles to balance the expectations of his public persona (e.g., prince) with those of his domestic roles (e.g., son). The conflict between the rational thoughts of ideal masculinity and the violent actions necessary to exact revenge compound Hamlets dilemma. Hamlet can only act when he finds a personal form of masculine decorum, uniting private and public identities and performing the part of a man according to his fathers model (504). A brief history of dueling proves that Hamlet finds a fitting means to act: the duel embodies the notion of manhood, both through the correspondence of word and deed and through the implicit legitimization of vigilantism (and, by extension, individualism) as a means of achieving justice (505). While the duel is initiated with the formality of tradition and ritual, its context within the theatrical production interrogates the very structure of dramas mimetic framework (506). The nature of this lawful duel for entertainment is also altered by the unlawful and lethal intentions of Claudius and Laertes. Claudius seems solely responsible for the deadly results because The violence set in motion by the king becomes the swordsmans prerogative (508). Thanks to Claudius ploy, Hamlet is able to die as an avenger and a true prince (509). [ top ] Ouditt, Sharon. "Explaining Woman's Frailty: Feminist Readings of Gertrude." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 83-107. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE After discussing the premises of (and problems within) feminism, this essay examines three feminist perspectives of Gertrude and "the interpretive possibilities that they present": Rebecca Smith's "A Heart Cleft in Twain," an example of "reading as a woman"; Jaqueline Rose's "Sexuality in the Reading of Shakespeare: Hamlet and Measure for Measure," an example of psychoanalytic criticism; and Lisa Jardine's Still Harping on Daughters an example of materialistic, feminist criticism (87). Each perspective is summarized, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and is used as a launching pad for broader discussions. For example, Smith's article suffers from its pass political file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (12 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism agenda, which views Gertrude as a nurturing-non-fictional-persona and raises questions about textual gaps being filled by critics/audiences/readers with ulterior motives; but it also leads to questions of Gertrude's guilt. Together, the three representatives "form part of a changing cultural and critical history" and reflect the "continuing project" of feminism (105). [ top ] Peterson, Kaara. Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition. Mosaic 31.3 (1998): 1-24. ART / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay strives to position Ophelias dual representational history more precisely within both art-historical and dramatic-critical frameworks (2). While eighteenth-century Shakespearean painters generally limited Ophelia to the unstressed presence of a group, the mid-nineteenth-century artists increasingly focused on the moments of Ophelias drowning. Interestingly, the original source of this scene is presented as a second-hand account of events, reducing Gertrudes narrative to a ventriloquized history (8). Regardless of textual authority, visual artists consistently use standard conventions of Ophelias death scene (e.g., dress, flowers, water) from the nineteenth century to the present. According to the work of Elisabeth Bronfen, the merger of the feminine body and death threaten masculinity with radical instability (18); hence, visual artists prevent their Ophelias from looking truly dead. Ironically, the image of Ophelia, a Shakespeare-brand product, is currently being misapplied to unrelated materials (e.g., souvenirs, CD covers)creating an issue precisely of nonreferentiality (20). After arguing that Ophelias literary and visual bodies converge, this article concludes that Ophelias complete story can only be discerned from the original source, the text (22-23). [ top ] Philip, Ranjini. The Shattered Glass: The Story of (O)phelia. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 73-84. FEMINISM / OPHELIA This article proposes that Ophelias story anticipates Gilbert and Gubars analysis of the way to achieve an integrated self transcending the dichotomy of good and bad women (73). Ophelia initially appears as a nothing and has been file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (13 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism critically viewed as a negative nothing (74), but she moves to a greater, though incomplete, reconciliation of self (75): her madness liberates her voice and sexuality; and, as an assertion of will, her suicide is an act that confronts disillusionment, madness, and death (80). Unlike Gertrude (who cannot look at Hamlets mirror), Ophelia meets and momentarily merges with her reflection/double in the surface of the water. She metaphorically shatters the glass, as Gilbert and Gubar prescribe. Her resultant death suggests Shakespeares understanding of his Elizabethan audience and of its perceptions of the female/feminine. Ophelias death leads to the climactic confrontation among the males and allows her to fulfill the role of mythic heroine (81). The story of Ophelia then is one of nobility and heroism, of self-awareness and selfintegration (81). [ top ] Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Anti-theatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63. FEMINISM / HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / QUEER THEORY After acknowledging the complications of studying sexuality before the late eighteen hundreds and the feminist efforts to historicize misogyny, this article examines Hamlet to demonstrate how misogyny intersects with a nascent form of homophobia, a cultural fear of male-male sexual bonding articulated in the anti-theatrical tracts (49). A survey of anti-theatrical propaganda reveals cultural anxieties about effeminacy, sexual promiscuity (e.g., sodomy), and any behavior that undermines social/patriarchal institutions (53). Hamlet seems to embody the specific juncture of misogyny and fear of male-male sexual desire that the anti-theatrical tracts begin to coordinate (55): he clearly shows misogynistic tendencies with Gertrude and Ophelia; he also voices his attraction to dead or distant men (e.g., Old Hamlet, Yorick, Fortinbras) because his fears of the sodomy stigma restrict the expression of such sentiments to men only in relationships in which physical contact is impossible (56); with Horatio, Hamlet disrupts every moment of potential intimacy by interrupting himself, trivializing his own thoughts, pausing, and then changing the discussion topic to theatrical plays (57). Hamlets behavior demonstrates the power of anti-theatrical homophobia to regulate male behavior and expresses the anti-theatrical complex that . anticipates modern homophobia (57). While the playwright comes close to overtly acknowledging the cultural/anti-theatrical association of sodomy with the male homosociality of theatre life, A metaphoric treatment of anti-theatrical concerns, including homophobia, corresponds toand possibly follows fromthe meta-theatrical concerns that structure form and character in file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (14 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism Hamlet (58). [ top ] Roberts, Katherine. The Wandering Womb: Classical Medical Theory and the Formation of Female Characters in Hamlet. Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 15 (1995): 223-32. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay approaches wombsickness (a.k.a. hysteria) as a condition, described early in patriarchal Western culture, [which] has been a literary motif from classical to modern literature (223). Evidence spanning from Greek medical theories to the doctrines of sixteenth-century physicians testifies to the belief that the female womb has physiological needs (e.g., sexual intercourse); left unmet, these demands result in hysteria. Simultaneously, stringent social codes of the Renaissance restricted female sexuality. A patriarchal culture defined womensocially and medicallyby their relationships to men. Ophelia and Gertrude suffer classic symptoms of wombsickness. As a young girl of marriageable age and emotional instability, Ophelia is a prime candidate for wombsickness. She has been mentally and physically preparing herself for marriage/sex with Hamlet; but in the loss of all male figures to guide and support her, Ophelia becomes completely vulnerable to her own femaleness (229). Gertrude also suffers symptoms of hysteria, according to Hamlets account of a woman whose physiology apparently required frequent intercourse (230). In the absence of her original husband to sate and govern her sexual energies, Gertrude is easily seduced, and her disorderly behavior damages the society. As her natural guardian, Hamlet must intervene to constrain herhence the closet scene (231). While Gertrude properly responds to his chastising by transferring her allegiance from Claudius to Hamlet, and in a sense recovering from her wombsickness, it is too late to prevent the destruction of the thrones inhabitants. This article makes no definitive claims about Shakespeares intentions but notes that Renaissance literature reflects and reinforces previously developed concepts of women, bringing those concepts into the twentieth century (232). [ top ] Shand, G. B. Realising Gertrude: The Suicide Option. Elizabethan Theatre XIII. Ed. A. L. Magnusson and C. E. McGee. Toronto: Meany, 1994. 95-118. file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (15 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / PERFORMANCE This article uses an actorly exploration of Hamlet to account for how an apparent subtextual subversion of the script [Gertrudes conscious act of suicide] might actually have its birth not in wilful actorly or directorly selfindulgence, but in close and honest realisation of the textual evidence (99). Gertrude exists in a male-dominated world, where she is commanded by males and offered no privacy. Her limited ability to speak does not reflect ignorance, as several critics have contended, but the Renaissances expectations of the female gender. These social constraints produce in Gertrude an impacted condition, a state of painfully ingrown pressure to react (106). Meanwhile, an astute Gertrude begins to recognize her sin in an incestuous marriage, as well as her inadvertent responsibility for the murder of Hamlet, Sr. and all subsequent events (e.g., Polonius death, Ophelias madness). The Mousetrap guarantees consequential guilt, which appears evident in the closet scene. While Polonius murder suggests her association between guilt and death, Gertrudes description of Ophelias drowning marks a personal desire for death. This alert Gertrude cannot miss the development of an alliance between Claudius and Laertes, the charge of murderer-with-poison against the King, the tension among the males, nor the tainted cup offered to Hamlet during the duel. She consciously drinks the poisoned wine after having been denied virtually any other independent action from the beginning of the play (118). [ top ] Stanton, Kay. "Hamlet's Whores." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 167-88. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / LAERTES / OPHELIA This interpretation explores all the variations of whore-dom in Hamlet. The women are not the only ones prostituted. Like Ophelia, Hamlet is "'whored' by the father": "The older generation incestuously prostitutes the innocence of the younger" (169). Further examples include Polonius prostituting Laertes and Reynaldo with plans of spying and Claudius, the "symbolic father," similarly misusing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (169). But the victims are not entirely innocent either. Hamlet "whores" the theater and its actors--"his great love"--by perverting artistic purpose and integrity (173), and the play-within-the-play "whores him as he has whored it, making him no longer one of the innocent, but one of the 'guilty creatures' at and in the play" (185). Laertes misuses his favorite pastime, fencing, to destroy his perceived enemy (180). The duel, "a gruesome perversion of the sex act" complete with phalluses and pudendum file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (16 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism (181), leaves a dying Hamlet to whore Horatio, Fortinbras to whore Hamlet's story, and a new "bawd" to reestablish the patriarchy (182). Because these males insist on a binary opposition between genders, ever fearing womanly characteristics within themselves, they project their "whorishness" onto female targets, covering over masculine violence (178). The closet scene exemplifies this technique: after Hamlet murders Polonius, Gertrude's "supposed sin is made to overshadow his actual sin and somehow to justify it" (179). Only in death does Ophelia escape the whore image, but she becomes the "worshipped Madonna as Hamlet and Laertes can then safely whore their own selfconstructed images of pure love for her as rationale for violence against each other" (179). The whoring consumes the play, as Hamlet "'whores' Hamlet the prince to be the organ for its art" (183). [ top ] Stone, James W. Androgynous Union and the Woman in Hamlet. Shakespeare Studies 23 (1995): 71-99. FEMINISM This article explores the various ways androgyny, the collapse of sexual difference, is represented (71), as union that erases the ambiguously gendered divisions between mind and body, deeds and words, duty and affect, gives rise to a catastrophic crisis of nondifference (72). In Hamlet, basic dichotomies do not hold, for the play insists on the antithetical collapse of primal antinomies (78). In this world, opposites become indistinguishable for Hamlet (e.g., Old Hamlet/Claudius, Gertrude/Ophelia). While his masculine and ideal father is represented as emasculated by the penetration of liquid (semen = life? or semen = poison?) (83), his Mother is imagined as the masculine aggressor (84). Her crossing of sexual boundaries and collapsing of difference informs the androgyny that so conspicuously marks Hamlets character (85). As high is reduced to low on the axis of social status, so sexual distinctions are likewise undone in death, as in birth and intercourse. Their collapse is what sets off the chain of deaths in the play, which in turn viciously reestablished the cycle of sexual nondifference (a corpse of whichever sex is still a just a corpse) (89). Hamlet returns to Denmark far less anxious about the collapse of boundaries because he comes to understand the solution: destroy difference via the massive implosion that death effects (89-90). Death returns man to the undiscovered country whence he originated, the place where he and woman are joined (foutre) in a common fault or fold, cross-coupled in nondifference (90). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (17 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Feminism Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / BIBLIOGRAPHIC / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL This text begins with a questioning of Hamlet's status within the canon. Although other Shakespearean tragedies (e.g., King Lear) have threatened to displace Hamlet in the past, its position currently seems secure. The section titled "Which Hamlet?" discusses the Folio/Quartos debate, as well as how understanding of the play's meanings and values vary "according to the reader, the actor or the audience" (17). The third chapter examines Hamlet "as a selfcontained fiction which takes history and politics as part of its subject matter" and "as a late-Elizabethan play which can be seen in relation to the history and politics of its own time" (23). The next section explores rhetoric in the play, such as how all of the characters seem to speak in the same linguistic style and how some quotes from the play "have passed into common usage," creating challenges for performers (33). The chapter on gender examines the history of female Hamlets, questions of Hamlet's sex/gender, the play's female characters, and feminism's influence on the study of this tragedy. "The Afterlife of Hamlet" discusses how editors, actors, and directors "have added to the multiplicity of Hamlets by cutting and rearranging that text" (52), how the drama has been adapted to popular mediums, and how it has been appropriated for political purposes in various countries. The conclusion foresees an optimistic future for Hamlet, and assortment of illustrations and a select bibliography round out the monograph. [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/feminism.html (18 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:01 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Genre Studies Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Bell, Millicent. Hamlet, Revenge! Hudson Review 51 (1998): 310-28.n Partee, Morriss Henry. Hamlet and the Persistence of Comedy. Hamlet Studies 14 (1992): 9-18.n Raffel, Burton. Hamlet and the Tradition of the Novel. Explorations in Renaissance Culture 22 (1996): 31-50. Bell, Millicent. Hamlet, Revenge! Hudson Review 51 (1998): 310-28. GENRE / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM This article perceives Hamlet as contemporary and as belonging to that latest Renaissance moment which Shakespeare shares with Montaigne. Yet it deliberately frames its modernity within an archaic kind of story (311). The stock characteristics of the revenge drama genre receive modernist twists, as if Shakespeare struggles to evade tradition and audience expectations (314). For example, the traditional Revengers feigning of madness should divert suspicions, but Hamlets use of a mask draws attention and raises questions of appearance versus reality; Hamlets elements of the metadrama and the mystery play also contribute to such questions, challenging the distinctions between theater/reality and actor/audience. Another conundrum presented in the play is the problem of self-conception. Hamlet appears so pliable in nature, through appearances and contradictions, that he seems the dramatic embodiment of Montaignes Essays, which denied the stabilityor even realityof personal essence (319). He also seems tortured by the Shakespearean periods anxiety over the new man who challenged prescribed form (320). But Hamlet must come to terms with the conflict between thought and action; he must accept his primary role of Revenger, just as Shakespeare must concede to the audiences expectations (327). [ top ] Partee, Morriss Henry. Hamlet and the Persistence of Comedy. Hamlet Studies file:///S|/bev/loberg/genre.html (1 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:39:02 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Genre Studies Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological 14 (1992): 9-18. GENRE / HAMLET This article views Hamlet as a profound comic figure developing within an intensely tragic context (9). Hamlet initially appears to be the young lover and student, without volition, responsibility, nor self-awareness; he alternates between the extremes of depression and merriment, while remaining subordinate to authority (e.g., Claudius). But he gradually sheds these trappings of comic detachment (13) and begins to acquire the traditional characteristics of a tragic figure (e.g., personal guilt, moral responsibility). Hamlets shift parallels the state of Denmark, which originally seems stable but is slowly revealed as corrupt. Hamlets transformation is complete in the final moments of his life, when political concerns receive his focused attention and mature handling. Interestingly, Fortinbras convenient claiming of the throne represents a distinct return to the domestic tranquility of comedy (16). Ultimately, Hamlets complexity stems from the interacting modes of comedy and tragedy (16). [ top ] Raffel, Burton. Hamlet and the Tradition of the Novel. Explorations in Renaissance Culture 22 (1996): 31-50. GENRE This article contends that there surely is something about Hamlet that simply does not get onto the stage, is never performed, and perhaps cannot be (3334). The play appears as a theatrical entity that bears striking resemblances to much of what would be finding its way into the English novel in another century or so (35). While Renaissance drama, unlike the novel, generally does not consist of three-dimensional characters nor of character-based plots, Shakespeare seems to be striving for both in Hamletand against the limitations of his medium/period. His exploration of interior depths, which the novel offers, succeeds in providing more questions to think about than we can answer (41). For example, why does Hamlet delay? Does he love Ophelia? Is he truly mad or merely feigning? Perhaps Shakespeare could not even answer all of these questions, but on some level he was seeking answers (40). Hamlets unresolvable issues, and their unresolvability is intrinsic to the artistic situation in which . Shakespeare increasingly found himself (47). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/genre.html (2 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:39:02 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Genre Studies This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/genre.html (3 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:39:02 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama Metaphysics n Barker, Walter L. The heart of my mystery: Emblematic Revelation in the Hamlet Play Scene. Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 75-98.n Campbell, Dowling G. The Double Dichotomy and Paradox of Honor in Hamlet: With Possible Imagery and Rhetorical Sources for the Soliloquies. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 13-49.n Cefalu, Paul A. Damned Custom . Habits Devil: Shakespeares Hamlet, Anti-Dualism, and the Early Modern Philosophy of Mind. ELH 67 (2000): 399-431. 8 May 2001.n Champion, Larry S. A springe to catch woodcocks: Proverbs, Characterization, and Political Ideology in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 24-39.n Cleaves, David. To Thine Own Self be False: Polonius as a Danish Seneca. Shakespeare Yearbook 3 (1992): 45-61.n Coyle, Martin. Hamlet, Gertrude and the Ghost: The Punishment of Women in Renaissance Drama. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (Oct. 1996): 29-38.n DiMatteo, Anthony. Hamlet as Fable: Reconstructing a Lost Code of Meaning. Connotations 6.2 (1996/1997): 158-79.n Dunn, Leslie C. Ophelias Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine. Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones. New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 50-64.n Hamana, Emi. Whose Body Is It, Anyway?A re-Reading of Ophelia. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 143-54.n Hart, Jeffrey. Hamlets Great Song. Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Revival of Higher Education. By Hart. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. 169-86.n Iwasaki, Soji. Hamlet and Melancholy: An Iconographical Approach. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 37-55.n Kawai, Shoichiro. Hamlets Imagination. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85.n Kim, Jong-Hwan. Waiting for Justice: Shakespeares Hamlet and the Elizabethan Ethics of Revenge. English Language and Literature 43 (1997): 781-97. file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (1 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological n Knowles, Ronald. Hamlet and Counter-Humanism. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 104669).n Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30.n Levy, Eric P. Defeated joy: Melancholy and Eudaemonia in Hamlet. Upstart Crow 18 (1998): 95-109.n Levy, Eric. The Problematic Relation Between Reason and Emotion in Hamlet. Renascence 53.2 (Winter 2001): 83-95.n Nojima, Hidekatsu. The Mirror of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 21-35.n Nyberg, Lennart. "Hamlet, Student, Stoic-Stooge?" Cultural Exchange Between European Nations During the Renaissance: Proceedings of the Symposium Arranged in Uppsala by the Forum for Renaissance Studies of the English Department of Uppsala University, 5-7 June 1993. Ed. Gunnar Sorelius and Michael Srigley. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia 86. Uppsala: Uppsala U, 1994. 123-32.n Sadowski, Piotr. "The 'Dog's day' in Hamlet: A Forgotten Aspect of the Revenge Theme." Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Ed. Jerzy Liman and Jay L. Halio. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 159-68.n Taylor, James O. The Influence of Rapier Fencing on Hamlet. Forum for Modern Language Studies 29.3 (1993): 203-15.n Terry, Reta A. Vows to the blackest death: Hamlet and the Evolving Code of Honor in Early Modern England. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 107086.n Tkacz, Catherine Brown. The Wheel of Fortune, the Wheel of State, and Moral Choice in Hamlet. South Atlantic Review 57.4 (Nov. 1992): 21-38.n Usher, Peter. Advances in the Hamlet Cosmic Allegory. Oxfordian 4 (Fall 2001): 25-49. Barker, Walter L. The heart of my mystery: Emblematic Revelation in the Hamlet Play Scene. Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 75-98. ART / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MOUSETRAP In an effort to explicate the coherence of the Hamlet play scene and the function of The Murther of Gonzago, this essay proposes a description of the scene in the context of emblematic theatre (75). Artistically, an emblem both represents some phenomena or human experience and interprets it in the context of file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (2 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas Neoplatonic truths, patterns, principles, etc., which the Elizabethans in general held to be universal (75). By inserting an emblem (e.g., masque), Shakespeare exploits the interplay of limited and omniscient points of view in order to provide his theatrical audience with an interpretive context for the stage audiences behavior in both the play scene and the drama as a whole (76). Hamlets discussions on theater with Polonius, Horatio, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and the players prepare theatergoers for (and alert them to) the emblematic presentation in the play scene. The dumb-show represents and interprets stage audience behavior by delineating a psychomachia model of human nature which compels the interplay of value oriented and passion driven responses to lost love in all human beings (86). In comparison, the dialogue of the Player-King and Player-King provides voices for the conflicting principles through which transcendental Love shapes the Psychomachia responses to lost love in human nature (91). The Murther of Gonzago, as a figurative mirror of macrocosmic principle and microcosmic human nature, delineates the variable pattern of moral reductiveness, passionate actions, and slanderous misreadings in which all human beings, individually and collectively, act out blind and poisoning responses to lost love (91). Aside from the various emotional, spiritual, and mental poisonings in Hamlet, the final scene stages a dance macabre of literal poisoningsby sword and cup, by intent and mischance, feigned and overt, forced and accidental, single and doublein which the characters complete their tragic destruction of each other (96). Seen historically, Shakespeares use of The Murther of Gonzago masque demonstrates that he thought and wrote in the modes of emblematic and Neoplatonic discourse that dominated Elizabethan art and sensibilities, and that he was very good at it (96). [ top ] Campbell, Dowling G. The Double Dichotomy and Paradox of Honor in Hamlet: With Possible Imagery and Rhetorical Sources for the Soliloquies. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 13-49. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / RHETORICAL In addition to proposing some important source considerations of publications on honor (19) and exploring how some critics (e.g., Watson, Desai) have come so close (but failed) to identifying the key dichotomy in Hamlet, this essay suggests that Shakespeare uses the vengeance convention to dramatize a paradox, one that is difficult to decipher because of language limitations: the inherently and tragically violent virtue/vengeance dichotomy within the honor code (13). To avoid linguistic confusion with a single English word that signals diverse/conflicting meanings, this article utilizes the Spanish terms honor and honra: honor refers to humility and forgiveness and expanded, private, internal goodness, whereas honra file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (3 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas signifies pride and vengeance, public satisfaction or retribution (22). Honra seems the primary tenet of everyone in Denmarkexcept the Prince: honor is instinctive and implicit in Hamlets nature (13-14). But he also wants to believe that he shares the same principles, assumptions, and beliefs (and social constructs) as everyone else (24). It is Hamlets simultaneous and continuos struggle with both sides of the dichotomy that constitutes his superlative characterization . ., his depth of feeling, his passion (24). The devastating tug of war between private and public behaviors and values occurs in Hamlets soul, as the soliloquies confirm, and explains the hesitance or delay or dilemma (14). Shakespeare infuses Hamlets soliloquies with the dichotomy, starting with no blame, working into self-blame, and ending with a futile pledge of bloody vengeance. It is the failure of vengeance to uproot Hamlets sense of virtue which causes the underlying intensity (37). Nothing can shake an innate virtuous sensibility and spur Hamlet into killing, not the disgusting elemental considerations in the graveyard (36-37), and not the shock of Ophelias death (35). Claudius has to trick Hamlet into so much as drawing his sword (35). But even then, Virtue rules (35): Hamlet is apologetic to Laertes, causing the conspirator to feel sorry and to lament the lethal plan in an aside (35). The split within the honor code, complete with devastating paradox, is what troubles Hamlet and Shakespeare (23). Shakespeare seems to be striving to articulate the hypocrisy of the honor code itself throughout his canon (43-44). In Hamlet (and Hamlet), he creates a major theme with the honor/honra paradox, even if he lacks those two little terms (46). [ top ] Cefalu, Paul A. Damned Custom . Habits Devil: Shakespeares Hamlet, AntiDualism, and the Early Modern Philosophy of Mind. ELH 67 (2000): 399-431. 8 May 2001. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay briefly examines some modern and pre-modern theories of the mindthose of Gilbert Ryle, Putnam, Augustine, Pomponazzi, and Jeremy Taylorin order to suggest first that Renaissance philosophy and theology held theories of the mind that resemble modern-day anti-dualistic accounts of behaviorism and functionalism, and second that Shakespeares Hamlet is implicated in this behaviorist-functionalist tradition rather than in the innatist tradition into which it has usually been placed (400). Too often critics mistakenly conflate third-person statements about Hamlets mental states with Hamlets firstperson reports, reports which aim to understand the role of behavior, habit, and custom in knowing and acting, rather than to explore any Cartesian theater of the file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (4 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas mind (400). In actuality, for most of the play Hamlet is a radical Rylean behaviorist, inasmuch as he believes mental phenomena and predicates gain meaning only when they are identified in a one-to-one relationship with behavioral predicates (400). Shaping Hamlets behaviorism is the early modern assimilation of the Augustine-Protestant theory of the ineradicability of vicious habits (400). Hamlets understanding of the theological construal of habit helps to explain both his irresolution . and his sense that personal identity or subjective states are identical with customary behavioral dispositions (400-01). In reifying and objectifying habits, he imagines persons to be constituted by behavior, custom, and dispositional states all the way down, so that they are unendowed with what Derek Parfit would describe as any further facts to their psychological identity, such as disembodied minds or thoughts (401). Hamlet inherits a widely-held Augustine-Protestant preoccupation with the tortured relationship among habit, sin, and action. If there is any incredible objective correlative operating in the play, it describes Hamlets over-indulgence in, and misconstrual of, this tradition, which recognized the utility of retaining virtuous patterns of conduct as correctives to customary sin (428). [ top ] Champion, Larry S. A springe to catch woodcocks: Proverbs, Characterization, and Political Ideology in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 24-39. HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL This article analyzes Shakespeares conscious use of proverbs to develop and enhance characterization and also to lend emotional and intellectual credibility to an ideological leitmotif that foregrounds political issues of concern to the Elizabethan spectator (26). The proverbs spoken by Polonius, Laertes, and Ophelia reflect an intellectual shallowness; Claudius proverbs suggest something sinister and Machiavellian about his character; and Hamlets proverbs (as well as the ones others use to describe the Prince) reveal something of the complexity of the man (28). Aside from helping to develop characters, Shakespeares application of proverbs also forces the spectators attention to political issues that underlie the major action (32), such as the struggle for power and concern for legitimacy. Given the political climate of the Elizabethan period, Shakespeares audience was interested in these political matters. The playwright uses proverbs to generate a high degree of interest in oppositional politics by depicting diverse ideologies that compete on stage in recreated Denmark and in the minds of the English spectators (34). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (5 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas Cleaves, David. To Thine Own Self be False: Polonius as a Danish Seneca. Shakespeare Yearbook 3 (1992): 45-61. HISTORY OF IDEAS / POLONIUS This article proposes that Polonius invites comparison to Senecanot to the tragedies or essays, but rather to the biography of Seneca himself (45). Regardless of current research on Seneca, Renaissance publications, as well as John Marstons The Malcontent, reflect negative opinions of the Roman. In this historical context, Seneca and Polonius share several characteristics: both are hypocrites, flatters, and ministers to tyrants (Nero and Claudius, respectively). Although Polonius appears as an imitation of Seneca, he also mocks the Senecan philosophy; but perhaps parody is a necessary choice for the playwright trying to avoid the unfashionable style of Senecan imitation. Fluctuating between derision and concurrence, Shakespeare reveals his familiarity with Thomas Nashes criticism of Senecan imitations through subtle clues within the play. According to this article, Shakespeare found the advice of Nashe and of Nashes supporters to be worth not only ridicule but obedience (57). [ top ] Coyle, Martin. Hamlet, Gertrude and the Ghost: The Punishment of Women in Renaissance Drama. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (Oct. 1996): 29-38. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM By presenting Hamlet in the context of the Renaissance drama canon, this essay argues that Hamlets difficulties over Gertrude are not so much psychological as political, or, more accurately perhaps, ideological (29). A survey of Renaissance revenge tragedies (e.g., A Woman Killed with Kindness, Othello, The Changeling, Tis Pity Shes a Whore, The Revengers Tragedy) reveals the key codes of disciplining an adulteress: the male has a duty to punish the female (and perhaps to rescue her soul) (31); the punishment is a reclaiming of rights over her body and control of her will (33); any physical violence must be within the boundaries of propriety (e.g., suffocation) (33); and only husbands or lovers are permitted to kill the woman (34). This brief study also highlights the importance of the marital bed as a symbol. Hamlets protagonist repeatedly stresses Gertrudes soiled bed, revealing a primary concern to restore the royal bed to its former status as a symbol of chaste marriage, fidelity, loyalty, innocence (37). In the closet scene, the son breaks with the Ghost by attempting to punish (and to save) the adulteress with verbal violence, but Gertrude can only be saved by her true husband, Old Hamlet, who, of course, cannot help or harm her (36); her file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (6 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas destiny is sealed by sexual codes that lie outside their [the Ghosts and Hamlets] control and, indeed, outside the control of the text (36). In the final scene, Hamlet acts in his own right to avenge his mother and himself rather than as an agent of his father (35). By moving away from the tradition of the Oedipus Complex, this interpretation shows how different Hamlet is from the play modern psychological criticism had given us (37). [ top ] DiMatteo, Anthony. Hamlet as Fable: Reconstructing a Lost Code of Meaning. Connotations 6.2 (1996/1997): 158-79. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MYTHIC CRITICISM / OPHELIA This article explores how the nexus of Hamlet and mythic heroes links with another analogy between fable and history that involves an unsettling convergence of spirits (159), how Shakespeares audience perceived the myths cognitive potential . to have great speculative power (159-60), as well as how myths are enlisted but also deeply called into question by Hamlet (160). A comparison of terminology, imagery, and plot between mythology and the play identifies parallels between Hamlet / Adonis / Orpheus / Vulcan / Aeneas / Hercules and Ophelia / Venus / Dido. While classical points of contact suggest a symbolic coding and an implied range of meanings, they also locate Hamlet in a relationship to a specific audience or readership trained in academic recital and exegesis of Ovid and Virgil (164). Due to the hermeneutical traditions as they had come to evolve in the late Renaissance, one must read myth allusions in Hamlet not archetypically but stenographically (165). For example, the acquired double potential of myth allowing it to serve simultaneously as examples of human virtue and vice complexly connects in the play with Hamlets anxiety not only about his fathers apparition but also his own thoughts (165). Is the Ghost a reliable source or Vulcan (a daimon) forging his son (or a soul) into an agent of evil (167)? Are Hamlets imaginings merely misconceptions or the results of a moral contamination (166)? The analogies between Hamlets experience and that of his mythic predecessors indicate how Hamlet in plot, terms and phrases lingers over a whole range of ancient concerns through which late Renaissance culture both couched and covered over its own ambition and fears (167-68). Arguably, Hamlet stages the death not only of Hamlet but of the typically Renaissance belief in eloquence as some ultimate civilizing or enlightening process (172). The implied cleft between the miraculous possibilities posited in fable and the brute mortality of historical events in Denmark can also be sensed in the play if we consider the contrary influences of Ovid and Virgil upon the myths that the play takes up (173): Hamlet seems caught between the Virgilian sublime and Ovidian mutability (173-74), and Virgils permanent order and file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (7 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas Ovids flux seem to vie for influence over the play (174). By bringing these parallelisms with figures from epic and fable to bear upon the history of Hamlet, the play acts out the tragic pathos that results when history and myth are implicitly revealed to be irreconcilable (175). The conflict of myth and history and of art and life is densely articulated through symbolic shorthand in Hamlet (175). [ top ] Dunn, Leslie C. Ophelias Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine. Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones. New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 50-64. FEMINISM / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MUSIC / OPHELIA This essay argues that the representation of Ophelias madness involves a mapping of her sexual and psychological difference onto the discursive difference of music and that this dramatic use of music reflects the broader discourse of music in early modern English culture, with its persistent associations between music, excess and the feminine (52). Early modern British writers contend with the conflicting ideologies of music inherited from Platonic and Christian thought: music represents the earthly embodiment of divine order, but it also introduces sensuous immediacy and semantic indeterminacy (56). While Pythagorean harmony is music in its positive or masculine aspect, music also possesses the capability of cultural dissonance in its negative or feminine aspect (58). In Hamlet, singing allows Ophelia to become both the literal and the figurative dissonance that expresses marginalities (59). Her representation draws on gender stereotypes of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage and simultaneously dislocates them (60): If Ophelias singing lets the woman out, then, it does so in such a way as to problematize cultural constructions of womens song, even while containing her within their re-presentation; but her disruptive feminine energy must be reabsorbed into both the social and the discursive orders of the play (62). Gertrudes description of Ophelias drowning re-appropriates Ophelias music and aestheticizes her madness, makes it pretty (63). Rather than dismiss Ophelias singing as a conventional sign of madness, critics should acknowledge its significance by making her singing our subject (64). [ top ] Hamana, Emi. Whose Body Is It, Anyway?A re-Reading of Ophelia. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 143-54. file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (8 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas FEMINISM / HISTORY OF IDEAS / OPHELIA According to this article, although Hamlet treats the question of the female body through masculine ideologies and fantasies, the text is not a closed, monolithic structure, as is demonstrated by the contradictions discussed in this essay (143). A brief examination of Christian tradition and Cartesian dualism explains the Elizabethan tendencies towards misogyny and somatophobia (143). In Hamlet, Gertrudes sinful lust is punished by the objectification and de-sexualization of the body, but the innocent and puppet-like Ophelia also suffers a series of patriarchal oppressions (145). While the mad scene follows the Renaissance theatrical convention and the masculine assumption of mad women as erotomaniacs, it also has a subversive dimension: It invites us to rethink the conceptualization and representation of the female body with contradictions that question patriarchal ideology (146). Ophelias madness disrupts the plays dynamics (146), and grants her autonomy as a subject (147); most importantly, it shows the dualism of mind and body, not as binary opposites but as inseparably related (147-148). This embodying of the mind (149) contrasts sharply with Hamlets aspirations of separating the masculine mind (reason) from the feminine body (148). In the drowning report, the similar merger of mind/body and subject/object represents a different kind of female body: not a fixed entity but a mutable structure (151). Ophelia revolts against those forces that shape her textual boundary, destabilizes patriarchal control, and resists masculine fantasy of order and universalization (152). [ top ] Hart, Jeffrey. Hamlets Great Song. Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Revival of Higher Education. By Hart. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. 16986. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL While continuing the monographs argument that the Renaissance was marked by the intellectual availability of various and often incompatible ways of looking at the world (e.g., Christianity, Machiavellism) (181), this chapter contends that, in Hamlet, Shakespeare clearly decided to express a wide range of poetic possibilities and make him the epitome of his agethe artistic product is a credible human being and even a credible genius (175). Hamlet fully engages most or even all of the contradictory possibilities of the Renaissance, from the lofty aspirations of Pico della Mirandola to bottomless skepticism, from the ideals of humanism to recurrent thoughts of suicide, from the intellectual reaches of Wittenberg to mocking cynicism and an awareness of the yawning grave (178). file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (9 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas The stature of Prince Hamlet as a great tragic hero rests upon the fact that though in all practical terms he was a catastrophethose bodies all over the stagehe nevertheless gave himself to and fully articulated the cosmos available to him in all of its splendor, horror, and multiple contradiction (182). What Hamlet says becomes the core of the play. It is his voice, not his deeds, that dominates the stage . . (169). The great loss, the terror, we feel at the end of the play comes from the realization that his voice, that great song, is now stilled and that nothing like it will be heard again (169). [ top ] Iwasaki, Soji. Hamlet and Melancholy: An Iconographical Approach. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 37-55. ART / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This argument interprets Hamlet as Shakespeares play of Saturn in that the Saturnine atmosphere of melancholy and death, initially brought by the ghost of the dead King Hamlet in the opening scene, is dominant throughout (37). The plays combinations of doomsday/prelapsarian paradise, light/darkness, mirth/mourning, time/timeless (38), uncle/father, aunt/mother, appearance/reality, (40), and order/chaos cause Hamlet to slip into melancholy and to suffer from disillusionment and doubt (41). His posture of melancholy replicates that of the classical Saturn on which is based the icon of melancholy in Renaissance art: a figure who is supposed to be of a melancholy humour, sinister, fond of solitude and to dislike women (39). But Hamlet matures. After experiencing God while at sea, Hamlet is now ready to accept whatever should come (44). Although the final scene is a dramatic version of the Triumph of Death, Hamlet perceives that this scene of so many deaths is neither the triumph of Death nor that of Fortune (45). Because of his readiness, Hamlet finally transcends the life of meditation to attain a higher idealmeditation and action synthesized (46). Hamlet achieves the ideal of the Renaissance, but the real tragedy is that his life is so brief (47). [ top ] Kawai, Shoichiro. Hamlets Imagination. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS The thesis of this article is that Imagination is closely related to both passion and file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (10 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas reason, and it is through his imagination that he [Hamlet] regains his composure in the last Act (74). Notable philosophers (e.g., Bacon, Plato, Burton, Wright, Donne) have long considered imagination as the intermediary between sense and reason: the senses perceive information to create a phantasma or image of an object that the reason judges (74). Hamlet does not have an overactive or problematic imagination; for example, he sees the same ghost that others witness (76), but his awareness of potentially interfering passions motivates him to test his judgement, ergo The Mousetrap. Because passion betrays itself and brings forth a misconceived action (e.g., Polonius murder), Hamlet continuously tries to control his emotions (78). As the arguments surrounding Sir James Hales suicide and the three branches of action show, one has to have some emotions and impulses aroused by imagination in order to complete an act (80). Unfortunately, Hamlets imagination works in such a way that it weakens his resolution instead of strengthening it (81). After his voyage, Hamlets imagination helps him to realize that he was not born to set things right, nor is he Hercules facing a most difficult task (83): if he is to be the heavens scourge and minister (III.iv.175), it is not through his own will, but heavens (83-84). [ top ] Kim, Jong-Hwan. Waiting for Justice: Shakespeares Hamlet and the Elizabethan Ethics of Revenge. English Language and Literature 43 (1997): 781-97. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This study focuses on the Elizabethan ethics concerning revenge and the meaning of Hamlets waiting for justice or delaying for revenge and its meaning will be discussed with reference to the Elizabethan ethics of revenge (782). Shakespeare endows the Ghost with ambiguity, mixing personal vindictiveness with a concern for Gertrude (782), and Elizabethan audiences regarded the ghost which keeps on urging to revenge as a devil (783). Naturally, Hamlet has suspicions about the nature of the Ghost as Elizabethans did, and it is natural that he waits for revenge until he confirms the credibility of the Ghosts statements (782). While The Mousetrap elicits proof of the Ghosts accusations, the command to revenge still contains ethical problems in terms of the Elizabethan ethics (784): All Elizabethan orthodoxy condemned and punished personal revenge (785). But Shakespeares contemporary audience was still influenced by a residual pagan revenge ethic which commanded a person to avenge the murder of a family member. Perhaps Shakespeare hoped to appeal to audiences instinct by presenting an individuals struggle against ruthless revenge and his reluctance to be the conventional revenger (788). Fortunately, the contradiction between the official code of the Elizabethan ethics of revenge file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (11 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas and the popular code of revenge is resolved in the final scene of the play (794). Hamlet appears as an agent to practice the public revenge or justice through the hand of Providence, when Claudius crime was exposed to public. Through this device, Shakespeare made the Elizabethan audiences sympathize strongly with Hamlets final action; he abstains from ruthless vengeance. His action might have had their emotional approval and not disturbed their moral judgement (788). Hamlets action of waiting for justice and delaying injustice, the core of his action, may be admired from either the Christian point of view or the view point of the Elizabethan ethics (795). [ top ] Knowles, Ronald. Hamlet and Counter-Humanism. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 1046-69). HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This essay reexamines the question of subjectivity in Hamlet by reappraising the significance of the Renaissance revival of philosophic skepticism; the continued debate between medieval views of the misery of mans life and the Renaissance celebration of existence; the particular importance of the commonplace in the theory and practice of dialectical and rhetorical topics (1066). In the anguish of grief and loathing Hamlets subjectivity is realized in a consciousness which rejects the wisdom of tradition for the unique selfhood of the individual (1066). Yet culture is as much within as without the mind and Hamlet is forced to submit to the plot and history, albeit in a series of burlesque roles, but for a moment he has stood seemingly, Looking before and after (4.4.37), back to antiquity and forward to our own age . in which identity crisis has become a commonplace expression (1066-67). [ top ] Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30. GHOST / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay proposes that, by considering Hamlet within the context of the Reformation and the concurrent skeptical crisis, the distinctly epistemological making of Hamlets ineffectuality takes on an intriguing historical dimension: it suggests the utter ineffectuality of human knowledge as this ineffectuality was file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (12 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas advocated by contemporary skeptics (218). The opening scene presents the debacle of human knowledge (219), the mixed, inconsistent, confused, and tentative versions of human understanding through the uselessness of Horatios learning to communicate with the Ghost and the in-conclusiveness of Bernardos Christian narrative to explain the spirit (220). This contradistinction with standard versions of early modern skepticism, which vindicate and embrace human ignorance as against the violent pressures of early modern religious dogmatism, suggests Shakespeare to be anxious about uncertainty and its discontents in a way that Greek and humanist skeptics never are (220). Hamlets direct echoing of contemporary thinkers as diverse as Montaigne and Bruno only strengthens the impression that the play, far from representing a systematic or even coherent line of thought, virtually subsumes the intellectual confusion of the age (221). The ghost functions as the very emblem of such confusion (221), withholding the type of knowledge most crucial to early modern minds: religious knowledge (220). The very issues that are associated, in the Gospels, with the defeat of skeptical anxiety, had become, during the Reformation, axes of debate, rekindling skeptical anxiety rather than abating it (223). In this context, the Ghost appears as an implicit, or inverted, revelation (222), a grotesque, parodic version of Christ resurrected (223): instead of elevating Hamlet to a truly novel and unprecedented level of knowledge (224), the Ghost leaves Hamlet with nothing but ignorance (222). Hamlet claims to believe the Ghost after The Mousetrap, but his ensuing blunders debunk the sense of certainty that he pretends to have established (227). The problem seems the inescapably political world of Denmark, where errors, partial judgements, and theological (mis)conceptions are never only academic, they cost people their lives and cannot, therefore, be dismissed as unavoidable and innocuous imperfections or indifferent trifles, as Montaigne and Pyrrhonist believe (228). [ top ] Levy, Eric P. Defeated joy: Melancholy and Eudaemonia in Hamlet. Upstart Crow 18 (1998): 95-109. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL Approaching Hamlets melancholy in terms of eudaemonia or the classical idea of happiness, this article explores how Hamlets pain is eventually linked with a distinctly tragic doctrine of eudaemonia according to which unhappiness or dysdaemonia can fulfill a purpose higher than eudaemonia (95). In a classical context, happiness is not merely a state but the ultimate goal or telos of life, directed by virtue and achieved by the appropriate use of an aptitude or capacity (96). Unfortunately, the Ghosts call for revenge launches Hamlet on a dramatically ambivalent course of thought (III.iii.83) concerning the proper file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (13 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas exercise of his own thinking (97), making him eudaemonistically challenged (98). Hamlets antithetical pronouncements on the proper exercise of reason reflectand to some extent epitomizethe great antipodes of Renaissance moral doctrine: Stoicism and opportunism (98). According to Stoicism, happiness or eudaemonia requires emotionless acceptance of circumstance over which the individual has no final control; But according to opportunism, happiness or eudaemonia results from the deft exploitation of circumstance (105). The Murder of Gonzago emphasizes the conflict between these opponent interpretations of fortune: the impromptu staging of that play exemplifies shrewd opportunism, but the Player-King stoically articulates the fragility of human enterprises (III.i.86) (105). The disjunction between Stoicism and opportunismacceptance of universal scheme or exploitation of immediate circumstanceachieves reconcilement (V.ii.243) in the notion of the drama, Hamlet, as subsuming design unfolded through the singular actions of character (106). For example, Hamlet opportunistically rewrites his own death warrant but is acutely aware of a higher power directing his destiny. Hence, the notion of play or drama not only becomes a metaphor for the encompassing design of end-shaping divinity, but also underscores Hamlets own status as the eponymous hero of the tragedy concerning him (106). [ top ] Levy, Eric. The Problematic Relation Between Reason and Emotion in Hamlet. Renascence 53.2 (Winter 2001): 83-95. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This article suggests that, though Hamlet is filled with references to the need for rational control of emotion, the play probes much deeper into the relation between reason and emotionparticularly with respect to the role of reason in provoking as opposed to controlling emotion (84). According to the classical definition, man is the rational animal whose reason has the ethical task of rationally ordering the passions or emotional disturbances of what is formally termed the sensitive appetite (83). But the Aristotelian-Thomist notion of sorrow holds that reason not only controls emotion but also provokes it, as inward pain is perceived by the minda mental event that cannot exist without thought (88). The Aristotelian-Thomist synthesis proposes that inward pain seeks relief through outward expression (90). Yet such a purging of inner pain can subject its audience to tremendous strain, as the play demonstrates, for example, through the effects that Hamlets destructive guise of madness have on Ophelia (90). Instead of relief through outer expression, the play suggests that inward pain can be escaped by recognition/understanding of how thought contributes to it and by modification of the mode of thought creating that pain (89). For example, file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (14 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas Claudius advises Hamlet to end his prolonged mourning by accepting the inevitability of death (89); and Hamlet soothes his misgiving prior to the duel by shifting his focus to providence (90). Interestingly, his embracing of providence allows Hamlet to convert, what the Aristotelian-Thomist doctrine terms as the anxiety and perplexity induced by unforeseen circumstance into emotional peace through mental awareness (91-92)Let be (5.2.220). While AristotelianThomist synthesis perceives the role of reason as controlling emotion, through moderation, Hamlet uses his thinking to transform emotion (93)there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so (2.2.249-50). The highest task of conscience in Hamlet concerns the moral evaluation not only of the objects of thought or apprehension, but also of the act of thinking about those objects, for There remains the responsibility of thought to recognize the emotional consequences of its own activity (94). [ top ] Nojima, Hidekatsu. The Mirror of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 21-35. ART / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM This article approaches Hamlet as a play reflective of the Renaissances discovery of perspective (21). A survey of innovations in visual and literary arts shows that the discovery of an individual point of view necessarily brings about a subjective or relativistic perception of the world (24). In Hamlet, the Prince, after his mothers re-marriage, becomes a prisoner of the curious perspective in which everything seems double (28): The conscience (consciousness) of Hamlet caught in the collusion of these double-images [e.g., reality/dream, waking/sleeping, action/inaction, reason/madness] is imprisoned in a labyrinth of mirrors (28-29). In the curious perspective, the revenging hero (by feigning madness) doubles as the fool; hence, Hamlets motives for revenge are undermined by the complicity of the Fool with the Hero which necessarily reduces all to absurdity or nothing (30). The good or bad is nothing but an anamorphosis reflected in the curious perspective of Hamlets inner world (30). The structure of this play is likewise a labyrinth of mirrors. Various themes echo with one another like images reflected between mirrors (31). Examples include the multiple models of the father/son relationship and the revenge theme. In addition, Almost all the characters are spies in Hamlet, further suggesting the curious perspective; the recurrent poison theme also seems reflected in the mirror (32). All of the plotting characters become ensnared in their own traps, because reflexives of plotting and plotter are nothing but an image in the reflector (33). Adding to the complexity, the dramatic genre leaves Hamlet to the liberty and responsibility of an actors or an audiences or a readers several file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (15 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas curious perspective (34). [ top ] Nyberg, Lennart. "Hamlet, Student, Stoic-Stooge?" Cultural Exchange Between European Nations During the Renaissance: Proceedings of the Symposium Arranged in Uppsala by the Forum for Renaissance Studies of the English Department of Uppsala University, 5-7 June 1993. Ed. Gunnar Sorelius and Michael Srigley. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia 86. Uppsala: Uppsala U, 1994. 123-32. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS Attempting "a synthesis of what has been discovered about the intellectual and theatrical nature of the play," this study approaches Hamlet "from the point of view of the idea of role-playing, as it is explored in the play and reflected in the intellectual background, especially in the Italian sources of Castiglione and Machiavelli" (125). The very "idea of role-playing, which in many of the comedies is explored with a sense of joy and liberation, is in Hamlet more often than not viewed with disgust" (127). For example, Hamlet spends much of the play not only trying out roles for himself but making the masks of others slip (128-29). Castiglione considers an individuals mask "affectation" (127). Hamlet has the "skill to read the deceptive masks of others," as the nunnery scene proves (129). But he never really succeeds in unmasking Claudius with The Mousetrap. The problem is that the King "is as skillful a role-player as Hamlet himself" (129). Both share striking characteristics of Machiavellism (130) and of an adeptness with improvisation (129). Even their "expressions for a belief in providence" are eerily similar (130). Together, Claudius and Hamlet suggest the play's conflicting assessments of role-playing: "On the one hand the role-playing capacity of man is celebrated but, on the other hand, the immoral purposes it can be employed for give it a dark tinge" (131). [ top ] Sadowski, Piotr. "The 'Dog's day' in Hamlet: A Forgotten Aspect of the Revenge Theme." Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Eastern and Central European Studies. Ed. Jerzy Liman and Jay L. Halio. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1993. 15968. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS Focusing primary on Hamlet's words to Laertes-"The cat will mew, and dog will file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (16 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas have his day" (5.1.292)-this essay proposes that many of Hamlet's "cryptic statements" have a "profound significance and point to a complex of ideas existing outside of Shakespeare's text in the sources and traditions to which Hamlet's story originally belonged" (159). For example, possible Hamlet sources (e.g., Historia Danica, History of Rome, Ambales saga, Shahname) consistently contain "the identification of the heroes with dogs or wolves in their role of fierce avengers and rectifiers of their wrongs" (161). These "canine allusions" "refer to a well-defined complex of cultural ideas and rituals, particularly characteristic of pre-Christian Scandinavia, in which canine symbolism played a dominant role" (161). Hamlet's "barbaric, 'canine' soul" ultimately awakens in the play's final scene, doing justice to "the vast and old heroic tradition of pagan Scandinavia" (166). [ top ] Taylor, James O. The Influence of Rapier Fencing on Hamlet. Forum for Modern Language Studies 29.3 (1993): 203-15. DUEL / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This article contends that Hamlets transformation in the last act of the play, Rosencrantz and Guildensterns execution, as well as the slayings of Claudius and Laertes are best understood if seen in the context of fencing, the imagery of which informs and illuminates the play (203). A brief survey of Elizabethan fencing trends and of Vincentio Saviolos guidance to duelers provides an informative backdrop for the argument based on the relationship between the rapier as an effective weapon and the word as a rapieran even more effective weapon (205). Throughout Hamlet, fencing and language are related because Hamlets metaphorical sharpening and focusing of language mirrors the duelists need to keep his weapon honed and his skill exercised so that he will be ready to counter any attack (206). For example, Hamlets words in 2.2 moves toward the satiric tradition in which words are wielded as whips and lances and daggers; the Prince turns to Juvenal for instruction in their [words] use because he has not yet fully mastered their power (208); Hamlets meeting with the players marks the moment when the satirist and avenger coalesce in Hamlet, as he grasps the potential of language to strip pretence from the hypocrites and cut deceit from corrupt statesmen (209); with Gertrude and Ophelia, Hamlets speech becomes pointed and rapier-edged: he is as menacing and relentless as the aggressive swordsman who presses every advantage in the fray (212). With the death order for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet heeds Saviolos warning that the duellist could not afford the luxury of merely wounding or disabling his opponent. The duel was an all-or-nothing venture (213). Saviolos wisdom is also obeyed when Hamlet launches a proper frontal assault on Claudius in the final scene. Although hardened by his duel with evil and his futile attempts to avenge his file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (17 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas fathers murder, Hamlet of the final act has maintained his humanity (214). [ top ] Terry, Reta A. Vows to the blackest death: Hamlet and the Evolving Code of Honor in Early Modern England. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 1070-86. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This article attests that analysis of Shakespeares Hamlet, and in particular its characters use of promise, provides new and revealing insights into evolving Renaissance codes of honor (1070). Historical documents show that the Renaissance period marked a transition in the evolution of the code of honor: the medieval external code (e.g., lineage, deeds, loyalty to a lord) coexisted and overlapped with an internalized concept (e.g., conscience, godliness, political allegiance) (1071). But, for all of the changes, the concept of promise did not diminish (1074). In Hamlet, the major characters represent different stages in the evolution of a changing code of honor (1076). For example, Horatio, utterly loyal and obedient to Hamlet, represents the chivalric, medieval concept of honor (1077); and Claudius, manipulator of loyal courtiers, epitomizes the way in which a system of honor that is entirely politicized can be perverted (1082). In comparison, Hamlet appears as a transitional character in the changing code of honor (1079): his initial oath commits him to kill Claudius based on familial loyalty, while his later vows are voiced in terms of Christian images (e.g., Sblod [2.2.336], Gods bodkin [2.2.485]); also, he voices the first oath privately, in a soliloquy but converts it to a public form of oath in discussion with Horatio (1.5.140-41) (1080-81). By medieval standards, Hamlet must avenge his fathers murder; but to kill a king, Gods anointed ruler and an elected king, is to go against the new honor of conscience (1081). Interestingly, Hamlet exacts revenge for his fathers murder only after Claudiuss treachery has been publicly revealed by both Gertrude and Laertes, allowing him to fulfill the initial vow of vengeance and to retain his political/theological honor (1082). But Hamlets effort to find a balance in the shifting honor codes contributes not only to his own tragic death, but to the deaths of several others as well (1084). Through Hamlets characters and their promises, Shakespeare takes a conventional stance in a period of change (1084). [ top ] Tkacz, Catherine Brown. The Wheel of Fortune, the Wheel of State, and Moral Choice in Hamlet. South Atlantic Review 57.4 (Nov. 1992): 21-38. file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (18 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS This essay explores the importance and ramifications of the prayer scene. Themes of duty and kingship, as well as motifs of the wheel and decent, prepare the audience for this crucial scene. The players Hecuba speech also anticipates the prayer scene because it provides an intriguing description of a hesitant Pyrrhus, who parallels Hamlet and Claudius. As Hamlet hesitates to avenge and Claudius hesitates to repent, these two kinsmen who will at last kill each other are here fatally alike (27). The key difference is that Claudius remains unchanged, while Hamlet develops a new viciousness that makes this scene the moral center of the play (28). After leaving Claudius to pray, Hamlet strikes the blow that kills Polonius, he orders the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and his cruelty to Ophelia, orphaned at his hands, leads at least indirectly to her drowning (31). But were Claudius apprehended, imprisoned, or slain before/during the pivotal prayer scene, these deaths and those of the final scene would be completely avoided (31). In the prayer scene, at the center of the play, Hamlets subjection to Fortune shows itself most crucially; by being passions slave, he subjects the wheel of state to the wheel of Fortune (35). [ top ] Usher, Peter. Advances in the Hamlet Cosmic Allegory. Oxfordian 4 (Fall 2001): 25-49. HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL By asserting that Hamlet contains a cosmic allegory, this article suggests that Shakespeare was well aware of the astronomical revolutions of his time, and by dramatizing the triumph of heliocentricism and the infinite universe as a subtext of his great play, he celebrated what is in essence the basis for the modern world view (27). The play appears imbued with allusions to the astronomical debate based on linguistic references to the contemporary scientific terms (e.g., retrograde [1.2.114], infinite space [2.2.259]) and character names borrowed from actual scientists (e.g., Claudius Ptolemy, Marcellus Palingenius Stellatus). Even the plot seems charged, as Shakespeare departs from Historia Danica in the final scene to recognize that the English cosmological contribution is an outgrowth of the Polish contribution: Fortinbras goes first to Poland, to pay homage to the grave of Copernicus, and then upon his return to salute the English ambassadors. Thus the two models favored by Shakespeare, the Polish and the English, are triumphant following the demise of geocentricism, which Claudius and his followers represent (33-34). Aside from discerning meaning in the opaque dialogue between Hamlet, Horatio, and Osric in act five, scene two (42), this cosmological interpretation of Hamlet also uncovers the scientific basis for file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (19 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: History of Ideas Hamlets nutshell (2.2.258). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/historyofideas.html (20 of 20) [11/19/2002 11:39:05 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Jungian Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Oakes, Elizabeth. Polonius, the Man Behind the Arras: A Jungian Study. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 103-16.n Porterfield, Sally F. "Oh Dad, Poor Dad: The Universal Disappointment of Imperfect Parents in Hamlet." Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays. Drama and Theatre Studies 57. Westport: Greenwood P, 1994. 72-98. Oakes, Elizabeth. Polonius, the Man Behind the Arras: A Jungian Study. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 103-16. HAMLET / JUNGIAN / POLONIUS / PSYCHOANALYTIC This reading of Hamlet argues that Polonius represents the archetypal figures of wise old man, fool and scapegoat and that his truncated sacrifice, the climax of the action, contrasts with the transcendent one of Hamlet, the climax of the symbolic level (103). Through Hamlets and Ophelias various references to and descriptions of Polonius, he is linked with the wise old man figure. But unlike the figure responsible for guiding and instructing the hero, Polonius inverts the figure by being overly concerned with his own social/political position (105). Aside from linguistic allusions, the lethal closet scene confirms Polonius status as scapegoat. Polonius is mistaken for the King, suggesting the role of the fool. While Polonius incorporates the fathers in the play into one figure whom Hamlet can confront, the Prince similarly plays the roles of fool and scapegoat (107): His adoption of an antic disposition with a conscious purpose suggests the first, and his sacrifice in the final scene exemplifies the latter (108). But the deaths of the two scapegoats differ: Through symbols connected with the mother archetype, Hamlets sacrifice is, both individually and in its effect on the community, consummate, while Polonius is void (108). For example, Hamlets rebirth occurs at sea, water being a symbolic element of the mother archetype (110), but Polonius does not have such an experience. Also, Hamlets return to Denmark marks a shift in his priorities, from the personal to the communal (111)something Polonius never achieves. In death, Hamlet moves beyond the communal to the spiritual, existing as a realized ideal in Horatios narration, file:///S|/bev/loberg/jungian.html (1 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:39:06 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Jungian Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological while the dead Polonius is only noted for the details concerning his corpse (11112). Perhaps Shakespeares true source is not an Ur-Hamlet but the archetypes that in this play vibrate beneath the surface (112). [ top ] Porterfield, Sally F. "Oh Dad, Poor Dad: The Universal Disappointment of Imperfect Parents in Hamlet." Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays. Drama and Theatre Studies 57. Westport: Greenwood P, 1994. 72-98. HAMLET / JUNGIAN / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay presents a Jungian reading of Hamlet's "universal experience of parental discovery" (74). The death of the "good father" and the remarriage that transforms the "good mother" into a sexual being force "the ideal, archetypal parents of imagination to die a violent death" (75). Hamlet copes with the psychological upheaval by regressing "to an earlier stage of his development": he becomes the "trickster" (75). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern represent "another manifestation of the trickster" (76); hence, the pair must die to mark Hamlet's "integration of the trickster figure" (77) and his ability to leave childhood behind (94). The Gravediggers also appear as the trickster figure to show that "he is not within Hamlet" and that "he has been integrated" (94). In this scene, Laertes functions as the "shadow" and Ophelia as the "rejected anima"; Hamlet "becomes one with both" when he leaps into the grave (94). Horatio is the "self" for Hamlet, "the ideal man he would become" (88), and Fortinbras offers another form of the "self," "the man of action" (97); "these two symbols of the self" merge in the final scene (96-97). But Hamlet's progression towards integration proves difficult, alternating between depression and mania. Only the presence of art (symbolized by the players) causes Hamlet to be "taken out of himself by interest in the world around him," demonstrating his "dependence upon art as salvation" (86). Hamlet's use of The Mousetrap drama suggests a hope "not simply to kill but to redeem" Claudius and "to rediscover the goodness he seeks so desperately in those around him" (87). Ultimately, Hamlet cannot avoid violence, "but he gives us courage, generation after generation, to attempt the ideal while existing with the sometimes nearly unbearable realities that life imposes" (97). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/jungian.html (2 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:39:06 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Jungian This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/jungian.html (3 of 3) [11/19/2002 11:39:06 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Marxism Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Andreas, James R. The Vulgar and the Polite: Dialogue in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 9-23.n Bristol, Michael D. "'Funeral bak'd-meats': Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: St. Martin's, 1994. 348-67. [Reprinted in Susan Zimmerman's Shakespeare's Tragedies (1998).]n Fendt, Gene. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama? An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard. Marquette Studies in Philosophy 21. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1999.n Harries, Martin. The Ghost of Hamlet in the Mine. Scare Quotes from Shakespeare: Marx,Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment. By Harries. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000. 93-122. Andreas, James R. The Vulgar and the Polite: Dialogue in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 9-23. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MARXISM / RHETORICAL Drawing on the ideas of Erving Goffman, Geoffrey Bateson, and Mikhail Bakhtin, this article examines the tension generated by the dialogic interaction of Hamlets rhetoric of the vulgus (the folk, villein, vulgar, the plain, the proverbial, and the parodically double) and Claudius rhetoric of the polis (the polity, policy, polite, police and politically duplicit) in Hamlet (10). The King (and his representatives, e.g., Polonius) attempts to control context, speaks in a fairly straightforward authoritarian voice (15), and restricts and restrains the vulgar (17); in comparison, the Prince fluctuates between multiple contexts, exercises verbal play and parody (15), and introduces the dialogically deviant (17). This dialogical clash of two verbal styles generates Hamlets energy (10). The literary styles and devices seem derived respectivelyand disrespectfullyfrom the master genres of the vulgar and the polite that can still be heard clashing in the streets and courts of today (20). file:///S|/bev/loberg/marxism.html (1 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:39:07 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Marxism Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological [ top ] Bristol, Michael D. "'Funeral bak'd-meats': Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: St. Martin's, 1994. 348-67. [Reprinted in Shakespeare's Tragedies, ed. Susan Zimmerman (1998).] CARNIVAL / CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MARXISM While supplying a summary of Marxist theory and of Bakhtin's principles of the Carnival, this essay contends that Claudius and Hamlet camouflage themselves with carnivalesque masks but that Hamlet has an advantageous "understanding of the corrosive and clarifying power of laughter" (350). Appearing "as a complex variant of the Lord of Misrule," Claudius first speaks of a festive commingling between marriage and death, but he only appropriates carnivalesque themes and values "in order to make legitimate his own questionable authority" (355). Ironically, his means of securing the crown "typically mocks and uncrowns all authority" (356). Although Hamlet initially rejects festivities, his killing of Polonius marks the change in him. Hamlet's use of "grotesque Carnival equivocation" in the following scene with the King, his father/mother, suggests Hamlet's development (358). Hamlet's interaction with "actual representatives of the unprivileged," the Gravediggers, completes Hamlet's training in carnivalism (359). Aside from the "clear and explicit critique of the basis for social hierarchy" (360), this scene shows Hamlet reflecting on death, body identity, community, and laughter. He confronts Yorick's skull but learns that "the power of laughter is indestructible": "Even a dead jester can make us laugh" (361). Now Hamlet is ready to participate in Claudius' final festival, the duel. True to the carnival tendencies, the play ends with "violent social protest" and "a change in the political order" (364). Unfortunately, Fortinbras' claim to the throne maintains "the tension between 'high' political drama and a 'low' audience of nonparticipating witnesses" (365). [ top ] Fendt, Gene. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama? An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard. Marquette Studies in Philosophy 21. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1999. HAMLET / MARXISM / METAPHYSICS / THEOLOGICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/marxism.html (2 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:39:07 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Marxism This monograph begins by surveying the different definitions of religious drama. Chapters two and three discuss the "scholarly cruxes" of Hamlet (e.g., Hamlet's delay) and evokes Aristotle and Aquinas to assist in comprehending "what a religious understanding of Hamlet might be" (16). Chapters four and five explore the contrast between Hamlet and Kierkegaard's and Taciturnus' writings on religious art, "examine the metaphysical and philosophical presuppositions of the ordinary understanding of religious drama as representations bearing on dogmatic truths," and "show how Kierkegaard's indirect communication seeks to avoid that philosophical problematic" (16). The last chapter uses Bataille's theories of religious economies to argue Hamlet's status as a religious drama. [ top ] Harries, Martin. The Ghost of Hamlet in the Mine. Scare Quotes from Shakespeare: Marx, Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment. By Harries. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000. 93-122. GHOST / MARXISM / NEW HISTORICISM While contributing to the monographs argument that Shakespeare provides a privileged language for the apprehension of the supernaturalwhat I call reenchantmentin works by Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and others (1), this chapter begins by identifying Marxs appropriation of Well said, old mole (1.5.162) as an instance of phantasmagoria of a kind, a moment where what is, in theory, emergentthe rupture caused by the revolutiontakes the form of old, in the allusion to Hamlet (97). In comparison, the Ghost, that old mole, is an archaic face for a nascent world of economic exchange (97) because the Ghost in the mine is a spirit of capitalism (98). Hamlets reference to the Ghost as mole, pioneer (1.5.163), and truepenny (1.5.150)all mining termsand the spirits mobile presence in the cellarage scene initiate the matter of the relationship between the economic and authority in Hamlet as a whole (106). For example, Hamlet unsettles the Ghosts authority by calling attention to its theatricality (106)this fellow in the cellarage (1.5.151); but the scene links the Ghost and its haunting to one of the crucial phantasmagorical places of early modern culture: the mine. The mine was at once source for raw materials crucial to the growing capitalist culture and, so to speak, a super-nature preserve, a place where the spirits of popular belief had a continuing life, as historical accounts on mining show (108). Perhaps the cellarage scene aroused fears related to the rising hegemony of capitalist forms of value (108). By focusing on the entanglement of the Ghost and the mine, a different Hamlet becomes visible, one that locates a troubled nexus at the heart of modernitythe phantasmagorical intersection of antiquated but powerful file:///S|/bev/loberg/marxism.html (3 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:39:07 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Marxism authority, the supernatural, and, in the mines, the material base of a commodity culture (116). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/marxism.html (4 of 4) [11/19/2002 11:39:07 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Ahrends, Gnter. "Word and Action in Shakespeare's Hamlet." Word and Action in Drama: Studies in Honour of Hans-Jrgen Diller on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. Ed. Gnter Ahrends, Stephan Kohl, Joachim Kornelius, Gerd Stratmann. Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1994. 93-105.n Anderson, Mary. Hamlet: The Dialect Between Eye and Ear. Renaissance and Reformation 27 (1991): 299-313.n Bell, Millicent. Hamlet, Revenge! Hudson Review 51 (1998): 310-28.n Goldman, Michael. Hamlet: Entering the Text. Theatre Journal 44 (1992): 449-60.n Gorfain, Phyllis. Toward a Theory of Play and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 25-49. [Reprinted in Donald Keeseys Contexts for Criticism (1994) and in Ronald Knowles Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin (1998).]n Hunt, Maurice. Art of Judgement, Art of Compassion: The Two Arts of Hamlet. Essays in Literature 18 (1991): 3-20.n Kottman, Paul A. Sharing Vision, Interrupting Speech: Hamlets Spectacular Community. Shakespeare Studies 36 (1998): 29-57.n Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63.n McGuire, Philip C. Bearing A wary eye: Ludic Vengeance and Doubtful Suicide in Hamlet. From Page to Performance: Essays in Early English Drama. Ed. John Alford. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 1995. 235-53.n Motohashi, Tetsuya. The plays the thing . of nothing: Writing and the liberty in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 103-118.n Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Antitheatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63.n Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. n Wagner, Joseph B. Hamlet Rewriting Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 75-92. file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (1 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Wilson, Luke. Hamlet, Hales V. Petit, and the Hysteresis of Action. ELH 60.1 (Spring 1993): 17-55. 20 Feb. 2002. Ahrends, Gnter. "Word and Action in Shakespeare's Hamlet." Word and Action in Drama: Studies in Honour of Hans-Jrgen Diller on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. Ed. Gnter Ahrends, Stephan Kohl, Joachim Kornelius, Gerd Stratmann. Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1994. 93-105. HAMLET / METADRAMA / PERFORMANCE While contending that Hamlet "is a meta-play dealing with fundamental principles of the art of acting," this essay analyzes the play's didactic presentation of word and action: "the verbal and the mimic-gesticulatory forms of expression are equally significant signs which have to be put into a balanced relationship with each other" (93), otherwise "they degenerate into deficient signs" (94). Through the player's excellence with the Hecuba speech and Hamlet's reaction to it, Shakespeare's "most famous tragedy contains not only a theory of mimesis but also a concrete example of how theoretical principles can be translated into practice" (98). Hamlet understands the principles of the art of acting, as he demonstrates in his advice to the players, and his insight motivates The Mousetrap. While The Mousetrap succeeds in provoking Claudius, the closet scene is "a continuation of the play within the play in so far as it is now Gertrude's turn to reveal her guilt" (100). Hamlet's initial effort with his mother fails because he "proves to be a bad actor" (101), but the son eventually remembers his own advice to the players and matches action with word; "It is exactly by making Hamlet's first attempt fail that Shakespeare turns the bedroom scene into a further example of how the principles of theatrical representation have to be transformed into practice" (100). Hamlet, like Claudius and Gertrude, "appears as a dissociated human being" for most of the play because his words and actions are unbalanced; but he distinguishes himself from the others with his knowledge "that the art of theatrical representation makes it possible for man to overcome the state of dissociation by not tolerating the discrepancy between action and word" (102). [ top ] Anderson, Mary. Hamlet: The Dialect Between Eye and Ear. Renaissance and Reformation 27 (1991): 299-313. file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (2 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama EYE & EAR / HAMLET / METADRAMA This article analyzes Hamlet to discern Shakespeares comparison between the eye and the ear as the two faculties by which sense data are transmitted to the reason (299). A collaboration of the two senses must exist for the success of reason because, alone, the ear is prone to malignant information and the eye suffers incomplete or ineffectual information (302). For example, Hamlet mistakenly assumes that Claudius is at prayer based on only sight (similar to a dumb show) and accidentally kills Polonius based solely on sound. In comparison, the simultaneous use of ear and eye in The Mousetrap allows Hamlet to successfully confirm Claudius guilt. Various models of the eye/ear relationship emerge in the development of Polonius, Gertrude, Ophelia, and Fortinbras. In Hamlet, Shakespeare appears to defend the theatre as a very effective moral medium which stimulates both eye and ear into a dialectic within the reason and conscience (311). [ top ] Bell, Millicent. Hamlet, Revenge! Hudson Review 51 (1998): 310-28. GENRE / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM This article perceives Hamlet as contemporary and as belonging to that latest Renaissance moment which Shakespeare shares with Montaigne. Yet it deliberately frames its modernity within an archaic kind of story (311). The stock characteristics of the revenge drama genre receive modernist twists, as if Shakespeare struggles to evade tradition and audience expectations (314). For example, the traditional Revengers feigning of madness should divert suspicions, but Hamlets use of a mask draws attention and raises questions of appearance versus reality; Hamlets elements of the metadrama and the mystery play also contribute to such questions, challenging the distinctions between theater/reality and actor/audience. Another conundrum presented in the play is the problem of self-conception. Hamlet appears so pliable in nature, through appearances and contradictions, that he seems the dramatic embodiment of Montaignes Essays, which denied the stabilityor even realityof personal essence (319). He also seems tortured by the Shakespearean periods anxiety over the new man who challenged prescribed form (320). But Hamlet must come to terms with the conflict between thought and action; he must accept his primary role of Revenger, just as Shakespeare must concede to the audiences expectations (327). file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (3 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama [ top ] Goldman, Michael. Hamlet: Entering the Text. Theatre Journal 44 (1992): 44960. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE While suggesting that drama may provide, at least in some respects, the more illuminating case of the encounter with writing, this article explores Shakespeares treatment of the person/text negotiation in Hamlet (449). Through the dynamism of performance, script and actor become inseparable (450) because scriptedness and improvisation merge on stage (450). This interplay of script and improvisation underlies the call to revenge in Hamlet: the Ghost seems to provide a clear cut script for his son, but Hamlets path to revenge is tortuous, filled with improvised diversions and digressions (452). While the play explores the necessary relation between scriptedness and improvisation, it is also concerned . with whats involved in entering into a script (452). Hamlet regularly reenacts the basic scene that takes place when an actor prepares or performs a part, the entry into the text (453), such as the replaying of a situation (e.g., Old Hamlets murder) (453). While such a metadramatic acting exercise (453) suggests one method of entering the text, a concern with the stability and instability of texts runs through the play (454). Hamlets sense of a tense and uncertain relation to a text, which exacts both commitment and risky departure, may have had a special relevance to the circumstances of Elizabethan dramatic production (455) because the performance of an Elizabethan play momentarily stabilized the uncertain mix of possibilities contained in the playhouse manuscript (456). The plays exploration of play-acting and the relation of texts and scripts to performance may also be reflective of the larger problematic of human action that Hamlet experiences and, ultimately, comes to terms with: human action itself, like the performance of an actor, is an intervention, an entry into something very like a script, a text of interwoven actions, an entry that, though it raises the central questions of human choice and responsibility, can never be made in full knowledge or confidence about the ultimate result of that choice (457). This article recommendation is to conceive of this critical relation . of reader and text, in a way that acknowledges something of that importance which is felt by all who are drawn to literatureas a relation of commitment, a relation of responsibility, a relation certainly requiring the focus of ones full bodily life on something which is not oneself, a relation constrained by time and history and the need for choice, but above all a relation of adventure (460). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (4 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama Gorfain, Phyllis. Toward a Theory of Play and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 25-49. [Reprinted in Donald Keeseys Contexts for Criticism (1994) and in Ronald Knowles Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin (1998).] AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CARNIVAL / METADRAMA Drawing heavily on Bakhtins understanding of carnivalesque, this article approaches Hamlet as Shakespeares most ludic and metatheatrical tragedy (26). The carnivalesque in Hamlet intensifies its complex tragic mode (27), as the irreversible and vertical movement of tragic form joins to the reversible and horizontal continuum of carnival in Hamlet to produce the double vision (28). The alliance of linear consequence with cyclical carnivalesque reversibility becomes most evident in the final act of Hamlet: on the one hand, the play concludes with a carnivalesque fearlessness and freedom as Hamlet decides to engage in an open-ended fencing match; but, on the other hand, it also concludes with a devastating finality when the cheating and intrigue of Claudius defeat this ludic spirit (31). This consolidation of irreversible history and reversible art matches other patterns of assertion and denial in the play (31), such as wordplay (punning, witty literalism, clownish malapropism, word corruptions, nonsense) (31) and storytelling (which in Hamlet then replaces revenge) (29). The repetitive presentation of Old Hamlets murder, through narrative, mime, and performance, demonstrates how the self-reflexive play with the boundaries between event and representation, past and present, subjunctive and actual, audience and performers defines and dissolves the differences between the world of the play and the world of the theater (29). As carnival obscures the differences between performers and audience, blending us all in a comedic vision of performance culture, so Hamlet uses its reflexive ending to make us observers of our own observing, objects of our own subjective knowledge, inheritors of the playful knowledge paradox (43)and the noblest audience (5.21.88). [ top ] Hunt, Maurice. Art of Judgement, Art of Compassion: The Two Arts of Hamlet. Essays in Literature 18 (1991): 3-20. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP This article uses the Troy playlet, which Hamlet requests of a player, and The file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (5 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama Murder of Gonzago to argue two points: Shakespeares idea of the relevance of mimetic art for the past and future, and Shakespeares conception of the humane use of his tragic art (3). The Troy playlet seems an odd choice for Hamlet because it displaces sympathy from the avenger to his victim; but, for Shakespeare, its blending of vengeance and compassion seems to imply that art does not mirror life, it refines human experience. Although Hamlet initially praises the Troy performance, his hunger for revenge overrules his appreciation of art. He misuses art in The Mousetrap scene, with the utilitarian hope of detecting guilt and without recognition of the forms power to influence/transform will. The player king recommends human compassion, but Hamlet only judges others. His (unmerited) condemnation of Gertrude leads him to fail in his goals with The Mousetrap. While Hamlet remains unmoved by The Murder of Gonzago, the theater audience is encouraged to join him in scrutinizing Claudius (and Gertrudes) reaction. Yorks skull offers another example of Shakespeares metadramatic commentary because it resembles dramatic tragedy in its effect upon certain viewers (14). After shifting from pity for to criticism of the skull, Hamlet exploits the object as an iconographically stereotyped battering ram in the Princes campaign against women (14). The skull is misused, just like The Murder of Gonzago. In the course of Hamlet, the protagonist harshly assesses others who seem deserving of pity but never questions the Ghost, who is suffering for previous crimes. Hamlets judgement reminds the audience of what makes his experience tragic, and of what we might attempt to avoid in our lives beyond the theater (16). [ top ] Kottman, Paul A. Sharing Vision, Interrupting Speech: Hamlets Spectacular Community. Shakespeare Studies 36 (1998): 29-57. METADRAMA This essay attempts to think through what it might mean to share in the experience of a spectacle rather than a verbal narration, and to consider what Hamlets unique thematization of this difference might tell us about what distinguishes Shakespeares work from a more narrative theatricality (30). The play opens with Barnardo recounting his sightings of the Ghost. Through this narratives verbal introduction of the awaited visual spectacle, Hamlet demonstrates the limits of linguistic narration (38), such as the absence of the narrative object and the problems of temporal heterogeneity (39). But the play also presents the way in which the theater has the power to transgress these limits (38): the Ghosts entrance on stage and interruption of the retelling renders superfluous the verbal narration of its appearance (39). With file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (6 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama this injunction Hamlet interrupts or suspends the theater-as-storytelling and inaugurates a more spectacular theaterboth within the unfolding of Hamlet, and within the history of the Western theatrical experience more generally (39). Barnardo, Marcellus, and Horatio respond to the mute apparition by becoming paradoxically silent-yet-sharing spectators (like the theater audience). In this theatrical moment, Hamlet offers a model of sharing in which a relation to others is predicated upon a disjunction between seeing and speaking, upon a spectacle which suspends spoken interaction (43). But this suspension is not a total silencing (44), as Barnardo and Marcellus eventually ask Horatio to speak with the spirit. Their motivation/compulsion seems to overcome the solitude of visuality (45) to affirm that the spectacle is shared, and to confirm the visual through the speech of another (47). Even as Hamlet breaks with oral narration, presenting us with a disjointed community founded upon spectatorship and the suspension of spoken interactionthe play also presents us with the compulsion to speak in response to this spectacle, to this experience which is shared, and yet not through interaction (51). [ top ] Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP / PERFORMANCE With the goal of bringing the self-effacing frames of Hamlet into focus (50), this essay examines the particular theatrical frame in which Hamlet was first performed, the Globe theater and considers thematic and formal issues of framing in Hamlet, positioning these textual issues within the discussion of the theatrical space (51). The performance space cannot be contained completely by the theatrical frame; it seeps outward: before [e.g., extruding limbs or bodies of actors], behind [e.g., actors holding place behind the stage], between [e.g., sites of transition between spectacle and spectator or inside and outside], above [e.g., the Globes open roof], below [e.g., the Ghosts voice from beneath the stage] (52). While the theatrical frame simultaneously defines and questions the boundaries of the performance space, Hamlet plays out a sequence of dramatic frames that mirror the theatrical frame and double its doubleness (53). For example, the Ghost provides the pretext for the revenge plot but functions at the outermost edges of the play (53), seeming to inhibit the very borders of the dramatic world (54); in The Mousetrap, Revenge drama is enacted within revenge drama, with the players of the central drama as audience, and stage as theater (57); Hamlet exists inside and outside of The Mousetrap, enacting the roles of both chorus and audience (58). file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (7 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama But Claudiuss interruption of the play within the play begins the process of closure for the configuration of frames (58), and All of the frames in the play undergo some transformation in the process of closure (59). For example, the framing Ghost of Hamlet is internalized by the son when Hamlet fully appropriates his fathers name (59): This is I, / Hamlet the Dane (5.1.25051); Hamlet transforms into the avenger, murderer (Claudiuss double), and victim (Old Hamlets double) (59). Ultimately, he passes from the world of speech to the world beyond; in comparison, Horatio is released from his vow of silence, his function is transformed from providing the margin of silence surrounding Hamlets speech to presenting the now-dumb Prince (60). As Hamlets body is carried away, a figured silence closes the frame and dissolves into the background of life resumed (60). [ top ] McGuire, Philip C. Bearing A wary eye: Ludic Vengeance and Doubtful Suicide in Hamlet. From Page to Performance: Essays in Early English Drama. Ed. John Alford. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 1995. 235-53. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / METADRAMA / PERFORMANCE This essay explores how audiences and readers find themselves engaged in judging and interpreting Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (235). For example, in the final scene, how does Hamlet stab and poison Claudius? In what manner? Does he balance reason and passion during the act(s) (241)? Actors and directors must judge and interpret the ambiguous stage directions, as must audiences and readers. Fortinbras interprets the dead Hamlet to be a potential soldier in order to convert his claim to the Danish throne into a political fact (245); and Horatio interprets events for reasons that are at least partly political: to avoid social and political disorder (245-46). By ending with these acts of interpretation and judgement, Hamlet holds up a mirror in which those who experience the playin performance or on the pagecan see the processes of interpretation and judgement in which they are themselves engaged (246). Ophelias questionable demise provides one facet of this mirror, as several characters (e.g., grave diggers, priest) impose certainty of judgement on what is doubtful (248-49). Hamlet is profoundly concerned with the specific judgements and interpretations one comes to, but it is also concerned, at least equally, with the processes by which they are reached (250). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (8 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama Motohashi, Tetsuya. The plays the thing . of nothing: Writing and the liberty in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 103-118. METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM Launching out of Polonius introduction of the playersFor the law of writ, and the liberty, these are the only men (2.2.37-8)this essay approaches Hamlet as a theatrical critique of writerly power (104) and as a statement on liberty as a delicate balance of freedom and constraint (103). According to this article, Shakespeares tragedy attests to the lethal power of writing, as Hamlets forgery of a death warrant shows (104). While Claudius appears as the masterful manipulator of words (105), Hamlet initially struggles to articulate his inner emotions. Being acutely aware of the externals failure to represent that within, Hamlet internalizes the externals failure as his own feelings of insufficiency in comparison to his father and develops an ultimate form of selfdenial, a suicide wish (106). Although others inscribe their own messages on his body by trying to interpret the mad behavior, Hamlet rediscovers the capacity for dialogue in a reader or audience through the visiting players (107). A brief review of Elizabethan documents regarding the control exchanged between players, government officials, the City and Church authorities (107) presents liberty as an ambiguous notion embracing several contrasting perspectives (109). It also suggests that the players in Hamlet represent a new theatrical space, a marginal space in which Hamlet presents a play of his own composition (110). Hamlet realizes that acting has the power to mediate between external/internal, seems/is (110), word/action, as well as rival bodyimages (111). His excitement over the players arrival provides a metadramatic commentary on the intercultural and transboundary characteristics of the popular theatre (111). While the Players collective bodies hybridized with those of their audience, that realized the liberty (111), the play-within-the-play allows the Prince to poison the Kings ears with his writing and to inscribe on Claudius body (113). In the closet scene, Hamlet is not restrained by theatrical acting; he thrusts his dagger into the hidden Polonius, as if he held a Pen in his hand to write on the curtains sheet, and kills a counterfeita forger (114). The plot is now overtaken by writing that kills (115). For example, Claudius and Laertes write the last play of fencing with a murderous intention (115). Hamlets dying statements suggest that the dialogue inherent in acting remains problematic to the end (116). [ top ] Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Anti-theatrical file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (9 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63. FEMINISM / HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / QUEER THEORY After acknowledging the complications of studying sexuality before the late eighteen hundreds and the feminist efforts to historicize misogyny, this article examines Hamlet to demonstrate how misogyny intersects with a nascent form of homophobia, a cultural fear of male-male sexual bonding articulated in the anti-theatrical tracts (49). A survey of anti-theatrical propaganda reveals cultural anxieties about effeminacy, sexual promiscuity (e.g., sodomy), and any behavior that undermines social/patriarchal institutions (53). Hamlet seems to embody the specific juncture of misogyny and fear of male-male sexual desire that the anti-theatrical tracts begin to coordinate (55): he clearly shows misogynistic tendencies with Gertrude and Ophelia; he also voices his attraction to dead or distant men (e.g., Old Hamlet, Yorick, Fortinbras) because his fears of the sodomy stigma restrict the expression of such sentiments to men only in relationships in which physical contact is impossible (56); with Horatio, Hamlet disrupts every moment of potential intimacy by interrupting himself, trivializing his own thoughts, pausing, and then changing the discussion topic to theatrical plays (57). Hamlets behavior demonstrates the power of anti-theatrical homophobia to regulate male behavior and expresses the anti-theatrical complex that . anticipates modern homophobia (57). While the playwright comes close to overtly acknowledging the cultural/anti-theatrical association of sodomy with the male homosociality of theatre life, A metaphoric treatment of anti-theatrical concerns, including homophobia, corresponds toand possibly follows fromthe meta-theatrical concerns that structure form and character in Hamlet (58). [ top ] Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / RHETORICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay contends that Hamlets use of the tropes of performance to combat illicit performance parallels a paradoxical strategy which . proved useful in the published pamphlets of Puritan reformers of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries; it also discloses the structural centrality of these prophetic anti-theatrical discourses to the great anti-play of Hamlet (63). As the writings of Puritan reformers (e.g., Munday, Gosson, Rainolds, Prynne) show, Puritanisms anti-theatricalism consisted of three discursive elements: file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (10 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama social disgust framed in anti-theatrical terms, explicit longing for withdrawal into an as yet unrealized world, and a call for authentic military action to purge the present rotten state (65). In act one, scene two, Hamlet displays several of these characteristics: his unique dark clothing signals his puritanist refusal to don the ceremonial garb worn by Gertrude, Claudius, and the rest of the court (65); in soliloquy, he rejects all the worlds uses (ceremonies) (I. ii. 134) (6566); and his frustrated desire to return to Wittenberg (symbolically important to Elizabethans as the originating site of Reformation discourse) is replaced by a vaguer desire to be taken out of this world (recalling Prynnes phrase) (66). His resistance to illicit social theater ultimately taints Hamlets response to the traveling players, as his soliloquy upon their exit runs curiously parallel to two passages in Saint Augustines Confessions, oft quoted by Puritans in condemnation of playhouses (66-67). Paradoxically, like the puritanist pamphlets that used the language of play-acting to damn play-acting (69), Hamlets Mousetrap constitutes anti-theatrical theater, employing role-play to blast role-play (69-70). The-play-within-the-play also provides an example of Hamlets resistance to traditional tragic plot structures (68): its obviousness makes clear Hamlets awareness of Claudius guilt and his plan to punish it (70). Hamlet rejects the conventional revenge behaviors of plotting, feigning, and backstabbing and embraces overt military action: authentic performance in the genuine theater of war (71). In the plays final scene, Hamlet kills Claudius openly, non-theaterically, and spontaneously . he completes the total extermination of a corrupted order (71). Like Renaissance puritanist discourse, Hamlets rhetoric and action bespeak a mood of the age: an unwillingness to negotiate with a culture whose institutions were perceived as fundamentally corrupt, and an increasing preference for the alternatives of flight or purgative destruction (72). [ top ] Wagner, Joseph B. Hamlet Rewriting Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 7592. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / RHETORICAL This article posits two intertwined arguments: Hamlet identifies with his dead parent by reiterating language that honors the older character as a model of morality; and Hamlets need to adapt his own personality to be sufficiently compatible with his fathers motivates him to change or rewrite his play (76). Although the Ghost seems a rather limited character (rarely appearing or speaking on stage), Shakespeare establishesand maintainsthe audiences sharp awareness of the Ghosts controlling personality by taking the imagery, file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (11 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama diction, and values that are present in the Ghosts brief speeches of 1.5 . and by re-using them in the thoughts and speeches of Prince Hamlet. Hamlet and the Ghost think alike, and they use almost exactly parallel diction: thus, as he describes his fathers virtues and imitates his fathers speech patterns, Hamlet continually invoked the fathers ethos, and in this way the Ghosts dynamic presence is maintained when it is not on stage at the same time that the son is going through the process of identification (78-79). The identification process culminates (66) when, in the dual persona of both son and father, he [Hamlet] appropriates the very image and seal of the father (77-78). Although it is an offstage decision that takes him for reaction to action (76), Hamlet describes an experience that might be called meta-theater in that he is director and observer, as well as actor: he writes the new commission and steers the play into its final course of confrontation with Claudius (77). But this is not Hamlets only attempt to transform the play (85). Aside from his addition of some dozen or sixteen lines (2.2.535) to the text of The Murder of Gonzago (86), his changes to the appropriated play during its performance, and his rewriting of Gertrude in the closet scene, a demonstrative example of Hamlet rewriting Hamlet includes his considering, like a writer, some alternative ways of rewriting the script so that he can more closely realize his fathers behavior and personality in the prayer scene (87). With every rewriting (and identification with the father), Hamlet slowly develops the power to choose action rather than delay or reaction (88). In the final scene, Hamlet performs one last rewrite: he gives his dying voice to Fortinbras and, thereby, corrects the forged process that Claudius used to claim the throne (89-90). [ top ] Wilson, Luke. Hamlet, Hales V. Petit, and the Hysteresis of Action. ELH 60.1 (Spring 1993): 17-55. 20 Feb. 2002. LAW / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM In response to attacks that new historicism lacks an adequate account of agency and action (17), this article counters that Hamlet and Renaissance legal discourse seem to anticipate a post-structuralist hysteresis of action by attempting to reconsider the structure of action in Hamlet and to account for the ways conceptualizations of action moved between legal and theatrical fields (22). Hamlets groundwork with The Mousetrap provides a key example of the theatrical action structure: in soliloquy, Hamlet announces his new-found planafter setting it in motion with the players. The theatrical necessities of file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (12 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metadrama informing the audience about motives behind The Mousetrap and of getting Hamlet alone on stage to provide the soliloquy force the intrusion of the temporal logic of compositional activity into the temporality of dramatic representation (25). The resulting structure of action is organized by an entanglement of prospective and retrospective, since it is in retrospection that the prospective is constituted as such, that is, since the teleological structure of intentional action entails a retroactive element (25). The legal analysis of action finds its way into Hamlet in the form of structures and concepts immanent in a shared rhetoric of action (28). The Elizabethan period marked an increase in the sophistication of legal conceptualizations of intention (31). For example, in the Hales vs. Petit case (the gravediggers source for arguments determining Ophelias cause of death), the court retrospectively examined the evidence of a drowning/suicide to hypothesize intention and to determine liability. In this way, theater and law shared the temporal folding that structures action (34) and the fictionalizations of intention (31). The increasingly litigious and legalistic culture in which Hamlet was produced made the means to manipulate accounts of intentional action widely available for use in both inculpatory and exculpatory schemes, at the same time that new market forcesboth produced by and enabling this cultureled to conceptualizations of person that tended to frustrate the business of linking actions to agents (44). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/metadrama.html (13 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metaphysics Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic n Fendt, Gene. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama? An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard. Marquette Studies in Philosophy 21. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1999.n Wright, Eugene P. Hamlet: From Physics to Metaphysics. Hamlet Studies 4 (1992): 1931. Fendt, Gene. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama? An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard. Marquette Studies in Philosophy 21. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1999. HAMLET / MARXISM / METAPHYSICS / THEOLOGICAL This monograph begins by surveying the different definitions of religious drama. Chapters two and three discuss the "scholarly cruxes" of Hamlet (e.g., Hamlet's delay) and evokes Aristotle and Aquinas to assist in comprehending "what a religious understanding of Hamlet might be" (16). Chapters four and five explore the contrast between Hamlet and Kierkegaard's and Taciturnus' writings on religious art, "examine the metaphysical and philosophical presuppositions of the ordinary understanding of religious drama as representations bearing on dogmatic truths," and "show how Kierkegaard's indirect communication seeks to avoid that philosophical problematic" (16). The last chapter uses Bataille's theories of religious economies to argue Hamlet's status as a religious drama. [ top ] Wright, Eugene P. Hamlet: From Physics to Metaphysics. Hamlet Studies 4 (1992): 19-31. HAMLET / METAPHYSICS / PHILOSOPHICAL This article analyzes Hamlets struggle with the spiritual mystery of the nature of the cosmos, the nature of mankind, and mankinds relationship with the cosmos (20). Hamlet initially views the cosmos as a chaotic garden, but he discovers evidence of moral order in the grave yard (23). The unearthed skulls provide tangible evidence, showing clearly that emphasis upon things physical [e.g., material gains, heroic deeds, death] is useless and insignificant (24). His shift to metaphysical contemplation is based upon his understanding of the physical (25). Although not a product of distinct logic, the conclusion Hamlet comes to is that indeed a moral order of the universe does exist and that he, and by implication all humans, must act in accordance with that order (22). Ultimately, Hamlet uses the best that mankind has, reason, to get at the answers of challenging questions (28). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/metaphysics.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Metaphysics Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/metaphysics.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:39:09 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Mythic Criticism Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Aguirre, Manuel. Life, Crown, and Queen: Gertrude and the Theme of Sovereignty. Review of English Studies 47 (1996): 163-74.n Burnett, Mark Thornton. "'For they are actions that a man might play': Hamlet as Trickster." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 24-54.n DiMatteo, Anthony. Hamlet as Fable: Reconstructing a Lost Code of Meaning. Connotations 6.2 (1996/1997): 158-79.n Fike, Matthew A. Gertrudes Mermaid Allusion. On Page and Stage: Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. Krakw: Towarzystwo Autorw, 2000. 259-75. [Originally printed in the-hard-to-find B. A. S.: British and American Studies 2 (1999): 15-25.]n Lieber, Naomi Conn. Hamlets Hobby-Horse. Cahiers Elisabethains 45 (Apr. 1994): 33-45.n Uno, Yoshiko. Three Gertrudes: Text and Subtext. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 155-68. Aguirre, Manuel. Life, Crown, and Queen: Gertrude and the Theme of Sovereignty. Review of English Studies 47 (1996): 163-74. GERTRUDE / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This article seeks to explore Renaissance changes in the application of a traditional literary metaphor, sovereignty, by focusing on the mythical status of Gertrude and, beyond this, to explore the role, and the fate, of myth in Hamlet (163). Evidence in Celtic, Greek, and Germanic myths, including The Odyssey, demonstrates consistent attachment of significance to the symbols of cup, water, and clothcommonly associated with female sovereigns. The (re)appearance of these elements in Hamlet creates intriguing parallels and suggests that Gertrude, not Claudius, possesses sole authority to choose the new king. Some myths offer a defense of the charges against Gertrude (e.g., adultery). For example, in myth there appears a tendency to connect sovereignty with marriage/sexual union. Such myths afford an explanation for file:///S|/bev/loberg/mythiccriticism.html (1 of 6) [11/19/2002 11:39:10 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Mythic Criticism Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological the immediacy and compression of wedding and coronation in Hamlet 1.2, which conflicts with the modern perspective of chronological order. While the queen is the life is the crown through validating traditional myth (169), the increasing realism of the Renaissance causes a loss of meaning and thus a crux in the play: Hamlet, a realist, views the Queens marriage to Claudius as stripped of symbolic meaning, as only adultery (171). Subsequently, Hamlet presents the conflict itself between the old and new as embodied in a modern heros confrontation with an ancient myth (174). [ top ] Burnett, Mark Thornton. "'For they are actions that a man might play': Hamlet as Trickster." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 24-54. CARNIVAL / HAMLET / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This essay's "hoped-for result is to draw attention to a set of relations between the trickster theme in the play and the social, economic and political forces which lend Hamlet its note of specifically Elizabethan urgency" (29). Shakespeare's play conjures "a spectrum of archetypal trickster intrigues" through multiple characters (34): "it "enlists the traditions of the fox, the fool, and the rogue, complicating the expectation that the play can be understood in terms of a diagrammatic relationship between those who trick and those who are tricked" (43). But the focus is primarily on "Hamlet's own tricksy practices" (34). While the Prince "follows in the path of the trickster in choosing words and theatre as the weapons with which he will secure his role as revenger," "his sense of purpose is often blunted, from within (by Claudius) and from without (by the Ghost)"-like the traditional trickster who battles multiple foes of "local or familial networks" (37). Historically, the trickster's "malleable form presented itself as an answer to, and an expression of, the early modern epistemological dilemma" (51). For example, Hamlet raises concerns of religion, succession, and gender, comparable to the "unprecedented social forms and new ideological configurations" experienced while Elizabeth I reigned as monarch (49-50). In a carnivalesque style, Hamlet affords Elizabethans "a release of tensions" and a means of "social protest" through its trickster(s) (50). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/mythiccriticism.html (2 of 6) [11/19/2002 11:39:10 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Mythic Criticism DiMatteo, Anthony. Hamlet as Fable: Reconstructing a Lost Code of Meaning. Connotations 6.2 (1996/1997): 158-79. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / MYTHIC CRITICISM / OPHELIA This article explores how the nexus of Hamlet and mythic heroes links with another analogy between fable and history that involves an unsettling convergence of spirits (159), how Shakespeares audience perceived the myths cognitive potential . to have great speculative power (159-60), as well as how myths are enlisted but also deeply called into question by Hamlet (160). A comparison of terminology, imagery, and plot between mythology and the play identifies parallels between Hamlet / Adonis / Orpheus / Vulcan / Aeneas / Hercules and Ophelia / Venus / Dido. While classical points of contact suggest a symbolic coding and an implied range of meanings, they also locate Hamlet in a relationship to a specific audience or readership trained in academic recital and exegesis of Ovid and Virgil (164). Due to the hermeneutical traditions as they had come to evolve in the late Renaissance, one must read myth allusions in Hamlet not archetypically but stenographically (165). For example, the acquired double potential of myth allowing it to serve simultaneously as examples of human virtue and vice complexly connects in the play with Hamlets anxiety not only about his fathers apparition but also his own thoughts (165). Is the Ghost a reliable source or Vulcan (a daimon) forging his son (or a soul) into an agent of evil (167)? Are Hamlets imaginings merely misconceptions or the results of a moral contamination (166)? The analogies between Hamlets experience and that of his mythic predecessors indicate how Hamlet in plot, terms and phrases lingers over a whole range of ancient concerns through which late Renaissance culture both couched and covered over its own ambition and fears (167-68). Arguably, Hamlet stages the death not only of Hamlet but of the typically Renaissance belief in eloquence as some ultimate civilizing or enlightening process (172). The implied cleft between the miraculous possibilities posited in fable and the brute mortality of historical events in Denmark can also be sensed in the play if we consider the contrary influences of Ovid and Virgil upon the myths that the play takes up (173): Hamlet seems caught between the Virgilian sublime and Ovidian mutability (173-74), and Virgils permanent order and Ovids flux seem to vie for influence over the play (174). By bringing these parallelisms with figures from epic and fable to bear upon the history of Hamlet, the play acts out the tragic pathos that results when history and myth are implicitly revealed to be irreconcilable (175). The conflict of myth and history and of art and life is densely articulated through symbolic shorthand in Hamlet (175). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/mythiccriticism.html (3 of 6) [11/19/2002 11:39:10 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Mythic Criticism Fike, Matthew A. Gertrudes Mermaid Allusion. On Page and Stage: Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. Krakw: Towarzystwo Autorw, 2000. 259-75. [Originally printed in the-hard-tofind B. A. S.: British and American Studies 2 (1999): 15-25.] HAMLET / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay proposes that the mermaid allusiona powerful nexus of mythological and folk materialenables a new perspective on Gertrudes speech and the play (259). Gertrudes description of Ophelia as mermaidlike (4.7.176) in the drowning report evokes a whole tradition from Homers sirens to mermaid references in Shakespeares own time because sirens and mermaids were conflated (and interchangeable) by the Elizabethan period (260-61). While the Christian Church linked both images to the temptations of the flesh (261), natural histories, literary works, travel literature, popular ballads, and reports of actual mermaid sightings all contributed to Elizabethans perception of a mermaid (262): eternally youthful, beautiful, embodying the mystery of the ocean, and possessing an alluring song (263). Although the first lines of Gertrudes speech do have unmistakable resonances with mermaid lore (265) and mermaid lore supports the possibility that being spurned by Hamlet may be a cause of both madness and suicide" (266), it is her [Ophelias] divergence from the myth that is significant (264). For example, legend held that a mortal male could trick a mermaid into marriage by stealing her cap; but, in Hamlet, the pattern is reversed: Hamlet gives Ophelia tokens of their betrothal which she returns to him in the nunnery scene (264). The implication is that Ophelia is not a mermaid shackled to a mortal husband because of a trick, but instead a young woman who knows her own mind and frankly brings the symbolism of her relationship into harmony with the loss of emotional warmth (364). Rather than a derogatory description of a chaste Ophelia, the mermaid allusion echoes a native folk tradition of misogynistic insecurity (267) and participates in Hamlets larger image pattern of prostitution and sexuality (268). In addition, the mermaids human/beast duality suggests not only the danger of feminine seductiveness (Ophelia, Gertrude) but also the rational call (Horatio) to epic duty (the ghost)symbolically merging the two extremes that Hamlet struggles with in the play (270). [ top ] Lieber, Naomi Conn. Hamlets Hobby-Horse. Cahiers Elisabethains 45 (Apr. 1994): 33-45. file:///S|/bev/loberg/mythiccriticism.html (4 of 6) [11/19/2002 11:39:10 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Mythic Criticism MYTHIC CRITICISM Drawing heavily from Michel Foucaults subjugated knowledges, this article analyzes Hamlets complex arrangement of personal-political and traditionaltransitional concerns, encoded in the mnemonic of the remembered/forgotten hobby-horse (34). A brief history of the hobby-horse (the fertility ritual of pagan origin that was later performed only on theater stages) highlights the importance of those practices by which a community defines and knows itself (36). Social identity is closely contingent upon rituals, which operate in a framework of relations and constitute the enacted double of the social structure itself (37). In Hamlet, the erosion of rites (e.g., Gertrudes oerhasty marriage, Ophelias maimed rites) desolves identities and distinctions in Denmarkeven time is out of joint. The unease, confusion, danger, indefinition, liminality (38) evident in the plays first scene must be corrected by Hamlet, who seeks not simply revenge but clarification, demystification (39). Unfortunately, Hamlet cannot completely repair the damage: with the Princes funeral ceremony, the wrong rite is performed, and, with the absent ceremonies for Claudius, Gertrude, and Laertes, the neglect of ritual that has propelled this play from the start continues through to its end (40). Hamlets mention of the hobby-horse allows Shakespeare to accomplish the double feat of anamnesis both for the traditional dance and for Hamlets father (40). His reference also permits remembrance of the hobby-horse, signifying homeostasis contested by its suppression, while its remembrance signifies a resistance to change (42). [ top ] Uno, Yoshiko. Three Gertrudes: Text and Subtext. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 155-68. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GERTRUDE / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This essay examines ambiguities inherent in Hamlet, or gaps between the text and subtext, with special attention to Gertrudes representation (156). Rather than possessing autonomy, the Queen exists only in relation to Claudius and Hamlet; she also refuses to choose between the two men, revealing her malleability (158). Hence, the lack of critical appreciation of Gertrude seems understandable. Although the closet scene should offer the greatest opportunity for insight into Gertrudes character, it leaves too many unanswered questions: does she know of Claudius involvement in Hamlet, Sr.s death? Is she guilty of infidelity with Claudius before this murder? Further uncertainties are raised by file:///S|/bev/loberg/mythiccriticism.html (5 of 6) [11/19/2002 11:39:10 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Mythic Criticism the scenes presentation of two Gertrudes: Gertrude herself and the Gertrude seen from Hamlets perspective (161). Such confusion leads todays audiences to share in Hamlets confrontation with the disintegration of reality (162). But the original audience at the Globe may have had the advantages of afterimages, preconceived notions of Hamlet informed by myth and legend. A survey of plausible literary sources (e.g., Historiae Danicae, Agamemnon, Histoires tragiques), with emphasis on the evolving transformations of Gertrude, presents a wide range of variants that Elizabethan audiences may have drawn on to resolve the ambiguities struggled with today (166). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/mythiccriticism.html (6 of 6) [11/19/2002 11:39:10 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Aguirre, Manuel. Life, Crown, and Queen: Gertrude and the Theme of Sovereignty. Review of English Studies 47 (1996): 163-74.n Ayers, P. K. Reading, Writing, and Hamlet. Shakespeare Quarterly 44 (1995): 423-39.n Baldo, Jonahan. Ophelias Rhetoric, or the Partial to Synecdoche. Criticism 37.1 (1995): 1-35.n Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100.n Bell, Millicent. Hamlet, Revenge! Hudson Review 51 (1998): 310-28.n Bugliani, Francesca. In the mind to suffer: Hamlets Soliloquy, To be, or not to be. Hamlet Studies 17.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1995): 10-42.n Burnett, Mark Thornton. "'For they are actions that a man might play': Hamlet as Trickster." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 24-54.n Champion, Larry S. 'A springe to catch woodcocks': Proverbs, Characterization, and Political Ideology in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 24-39.n Clary, Frank Nicholas. The very cunning of the scene: Hamlets Divination and the Kings Occulted Guilt. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 7-28.n Coyle, Martin. Hamlet, Gertrude and the Ghost: The Punishment of Women in Renaissance Drama. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (Oct. 1996): 29-38.n Dane, Gabrielle. Reading Ophelias Madness. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 405-23.n de Grazia, Margreta. Weeping For Hecuba. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 350-75.n Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43.n Fike, Matthew A. Gertrudes Mermaid Allusion. On Page and Stage: Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. Krakw: Towarzystwo Autorw, 2000. 259-75. [Originally printed in the-hard-to-find B. A. S.: British and American Studies 2 (1999): 15-25.]n Floyd-Wilson, Mary. Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: 'Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.' Womens Studies 21 (1992): 397-409. file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (1 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:16 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological n Fox-Good, Jacquelyn A. Ophelias Mad Songs: Music, Gender, Power. Subjects on the Worlds Stage: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. David C. Allen and Robert A. White. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 217-38.n Goldman, Michael. Hamlet: Entering the Text. Theatre Journal 44 (1992): 449-60.n Greenblatt, Stephen. The Mousetrap. Shakespeare Studies 35 (1997): 1-32. [Reprinted in Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatts Practicing New Historicism (2000).]n Greenblatt, Stephen. Remember Me. Hamlet in Purgatory. By Greenblatt. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. 205-57.n Gross, Kenneth. The Rumor of Hamlet. Raritan 14.2 (Fall 1994): 43-67.n Guillory, John. To please the wiser sort: Violence and Philosophy in Hamlet. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 82-109.n Harries, Martin. The Ghost of Hamlet in the Mine. Scare Quotes from Shakespeare: Marx, Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment. By Harries. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000. 93-122.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. ShakespeareJahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84.n Hillman, David. The Inside Story. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 299-324.n Hirsh, James. Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies. Modern Language Quarterly 58 (March 1997): 1-26.n Jardine, Lisa. No offence i th world: Hamlet and Unlawful Marriage. Uses of History: Marxism, Postmodernism and the Renaissance. Ed. Francis Barker, Peter Hume, and Margaret Iverson. Essex Symposia: Literature/Politics/Theory. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991. 123-39. [Reprinted in David Scott Kastans Critical Essays on Shakespeares Hamlet (1995).]n Kallendorf, Hilaire. Intertextual Madness in Hamlet: The Ghosts Fragmented Performativity. Renaissance and Reformation 22.4 (1998): 69-87.n Kurland, Stuart M. Hamlet and the Scottish Succession? SEL 34 (1994): 279-300.n Kusunoki, Akiko. Oh most pernicious woman: Gertrude in the Light of Ideas on Remarriage in Early Seventeenth-Century England. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 16984.n Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (2 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:16 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30.n Lawrence, Sen Kevin. As a stranger, bid it welcome: Alterity and Ethics in Hamlet and the New Historicism. European Journal of English 4.2 (2000): 155-69.n Levy, Eric P. Nor th exterior nor the inward man: The Problematics of Personal Identity in Hamlet. University of Toronto Quarterly 68.3 (Summer 1999): 711-27.n Low, Anthony. Hamlet and the Ghost of Purgatory: Intimations of Killing the Father. English Literary Renaissance 29.3 (Autumn 1999): 443-67.n Mallette, Richard. From Gyves to Graces: Hamlet and Free Will. Journal of English and German Philology 93 (1994): 336-55.n Matheson, Mark. Hamlet and A matter tender and dangerous. Shakespeare Quarterly 46 (Winter 1995): 383-97.n Motohashi, Tetsuya. The plays the thing . of nothing: Writing and the liberty in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 103-118.n Nojima, Hidekatsu. The Mirror of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 21-35.n Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85.n Peterson, Kaara. Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition. Mosaic 31.3 (1998): 1-24.n Rees-Mogg, Lord. The Politics of Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 17 (1995): 4353.n Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Antitheatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63. n Roberts, Katherine. The Wandering Womb: Classical Medical Theory and the Formation of Female Characters in Hamlet. Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 15 (1995): 223-32.n Ronk, Martha C. Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 2143.n Sanchez, Reuben. Thou comst in such a questionable shape: Interpreting the Textual and Contextual Ghost in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 65-84.n Siegel, Paul N. Hamlet, revenge!: The Uses and Abuses of Historical Criticism. Shakespeare Survey 45 (1993): 15-26.n Sohmer, Steve. Real Time in Hamlet. Shakespeares Mystery Play: The Opening fo the Globe Theatre 1599. By Sohmer. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1999. 217-47.n Takahashi, Yasunari. Hamlet and the Anxiety of Modern Japan. Shakespeare Survey 48 (1995): 99-11.n Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (3 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:16 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996.n Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. n Uno, Yoshiko. Three Gertrudes: Text and Subtext. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 155-68.n Wilson, Luke. Hamlet, Hales V. Petit, and the Hysteresis of Action. ELH 60.1 (Spring 1993): 17-55. 20 Feb. 2002.n York, Neil L. Hamlet as American Revolutionary. Hamlet Studies 15.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1993): 40-53. Aguirre, Manuel. Life, Crown, and Queen: Gertrude and the Theme of Sovereignty. Review of English Studies 47 (1996): 163-74. GERTRUDE / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This article seeks to explore Renaissance changes in the application of a traditional literary metaphor, sovereignty, by focusing on the mythical status of Gertrude and, beyond this, to explore the role, and the fate, of myth in Hamlet (163). Evidence in Celtic, Greek, and Germanic myths, including The Odyssey, demonstrates consistent attachment of significance to the symbols of cup, water, and clothcommonly associated with female sovereigns. The (re)appearance of these elements in Hamlet creates intriguing parallels and suggests that Gertrude, not Claudius, possesses sole authority to choose the new king. Some myths offer a defense of the charges against Gertrude (e.g., adultery). For example, in myth there appears a tendency to connect sovereignty with marriage/sexual union. Such myths afford an explanation for the immediacy and compression of wedding and coronation in Hamlet 1.2, which conflicts with the modern perspective of chronological order. While the queen is the life is the crown through validating traditional myth (169), the increasing realism of the Renaissance causes a loss of meaning and thus a crux in the play: Hamlet, a realist, views the Queens marriage to Claudius as stripped of symbolic meaning, as only adultery (171). Subsequently, Hamlet presents the conflict itself between the old and new as embodied in a modern heros confrontation with an ancient myth (174). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (4 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:16 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Ayers, P. K. Reading, Writing, and Hamlet. Shakespeare Quarterly 44 (1995): 423-39. NEW HISTORICISM / TEXTS This article analyzes the literal and metaphorical texts involved in Hamlet and the various reading practices they generate (423). Hamlet reflects the Renaissances transition from scribal culture to print culture. For example, Hamlets manipulation of a text, to taunt Polonius indirectly (II, ii), demonstrates that the signifier/signified relationship has shifted from a solid association to an opportunity for creative invention and linguistic crisis; Hamlets silent reading, in the same scene, suggests that reading has progressed from the audible and social interaction of limited scribal texts to the private experience allowed by plentiful print texts. Historical perception also alters: past and present were once bonded by scribal texts, and then were divided by print texts; Fortinbras disregard for the land compact written by his father and Hamlet, Sr. demonstrates a concern for the present and a disassociation from the past. Another loss brought by the transition is the commonplaces of the scribal culture, which Polonius seems so fond of reciting; in actuality, he possesses a superficial reading of the ethical rhetoric (430), and his faulty reading practices suggest a problem associated with the increasing availability of books (431). Reading Hamlet becomes a problem because Hamlet, by asking Horatio to tell his story, has authored a compromised text that is self-generated within a closed system (436). The dramatic text suffers by the processes of print, performance, etc., resulting in a deeply corrupt record of scribal original(s) (436). Hamlet reflects the shifting cultural landscape from the perspective of the no-mans land situated between the lines of the great textual boundary disputes of the early seventeenth century (438-39). [ top ] Baldo, Jonahan. Ophelias Rhetoric, or the Partial to Synecdoche. Criticism 37.1 (1995): 1-35. NEW HISTORICISM / RHETORICAL This article contends that Renaissance plays, like Renaissance monarchs, owed a great deal of their power and claims to legitimacy to the trope of synecdoche or part/whole substitutions (1). The writings of King James and Locke provide two contending opinions of an impartial monarch who symbolically unites a file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (5 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:16 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism kingdom. Monarchs in the Shakespearean canon also provide various models of impartiality (e.g., Lear, Richard II). In Hamlet, the impartiality ideal in a king makes a subject (e.g., Horatio) appear limited, partial, fragmented and suggests trouble at the heart of the dramatic (and monarchical) value of impartiality (10). Hamlets malfunctioning synecdoche suggests why critics struggle with the play as if it were incomplete. Ophelia possesses an interest in the union of parts, and her eventual madness may be a sign of a dis-integration deep within that trope of integration (27). Confidence in the trope explains Shakespeares departure from the classical unities, but synecdochic discourses are already being dismantled in the most celebrated of Renaissance texts, the tragedies of Shakespeare (30). [ top ] Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CARNIVAL / DECONSTRUCTION / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE This essay approaches Hamlet as his own Fool, who can be seen to subvert Hamlet so thoroughly as to reduce to laughter the very idea of serious tragedy (83). A review of concurring critics (e.g., Levin, Graves, McGee, Wiles, Bristol) provides some basis for this argument. Theater history suggests changes in theatrical conventions to explain why Hamlets laughter has been subverted: while Elizabethan audiences were encouraged to participate, modern audiences fear making a faux pas and suffer from the social constraints of an elitist forum (91). Perhaps Elizabethan audiences would have perceived Hamlets insults to the groundlings as rough intimacies (92), laughing at the ritualistic sacrifice of the fool in carnivalesque style and at Horatios suggestion of singing angels (94). Hamlet appears to erase itself not merely through metadrama or other linguistics-based critical theory, but through the laughter of Death, which is not satirical laughter but the inclusive, absolute, all-affirming, feasting, social laughter of the folk (all the people), the laughter of carnival (97). [ top ] Bell, Millicent. Hamlet, Revenge! Hudson Review 51 (1998): 310-28. GENRE / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (6 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism This article perceives Hamlet as contemporary and as belonging to that latest Renaissance moment which Shakespeare shares with Montaigne. Yet it deliberately frames its modernity within an archaic kind of story (311). The stock characteristics of the revenge drama genre receive modernist twists, as if Shakespeare struggles to evade tradition and audience expectations (314). For example, the traditional Revengers feigning of madness should divert suspicions, but Hamlets use of a mask draws attention and raises questions of appearance versus reality; Hamlets elements of the metadrama and the mystery play also contribute to such questions, challenging the distinctions between theater/reality and actor/audience. Another conundrum presented in the play is the problem of self-conception. Hamlet appears so pliable in nature, through appearances and contradictions, that he seems the dramatic embodiment of Montaignes Essays, which denied the stabilityor even realityof personal essence (319). He also seems tortured by the Shakespearean periods anxiety over the new man who challenged prescribed form (320). But Hamlet must come to terms with the conflict between thought and action; he must accept his primary role of Revenger, just as Shakespeare must concede to the audiences expectations (327). [ top ] Bugliani, Francesca. In the mind to suffer: Hamlets Soliloquy, To be, or not to be. Hamlet Studies 17.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1995): 10-42. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This article analyzes Hamlets To be, or not to be soliloquy as a deliberation on the conflict between reason and passion (11). After surveying the Elizabethan scholarship on passion, it examines how Shakespeare modelled Hamlet according to Elizabethan and Jacobean ideas of melancholy (11). Hamlet frequently assumes a melancholic mask when interacting with other characters, but his melancholic sentiments expressed through soliloquies appear genuine rather than stereotypical (14). A line-by-line analysis of the To be, or not to be soliloquy suggests that it encapsulates the main theme of Hamlet: Both the play and the soliloquy are animated by the conflict between the ideal of Socratic or, more precisely Stoic, imperturbability cherished by Hamlet and his guiltless, inevitable and tragic subjection to the perturbations of the mind (26). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (7 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Burnett, Mark Thornton. "'For they are actions that a man might play': Hamlet as Trickster." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 24-54. CARNIVAL / HAMLET / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This essay's "hoped-for result is to draw attention to a set of relations between the trickster theme in the play and the social, economic and political forces which lend Hamlet its note of specifically Elizabethan urgency" (29). Shakespeare's play conjures "a spectrum of archetypal trickster intrigues" through multiple characters (34): "it "enlists the traditions of the fox, the fool, and the rogue, complicating the expectation that the play can be understood in terms of a diagrammatic relationship between those who trick and those who are tricked" (43). But the focus is primarily on "Hamlet's own tricksy practices" (34). While the Prince "follows in the path of the trickster in choosing words and theatre as the weapons with which he will secure his role as revenger," "his sense of purpose is often blunted, from within (by Claudius) and from without (by the Ghost)"-like the traditional trickster who battles multiple foes of "local or familial networks" (37). Historically, the trickster's "malleable form presented itself as an answer to, and an expression of, the early modern epistemological dilemma" (51). For example, Hamlet raises concerns of religion, succession, and gender, comparable to the "unprecedented social forms and new ideological configurations" experienced while Elizabeth I reigned as monarch (49-50). In a carnivalesque style, Hamlet affords Elizabethans "a release of tensions" and a means of "social protest" through its trickster(s) (50). [ top ] Champion, Larry S. A springe to catch woodcocks: Proverbs, Characterization, and Political Ideology in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 24-39. HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL This article analyzes Shakespeares conscious use of proverbs to develop and enhance characterization and also to lend emotional and intellectual credibility to an ideological leitmotif that foregrounds political issues of concern to the Elizabethan spectator (26). The proverbs spoken by Polonius, Laertes, and Ophelia reflect an intellectual shallowness; Claudius proverbs suggest something sinister and Machiavellian about his character; and Hamlets proverbs (as well as the ones others use to describe the Prince) reveal something of the complexity of the man (28). Aside from helping to develop file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (8 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism characters, Shakespeares application of proverbs also forces the spectators attention to political issues that underlie the major action (32), such as the struggle for power and concern for legitimacy. Given the political climate of the Elizabethan period, Shakespeares audience was interested in these political matters. The playwright uses proverbs to generate a high degree of interest in oppositional politics by depicting diverse ideologies that compete on stage in recreated Denmark and in the minds of the English spectators (34). [ top ] Clary, Frank Nicholas. The very cunning of the scene: Hamlets Divination and the Kings Occulted Guilt. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 7-28. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM This essay argues that contemporary circumstances would have enabled late Elizabethan and early Jacobean audiences to recognize Hamlets Mousetrap play as an evocation of the theatricalized divinations of English cunning men (8). Reports of cunning men and cunning women (a.k.a. sorcerers and witches) reveal that these people were once popular in England and that they performed ritualistic functionssuch as detecting guilt in criminals. Hamlets Mousetrap duplicates methods of ceremony used by the cunning, suggesting his occultism; his language, particularly in the soliloquy following The Murder of Gonzago, implies that the Prince has been instructed in that devilish art (11). He becomes a mimic celebrant in an inversion ritual, which is a perverse imitation of the method of sacramental atonement (12). The Jacobean audiences would have recognized Hamlet as a cunning man because of King Jamess active persecution of sorcerers and witches, as well as his publications on the evils of occultism, perhaps explaining the renewed popularity of this revenge tragedy (14). Fortunately, Hamlet leaves his sinister education at sea and returns from his voyage with a new faith in Christian tenets (e.g., providence). When Hamlet does strike against Claudius, he reacts spontaneously as an instrument of divine retribution (15), proves his readiness and confirms his faith (16). By reworking the legend of Amleth, Shakespeare removes Hamlet from the clutches of the devil by having him place himself in the hands of providence (15). This tragic drama ultimately transcends the practical concerns of politics and exorcises the occultism of the blacker arts (16). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (9 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Coyle, Martin. Hamlet, Gertrude and the Ghost: The Punishment of Women in Renaissance Drama. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (Oct. 1996): 29-38. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM By presenting Hamlet in the context of the Renaissance drama canon, this essay argues that Hamlets difficulties over Gertrude are not so much psychological as political, or, more accurately perhaps, ideological (29). A survey of Renaissance revenge tragedies (e.g., A Woman Killed with Kindness, Othello, The Changeling, Tis Pity Shes a Whore, The Revengers Tragedy) reveals the key codes of disciplining an adulteress: the male has a duty to punish the female (and perhaps to rescue her soul) (31); the punishment is a reclaiming of rights over her body and control of her will (33); any physical violence must be within the boundaries of propriety (e.g., suffocation) (33); and only husbands or lovers are permitted to kill the woman (34). This brief study also highlights the importance of the marital bed as a symbol. Hamlets protagonist repeatedly stresses Gertrudes soiled bed, revealing a primary concern to restore the royal bed to its former status as a symbol of chaste marriage, fidelity, loyalty, innocence (37). In the closet scene, the son breaks with the Ghost by attempting to punish (and to save) the adulteress with verbal violence, but Gertrude can only be saved by her true husband, Old Hamlet, who, of course, cannot help or harm her (36); her destiny is sealed by sexual codes that lie outside their [the Ghosts and Hamlets] control and, indeed, outside the control of the text (36). In the final scene, Hamlet acts in his own right to avenge his mother and himself rather than as an agent of his father (35). By moving away from the tradition of the Oedipus Complex, this interpretation shows how different Hamlet is from the play modern psychological criticism had given us (37). [ top ] Dane, Gabrielle. Reading Ophelias Madness. Exemplaria 10 (1998): 405-23. FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA Admittedly negotiating the simultaneous rationalization and preservation of insantiy, this article attempts to answer the important question of how to read Ophelias madness. Ophelia initially appears shaped to conform to external demands, to reflect others desires (406): she is Laertes angel, Polonius commodity (407), and Hamlets spectre of his psychic fears (410). While the conflicting messages from these male/masculine sources damage Ophelias psychological identity, their sudden absence provokes her mental destruction. file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (10 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Optimistically, Ophelias madness offers the capability of speech, the opportunity to discover individual identity, and the power to verbally undermine authority. A thorough analysis of Ophelias mad ramblings (and their mutual levels of meaning) provides a singular expos of society, of the turbulent reality beneath its surface veneer of calm (418); but her words still suggest a fragmented self and provide others the opportunity to manipulate meanings that best suit them. Ophelias death is also open to interpretation. While the Queen describes the accidental drowning of an unconsciously precocious child (422), this article suggests that Ophelias choice might be seen as the only courageousindeed rationaldeath in Shakespeares bloody drama (423). [ top ] de Grazia, Margreta. Weeping For Hecuba. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 350-75. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PSYCHOANALYTIC While Freud argued that the loss of the father greatly influenced Shakespeare during the writing of Hamlet, this article uses Freuds source (Brandes William Shakespeare: A Critical Study) to stress an overlooked historical fact of equal importance: Shakespeare bought land around this time because his fatherlike Hamletsdid not leave an inheritance for the son. This article suggests that Hamlet dramatizes the difficulty of mourning a father who did not make good the promise of the patronymic (360-61). The grave yard scene, the only instance when Hamlet truly expresses grief, focuses on property. For example, who does the grave belong to, the gravedigger or the dead? In his musings over the gravediggers handling of the dead, Hamlet mentions extinct world conquerors, emperors, landlords, and lawyersall who once held land, but who are now held by the land (357). While Hamlet derides the thirst for, quest after, and transience of property, he eagerly jumps into Ophelias grave to compete with Laertes for the property. But, in this all-consuming and passionate grief, Hamlet never mentions his father. Old Hamlet left his son none of the patrinomial properties that secure lineal continuityland, title, arms, signet, royal bed (364). Without these inheritances, Hamlets memory is insufficiently impressed to remember his father, causing the son to forget the date of his Old Hamlets death, for instance (365). In comparison, Shakespeare had to cope with the absence of an inheritance from his father and the lack of an heir to pass his own estate onto. Freuds father also could not leave an inheritance to his son because, at the time, laws restricted Jews from owning and transmitting property (369). These three sons share the meager legacy of guilt upon their file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (11 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism fathers deaths: According to Freud, Freud experienced it while writing about Shakespeare, Shakespeare experienced it while writing Hamlet, and Hamlet experienced it in the play that has continued since the onset of the modern period to bear so tellingly on the ever-changing here and now (369). [ top ] Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL This essay explores "cultural resonances between the politically unstable time of Judges in Israel's history, the political confusion in Hamlet's Denmark, and the anxiety over succession in late-Elizabethan England" (133). While Jephthah's daughter and Ophelia share similarities, they also differ in an important way: the unnamed daughter is an obedient sacrifice, and Ophelia "develops from her status as a victim" to "an author of a potentially different story, a woman's story" (133-34). Ophelia comes to realize her subversive potential and, in a commanding oration about the weakening of Hamlet's "noble mind," laments the lose of her own political ambitions (135). But her madness empowers her with liberties, such as demanding a meeting with Gertrude. Once granted entrance, "she, like a wandering player, comes to hold a mirror up to the court" (136). Gone is her submissive voice, replaced by "a range of voices" (137). Ophelia now "commands attention" (137). Interestingly, her invasion of the court parallels Laertes' rebellious entrance: they have "competing political claims, his assertive and explicit, hers subversive and encoded in mad woman's language" (137). Because her songs "introduce the protesting voice of oppressed women in society" through the veils of a ballad culture, Ophelia is not understood by her male audience; but her "rebellion against the double standard and its oppression of women arouses fear in Gertrude, who understands" (138). When the Queen reports Ophelia's drowning, she insists "on her time and the attention of the plotting men" (138). Her description portrays "a woman who draws her understanding of her world from women's culture" (139). The Queen, "perhaps like Jephthah's daughter's maiden friends, returned from temporary exile to interpret the meaning of the sacrificed daughter's life" (140). [ top ] Fike, Matthew A. Gertrudes Mermaid Allusion. On Page and Stage: file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (12 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. Krakw: Towarzystwo Autorw, 2000. 259-75. [Originally printed in the-hard-tofind B. A. S.: British and American Studies 2 (1999): 15-25.] HAMLET / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay proposes that the mermaid allusiona powerful nexus of mythological and folk materialenables a new perspective on Gertrudes speech and the play (259). Gertrudes description of Ophelia as mermaidlike (4.7.176) in the drowning report evokes a whole tradition from Homers sirens to mermaid references in Shakespeares own time because sirens and mermaids were conflated (and interchangeable) by the Elizabethan period (260-61). While the Christian Church linked both images to the temptations of the flesh (261), natural histories, literary works, travel literature, popular ballads, and reports of actual mermaid sightings all contributed to Elizabethans perception of a mermaid (262): eternally youthful, beautiful, embodying the mystery of the ocean, and possessing an alluring song (263). Although the first lines of Gertrudes speech do have unmistakable resonances with mermaid lore (265) and mermaid lore supports the possibility that being spurned by Hamlet may be a cause of both madness and suicide" (266), it is her [Ophelias] divergence from the myth that is significant (264). For example, legend held that a mortal male could trick a mermaid into marriage by stealing her cap; but, in Hamlet, the pattern is reversed: Hamlet gives Ophelia tokens of their betrothal which she returns to him in the nunnery scene (264). The implication is that Ophelia is not a mermaid shackled to a mortal husband because of a trick, but instead a young woman who knows her own mind and frankly brings the symbolism of her relationship into harmony with the loss of emotional warmth (364). Rather than a derogatory description of a chaste Ophelia, the mermaid allusion echoes a native folk tradition of misogynistic insecurity (267) and participates in Hamlets larger image pattern of prostitution and sexuality (268). In addition, the mermaids human/beast duality suggests not only the danger of feminine seductiveness (Ophelia, Gertrude) but also the rational call (Horatio) to epic duty (the ghost)symbolically merging the two extremes that Hamlet struggles with in the play (270). [ top ] Floyd-Wilson, Mary. Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds. Womens Studies 21 (1992): 397409. file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (13 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / RECEPTION THEORY This article contends that by the late eighteenth century, the eras evolving notions of gender and the paradoxical effects of censorship actually infused representations of Ophelia with erotic and discordant elements (397). Performance reviews and the script from William Davenants revival of Hamlet present the Prince as the ideal and honorable hero, Ophelia as the ideal woman, and their relationship as (the ideal) romance. Such changes from the original source are made possible through the deletion of dialogue: Laertes cautioning of Ophelia about Hamlets intentions, Polonius directing of Ophelia to withdraw from Hamlets suit, Ophelias replies to Hamlets sexual innuendoes, and Ophelias most bawdy lines in the mad scene. The final product is a sexually unaware and innocent Ophelia, but this shadow of Shakespeares character combines the residual (though censored) sexual awareness of the Renaissance with an emerging ideal of the inherently pure and moral female (402). Almost a century later, David Garrick introduced large production changes, including modifications to endow Ophelia with the natural feminine qualities valued in his own period: passivity and emotionalism (403). His Ophelia actor, Susannah Cibber, initiated the femininity in Ophelia. The contrasts between the two productions of Hamlet and the social periods suggest that the eighteenth centurys censorship helped turn sex into a secretsynonymous with truthresulting in the modern desire to release it from its repressive constraints (407). [ top ] Fox-Good, Jacquelyn A. Ophelias Mad Songs: Music, Gender, Power. Subjects on the Worlds Stage: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Ed. David C. Allen and Robert A. White. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 217-38. FEMINISM / MUSIC / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA After discussing the study of Shakespearean music, this essay approaches the words and music of Ophelias mad songs as constituting her own story, using her own voice for her own grief, and for rage and protest (222). In the historical context of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, music is associated with madness, a female malady to borrow Showalters phrase (231-32). Aside from the subversive power of music, this mediums identification with the female/effeminate creates fear, which led many writers of the period to issue strong warnings against the dangers of music and music education (232). Ophelias songs end her dutiful silence and constitute her character (233). file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (14 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Specifically, in their melodies, harmonies, tempos, and generally in the bodily power of their music, her songs are expressions of loss and emptiness but also of a specifically female power (233). Ophelias assertion of her power in music makes music a kind of secret code, a deceptively pretty language; music is nothing (nothing but all things); it is noting; it is to be noted, and reckoned with (234). [ top ] Goldman, Michael. Hamlet: Entering the Text. Theatre Journal 44 (1992): 44960. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE While suggesting that drama may provide, at least in some respects, the more illuminating case of the encounter with writing, this article explores Shakespeares treatment of the person/text negotiation in Hamlet (449). Through the dynamism of performance, script and actor become inseparable (450) because scriptedness and improvisation merge on stage (450). This interplay of script and improvisation underlies the call to revenge in Hamlet: the Ghost seems to provide a clear cut script for his son, but Hamlets path to revenge is tortuous, filled with improvised diversions and digressions (452). While the play explores the necessary relation between scriptedness and improvisation, it is also concerned . with whats involved in entering into a script (452). Hamlet regularly reenacts the basic scene that takes place when an actor prepares or performs a part, the entry into the text (453), such as the replaying of a situation (e.g., Old Hamlets murder) (453). While such a metadramatic acting exercise (453) suggests one method of entering the text, a concern with the stability and instability of texts runs through the play (454). Hamlets sense of a tense and uncertain relation to a text, which exacts both commitment and risky departure, may have had a special relevance to the circumstances of Elizabethan dramatic production (455) because the performance of an Elizabethan play momentarily stabilized the uncertain mix of possibilities contained in the playhouse manuscript (456). The plays exploration of play-acting and the relation of texts and scripts to performance may also be reflective of the larger problematic of human action that Hamlet experiences and, ultimately, comes to terms with: human action itself, like the performance of an actor, is an intervention, an entry into something very like a script, a text of interwoven actions, an entry that, though it raises the central questions of human choice and responsibility, can never be made in full knowledge or confidence about the ultimate result of that choice (457). This article recommendation is to conceive of this critical relation . of reader and file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (15 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism text, in a way that acknowledges something of that importance which is felt by all who are drawn to literatureas a relation of commitment, a relation of responsibility, a relation certainly requiring the focus of ones full bodily life on something which is not oneself, a relation constrained by time and history and the need for choice, but above all a relation of adventure (460). [ top ] Greenblatt, Stephen. The Mousetrap. Shakespeare Studies 35 (1997): 1-32. [Reprinted in Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatts Practicing New Historicism (2000).] NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This article begins by exploring the observation that most of the significant and sustained thinking in the early modern period about the nature of linguistic signs centered on or was deeply influenced by Eucharistic controversies (8), such as theatricality, idolatry, and vulnerability of matter. This article then proposes that the literature of the period was written in the shadow of these controversies and that apparently secularly works are charged with the language of Eucharistic anxiety (20). In Hamlet, the protagonist reports that the dead Polonius may be found at supper: the supper where the host does not eat but is eaten is the supper of the Lord (21). He also comments on worms, an allusion to the Diet of Worms where Luthers doctrines were officially condemned by the Holy Roman Emperor (21). The allusion functions to echo and reinforce the theological and, specifically, the Eucharistic subtext (21). Hamlet explains his meaning as Nothing but to show you how a king may / go a progress through the guts of a beggar (4.3.30-31). While half-buried here is a death threat against the usurper-king, the rage in Hamlets words reaches beyond his immediate enemy to touch his fathers body, rotting in the grave (21). The father charges Hamlet to revenge his murder, but the task becomes mired in the flesh that will not melt away, that cannot free itself from longings for mother and lover (23). And the task is further complicated by the fathers own entanglements in the flesh because he died with sins on his head (23). Furthermore, the communion of ghostly father and carnal son is more complex, troubled not only by the sons madness and suicidal despair but by the persistent, ineradicable materialism figured in the progress of a king through the guts of a beggar (25). In the graveyard scene, when Hamlet follows the noble dust of Alexander until he finds it stopping a bung-hole, he does not go on to meditate on the immortality of Alexanders incorporeal name or spirit. The progress he sketches is the progress of a world that is all matter (26). The significance of the Eucharistic controversies for English literature in particular file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (16 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism lies less in the problem of the sign than in . the problem of the leftover, that is, the status of the material reminder (8). [ top ] Greenblatt, Stephen. Remember Me. Hamlet in Purgatory. By Greenblatt. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. 205-57. GHOST / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / THEOLOGICAL While continuing the monographs historical exploration of the afterlife of Purgatory and of remembrance of the dead in England (3), this chapter begins by examining Hamlets shift of spectral obligation from vengeance to remembrance (207) and by analyzing how Shakespeare weirdly and unexpectedly conjoins memory as haunting with its opposite, the fading of remembrance (218). It then approaches the core argument of the monograph: the psychological in Shakespeares tragedy is constructed almost entirely out of the theological, and specifically out of the issue of remembrance that . lay at the heart of the crucial early-sixteenth-century debate about Purgatory (229). Although the Church of England had explicitly rejected the Roman Catholic conception of Purgatory and the practices that had been developed around it in 1563 (235), the Elizabethan theater circumvented the resulting censorship by representing Purgatory as a sly jest, a confidence trick, a mistake . But it could not be represented as a frightening reality. Hamlet comes closer to doing so than any other play of this period (236). Through a network of allusions to Purgatory (e.g., for a certain term [1.5.10], burned and purged [1.5.13], Yes, by Saint Patrick [1.5.136], hic et ubique [1.5.156]), as well as Hamlets attention to (and brooding upon) the Ghosts residence/source (236-37), the play presents a frightening-yet-absolving alternative to Hell. The play also seems a deliberate forcing together of radically incompatible accounts of almost everything that matters in Hamlet, such as Catholic versus Protestant tenets regarding the body and rituals (240). The prevalent distribution of printed religious arguments heightens the possibility that these works are sources for Shakespeares play: they stage an ontological argument about spectrality and remembrance, a momentous public debate, that unsettled the institutional moorings of a crucial body of imaginative materials and therefore made them available for theatrical appropriation (249). For example, Foxes comedic derision of Mores theological stance helped make Shakespeares tragedy possible. It did so by participating in a violent ideological struggle that turned negotiations with the dead from an institutional process governed by the church to a poetic process governed by guilt, projection, and imagination (252). The Protestant attack on the middle state of souls . did not destroy the longings file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (17 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism and fears that Catholic doctrine had focused and exploited; instead, the space of Purgatory becomes the space of the stage where old Hamlets Ghost is doomed for a certain term to walk the night (256-57). [ top ] Gross, Kenneth. The Rumor of Hamlet. Raritan 14.2 (Fall 1994): 43-67. GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM This study proposes that the nature of Hamlets verbal offense comes through with particular resonance if we read the play against the background of Elizabethan attitudes towards slander and rumor (45). Although Hamlet expresses a concern for reputation while waiting with Horatio for the Ghost and later in the final scene, he dons the disguise of madness which makes him nothing but a blot, a shame, on the memory of his former self and on the court of Denmark; he also becomes the plays chief slandererslandering the entire world, it seems (48). In Elizabethan England, the belief that human beings cannot escape slander is a commonplace (49). Hamlet is located in a historical context where slander is seen as the product of an uncontrollable passion and as a poison that wounds its speaker as much as its victims (50). The difficulty of controlling rumors invests them with a fearful power (52). Hamlets power is in his complexly staged desire to seal away a self, or the rumor of a self (57). Hamlets refusal to be known may constitute one facet of his revenge against the world for having had his liberty, his purposes and desires, stolen by the demands of the ghost (58). The Ghost is, like Hamlet, a figure at once subjected by and giving utterance to slander and rumor (60). Its account of Claudius crime, if true, offers one of the plays more troubling images of the way that scandalous rumor can circulate in the worlds ear (63). The scene also suggests that the authority which seeks to control or correct rumor is itself contaminated with rumor, even constituted by it (64). Perceiving the Ghost as rumor can prevent us from assuming that the words of the ghost have a nature essentially different from the words which other human characters speak, repeat, and recall within the course of the play (66). Perhaps we are endangered as much by our failure to hear certain rumors as by our taking others too much to heart (67). [ top ] Guillory, John. To please the wiser sort: Violence and Philosophy in Hamlet. file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (18 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 82-109. NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay explores the difference between philosophy and theology as early modern discourses; philosophy . can be seen to counter the fratricidal or sectarian violence provoked by theological dispute (84). Philosophy appears as a discourse that in the sixteenth century could contemplate its own incompleteness, in contrast to the field of theology, where every position violently excluded some other position (87-88). Given the periods budding interest in materialism, the ambiguities of the Ghost and Hamlets obsession with matter (e.g., dirt, dust) suggest that Hamlet contains the performance of philosophy (93). Perhaps the intent was to attract a sub-sect of the elite audience towards the common theater and away from the child troupes (93). This particular audience was well aware of how the courts elaborate machinery of ceremony, manners, and fashion served to sublimate the violence latent in struggles for position or patronage (97). But violence was never completely eradicated, as methods of intrigue and factionboth prevalent in Hamletprovided alternatives (97). Hamlet initially attempts to expose rather than avenge his fathers murder by resorting to the cultural form of the theater (99). But The Mousetrap fails him and delegitimates not Claudius but court society itself (99). Philosophy, an alternative to violence, can only provide Hamlet with temporary relief (102). He ultimately embraces providence, God, etc., marking the moment when theology overtakes the play not to announce an exilic peace, but to incite violence (103). Perhaps Shakespeare attempted to provoke the wiser sort to entertain the most radical pacific of philosophical thoughts, what we now call materialism, the great philosopheme of early modernity (104). [ top ] Harries, Martin. The Ghost of Hamlet in the Mine. Scare Quotes from Shakespeare: Marx, Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment. By Harries. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000. 93-122. GHOST / MARXISM / NEW HISTORICISM While contributing to the monographs argument that Shakespeare provides a privileged language for the apprehension of the supernaturalwhat I call reenchantmentin works by Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and others (1), this chapter begins by identifying Marxs appropriation of Well said, old mole file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (19 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism (1.5.162) as an instance of phantasmagoria of a kind, a moment where what is, in theory, emergentthe rupture caused by the revolutiontakes the form of old, in the allusion to Hamlet (97). In comparison, the Ghost, that old mole, is an archaic face for a nascent world of economic exchange (97) because the Ghost in the mine is a spirit of capitalism (98). Hamlets reference to the Ghost as mole, pioneer (1.5.163), and truepenny (1.5.150)all mining termsand the spirits mobile presence in the cellarage scene initiate the matter of the relationship between the economic and authority in Hamlet as a whole (106). For example, Hamlet unsettles the Ghosts authority by calling attention to its theatricality (106)this fellow in the cellarage (1.5.151); but the scene links the Ghost and its haunting to one of the crucial phantasmagorical places of early modern culture: the mine. The mine was at once source for raw materials crucial to the growing capitalist culture and, so to speak, a super-nature preserve, a place where the spirits of popular belief had a continuing life, as historical accounts on mining show (108). Perhaps the cellarage scene aroused fears related to the rising hegemony of capitalist forms of value (108). By focusing on the entanglement of the Ghost and the mine, a different Hamlet becomes visible, one that locates a troubled nexus at the heart of modernitythe phantasmagorical intersection of antiquated but powerful authority, the supernatural, and, in the mines, the material base of a commodity culture (116). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL Expanding on John Doeblers work, this essay explores the plethora of connotations of mouse and mousetrap. In relation to Gertrude, the mouse reference in the closet scene could be a term of endearment or a pejorative reference to a lustful person (79). Historically, mouse is also connected with the devils entrapment of human lust with the mousetrap (80); hence, Hamlets diction suggests that he perceives Gertrude at once as the snare that catches the devil Claudius (and the son Hamlet?) in lust, and snared herself in the same devils mousetrap (82). With Claudius, the mouse implies destructive and lascivious impulses (84). Hamlet also is associated with the mouse in his role as mouser or metaphorical cat. For example, the cat-like, teasing method in Hamlets madness appears in his dialogue with Claudius immediately prior to the start of The Mousetrap (88). The mousetrap trope becomes part of a file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (20 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism pattern of images in Hamlet that poises the clarity of poetic justice against a universe of dark of unknowing, as the trapper must himself die to purify a diseased kingdom (91). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84. ART / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL After exploring the representations of Annunciation in art and religion, this essay argues that Hamlets parodies and distortions of a rich array of traditional Annunciation motifs are set ironically but not didactically against his tendency to trust his own reason and to assert his own will against the inscrutable will of God (58). The nunnery scene, with Ophelia manipulated into the posturing of a pseudo Mary, merits intense focus. For example, the curtains that Claudius and Polonius hide behind are, by the late sixteenth century, quite commonly a part of Annunciation iconography (63). Such distorted and parodied Annunciation motifs inform the impossible miracles that Hamlet demands of Ophelia and Gertrude, his maid and his mother, as only Mary can fulfill both roles chastely (67). While evidence in the text suggests Ophelias virginity, the maid is only a poor imitation of the thing itself, of Mary (73): she is a victim rather than a hero, used, manipulated, betrayed (72). Hamlet too is unlike Mary due to his distrust of Gods Providence (73) and his rejection of the traditional Christian scheme of fall and redemption (74). Although Hamlet is never painted simply in Marys image (76), he is moving at the end of the play, inexorably if also inconsistently, towards letting be, rest in a silence, a wisdom, of Marian humility (77). [ top ] Hillman, David. The Inside Story. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 299-324. NEW HISTORICISM / PSYCHOANALYTIC Hoping to illuminate aspects of the early modern period (299), this essay traces uses of the spatial metaphor of inner and outer and some of the ways in which it has profound ties to questions of faith and doubt (300). It begins by file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (21 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism briefly examining the role of this [inner/outer] binary in the constitution of the subject as it is understood by psychoanalysis and, then, outlines some ways in which the figure can be seen to be pervasive in early modern English culture (300). Lastly, this essay explores how Hamlet engages the question of inward and outward through its protagonists obsessive attention to the bodys innards and a concomitant attachment to an idea of the truth as something specifically and exclusively interior (300). The strident insistence on an absolute separation of inner and outer collapses in upon itself, as the external world and its inhabitants are found to be always already within, and the private, internal world is revealed to be expressible, after all, in the forms, moods, shapes of the body and the words that emerge from its interior (317). [ top ] Hirsh, James. Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies. Modern Language Quarterly 58 (March 1997): 1-26. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This article declares that the To be, or not to be passage was originally staged as a feigned soliloquy, spoken by Hamlet to mislead other characters about his state of mind (2). The Shakespearean canon provides evidence that Shakespeare, perhaps more than other playwrights, explored the potential consequences, comic and tragic, of the fact that human beings do not have access to one anothers minds (9). He was able to do so because Elizabethan theatergoers were not required to distinguish soliloquies that represent speech from those that represent thought (7). In Hamlet, when a suspicious Hamlet arrives at the location designated by his enemy, sees Ophelia, and draws the obvious conclusion that she has been enlisted in a conspiracy against him, he also sees an opportunity to turn the tables on the conspirators (12). He does not mention his real concerns: the Ghost, Claudius, and The Mousetrap. And, departing from his other soliloquies, Hamlet never refers to his personal situation or uses a first-person singular pronoun (12). Although the To be, or not to be passage was originally staged as a feigned soliloquy (14), the closing of the theaters in 1642 broke the English theatrical tradition (15). When they reopened in 1660, preferences had changed: Restoration playgoers lacked the taste for elaborate eavesdropping episodes that had so fascinated Renaissance playgoers (15). A historical survey charts the results of this profound change in taste, such as the misapplication of the term soliloquy and the obliteration of any distinction between the representation of speech and the representation of thought (17). Unfortunately, the erroneous belief that the file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (22 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism To be soliloquy represented Hamlets thoughts and the erroneous belief that soliloquies of all ages typically represented the thoughts of characters became mutually reinforcing (22). If critics continue to operate with a blind adherence to untenable orthodox assumptions, then this most famous passage in literature, countless other episodes in plays before the middle of the seventeenth century, the history of dramatic technique, and the history of the construction of subjectivity will all continue to be grossly misunderstood (26). [ top ] Jardine, Lisa. No offence i th world: Hamlet and Unlawful Marriage. Uses of History: Marxism, Postmodernism and the Renaissance. Ed. Francis Barker, Peter Hume, and Margaret Iverson. Essex Symposia: Literature/Politics/Theory. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991. 123-39. [Reprinted in David Scott Kastans Critical Essays on Shakespeares Hamlet (1995).] FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM While distinguishing its approach from retrospective critical activity (126), this essay sets out to provide a historical account which restores agency to groups hitherto marginalised or left out of what counts as historical explanationnonlite men and all women (125). In Hamlet, Gertrudes marriage to Claudius appears unlawful by the early modern periods standards, and it deprives Hamlet of his lawful succession (130). Gertrude has participated in the remarriagehas (literally) alienated her son, and Old Hamlets name (135). In denying Gertrude exoneration, we have recovered the guilt surrounding her as a condition of her oppression: women are not permanently in the object position, they are subjects. To be always object and victim is not the material reality of womans existence, nor is it her lived experience (135). [ top ] Kallendorf, Hilaire. Intertextual Madness in Hamlet: The Ghosts Fragmented Performativity. Renaissance and Reformation 22.4 (1998): 69-87. GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM While arguing against a reductive/restrictive view of Hamlet, this essay proposes that the entextualization of the relevant passages of Reginald Scots The Discouerie of Witchcraft and King James Is Daemonologie from their original positions in the cultural dialogue, along with their appropriation by Shakespeare file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (23 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism and recontextualization in his play, alter our understanding of Hamlets madness and add another dimension, another voiceby offering a diabolical mask for the Ghost to try on (70). The cultural and linguistic processes of entextualization, appropriation, and recontextualization inevitably result in the fragmentation of discourse; And what is madness but one potential fragmentation of discourse? (70-71). Hamlets madness, commonly perceived as a factor of the Ghosts message (77), is represented in terms of demonic possession. For example, when the Ghost appears in the closet scene, Gertrude describes Hamlets visual appearance using the language of the exorcists to describe demoniacs (77-78). Although critics generally attribute Hamlets symptoms to melancholy (78), the two demonological treatises (70) support the notion that many Elizabethans and Jacobeans viewed melancholy as actually caused by demons (78). Interestingly, the Ghost, particularly in its first appearance, is also illuminated by these two treatises (75). From its armor to its ultimate purpose for revenge (77), the Ghost parallels details found in the two treatises regarding the supernatural. While one might see Hamlets mad fragmented discourse as part of a larger pattern in his character (79), few have interpreted the Ghost in light of this same performativity theme (80). In actuality, the Ghost, like Hamlet, tries on different identities in the course of the play (80-81). Perhaps the incessant trying on of different identities by both Hamlet and the Ghost in this play is what continues to fascinate audiences and scholars (81). [ top ] Kusunoki, Akiko. Oh most pernicious woman: Gertrude in the Light of Ideas on Remarriage in Early Seventeenth-Century England. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 169-84. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM Contending that Shakespeares original audience would have viewed the Queen as a potent figure in her flouting of patriarchal dictates through her remarriage, this reading of Hamlet examines the significance of the representation of Gertrude in the context of societys changing attitudes towards a widows remarriage in early seventeenth-century England (170). Gertrudes remarriage demonstrates an interesting possibility of female agency that contributes to the undermining of residual cultural values in the play (173). Religious and literary sources of the Elizabethan period (e.g., Characters, The Widows Tears) reflect dominant sentiments against a widows remarriage, but historical research shows the social reality that upper class widows often remarried (175). Their independence and ability to choose a new mate file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (24 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism presented a contradiction to patriarchal ideology and posed a radical threat to the existing social structure (176). But changing attitudes were also emerging during this period: Puritans started to argue the benefits of a widows remarrying, and Montaignes Essays proposed an utterly realistic understanding of human natureparticularly of female sexuality (179-80). In this light, the marriage between Claudius and Gertrude might not have seemed to some members of the Elizabethan audience particularly reprehensible (179). Although Hamlet succeeds in desexualizing his mother in the closet scene, Gertrude maintains her own authority by continuing to love Claudius while denying his order not to drink from the chalice (180). Her attitude to her remarriage points to the emergent forces in the changing attitude towards female sexuality in early seventeenth-century England (180). [ top ] Kurland, Stuart M. Hamlet and the Scottish Succession? SEL 34 (1994): 279300. NEW HISTORICISM This article argues that the late Elizabethan succession questionspecifically the anticipation that James VI of Scotland might succeed the aging Elizabethfigures importantly in Hamlet (279). Research of historical facts and private correspondences suggest the anxiety of Shakespeares audience. Horatios concern for the populaces reaction to Hamlets death and to Fortinbras claim to the throne seems out of character but perhaps reasonable in light of the audiences fears. Claudius precarious hold on the crown always seems seriously endangered (by real, imagined, or potential threats), as Laertes rebellion shows. But Claudius responsibility for the problems of his court are limited: Polonius represents the corruption of the courtiers in various countries. While this article makes no claims of a literal association between literary and historical figures (e.g., Fortinbras/James VI), it does insist that Shakespeares audience would have been unlikely to see in Hamlets story merely a private tragedy or in Fortinbras succession to the Danish throne a welcome and unproblematic restoration of order (293). [ top ] Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30. file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (25 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism GHOST / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay proposes that, by considering Hamlet within the context of the Reformation and the concurrent skeptical crisis, the distinctly epistemological making of Hamlets ineffectuality takes on an intriguing historical dimension: it suggests the utter ineffectuality of human knowledge as this ineffectuality was advocated by contemporary skeptics (218). The opening scene presents the debacle of human knowledge (219), the mixed, inconsistent, confused, and tentative versions of human understanding through the uselessness of Horatios learning to communicate with the Ghost and the in-conclusiveness of Bernardos Christian narrative to explain the spirit (220). This contradistinction with standard versions of early modern skepticism, which vindicate and embrace human ignorance as against the violent pressures of early modern religious dogmatism, suggests Shakespeare to be anxious about uncertainty and its discontents in a way that Greek and humanist skeptics never are (220). Hamlets direct echoing of contemporary thinkers as diverse as Montaigne and Bruno only strengthens the impression that the play, far from representing a systematic or even coherent line of thought, virtually subsumes the intellectual confusion of the age (221). The ghost functions as the very emblem of such confusion (221), withholding the type of knowledge most crucial to early modern minds: religious knowledge (220). The very issues that are associated, in the Gospels, with the defeat of skeptical anxiety, had become, during the Reformation, axes of debate, rekindling skeptical anxiety rather than abating it (223). In this context, the Ghost appears as an implicit, or inverted, revelation (222), a grotesque, parodic version of Christ resurrected (223): instead of elevating Hamlet to a truly novel and unprecedented level of knowledge (224), the Ghost leaves Hamlet with nothing but ignorance (222). Hamlet claims to believe the Ghost after The Mousetrap, but his ensuing blunders debunk the sense of certainty that he pretends to have established (227). The problem seems the inescapably political world of Denmark, where errors, partial judgements, and theological (mis)conceptions are never only academic, they cost people their lives and cannot, therefore, be dismissed as unavoidable and innocuous imperfections or indifferent trifles, as Montaigne and Pyrrhonist believe (228). [ top ] Lawrence, Sen Kevin. As a stranger, bid it welcome: Alterity and Ethics in Hamlet and the New Historicism. European Journal of English 4.2 (2000): 15569. file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (26 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL After exploring the competing theories of Levinas and Heideggar and supporting the first, this essay contends that while Hamlet recognizes the ethical demands impinging upon him, he avoids them; he attempts to reduce the Other to the Same (163). The Ghost ultimately charges Hamlet to Remember me (1.4.91), and Hamlet writes down the order. But penning the command is a significant gesture in Hamlets effort to sidestep it, to transform it into my word (1.5.110) (167). Hamlet tries to avoid the past as responsibility, defining the Ghost and thereby conquering its alterity (167). Hamlet also tries to conquer/control death by killing (166). For example, in the prayer scene, Hamlet decides to refrain from murder until he cannot only control Claudius death, but also effectively avert any threat that his ghost, like the elder Hamlets, might return from purgatory (166). To bring death within his control and to avoid the conscientious claim which the death of the Other would have upon him, Hamlet must turn the Other into something at least theoretically capable of appropriation (166). But Hamlets struggles against conscience only end in his becoming a sort of tyrant (163). Like Hamlet, critics try to shake the hold which the past as Other has upon us, but new historicists should avoid repeating Hamlets mistakes (169). [ top ] Levy, Eric P. Nor th exterior nor the inward man: The Problematics of Personal Identity in Hamlet. University of Toronto Quarterly 68.3 (Summer 1999): 71127. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay argues that Hamlet profoundly critiques prevailing assumptions regarding this relation [of inner/outer dimensions], and dramatizes an alternate conceptualization of human identity (711). In Hamlet, inwardness is notoriously problematic and in need of outward verification (712). But outward verification of inwardness is itself notoriously problematized in the world of the play, where characters hide behind false exteriors to probe behind the presumedly false exteriors of another (715). While exemplifying this problem in the play, Claudius and Polonius hiding behind the curtain to spy on Hamlet and Ophelia also epitomizes the notorious discord between inward and outward during the Renaissance (715). The periods emphasis on self-presentation led to suspicions concerning authenticity (715); hence, Hamlet applauds the actors skills at simulating the emotions deemed appropriate (717). This stress on outwardness also created an inconsolable isolation, as individuals had to file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (27 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism conform to the moral expectations of their audiences rather than their own inner worlds (716). In the play, death appears as a metaphor for the plight of inwardness, isolated from authentic and intelligible outward expression (717). For example, the Ghosts private suffering cannot be spoken of because the horror is too great (717), and a dying Hamlets assertion that the rest is silence (5.2.363) associates death with the incommunicable privacy of that centre of interiority (718). But, in the closet scene, Hamlet seems to realize that behavior can do more than confirm the inmost part. It can also modify or transform it (722). He directs Gertrude to Assume a virtue (3.4.162), not a false appearance, but a sincere imitation of virtue in order to overcome habits evil (3.4.164) (723). This notion of cathartic action, outward expression becomes the means of effecting inward reform (725). Unfortunately, Hamlet cannot completely reconcile the inner/outer reciprocal estrangement in the world of the play because he does not possess exclusive control (724). The play ends with Horatios and Fortinbras eulogies of the Prince, which transform Hamlets own exterior man (724). [ top ] Low, Anthony. Hamlet and the Ghost of Purgatory: Intimations of Killing the Father. English Literary Renaissance 29.3 (Autumn 1999): 443-67. GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This article contends that Buried deeply in Hamlet, in the relationship between the prince and his father, is a source tale, an unspoken acknowledgement that the modernist project of achieving complete autonomy from the past rested . on the denial and forgetting of Purgatory (446). During the eve of the Reformation, the English peopleof all classeswere interested in Purgatory because of concern for their souls and those of their ancestors, together with a strong sense of communal solidarity between the living and the dead (447). But the reformation put an end to the belief and its practices. As inheritances of material goods replaced inheritances of the moral and legal obligation to pray for the dead (and hence to remember past/origin) (451), focus turned from community and solidarity, with the dead and the poor, toward self-concern and individual self-sufficiency (466). In Hamlet, the Ghost implies that he, King Hamlet, was Catholic (453) and that he has returned from Purgatory because of Claudius worst crime: callousness to a brothers eternal fate (454). Notably, when Hamlets father asks his son to remember him, he asks for something more than vengeance, but couches his request in terms less explicit than to ask him to lighten his burdens through prayer (458). Shakespeares caution with his mostly Protestant audience seems the obvious explanation for this file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (28 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism subtlety, but the Ghosts stage audience suggests another possibility: throughout the play it appears that Hamlet and his friends, as members of the younger generation, simply are not prepared to hear such a request (458). Nowhere in the play does anyone mention Purgatory or pray for the dead (459), and Shakespeare leaves the present state of religion in Denmark ambiguous (461). Hamlet initially appears as the only person mourning Old Hamlet, but the son does not really remember why or how he should remember his father; he has forgotten the old way to pray for the dead (463). When he is accused of unusual excess in his grief, Hamlet cannot grapple with the theological questions implied. Instead, he is driven inward, into the most famous of all early-modern gestures of radical individualist subjectivity: But I have that within which passes show, / These but the trappings and the suits of woe (1.2.85-86) (463). Hamlets plangent words reveal . that his deepest concern is not only for his lost father but for himself and for his innermost identity (463). The son does not forget his father, he remembers himinsofar as he is capable (465). But Hamlets ironic legacy is to complete, by driving further inward, that earlier self-regarding assertion of progressive, autonomous individualism by his predecessors, who in a moment struck out ruthlessly against the communal past and against the generous benefactions and the crying needs of the dead" ). [ top ] Mallette, Richard. From Gyves to Graces: Hamlet and Free Will. Journal of English and German Philology 93 (1994): 336-55. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This essay places Hamlet in the context of sixteenth-century Protestant controversies regarding fate and free will in order to suggest how, in the last act, Hamlet transcends Reformation discourse even while incorporating their understandings of human freedom (338). Although the Calvinist view of human will held that sin was innate and unavoidable, a moderate Protestant undercurrent promoted a capability to choose correct action. Both views appear, and at times conflict, within the play, as Hamlet appears to develop an understanding of human potency. Initially he bemoans his sense of spiritual imprisonment (even though he voluntarily submits, for example, to the Ghosts wish for revenge). The killing of Polonius seems the first commitment to action and suggests Hamlets growing awareness of freedom. Rather than the sudden ideological shift frequently claimed, Hamlets return from the sea voyage marks the continuation of an evolving sense of will. He ultimately achieves spiritual understanding of fate and free willtheir sharing in mutual and cooperative file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (29 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism interaction (350). But Calvinist tenets have not been eradicated from the play: Hamlets salvation remains in question, and human wickedness increases during the plots final stages of progression (351). Judgement beyond the grave remains undetermined by the play; instead, Hamlet fixates on a reckoning to death itself (353). In the end, Hamlets embrace of the mystery of his mortality has mysteriously liberated his will (354-55). [ top ] Matheson, Mark. Hamlet and A matter tender and dangerous. Shakespeare Quarterly 46 (Winter 1995): 383-97. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay asserts that a consideration of Stoicism within a religious context illuminates Hamlets involvement with comprehensive ideological systems and helps to prepare the way for an analysis of his subjective transformation at the end of the play (383). Hamlets awkwardness in the filial role is symptomatic of his ambivalent relationship to the ideological order represented by his father, a culture whose values he consciously embraces but whose established cultural roles he is unable to perform (e.g., revenger, obedient son, devout Catholic) (385). Unfortunately, Stoicism does not appear as a viable ideological alternative for Hamlet (387). Its discourse proves useless to him as a way of ordering his mind or of assisting him in carrying out the will of his father (388). The contradictions between Hamlets advice to the players and his behavior during The Mousetrap confirm that in the world of the play the ideologies of Stoicism and humanism are failing (389). Caught in the throes of an ideological unhousing from both the residual and dominant cultural systems of Danish society, Hamlet cannot find a secure identity or an ideological basis for action in either the feudal Catholic world nor the humanist Renaissance court (389). Through an examination of early modern ideology, this essay argues that the impasse in which Hamlet finds himself is broken in the final act by the emergence of a specifically Protestant discourse of conscience and of Gods predestinating will (390). Evidence suggests that the history of Protestantism functions as a kind of subtext in Hamlet (391). For example, Hamlets discussion on a special providence in the fall of a sparrow (5.2.165-68) seems a moment in the play when the radical Protestant subtext surfaces quite clearly (394). That predestination and its worldly consequences were tender political matters may be an important reason for Shakespeares rather oblique and suggestive handling of Hamlets transformation (397). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (30 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Motohashi, Tetsuya. The plays the thing . of nothing: Writing and the liberty in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 103-118. METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM Launching out of Polonius introduction of the playersFor the law of writ, and the liberty, these are the only men (2.2.37-8)this essay approaches Hamlet as a theatrical critique of writerly power (104) and as a statement on liberty as a delicate balance of freedom and constraint (103). According to this article, Shakespeares tragedy attests to the lethal power of writing, as Hamlets forgery of a death warrant shows (104). While Claudius appears as the masterful manipulator of words (105), Hamlet initially struggles to articulate his inner emotions. Being acutely aware of the externals failure to represent that within, Hamlet internalizes the externals failure as his own feelings of insufficiency in comparison to his father and develops an ultimate form of selfdenial, a suicide wish (106). Although others inscribe their own messages on his body by trying to interpret the mad behavior, Hamlet rediscovers the capacity for dialogue in a reader or audience through the visiting players (107). A brief review of Elizabethan documents regarding the control exchanged between players, government officials, the City and Church authorities (107) presents liberty as an ambiguous notion embracing several contrasting perspectives (109). It also suggests that the players in Hamlet represent a new theatrical space, a marginal space in which Hamlet presents a play of his own composition (110). Hamlet realizes that acting has the power to mediate between external/internal, seems/is (110), word/action, as well as rival bodyimages (111). His excitement over the players arrival provides a metadramatic commentary on the intercultural and transboundary characteristics of the popular theatre (111). While the Players collective bodies hybridized with those of their audience, that realized the liberty (111), the play-within-the-play allows the Prince to poison the Kings ears with his writing and to inscribe on Claudius body (113). In the closet scene, Hamlet is not restrained by theatrical acting; he thrusts his dagger into the hidden Polonius, as if he held a Pen in his hand to write on the curtains sheet, and kills a counterfeita forger (114). The plot is now overtaken by writing that kills (115). For example, Claudius and Laertes write the last play of fencing with a murderous intention (115). Hamlets dying statements suggest that the dialogue inherent in acting remains problematic to the end (116). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (31 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Nojima, Hidekatsu. The Mirror of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 21-35. ART / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM This article approaches Hamlet as a play reflective of the Renaissances discovery of perspective (21). A survey of innovations in visual and literary arts shows that the discovery of an individual point of view necessarily brings about a subjective or relativistic perception of the world (24). In Hamlet, the Prince, after his mothers re-marriage, becomes a prisoner of the curious perspective in which everything seems double (28): The conscience (consciousness) of Hamlet caught in the collusion of these double-images [e.g., reality/dream, waking/sleeping, action/inaction, reason/madness] is imprisoned in a labyrinth of mirrors (28-29). In the curious perspective, the revenging hero (by feigning madness) doubles as the fool; hence, Hamlets motives for revenge are undermined by the complicity of the Fool with the Hero which necessarily reduces all to absurdity or nothing (30). The good or bad is nothing but an anamorphosis reflected in the curious perspective of Hamlets inner world (30). The structure of this play is likewise a labyrinth of mirrors. Various themes echo with one another like images reflected between mirrors (31). Examples include the multiple models of the father/son relationship and the revenge theme. In addition, Almost all the characters are spies in Hamlet, further suggesting the curious perspective; the recurrent poison theme also seems reflected in the mirror (32). All of the plotting characters become ensnared in their own traps, because reflexives of plotting and plotter are nothing but an image in the reflector (33). Adding to the complexity, the dramatic genre leaves Hamlet to the liberty and responsibility of an actors or an audiences or a readers several curious perspective (34). [ top ] Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85. CLAUDIUS / GHOST / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This essay examines the problematic poetry of Hamlet as an expression of the [Elizabethan] periods apocalyptic concerns (87). Prophetic signs (e.g., eclipse, a nova, the Armadas defeat) heightened a sense of millenarian expectations in Shakespeares audience (88-89). Hamlet contains an ominous sign file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (32 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism foreshadowing some strange eruption that endows the play with a haunted sense of eschatology and that embodies and objectifies an apocalyptic ethos: the Ghost (89). Interestingly, fury, almost a violent ecstasy, is first and foremost triggered by the fatal encounter with the Ghost, that is, by an eschatological provocation (91). A brief history of self-flagellation shows that the eschatological ethos induced an ascetic self-torture in the hope of purging earthly sins from the body as well as engendered self-righteous violence towards Jews (and Turks), people marked as fatal sinners and Antichrist in the Christian tradition (90). This combination is labeled oxymoronic violence (91). In Hamlet, the Prince alternates between extrovert and introverted violence (92): he berates himself and attacks all perceived sinners (e.g., Gertrude, Ophelia). He is too intensely possessed with a disgust at fleshly corruption rather that with an interest in revenge (93). While Hamlet parallels radical sects (95), Claudius is similar to King James; both rulers fear the danger of fantasies or madness, a real political threat to any throne (96). Shakespeares play is a cultural rehearsal of an apocalyptic psychodrama which lies close to the heart of the Christian West (98). [ top ] Peterson, Kaara. Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition. Mosaic 31.3 (1998): 1-24. ART / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay strives to position Ophelias dual representational history more precisely within both art-historical and dramatic-critical frameworks (2). While eighteenth-century Shakespearean painters generally limited Ophelia to the unstressed presence of a group, the mid-nineteenth-century artists increasingly focused on the moments of Ophelias drowning. Interestingly, the original source of this scene is presented as a second-hand account of events, reducing Gertrudes narrative to a ventriloquized history (8). Regardless of textual authority, visual artists consistently use standard conventions of Ophelias death scene (e.g., dress, flowers, water) from the nineteenth century to the present. According to the work of Elisabeth Bronfen, the merger of the feminine body and death threaten masculinity with radical instability (18); hence, visual artists prevent their Ophelias from looking truly dead. Ironically, the image of Ophelia, a Shakespeare-brand product, is currently being misapplied to unrelated materials (e.g., souvenirs, CD covers)creating an issue precisely of nonreferentiality (20). After arguing that Ophelias literary and visual bodies converge, this article concludes that Ophelias complete story can only be discerned from the original source, the text (22-23). file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (33 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism [ top ] Rees-Mogg, Lord. The Politics of Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 17 (1995): 43-53. CLAUDIUS / NEW HISTORICISM By studying the politics of Hamlet, this article presents Claudius as a model of the new ruler. Like many British rulers (e.g., Henry IV, Elizabeth I, Richard III), Claudius kills a family member, performing an act of state and following a tradition which every English monarch had had to accept for two hundred years (45). Once on the throne, he must begin the process of securing his position: praising the dead king, forming political alliances, marrying Gertrude, dealing with the threat of Fortinbras, conciliating ministers (e.g., Polonius), and attempting a reconciliation with his primary rival Hamlet. Because Hamlet refuses to embrace the new king, Claudius must engage in spying tactics to gain knowledge about his potential enemy and, ultimately, decide to terminate the threat. But in Shakespeares political tragedy (unlike the realities of British history), murderers are destined to fail. Aside from the fact that all of his supporters die (e.g., Polonius, Laertes), Claudius proves a weak leader because he invariably prefers compromise to confrontation, placatory gestures to open defiance (51-52). Perhaps if Claudius had not delayed his efforts to kill Hamlet, he might have been able to maintain his position as ruler; but the King was such a nice man, in a way, that he decided to defer the action (52). [ top ] Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Anti-theatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63. FEMINISM / HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / QUEER THEORY After acknowledging the complications of studying sexuality before the late eighteen hundreds and the feminist efforts to historicize misogyny, this article examines Hamlet to demonstrate how misogyny intersects with a nascent form of homophobia, a cultural fear of male-male sexual bonding articulated in the anti-theatrical tracts (49). A survey of anti-theatrical propaganda reveals cultural anxieties about effeminacy, sexual promiscuity (e.g., sodomy), and any behavior that undermines social/patriarchal institutions (53). Hamlet seems to embody the specific juncture of misogyny and fear of male-male sexual desire file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (34 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism that the anti-theatrical tracts begin to coordinate (55): he clearly shows misogynistic tendencies with Gertrude and Ophelia; he also voices his attraction to dead or distant men (e.g., Old Hamlet, Yorick, Fortinbras) because his fears of the sodomy stigma restrict the expression of such sentiments to men only in relationships in which physical contact is impossible (56); with Horatio, Hamlet disrupts every moment of potential intimacy by interrupting himself, trivializing his own thoughts, pausing, and then changing the discussion topic to theatrical plays (57). Hamlets behavior demonstrates the power of anti-theatrical homophobia to regulate male behavior and expresses the anti-theatrical complex that . anticipates modern homophobia (57). While the playwright comes close to overtly acknowledging the cultural/anti-theatrical association of sodomy with the male homosociality of theatre life, A metaphoric treatment of anti-theatrical concerns, including homophobia, corresponds toand possibly follows fromthe meta-theatrical concerns that structure form and character in Hamlet (58). [ top ] Roberts, Katherine. The Wandering Womb: Classical Medical Theory and the Formation of Female Characters in Hamlet. Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 15 (1995): 223-32. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA This essay approaches wombsickness (a.k.a. hysteria) as a condition, described early in patriarchal Western culture, [which] has been a literary motif from classical to modern literature (223). Evidence spanning from Greek medical theories to the doctrines of sixteenth-century physicians testifies to the belief that the female womb has physiological needs (e.g., sexual intercourse); left unmet, these demands result in hysteria. Simultaneously, stringent social codes of the Renaissance restricted female sexuality. A patriarchal culture defined womensocially and medicallyby their relationships to men. Ophelia and Gertrude suffer classic symptoms of wombsickness. As a young girl of marriageable age and emotional instability, Ophelia is a prime candidate for wombsickness. She has been mentally and physically preparing herself for marriage/sex with Hamlet; but in the loss of all male figures to guide and support her, Ophelia becomes completely vulnerable to her own femaleness (229). Gertrude also suffers symptoms of hysteria, according to Hamlets account of a woman whose physiology apparently required frequent intercourse (230). In the absence of her original husband to sate and govern her sexual energies, Gertrude is easily seduced, and her disorderly behavior damages the society. As her natural guardian, Hamlet must intervene to file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (35 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism constrain herhence the closet scene (231). While Gertrude properly responds to his chastising by transferring her allegiance from Claudius to Hamlet, and in a sense recovering from her wombsickness, it is too late to prevent the destruction of the thrones inhabitants. This article makes no definitive claims about Shakespeares intentions but notes that Renaissance literature reflects and reinforces previously developed concepts of women, bringing those concepts into the twentieth century (232). [ top ] Ronk, Martha C. Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 21-43. ART / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC Perceiving Ophelia as a mix of emblem and the projection of others, this dense article sets out to discover what Ophelias representation represents by focusing on the report of her drowning (23). Emblematic and allegorical characteristics of the speech reveal some insight into Opheliathe means particular to a historical period when the emblematic was a received mode of perceiving the world (27). But like emblem books of the period, the combination of the visual and verbal still leaves much unarticulated. Another component in the speech is the speaker, Queen Gertrude, who becomes an appropriate substitute for Ophelia based on their shared gender and roles within the patriarchy. While Gertrude offers a dispassionate description of the drowning (29), she also becomes linked to Ophelias passive volition. The questioning of Gertrudes involvement in Ophelias death (and Hamlet Sr.s) provides reiteration of an insistent question within the play: what it means not to know what is going on (31). As Gertrude leisurely relates Ophelias demise, this ekphrastic moment presents a brief stillness within the play before the plot rushes to tragic fulfillment (32). The resulting ramifications elicit contemplation from the audience and move Ophelia out of narrative and into some cosmic order (34). As emblem (and myth) Ophelia possesses the capacity to arouse fear, referring to Freuds The Uncanny. Her ekphrastic presence implies the impossibility of more than seeing what the viewer could not have seen . to an audience intent on viewing what is not there (38). [ top ] Sanchez, Reuben. Thou comst in such a questionable shape: Interpreting the Textual and Contextual Ghost in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 65-84. file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (36 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GHOST / NEW HISTORICISM This article suggests that in rendering the shape of the Ghost questionable, or indeterminate, Shakespeare has created a text that both resists and embraces context (66). It begins with a survey of critical studies regarding the Ghost to show diversity based on selective contexts (68). A review of Levins and Fishs explanations for such diversity finds that the two seemingly-opposite methodologies complement one another in that neither argues that an understanding of context is irrelevant (69). In a historical context, Hamlets Ghost, a spirit, is perceived as distinct from a soul, and Protestants might very well suspect the spirit of having evil intentions (71). But Hamlet does not act as though he suspects the Ghost to be a devil (at least not initially), and the scene of this first meeting may be even humorous (71-72). In the plays opening scene, the Ghosts pattern of appearance / disappearance / reappearance conveys the fright and curiosity, perhaps even the humor, but also the extreme confusion resulting from the Ghosts appearances (75). Also in this scene, Horatio, Barnardo, and Marcellus attempt to explain the ghostly visitations, representing at least two different interpretive communities: Christian and Pagan (75). The Ghosts appearance in the closet scene is utilized to compare the Folio and the First Quarto, each text indeterminate in and of itself, each indeterminate when compared to the other (79). Whether one speaks of text or context, however, Shakespeare seems to be interested in presenting a Ghost who conveys information and withholds information, a Ghost who educates and confuses, a Ghost who evokes terror and humor, a Ghost whose signification is both textual and contextual (79). [ top ] Siegel, Paul N. Hamlet, revenge!: The Uses and Abuses of Historical Criticism. Shakespeare Survey 45 (1993): 15-26. NEW HISTORICISM / RECEPTION THEORY This article surveys the major historical criticism on the subject of Hamlets revenge and on such ancillary matters as the reasons for Hamlets delay, the nature of the ghost, and the significance of the plays conclusion (15). The works of Stoll, Bowers, Campbell, Prosser, Babb, Bradley, Dover Wilson, Mercer, Frye, McGee, and others represent the fray on the critical battlefield and show interpretations advanced and disputed, errors made and refuted (15). Although abused at times, the use of historicism in literary studies has contributed to a growing weight of opinion . that has corrected opinions of the file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (37 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism past (25). [ top ] Sohmer, Steve. Real Time in Hamlet. Shakespeares Mystery Play: The Opening fo the Globe Theatre 1599. By Sohmer. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1999. 217-47. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / RHETORICAL This essay explores calendrical clues within Hamlet to gain insight into the play. References in the first scene to time, as well as reports of the multiple ghostly appearances, suggest that the plays plot begins between October 30th and November 10th (223). The date of Hamlets first encounter with the Ghost is narrowed to November 2nd, implying a striking reference to Martin Luther: Elizabethan sources inaccurately listed that on this day in 1517, Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses. Such evidence implies an intimate negotiation between Shakespeares knowledge of Luther and his creation of Prince Hamlet (228). Similarities between Hamlet and Luther include a religious conversion and interaction with a king married to a dead brothers wife (Claudius and Henry VIII, respectively). To validate the theory that Shakespeare did not carelessly refer to times/dates, a test is performed to ascertain the duration of the Old Hamlet-Gertrude marriage. Dialogue from The Mousetrap suggests that the husband dies before the thirtieth wedding anniversarymeaning that the son must have been born at least 53 days before the Old Hamlet-Gertrude wedding (236). Hence, the mystery of why Hamlet does not immediately succeed to the throne is finally resolved. Statements from various scenes (e.g., the graveyard) further support the argument and reveal the sons awareness of his own bastard status. Interestingly, Luthers legitimacy is also questionable, suggesting a final connection between Luther and Hamlet. [ top ] Takahashi, Yasunari. Hamlet and the Anxiety of Modern Japan. Shakespeare Survey 48 (1995): 99-11. NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RECEPTION THEORY This essay traces the history of Hamlets reception in Japan: the whole labour of assimilating Hamlet, from the beginning down to the present day, could be seen as the mirror up to the nature of Japans modernization since 1868 (101). file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (38 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism With a grand rationale of modernization-as-westernization, Japan was eager to appropriate works like Hamlet (100-01). But such a transplanting required acclimatization of the play and kabuki, the traditional Japanese theater (100). For example, in the first Tokyo production of Hamlet (1903), all soliloquies were cut because the expression-of-inner-thought style was something unknown to kabuki, and the tradition of onnagata (only male actors on stage) was challenged by a females playing the role of Ophelia (104). In 1907, Shoyo Tsubouchi attempted a more accurate production (e.g., Western costumes, original character names, To be soliloquy), using a translated (not adapted) text, but his sensibility had been nurtured too deeply by the old kabuki tradition to allow him to be absolutely modern (106). His second attempt in 1911 similarly failed. While his later production marked the end of adaptation and the beginning of an age of faithful translation, it also confirmed the impression that Shakespeare was old-fashioned (107). Shakespeare was replaced by Ibsen and other European avant garde playwrights, while shingeki, or new drama (in Western-style) was displacing forms of traditional drama (107). Between 1913-1926, the play ceased to be the battleground of creative experiment in theatre (107). Part of this stalling resulted from the perception of Hamlet as the safest play to avoid being targeted by the secret service police (107-08). After the war, Hamlet made a comeback to the forefront of the theatrical scene: Tsuneari Fukudas 1955 production was a two-fold critique of the limitation of shingeki and, more broadly, of the modernity of Japanese culture (107). Currently, Japanese dramatists (e.g., Ninagawa, Suzuki) liberally strive to make Shakespeare feel contemporary (109). Until the anxiety of modernity has been overcome by the ludic spirit of post-modernity, new Hamlets must and will keep emerging, embodying the perennial and specific anxieties of contemporary self (111). [ top ] Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / BIBLIOGRAPHIC / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL This text begins with a questioning of Hamlet's status within the canon. Although other Shakespearean tragedies (e.g., King Lear) have threatened to displace Hamlet in the past, its position currently seems secure. The section titled "Which Hamlet?" discusses the Folio/Quartos debate, as well as how understanding of the play's meanings and values vary "according to the reader, the actor or the audience" (17). The third chapter examines Hamlet "as a selffile:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (39 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism contained fiction which takes history and politics as part of its subject matter" and "as a late-Elizabethan play which can be seen in relation to the history and politics of its own time" (23). The next section explores rhetoric in the play, such as how all of the characters seem to speak in the same linguistic style and how some quotes from the play "have passed into common usage," creating challenges for performers (33). The chapter on gender examines the history of female Hamlets, questions of Hamlet's sex/gender, the play's female characters, and feminism's influence on the study of this tragedy. "The Afterlife of Hamlet" discusses how editors, actors, and directors "have added to the multiplicity of Hamlets by cutting and rearranging that text" (52), how the drama has been adapted to popular mediums, and how it has been appropriated for political purposes in various countries. The conclusion foresees an optimistic future for Hamlet, and assortment of illustrations and a select bibliography round out the monograph. [ top ] Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / RHETORICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay contends that Hamlets use of the tropes of performance to combat illicit performance parallels a paradoxical strategy which . proved useful in the published pamphlets of Puritan reformers of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries; it also discloses the structural centrality of these prophetic anti-theatrical discourses to the great anti-play of Hamlet (63). As the writings of Puritan reformers (e.g., Munday, Gosson, Rainolds, Prynne) show, Puritanisms anti-theatricalism consisted of three discursive elements: social disgust framed in anti-theatrical terms, explicit longing for withdrawal into an as yet unrealized world, and a call for authentic military action to purge the present rotten state (65). In act one, scene two, Hamlet displays several of these characteristics: his unique dark clothing signals his puritanist refusal to don the ceremonial garb worn by Gertrude, Claudius, and the rest of the court (65); in soliloquy, he rejects all the worlds uses (ceremonies) (I. ii. 134) (6566); and his frustrated desire to return to Wittenberg (symbolically important to Elizabethans as the originating site of Reformation discourse) is replaced by a vaguer desire to be taken out of this world (recalling Prynnes phrase) (66). His resistance to illicit social theater ultimately taints Hamlets response to the traveling players, as his soliloquy upon their exit runs curiously parallel to two passages in Saint Augustines Confessions, oft quoted by Puritans in condemnation of playhouses (66-67). Paradoxically, like the puritanist file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (40 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism pamphlets that used the language of play-acting to damn play-acting (69), Hamlets Mousetrap constitutes anti-theatrical theater, employing role-play to blast role-play (69-70). The-play-within-the-play also provides an example of Hamlets resistance to traditional tragic plot structures (68): its obviousness makes clear Hamlets awareness of Claudius guilt and his plan to punish it (70). Hamlet rejects the conventional revenge behaviors of plotting, feigning, and backstabbing and embraces overt military action: authentic performance in the genuine theater of war (71). In the plays final scene, Hamlet kills Claudius openly, non-theaterically, and spontaneously . he completes the total extermination of a corrupted order (71). Like Renaissance puritanist discourse, Hamlets rhetoric and action bespeak a mood of the age: an unwillingness to negotiate with a culture whose institutions were perceived as fundamentally corrupt, and an increasing preference for the alternatives of flight or purgative destruction (72). [ top ] Uno, Yoshiko. Three Gertrudes: Text and Subtext. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 155-68. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / GERTRUDE / MYTHIC CRITICISM / NEW HISTORICISM This essay examines ambiguities inherent in Hamlet, or gaps between the text and subtext, with special attention to Gertrudes representation (156). Rather than possessing autonomy, the Queen exists only in relation to Claudius and Hamlet; she also refuses to choose between the two men, revealing her malleability (158). Hence, the lack of critical appreciation of Gertrude seems understandable. Although the closet scene should offer the greatest opportunity for insight into Gertrudes character, it leaves too many unanswered questions: does she know of Claudius involvement in Hamlet, Sr.s death? Is she guilty of infidelity with Claudius before this murder? Further uncertainties are raised by the scenes presentation of two Gertrudes: Gertrude herself and the Gertrude seen from Hamlets perspective (161). Such confusion leads todays audiences to share in Hamlets confrontation with the disintegration of reality (162). But the original audience at the Globe may have had the advantages of afterimages, preconceived notions of Hamlet informed by myth and legend. A survey of plausible literary sources (e.g., Historiae Danicae, Agamemnon, Histoires tragiques), with emphasis on the evolving transformations of Gertrude, presents a wide range of variants that Elizabethan audiences may have drawn on to resolve the ambiguities struggled with today (166). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (41 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism Wilson, Luke. Hamlet, Hales V. Petit, and the Hysteresis of Action. ELH 60.1 (Spring 1993): 17-55. 20 Feb. 2002. LAW / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM In response to attacks that new historicism lacks an adequate account of agency and action (17), this article counters that Hamlet and Renaissance legal discourse seem to anticipate a post-structuralist hysteresis of action by attempting to reconsider the structure of action in Hamlet and to account for the ways conceptualizations of action moved between legal and theatrical fields (22). Hamlets groundwork with The Mousetrap provides a key example of the theatrical action structure: in soliloquy, Hamlet announces his new-found planafter setting it in motion with the players. The theatrical necessities of informing the audience about motives behind The Mousetrap and of getting Hamlet alone on stage to provide the soliloquy force the intrusion of the temporal logic of compositional activity into the temporality of dramatic representation (25). The resulting structure of action is organized by an entanglement of prospective and retrospective, since it is in retrospection that the prospective is constituted as such, that is, since the teleological structure of intentional action entails a retroactive element (25). The legal analysis of action finds its way into Hamlet in the form of structures and concepts immanent in a shared rhetoric of action (28). The Elizabethan period marked an increase in the sophistication of legal conceptualizations of intention (31). For example, in the Hales vs. Petit case (the gravediggers source for arguments determining Ophelias cause of death), the court retrospectively examined the evidence of a drowning/suicide to hypothesize intention and to determine liability. In this way, theater and law shared the temporal folding that structures action (34) and the fictionalizations of intention (31). The increasingly litigious and legalistic culture in which Hamlet was produced made the means to manipulate accounts of intentional action widely available for use in both inculpatory and exculpatory schemes, at the same time that new market forcesboth produced by and enabling this cultureled to conceptualizations of person that tended to frustrate the business of linking actions to agents (44). [ top ] York, Neil L. Hamlet as American Revolutionary. Hamlet Studies 15.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1993): 40-53. file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (42 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: New Historicism NEW HISTORICISM / RECEPTION THEORY After briefly reviewing the performance and print histories of Hamlet during the American Revolution, as well as allusions to the play in political propaganda, this article asks, why were the colonists so attracted to Shakespeares Hamlet? Basic explanations include the audiences rote knowledge of certain passages and the plays almost universal appeal (44); also, the plays themes of conspiracy, patriarchy, and paternity parallel the fears of the Revolutionaries; similar to Hamlet, American colonists shared geopolitical questions and acted with trepidation (47). Although there is no hard and fast documentary proof to confirm such explanations, this article proposes the question, how did the tragic Dane help mold American Revolutionaries (48)? [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/newhistoricism.html (43 of 43) [11/19/2002 11:39:17 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Ahrends, Gnter. "Word and Action in Shakespeare's Hamlet." Word and Action in Drama: Studies in Honour of Hans-Jrgen Diller on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. Ed. Gnter Ahrends, Stephan Kohl, Joachim Kornelius, Gerd Stratmann. Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1994. 93-105.n Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100.n Brooks, Jean R. Hamlet and Ophelia as Lovers: Some Interpretations on Page and Stage. Aligorh Critical Miscellany 4.1 (1991): 1-25.n Brown, John Russell. Connotations of Hamlets Final Silence. Connotations 2 (1992): 275-86.n Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33.n Dawson, Anthony B. Hamlet. Shakespeare in Performance. New York: Manchester UP, 1995. n Dickson, Lisa. The Hermeneutics of Error: Reading and the First Witness in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1997): 64-77.n Dollerup, Cay. Filters in Our Understanding of Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 50-63.n Edelman, Charles. The very cunning of the scene: Claudius and the Mousetrap. Parergon 12 (1994): 15-25.n Goldman, Michael. Hamlet: Entering the Text. Theatre Journal 44 (1992): 449-60.n Gorfain, Phyllis. When Nothing Really Matters: Body Puns in Hamlet. Bodylore. Ed. Katherine Young. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1993. 5987.n Greenblatt, Stephen. Remember Me. Hamlet in Purgatory. By Greenblatt. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. 205-57.n Hapgood, Robert. Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Shakespeare in Production. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999.n Hirsh, James. Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies. Modern Language Quarterly 58 (March 1997): 1-26.n Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63.n McGuire, Philip C. Bearing A wary eye: Ludic Vengeance and Doubtful Suicide in Hamlet. From Page to Performance: Essays in Early English Drama. Ed. John Alford. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 1995. 235-53.n Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (1 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Editions, 1996.n Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992.n Shand, G. B. Realising Gertrude: The Suicide Option. Elizabethan Theatre XIII. Ed. A. L. Magnusson and C. E. McGee. Toronto: Meany, 1994. 95-118.n Takahashi, Yasunari. Hamlet and the Anxiety of Modern Japan. Shakespeare Survey 48 (1995): 99-11.n Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996.n Whitehead, Cintra. Construing Hamlet. Constructive Criticism 1.1 (Mar. 1991): 33-100.n Wood, Robert E. Some Necessary Questions of the Play: A StageCentered Analysis of Shakespeares Hamlet. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1994.n Yoshioka, Fumio. Silence, Speech, and Spectacle in Hamlet. Shakespeare Studies 31 (1996): 1-33. Ahrends, Gnter. "Word and Action in Shakespeare's Hamlet." Word and Action in Drama: Studies in Honour of Hans-Jrgen Diller on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. Ed. Gnter Ahrends, Stephan Kohl, Joachim Kornelius, Gerd Stratmann. Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1994. 93-105. HAMLET / METADRAMA / PERFORMANCE While contending that Hamlet "is a meta-play dealing with fundamental principles of the art of acting," this essay analyzes the play's didactic presentation of word and action: "the verbal and the mimic-gesticulatory forms of expression are equally significant signs which have to be put into a balanced relationship with each other" (93), otherwise "they degenerate into deficient signs" (94). Through the player's excellence with the Hecuba speech and Hamlet's reaction to it, Shakespeare's "most famous tragedy contains not only a theory of mimesis but also a concrete example of how theoretical principles can be translated into practice" (98). Hamlet understands the principles of the art of acting, as he demonstrates in his advice to the players, and his insight motivates The Mousetrap. While The Mousetrap succeeds in provoking Claudius, the closet scene is "a continuation of the play within the play in so far as it is now Gertrude's turn to reveal her guilt" (100). Hamlet's initial effort with his mother fails because he "proves to be a bad actor" (101), but the son eventually remembers his own advice to the players and matches action with word; "It is exactly by making Hamlet's first attempt fail that Shakespeare turns the file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (2 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance bedroom scene into a further example of how the principles of theatrical representation have to be transformed into practice" (100). Hamlet, like Claudius and Gertrude, "appears as a dissociated human being" for most of the play because his words and actions are unbalanced; but he distinguishes himself from the others with his knowledge "that the art of theatrical representation makes it possible for man to overcome the state of dissociation by not tolerating the discrepancy between action and word" (102). [ top ] Barrie, Robert. Telmahs: Carnival Laughter in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 83-100. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CARNIVAL / DECONSTRUCTION / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE This essay approaches Hamlet as his own Fool, who can be seen to subvert Hamlet so thoroughly as to reduce to laughter the very idea of serious tragedy (83). A review of concurring critics (e.g., Levin, Graves, McGee, Wiles, Bristol) provides some basis for this argument. Theater history suggests changes in theatrical conventions to explain why Hamlets laughter has been subverted: while Elizabethan audiences were encouraged to participate, modern audiences fear making a faux pas and suffer from the social constraints of an elitist forum (91). Perhaps Elizabethan audiences would have perceived Hamlets insults to the groundlings as rough intimacies (92), laughing at the ritualistic sacrifice of the fool in carnivalesque style and at Horatios suggestion of singing angels (94). Hamlet appears to erase itself not merely through metadrama or other linguistics-based critical theory, but through the laughter of Death, which is not satirical laughter but the inclusive, absolute, all-affirming, feasting, social laughter of the folk (all the people), the laughter of carnival (97). [ top ] Brooks, Jean R. Hamlet and Ophelia as Lovers: Some Interpretations on Page and Stage. Aligorh Critical Miscellany 4.1 (1991): 1-25. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE This essay asserts that Getting Ophelia right involves, by implication, Hamlets love relationship with her, and a re-examination of the question, in what sense file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (3 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance they can be considered as lovers (1). While literary scholars frequently get Ophelia wrong, actors and directors (e.g., Olivier, Jacobi) also make mistakes, such as altering the To be, or not to be soliloquy and negating textual evidence of Ophelias chastity. Actors also tend to stereotype Ophelia, whether as the unchaste young woman (e.g., West) (8) or as more child than woman (e.g., Mirren, McEwan, Tutin) (10). In actuality, the text purports a welldisciplined Renaissance woman, a young woman, not a child, with her chaste treasure unopend but at the peak of sexual attractiveness, because the key to the nunnery and play scenes lies in the difference between what the audience sees on stage and what Hamlet sees in his minds eye (12-13). He projects on to the innocent andas the audience can seeunpainted Ophelia the disgust he feels at his mothers sexual sins (13) and the self-disgust he feels for inheriting original sin from his parents (14). But his ordering of her to a nunnery suggests a kind of love that makes Hamlet wish to preserve Ophelias goodness untouched (15). Ultimately, it is Hamlet who rejects Ophelia, not Ophelia who rejects Hamlet (15-16). But her constant love gives positive counterweight, for the audience, to Hamlets too extreme obsession with the processes of corruption (17). The good that Ophelias constant love does for her lover, from beyond the grave, is to affirm his commitment to the human condition he had wished to deny (21). Beside her grave, Hamlet belatedly testifies to his love for Ophelia, acknowledging the good in human nature that Ophelia had lived for, and that Hamlet finally dies to affirm. Given the tragic unfulfilment of the human condition, could lovers do more for each other? (23). [ top ] Brown, John Russell. Connotations of Hamlets Final Silence. Connotations 2 (1992): 275-86. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE This article responds to the criticism leveled at John Russell Browns Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet, particularly the charge of failure to show how the wide range of meanings in the single last sentence was related to the whole of the play in performance (275). This article insists that the Hamlet actors presence on stage and enactment of events provides the audience with a physical knowledge of Hamlet, void of the psychological dimension that ambiguous language camouflages. Hamlets wordplay is an essential quality of his nature, which remains intact during the process of his dying (275). While the original articles dismissal of the O, o, o, o addition (present in the Folio after Hamlets last words) received negative responses from Dieter Mehl and Maurice Charney, this article argues that doubts of authenticity, authority, and file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (4 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance dramatic effectiveness justify this decision. The physical death on stage and the verbal descriptions of Hamlets body also negate the need for a last-minute groan. Ultimately, the stage reality co-exists with words yet seems beyond the reach of words; hence, in Hamlet, Shakespeare created a character who seems to carry within himself something unspoken and unexpressed . right up until the moment Hamlet dies (285). [ top ] Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL Given that a tragedy excites an audiences interest in the heros private consciousness, this article asks, Has Shakespeare provided the means, in words or action, whereby this hero [Hamlet] comes, at last, to be denoted truly? (18). Throughout Hamlet, the protagonist speaks ambiguously. His linguistic trickery only heightens the audiences anticipation of resolution (and revelation of Hamlets inner thoughts). Yet the last line of the dying Princethe rest is silence (5.2.363)proves particularly problematic, with a minimum of five possible readings. For example, Shakespeare perhaps speaks through Hamlet, telling the audience and the actor that he, the dramatist, would not, or could not, go a word further in the presentation of this, his most verbally brilliant and baffling hero (27); the last lines of Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Loves Labors Lost suggest a pattern of this authorial style. While all five readings are plausible, they are also valuable, allowing audience and actor to choose an interpretation. This final act of multiplicity seems fitting for a protagonist whose mind is unconfined by any single issue (31). [ top ] Dawson, Anthony B. Hamlet. Shakespeare in Performance. New York: Manchester UP, 1995. PERFORMANCE / RECEPTION THEORY This monograph provides some sense of the performance history of Hamlet, differences among interpretations, and the multiplicity of possible ways of reading and enacting this most famous and slippery of plays (3). Chapters are file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (5 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance divided into periods of importance (e.g., post-WWII), transitions in theatrical styles (e.g., 1920s), and innovations with performance mediums (e.g., film). A primary goal is to suggest, however tentatively, some of the links that may exist between how the theatre gives Hamlet meaning and produces Hamlets subjectivity and how the culture generally approaches problems of meaning, value, and selfhood (22). Although primarily confined to the Anglo-American tradition of Hamlet performance, concentrating on those canonized performers who have a legendary relationship to Shakespeares most famous role, this monograph utilizes its last chapter, Translations, to explore Hamlets on foreign stages (224). [ top ] Dickson, Lisa. The Hermeneutics of Error: Reading and the First Witness in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 19.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1997): 64-77. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE While occasionally using Hamlet productions to describe the potential audience experience, this article posits that Claudius and Hamlet are engaged in a border conflict where power is linked to the ability to control the dissemination of information, the passage of knowledge across the boundary between private and public (65). While Hamlet is about the hermeneutic task, its circles within circles of overt and covert interpreters, of stage and theater audiences (65), displace Truth along the line of multiple and multiplying perspectives (66). Using his wit and word-play, to deflect the hermeneutic onslaught, Hamlet mobilizes his own interpretive strategies under the cover of the antic disposition, where madness, collapsing the categories of the hidden and the apparent, allows him to hide in plain sight (67). Likewise, Claudius attempts to hide in plain sight by providing the court with a reading of recent events that he hopes will neutralize [and silence] Hamlets threat and control the dissemination and reception of the facts of his own crime(s), as evident in act one, scene two (68). Although Claudius and Hamlet struggle to maintain the borders of silence and speech, public and private, hidden and apparent, they inevitably fail (6970). In the nunnery scene, in which Hamlet is aware of the spies behind the curtain in most productions (e.g., 1992 BBC Radios, Zeffirellis, Halls), he attempts to hide behind his antic disposition, but the seeming truth in his anger suggests an explosion and collision between his inner and outer worlds (71). Claudius suffers a similar collapse: his hidden self erupting to the public view out of the body of the player-Lucianus (73). Claudius and Hamlet are also alike in their problematic perspectives: Hamlets desire to prove the Ghost honest and justify his revenge shapes his own discovery of Claudius (74); and file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (6 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance Claudius reading of his [Hamlets] antic disposition is complicated by his own guilt (72). Within the circles upon circles of watching faces, the disease in Hamlet may well be the maddening proliferation of Perspectives on Hamlet, where the boundaries constructed between public and private selves collapse under the power of the gaze (75). [ top ] Dollerup, Cay. Filters in Our Understanding of Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 50-63. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / PERFORMANCE This article argues that although any treatment of Hamlet (e.g., performance, reading, interpretation) reflects individual views, the act of filtering is an integral and indissoluble part of Shakespeares play (50). For modern audiences, some filters prove involuntary, such as the loss of historical relevance and of dramatic anticipation. Some prove necessary, like the cutting of lines and scenes for performance. While textual modifications can alter Hamlets characters (e.g., Polonius), themes (e.g., death, love), emphasis (e.g., revenge), and imagery (e.g., botany), each individuals decision can lead to new insights, experiences, and interpretations. Ultimately, as receptors of the artefact, as editors, critics, as directors and actors, as audience or readers, the artefact forces us to take a stand on a number of points on which we simply cannot reach an agreementand perhaps Shakespeare never expected/intended us to (63). [ top ] Edelman, Charles. The very cunning of the scene: Claudius and the Mousetrap. Parergon 12 (1994): 15-25. CLAUDIUS / MOUSETRAP / PERFORMANCE This article hopes to resolve the apparent inconsistency of the ineffective dumb show in The Mousetrap in a manner which takes audiences more deeply into the text, while enriching both the theatrical power and thematic significance of The Murder of Gonzaga (15). Although generations of critics and editors have attempted to define the stage business during the silent prologue, they mistakenly assume that Claudius guilt is proclaimed by some outward display of emotion when Lucianus poisons the Player King a second time (19). Instead, file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (7 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance arguments could be made that The Mousetrap, in its entirety, is a methodically drawn out processes of imposing pain/discomfort. For example, the dumb show is similar to a dentists extraction of the first tooth in that Claudius can endure the experience and his suffering; The Murder of Gonzaga, the pulling of a second tooth, proves more difficult to bear; the verbal exchanges between Claudius and Hamlet may even constitute the figurative removal of a third and a fourth to a weakened tolerance. But how does Claudius react to The Mousetrap? A hysterical departure or a passive retreat seem unlikely. Rather, textual evidence suggests that Claudius expresses disgust and defiance, when he tells Hamlet, Away (23). Aside from the theatrical power and climactic energy of such a staging, this reading permits consistency in Claudius and the play because the advantage is with Claudius after The Mousetrap (24). [ top ] Goldman, Michael. Hamlet: Entering the Text. Theatre Journal 44 (1992): 44960. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE While suggesting that drama may provide, at least in some respects, the more illuminating case of the encounter with writing, this article explores Shakespeares treatment of the person/text negotiation in Hamlet (449). Through the dynamism of performance, script and actor become inseparable (450) because scriptedness and improvisation merge on stage (450). This interplay of script and improvisation underlies the call to revenge in Hamlet: the Ghost seems to provide a clear cut script for his son, but Hamlets path to revenge is tortuous, filled with improvised diversions and digressions (452). While the play explores the necessary relation between scriptedness and improvisation, it is also concerned . with whats involved in entering into a script (452). Hamlet regularly reenacts the basic scene that takes place when an actor prepares or performs a part, the entry into the text (453), such as the replaying of a situation (e.g., Old Hamlets murder) (453). While such a metadramatic acting exercise (453) suggests one method of entering the text, a concern with the stability and instability of texts runs through the play (454). Hamlets sense of a tense and uncertain relation to a text, which exacts both commitment and risky departure, may have had a special relevance to the circumstances of Elizabethan dramatic production (455) because the performance of an Elizabethan play momentarily stabilized the uncertain mix of possibilities contained in the playhouse manuscript (456). The plays exploration of play-acting and the relation of texts and scripts to performance may also be reflective of the larger problematic of human action that Hamlet file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (8 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance experiences and, ultimately, comes to terms with: human action itself, like the performance of an actor, is an intervention, an entry into something very like a script, a text of interwoven actions, an entry that, though it raises the central questions of human choice and responsibility, can never be made in full knowledge or confidence about the ultimate result of that choice (457). This article recommendation is to conceive of this critical relation . of reader and text, in a way that acknowledges something of that importance which is felt by all who are drawn to literatureas a relation of commitment, a relation of responsibility, a relation certainly requiring the focus of ones full bodily life on something which is not oneself, a relation constrained by time and history and the need for choice, but above all a relation of adventure (460). [ top ] Gorfain, Phyllis. When Nothing Really Matters: Body Puns in Hamlet. Bodylore. Ed. Katherine Young. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1993. 59-87. HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / REHTORICAL By calling attention to the astonishing energy of reflexive puns, this article focuses on how they reflect on the problematic relationship between the intellectual production of meaning and the physical body through which ideas must be expressed in precise social situations in the world of Hamlet (60). While puns in general are probed within the article, puns voiced during social greetings and farewells merit attention because these encounters are occasions for formulaic performances (e.g., handshake, bow, embrace) (60). For example, at the beginning of The Mousetrap, Hamlet responds to Claudius greeting with puns in order to disrupt the social relationship and social form. Like every pun in Hamlet, the actors physical performance (e.g., posture, gesture) and body become factors, possibilities for meaning. Hamlet also uses puns to undo, through language, the finality of death, as his response to Polonius accidental murder demonstrates (76). The transport of Polonius dead body places the real gravity of the body centrally next to the consoling rites and puns that would reinterpret death for cultural recuperation (77). By the final scene, the question of how to take up the bodyphysically and morally, verbally and symbolicallyhas been so thoroughly complicated by the puns on bodies and how and where to take them, that no stage, just as no political realm, whatever its embodied metaphors may be, can fully contain the bodys dispositions (80-81). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (9 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance Greenblatt, Stephen. Remember Me. Hamlet in Purgatory. By Greenblatt. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. 205-57. GHOST / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / THEOLOGICAL While continuing the monographs historical exploration of the afterlife of Purgatory and of remembrance of the dead in England (3), this chapter begins by examining Hamlets shift of spectral obligation from vengeance to remembrance (207) and by analyzing how Shakespeare weirdly and unexpectedly conjoins memory as haunting with its opposite, the fading of remembrance (218). It then approaches the core argument of the monograph: the psychological in Shakespeares tragedy is constructed almost entirely out of the theological, and specifically out of the issue of remembrance that . lay at the heart of the crucial early-sixteenth-century debate about Purgatory (229). Although the Church of England had explicitly rejected the Roman Catholic conception of Purgatory and the practices that had been developed around it in 1563 (235), the Elizabethan theater circumvented the resulting censorship by representing Purgatory as a sly jest, a confidence trick, a mistake . But it could not be represented as a frightening reality. Hamlet comes closer to doing so than any other play of this period (236). Through a network of allusions to Purgatory (e.g., for a certain term [1.5.10], burned and purged [1.5.13], Yes, by Saint Patrick [1.5.136], hic et ubique [1.5.156]), as well as Hamlets attention to (and brooding upon) the Ghosts residence/source (236-37), the play presents a frightening-yet-absolving alternative to Hell. The play also seems a deliberate forcing together of radically incompatible accounts of almost everything that matters in Hamlet, such as Catholic versus Protestant tenets regarding the body and rituals (240). The prevalent distribution of printed religious arguments heightens the possibility that these works are sources for Shakespeares play: they stage an ontological argument about spectrality and remembrance, a momentous public debate, that unsettled the institutional moorings of a crucial body of imaginative materials and therefore made them available for theatrical appropriation (249). For example, Foxes comedic derision of Mores theological stance helped make Shakespeares tragedy possible. It did so by participating in a violent ideological struggle that turned negotiations with the dead from an institutional process governed by the church to a poetic process governed by guilt, projection, and imagination (252). The Protestant attack on the middle state of souls . did not destroy the longings and fears that Catholic doctrine had focused and exploited; instead, the space of Purgatory becomes the space of the stage where old Hamlets Ghost is doomed for a certain term to walk the night (256-57). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (10 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance Hapgood, Robert. Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Shakespeare in Production. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. PERFORMANCE / RECEPTION THEORY Cross-referencing eye-witness accounts, performance reviews, promptbooks, rehearsal logs, as well as memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies of major actors and directors, the introduction to this Hamlet edition provides a chronological survey of the main productions of Hamlet from Burbage to Branagh (ix). Productions are examined in a cultural context that includes developments in theatre history and literary analysis (ix). Although the survey reflects the contemporary emphasis on the role of Hamlet, the historical record is full enough to give as well a sense of whole productions and the people involved (e.g., supporting actors, directors, designers) (ix). This seeminglyextensive study of Hamlets performance history introduces the play text, footnoted with staged theatrical variations of productions (e.g., cuts, additions, verbal annunciation, directions of directors). [ top ] Hirsh, James. Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies. Modern Language Quarterly 58 (March 1997): 1-26. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This article declares that the To be, or not to be passage was originally staged as a feigned soliloquy, spoken by Hamlet to mislead other characters about his state of mind (2). The Shakespearean canon provides evidence that Shakespeare, perhaps more than other playwrights, explored the potential consequences, comic and tragic, of the fact that human beings do not have access to one anothers minds (9). He was able to do so because Elizabethan theatergoers were not required to distinguish soliloquies that represent speech from those that represent thought (7). In Hamlet, when a suspicious Hamlet arrives at the location designated by his enemy, sees Ophelia, and draws the obvious conclusion that she has been enlisted in a conspiracy against him, he also sees an opportunity to turn the tables on the conspirators (12). He does not mention his real concerns: the Ghost, Claudius, and The Mousetrap. And, departing from his other soliloquies, Hamlet never refers to his personal situation or uses a first-person singular pronoun (12). Although the To be, or file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (11 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance not to be passage was originally staged as a feigned soliloquy (14), the closing of the theaters in 1642 broke the English theatrical tradition (15). When they reopened in 1660, preferences had changed: Restoration playgoers lacked the taste for elaborate eavesdropping episodes that had so fascinated Renaissance playgoers (15). A historical survey charts the results of this profound change in taste, such as the misapplication of the term soliloquy and the obliteration of any distinction between the representation of speech and the representation of thought (17). Unfortunately, the erroneous belief that the To be soliloquy represented Hamlets thoughts and the erroneous belief that soliloquies of all ages typically represented the thoughts of characters became mutually reinforcing (22). If critics continue to operate with a blind adherence to untenable orthodox assumptions, then this most famous passage in literature, countless other episodes in plays before the middle of the seventeenth century, the history of dramatic technique, and the history of the construction of subjectivity will all continue to be grossly misunderstood (26). [ top ] Malone, Cynthia Northcutt. Framing in Hamlet. College Literature 18.1 (Feb. 1991): 50-63. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / MOUSETRAP / PERFORMANCE With the goal of bringing the self-effacing frames of Hamlet into focus (50), this essay examines the particular theatrical frame in which Hamlet was first performed, the Globe theater and considers thematic and formal issues of framing in Hamlet, positioning these textual issues within the discussion of the theatrical space (51). The performance space cannot be contained completely by the theatrical frame; it seeps outward: before [e.g., extruding limbs or bodies of actors], behind [e.g., actors holding place behind the stage], between [e.g., sites of transition between spectacle and spectator or inside and outside], above [e.g., the Globes open roof], below [e.g., the Ghosts voice from beneath the stage] (52). While the theatrical frame simultaneously defines and questions the boundaries of the performance space, Hamlet plays out a sequence of dramatic frames that mirror the theatrical frame and double its doubleness (53). For example, the Ghost provides the pretext for the revenge plot but functions at the outermost edges of the play (53), seeming to inhibit the very borders of the dramatic world (54); in The Mousetrap, Revenge drama is enacted within revenge drama, with the players of the central drama as audience, and stage as theater (57); Hamlet exists inside and outside of The Mousetrap, enacting the roles of both chorus and audience (58). But Claudiuss interruption of the play-within-the-play begins the process of file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (12 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance closure for the configuration of frames (58), and All of the frames in the play undergo some transformation in the process of closure (59). For example, the framing Ghost of Hamlet is internalized by the son when Hamlet fully appropriates his fathers name (59): This is I, / Hamlet the Dane (5.1.25051); Hamlet transforms into the avenger, murderer (Claudiuss double), and victim (Old Hamlets double) (59). Ultimately, he passes from the world of speech to the world beyond; in comparison, Horatio is released from his vow of silence, his function is transformed from providing the margin of silence surrounding Hamlets speech to presenting the now-dumb Prince (60). As Hamlets body is carried away, a figured silence closes the frame and dissolves into the background of life resumed (60). [ top ] McGuire, Philip C. Bearing A wary eye: Ludic Vengeance and Doubtful Suicide in Hamlet. From Page to Performance: Essays in Early English Drama. Ed. John Alford. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 1995. 235-53. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / METADRAMA / PERFORMANCE This essay explores how audiences and readers find themselves engaged in judging and interpreting Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (235). For example, in the final scene, how does Hamlet stab and poison Claudius? In what manner? Does he balance reason and passion during the act(s) (241)? Actors and directors must judge and interpret the ambiguous stage directions, as must audiences and readers. Fortinbras interprets the dead Hamlet to be a potential soldier in order to convert his claim to the Danish throne into a political fact (245); and Horatio interprets events for reasons that are at least partly political: to avoid social and political disorder (245-46). By ending with these acts of interpretation and judgement, Hamlet holds up a mirror in which those who experience the playin performance or on the pagecan see the processes of interpretation and judgement in which they are themselves engaged (246). Ophelias questionable demise provides one facet of this mirror, as several characters (e.g., grave diggers, priest) impose certainty of judgement on what is doubtful (248-49). Hamlet is profoundly concerned with the specific judgements and interpretations one comes to, but it is also concerned, at least equally, with the processes by which they are reached (250). [ top ] Pennington, Michael. Hamlet: A Users Guide. New York: Limelight Editions, file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (13 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance 1996. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Framed by introductory and concluding chapters that narrate personal experience as well as insight, this monograph is only in the slightest sense a history of productionsreally imitating a rehearsal (22). The first chapter focuses on the action by following the script line by line in the style of a naive telling of the story which can often provoke a discovery (22). As in most productions, the script is an accumulated version: a combination of elements from the Second Quarto and the Folio and any number of later versions, with occasional mischievous forays into the First (Bad) Quarto (24). Act and scene designations are replaced by days to avoid confusion and to draw attention to the fact that, while five separate days of action are presented, Shakespeares manipulation of double time is so skilled that you can believe that several months have passed by between the beginning and the end (23). The chapter on Hamlets characters comes second because one should not make assumptions about character until the action proves them (22). Characters are approached in groups, such as The Royal Triangle (Claudius/the Ghost/Gertrude) and The Commoners (players/gravediggers/priest). Then attention shifts to Hamlet. After discussing the demands of casting and rehearsing the role of Hamlet, the second chapter describes the excitement of opening night and the energizing relationship an actor shares with the audience. Although challenging, playing the role of Hamlet will verify you: you will never be quite the same again (193). [ top ] Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1992. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / GHOST / HAMLET / HORATIO / LAERTES / OPHELIA / PERFORMANCE / POLONIUS Combining literary scholarship with interpretive performances, this monograph promises "a way to listen to and grasp the complex tones of Hamlet and the other characters" (x). Chapters follow the chronological order of the play, pausing to "discuss the important characters as they appear" (12). For example, the first chapter explores the opening scene's setting and events, as well as the variations staged in performances; the examination of this scene is briefly suspended for chapters on Horatio and the Ghost but continues in chapter four. This monograph clarifies dilemmas and indicates "the choices that have been file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (14 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance made by actors and critics," but its actor-readers must decide for themselves (xi): "I believe this book will demonstrate that each actor-reader of you who engages with Hamlet's polyphony will uniquely experience the tones that fit your own polyphony" (x). [ top ] Shand, G. B. Realising Gertrude: The Suicide Option. Elizabethan Theatre XIII. Ed. A. L. Magnusson and C. E. McGee. Toronto: Meany, 1994. 95-118. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / PERFORMANCE This article uses an actorly exploration of Hamlet to account for how an apparent subtextual subversion of the script [Gertrudes conscious act of suicide] might actually have its birth not in wilful actorly or directorly selfindulgence, but in close and honest realisation of the textual evidence (99). Gertrude exists in a male-dominated world, where she is commanded by males and offered no privacy. Her limited ability to speak does not reflect ignorance, as several critics have contended, but the Renaissances expectations of the female gender. These social constraints produce in Gertrude an impacted condition, a state of painfully ingrown pressure to react (106). Meanwhile, an astute Gertrude begins to recognize her sin in an incestuous marriage, as well as her inadvertent responsibility for the murder of Hamlet, Sr. and all subsequent events (e.g., Polonius death, Ophelias madness). The Mousetrap guarantees consequential guilt, which appears evident in the closet scene. While Polonius murder suggests her association between guilt and death, Gertrudes description of Ophelias drowning marks a personal desire for death. This alert Gertrude cannot miss the development of an alliance between Claudius and Laertes, the charge of murderer-with-poison against the King, the tension among the males, nor the tainted cup offered to Hamlet during the duel. She consciously drinks the poisoned wine after having been denied virtually any other independent action from the beginning of the play (118). [ top ] Takahashi, Yasunari. Hamlet and the Anxiety of Modern Japan. Shakespeare Survey 48 (1995): 99-11. NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RECEPTION THEORY This essay traces the history of Hamlets reception in Japan: the whole labour file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (15 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance of assimilating Hamlet, from the beginning down to the present day, could be seen as the mirror up to the nature of Japans modernization since 1868 (101). With a grand rationale of modernization-as-westernization, Japan was eager to appropriate works like Hamlet (100-01). But such a transplanting required acclimatization of the play and kabuki, the traditional Japanese theater (100). For example, in the first Tokyo production of Hamlet (1903), all soliloquies were cut because the expression-of-inner-thought style was something unknown to kabuki, and the tradition of onnagata (only male actors on stage) was challenged by a females playing the role of Ophelia (104). In 1907, Shoyo Tsubouchi attempted a more accurate production (e.g., Western costumes, original character names, To be soliloquy), using a translated (not adapted) text, but his sensibility had been nurtured too deeply by the old kabuki tradition to allow him to be absolutely modern (106). His second attempt in 1911 similarly failed. While his later production marked the end of adaptation and the beginning of an age of faithful translation, it also confirmed the impression that Shakespeare was old-fashioned (107). Shakespeare was replaced by Ibsen and other European avant garde playwrights, while shingeki, or new drama (in Western-style) was displacing forms of traditional drama (107). Between 1913-1926, the play ceased to be the battleground of creative experiment in theatre (107). Part of this stalling resulted from the perception of Hamlet as the safest play to avoid being targeted by the secret service police (107-08). After the war, Hamlet made a comeback to the forefront of the theatrical scene: Tsuneari Fukudas 1955 production was a two-fold critique of the limitation of shingeki and, more broadly, of the modernity of Japanese culture (107). Currently, Japanese dramatists (e.g., Ninagawa, Suzuki) liberally strive to make Shakespeare feel contemporary (109). Until the anxiety of modernity has been overcome by the ludic spirit of post-modernity, new Hamlets must and will keep emerging, embodying the perennial and specific anxieties of contemporary self (111). [ top ] Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / BIBLIOGRAPHIC / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL This text begins with a questioning of Hamlet's status within the canon. Although other Shakespearean tragedies (e.g., King Lear) have threatened to displace Hamlet in the past, its position currently seems secure. The section titled "Which Hamlet?" discusses the Folio/Quartos debate, as well as how file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (16 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance understanding of the play's meanings and values vary "according to the reader, the actor or the audience" (17). The third chapter examines Hamlet "as a selfcontained fiction which takes history and politics as part of its subject matter" and "as a late-Elizabethan play which can be seen in relation to the history and politics of its own time" (23). The next section explores rhetoric in the play, such as how all of the characters seem to speak in the same linguistic style and how some quotes from the play "have passed into common usage," creating challenges for performers (33). The chapter on gender examines the history of female Hamlets, questions of Hamlet's sex/gender, the play's female characters, and feminism's influence on the study of this tragedy. "The Afterlife of Hamlet" discusses how editors, actors, and directors "have added to the multiplicity of Hamlets by cutting and rearranging that text" (52), how the drama has been adapted to popular mediums, and how it has been appropriated for political purposes in various countries. The conclusion foresees an optimistic future for Hamlet, and assortment of illustrations and a select bibliography round out the monograph. [ top ] Whitehead, Cintra. Construing Hamlet. Constructive Criticism 1.1 (Mar. 1991): 33-100. PERFORMANCE / PSYCHOANALYTIC This article begins with sketch reviews of Freuds, Jones, and Lacans psychoanalytic readings of Hamlet as well as Mairets Adleian interpretation. Although the psychoanalytic and Alderian theories are diametrically opposed in many ways, they both might be called content theories in that they look at the content of the mind rather than the operation of the mind as construct theory does (39-40). This article outlines the basic tenets of the Kellyan construct theory before following the action of the plot chronologically, construing character through events (41) and entertaining the hypothesis that Hamlet is man-the-scientist who experiences the universal need to predict and control (40). It also offers suggestions for performance techniques, such as methods to emphasize the poignancy of the final scene, when the British ambassadors have come too late (97). This article concludes that Hamlet is a tragedy of knowing vs. not knowing, but of knowing with the emotions and the will as well as with the intellect. The personal construct theorist will suspect that the plays unrivaled position in English drama results from its dramatization of the human need for all of us, like Hamlet, to be man-the-scientist who must decide when to trust intuition and emotion . and when and how to state and test hypotheses about life and the universe in order to predict and control life events (99). file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (17 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance [ top ] Wood, Robert E. Some Necessary Questions of the Play: A Stage-Centered Analysis of Shakespeares Hamlet. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1994. HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL Using a stage-centered approach, this monograph represents if not a unified theory of theatrical expression at least a series of necessary questions about the structural considerations that make possible the multiplicity of contemporary approaches to Hamlet (21). It begins with an examination of Hamlets use of real space and time as elements of a narration which is in part about a protagonists perception of space and time (17). Its second section deals with how Hamlets use of wit and soliloquy disrupt the normal language of drama and of Hamlet, but the plays final act marks the end of this dislocation and, significantly, the end of Hamlets distorted perception of space and time as well (18). The last section examines expectations we bring to the theater: our focus on the body as the locus of our attention, and our understanding of the generic framework which orders our experience (18). [ top ] Yoshioka, Fumio. Silence, Speech, and Spectacle in Hamlet. Shakespeare Studies 31 (1996): 1-33. HAMLET / PERFORMANCE This study aims to analyse and interpret Hamlet on the premise that the tragedy opens in silence, with a sort of dumb-show (4-5). Like most early modern play texts, Hamlets opening scene is not furnished with elaborate stage directions, but the two watchmen most likely do not embark on conversation right upon their entrance (6). During this silent posturing, Francisco approaches Barnardo, creating an instant shift of balance: the one who watches is suddenly transformed into the one who is watched (6). This blurring of watcher/watched initiates the inseparable and insoluble questions that the play continues to pose through double spying and The Mousetrap, for example (7). In addition, Barnardos groping in the night anticipates Hamlets struggle with darkness, blocked vision and invisibility in the Danish court (78). The scenes dark lighting, suggesting night, eventually relieved by the dawning sun, also creates a binary of black/red that bears psychological file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (18 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Performance implications (10): the protagonist hesitates at the entrance of the grim world of black and red, black for revenge and red for blood (11). For example, the initial section of Priams slaughter is portrayed conspicuously in black and red, while Hamlet calls for a drink of hot blood (3.2.381) and for bloody thoughts (4.4.65-66) after gaining confidence with The Mousetrap (12). The opening scenes first lines foreshadow the ensuing play: Whos there? and Stand and unfold yourself (1.1.1-2). While the first suggests Hamlets silent question to the people around him and to himself, the latter highlights the lack of answers, the rift in communication (23-24), and the drive to uncover mysteriesall concerns that consume the play (27). The cemetery scene unfolds the ultimate phase of human nature and existence to the protagonist (28). The Prince discovers spiritual tranquility but only briefly (29). At the plays end, a dying Hamlet declares, the rest is silence (5.2.359), and the muted funeral procession that follows is the last of a string of dumb-shows whose theatrical eloquence has served to tell so much of the tragedy (30). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/performance.html (19 of 19) [11/19/2002 11:39:20 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Amtower, Laurel. The Ethics of Subjectivity in Hamlet. Studies in the Humanities 21.2 (Dec. 1994): 120-33. n Cefalu, Paul A. Damned Custom . Habits Devil: Shakespeares Hamlet, Anti-Dualism, and the Early Modern Philosophy of Mind. ELH 67 (2000): 399-431. 8 May 2001.n Guillory, John. To please the wiser sort: Violence and Philosophy in Hamlet. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 82-109.n Hart, Jeffrey. Hamlets Great Song. Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe:Toward the Revival of Higher Education. By Hart. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. 169-86.n Jenkins, Harold. To be, or not to be: Hamlets Dilemma. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 8-24.n Kllay, Gza. To be or not to be and Cogito, ergo sum: Thinking and Being in Shakespeares Hamlet Against a Cartesian Background. AnaChronist [no vol. #] (1996): 98-123. n Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30.n Lawrence, Sen Kevin. As a stranger, bid it welcome: Alterity and Ethics in Hamlet and the New Historicism. European Journal of English 4.2 (2000): 155-69.n Levy, Eric P. Nor th exterior nor the inward man: The Problematics of Personal Identity in Hamlet. University of Toronto Quarterly 68.3 (Summer 1999): 711-27.n Levy, Eric P. Things standing thus unknown: The Epistemology of Ignorance in Hamlet. Studies in Philology 97 (Spring 2000): 192-209n Levy, Eric. Would it were not so: Hypothetical Alternatives in Hamlet. Literature and Aesthetics 11 (Nov. 2001): 33-46. file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (1 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological n Matheson, Mark. Hamlet and A matter tender and dangerous. Shakespeare Quarterly 46 (Winter 1995): 383-97.n Mousley, Andrew. Hamlet and the Politics of Individualism. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 67-82.n Usher, Peter. Advances in the Hamlet Cosmic Allegory. Oxfordian 4 (Fall 2001): 25-49.n Wagner, Valeria. The Unbearable Lightness of Acts. The Ethics in Literature. Ed. Andrew Hadfield, Dominic Rainsford, Tim Woods. New York: St. Martins, 1999. 73-85.n Weitz, Morris. Hamlet: Philosophy the Intruder. Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Literature: Essays. Ed. Morris Weitz and Margaret Collins. New Studies in Aesthetics 10. New York: Lang, 1995. 17-33.n Wright, Eugene P. Hamlet: From Physics to Metaphysics. Hamlet Studies 4 (1992): 19-31. Amtower, Laurel. The Ethics of Subjectivity in Hamlet. Studies in the Humanities 21.2 (Dec. 1994): 120-33. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL This article approaches Hamlet as an exploration of the crisis of selfhood that results when Aquinas carefully observed laws collide, collapsing the hierarchical structure of being that defines the individual into a jumble of conflicting perspectives (123). In the play, any event in its actuality tends to get lost, and gives rise instead to a story or interpretation on the part of a witnessing agent, which then achieves a certain life of its own (124). For example, the murder of Old Hamlet is never known in its actuality, but is instead delivered as information, filtered through the suspicious perspectives of the characters, and acted upon accordingly (124). After gaining information about his fathers murder, Hamlet responds to the call for revenge by attempting to justify the task within the theological and political framework that structures not only his ethical sensibilities, but his very sensibilities regarding who and what he is (125). Hamlet is thus placed into a subjective crux within which intersect the exclusive values which frame his very being (125). But by believing he acts for a higher agency (e.g., the Ghost/father) and thus dismissing the claims of his own integrity, Hamlet begins to reinscribe the entities and relationships around him into narratives and texts, to be negotiated and interpreted according to his own absolute gloss (126). For him, absolutes become fluid, and life is file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (2 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical nothing but a language game (126). Unfortunately, Hamlet is not just a player of games comprised of words and deceptions, but a product of these games (128). He feigns madness and manipulates The Mousetrap, all language-based methods, to extract truth from othersbut egotistically neglects the fact that the truth he seeks might well be a product of his own discursive devising (129). Leaving behind humanity and morality, he appoints himself scourge and minister (131) and perverts the discourse of religious dogma in the pursuit of selfish ends, for the subject at the end of this play is a tyrant, using the discourse of power to justify his abandonment of individual ethics (132). [ top ] Cefalu, Paul A. Damned Custom . Habits Devil: Shakespeares Hamlet, AntiDualism, and the Early Modern Philosophy of Mind. ELH 67 (2000): 399-431. 8 May 2001. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay briefly examines some modern and pre-modern theories of the mindthose of Gilbert Ryle, Putnam, Augustine, Pomponazzi, and Jeremy Taylorin order to suggest first that Renaissance philosophy and theology held theories of the mind that resemble modern-day anti-dualistic accounts of behaviorism and functionalism, and second that Shakespeares Hamlet is implicated in this behaviorist-functionalist tradition rather than in the innatist tradition into which it has usually been placed (400). Too often critics mistakenly conflate third-person statements about Hamlets mental states with Hamlets first-person reports, reports which aim to understand the role of behavior, habit, and custom in knowing and acting, rather than to explore any Cartesian theater of the mind (400). In actuality, for most of the play Hamlet is a radical Rylean behaviorist, inasmuch as he believes mental phenomena and predicates gain meaning only when they are identified in a one-to-one relationship with behavioral predicates (400). Shaping Hamlets behaviorism is the early modern assimilation of the Augustine-Protestant theory of the ineradicability of vicious habits (400). Hamlets understanding of the theological construal of habit helps to explain both his irresolution . and his sense that personal identity or subjective states are identical with customary behavioral dispositions (400-01). In reifying and objectifying habits, he imagines persons to be constituted by behavior, custom, and dispositional states all the way down, so that they are unendowed with what Derek Parfit would describe as any further facts to their psychological identity, such as disembodied minds or thoughts (401). Hamlet inherits a widely-held Augustinefile:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (3 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical Protestant preoccupation with the tortured relationship among habit, sin, and action. If there is any incredible objective correlative operating in the play, it describes Hamlets over-indulgence in, and misconstrual of, this tradition, which recognized the utility of retaining virtuous patterns of conduct as correctives to customary sin (428). [ Top ] Guillory, John. To please the wiser sort: Violence and Philosophy in Hamlet. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 82-109. NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay explores the difference between philosophy and theology as early modern discourses; philosophy . can be seen to counter the fratricidal or sectarian violence provoked by theological dispute (84). Philosophy appears as a discourse that in the sixteenth century could contemplate its own incompleteness, in contrast to the field of theology, where every position violently excluded some other position (87-88). Given the periods budding interest in materialism, the ambiguities of the Ghost and Hamlets obsession with matter (e.g., dirt, dust) suggest that Hamlet contains the performance of philosophy (93). Perhaps the intent was to attract a sub-sect of the elite audience towards the common theater and away from the child troupes (93). This particular audience was well aware of how the courts elaborate machinery of ceremony, manners, and fashion served to sublimate the violence latent in struggles for position or patronage (97). But violence was never completely eradicated, as methods of intrigue and factionboth prevalent in Hamletprovided alternatives (97). Hamlet initially attempts to expose rather than avenge his fathers murder by resorting to the cultural form of the theater (99). But The Mousetrap fails him and delegitimates not Claudius but court society itself (99). Philosophy, an alternative to violence, can only provide Hamlet with temporary relief (102). He ultimately embraces providence, God, etc., marking the moment when theology overtakes the play not to announce an exilic peace, but to incite violence (103). Perhaps Shakespeare attempted to provoke the wiser sort to entertain the most radical pacific of philosophical thoughts, what we now call materialism, the great philosopheme of early modernity (104). [ Top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (4 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical Hart, Jeffrey. Hamlets Great Song. Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Revival of Higher Education. By Hart. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. 169-86. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL While continuing the monographs argument that the Renaissance was marked by the intellectual availability of various and often incompatible ways of looking at the world (e.g., Christianity, Machiavellism) (181), this chapter contends that, in Hamlet, Shakespeare clearly decided to express a wide range of poetic possibilities and make him the epitome of his agethe artistic product is a credible human being and even a credible genius (175). Hamlet fully engages most or even all of the contradictory possibilities of the Renaissance, from the lofty aspirations of Pico della Mirandola to bottomless skepticism, from the ideals of humanism to recurrent thoughts of suicide, from the intellectual reaches of Wittenberg to mocking cynicism and an awareness of the yawning grave (178). The stature of Prince Hamlet as a great tragic hero rests upon the fact that though in all practical terms he was a catastrophethose bodies all over the stagehe nevertheless gave himself to and fully articulated the cosmos available to him in all of its splendor, horror, and multiple contradiction (182). What Hamlet says becomes the core of the play. It is his voice, not his deeds, that dominates the stage . . (169). The great loss, the terror, we feel at the end of the play comes from the realization that his voice, that great song, is now stilled and that nothing like it will be heard again (169). [ Top ] Jenkins, Harold. To be, or not to be: Hamlets Dilemma. Hamlet Studies 13 (1991): 8-24. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This article suggests that the question of to be, or not to be, though it does not relate directly to Hamlets particular problems, is nevertheless evoked by Hamlets dramatic role, so that the heros particular dilemma is set in context with an archetypal dilemma which enables it to be viewed in a universal perspective (13-14). The question is applied to the universal man in whom the particular revenger is subsumed (21). Hamlet, no less than Augustine, is working out a theorem, which is of general application (13) based on a fundamental questionperhaps the fundamental oneconcerning human life, the desirability of having it at all (12). The response found in this famous soliloquy seems a grudging affirmative: one decides in favour of life from a file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (5 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical fear that death might be worse (21-22). But the answer that springs from Hamlet when he speaks of his own individual plight and gives vent to his personal feelings is most often negative, the answer which Augustine thought improbable and even reprehensible (22). For example, directly after the To be, or not to be soliloquy, Hamlet rejects Ophelia, rejecting life and its opportunities for love, marriage and procreation. It is the choice of not to be (22). Yet this negative answer is not the playss final answer (sic 22). In the graveyard scene, Hamlet comes to accept his mortal destiny, thus allowing him to achieve the readiness to do the deed of revenge which he has so long delayed (22). Ultimately, Hamlet and Laertes both avenge their fathers murders as well as forgive and absolve one anothersuggesting a very moral play (23). Hamlet recognizes original sin, the presence of evil in mans nature; and it accepts that guilt must be atoned for (23). It offers us a hero who, in a world where good and evil inseparably mingle, is tempted to shun the human lot but comes at length to embrace it, choosing finally to be (23). [ top ] Kllay, Gza. To be or not to be and Cogito, ergo sum: Thinking and Being in Shakespeares Hamlet Against a Cartesian Background. AnaChronist [no vol. #] (1996): 98-123. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay juxtaposes some aspects of a dramatised, metaphorical display and a systematically argued, conceptualised presentation of the question as to the relationship between thinking and being, while drawing on Cavells insightful dramatisation of Descartes universal doubt on the one hand, and on the widelyknown (though of course by no means exclusive) conception of Hamlet as the tragic philosopher on the other (102). According to Descartes, thinking ensures the fact of his existence, and, further, the existence of God, who will, in turn, ensure the existence of the Universe (120). In comparison, Hamlet uses thinking not so much to settle the question of what exists and what does not, but to give its extent, to mark out its bourn, the frontier dividing being and nonbeing, only to see one always in terms of the other. The major reason for Descartes and Hamlets different approaches is, of course, that in Hamlets world there is no final and absolute guarantee: in Shakespeares Hamlet God seems to interfere neither with thinking, nor with being (120). But, late in the play, Hamlet claims, There is a divinity that shapes our end (5.2.10). These words signify that his principle of possibility in full operation, paraphrasable as follows: It is indeed doubtful to count with God as an absolute guarantee. But this uncertainty should not make us discard the possibility. It might be the case file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (6 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical that he is even willing to ensure and assure us through his bare existence or otherwise, so we must give both alternatives equal chance. (121). [ Top ] Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30. GHOST / HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay proposes that, by considering Hamlet within the context of the Reformation and the concurrent skeptical crisis, the distinctly epistemological making of Hamlets ineffectuality takes on an intriguing historical dimension: it suggests the utter ineffectuality of human knowledge as this ineffectuality was advocated by contemporary skeptics (218). The opening scene presents the debacle of human knowledge (219), the mixed, inconsistent, confused, and tentative versions of human understanding through the uselessness of Horatios learning to communicate with the Ghost and the in-conclusiveness of Bernardos Christian narrative to explain the spirit (220). This contradistinction with standard versions of early modern skepticism, which vindicate and embrace human ignorance as against the violent pressures of early modern religious dogmatism, suggests Shakespeare to be anxious about uncertainty and its discontents in a way that Greek and humanist skeptics never are (220). Hamlets direct echoing of contemporary thinkers as diverse as Montaigne and Bruno only strengthens the impression that the play, far from representing a systematic or even coherent line of thought, virtually subsumes the intellectual confusion of the age (221). The ghost functions as the very emblem of such confusion (221), withholding the type of knowledge most crucial to early modern minds: religious knowledge (220). The very issues that are associated, in the Gospels, with the defeat of skeptical anxiety, had become, during the Reformation, axes of debate, rekindling skeptical anxiety rather than abating it (223). In this context, the Ghost appears as an implicit, or inverted, revelation (222), a grotesque, parodic version of Christ resurrected (223): instead of elevating Hamlet to a truly novel and unprecedented level of knowledge (224), the Ghost leaves Hamlet with nothing but ignorance (222). Hamlet claims to believe the Ghost after The Mousetrap, but his ensuing blunders debunk the sense of certainty that he pretends to have established (227). The problem seems the inescapably political world of Denmark, where errors, partial judgements, and theological (mis)conceptions are never only academic, they cost people their lives and cannot, therefore, be dismissed as unavoidable and innocuous imperfections or indifferent trifles, as Montaigne file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (7 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical and Pyrrhonist believe (228). [ Top ] Lawrence, Sen Kevin. As a stranger, bid it welcome: Alterity and Ethics in Hamlet and the New Historicism. European Journal of English 4.2 (2000): 15569. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL After exploring the competing theories of Levinas and Heideggar and supporting the first, this essay contends that while Hamlet recognizes the ethical demands impinging upon him, he avoids them; he attempts to reduce the Other to the Same (163). The Ghost ultimately charges Hamlet to Remember me (1.4.91), and Hamlet writes down the order. But penning the command is a significant gesture in Hamlets effort to sidestep it, to transform it into my word (1.5.110) (167). Hamlet tries to avoid the past as responsibility, defining the Ghost and thereby conquering its alterity (167). Hamlet also tries to conquer/control death by killing (166). For example, in the prayer scene, Hamlet decides to refrain from murder until he cannot only control Claudius death, but also effectively avert any threat that his ghost, like the elder Hamlets, might return from purgatory (166). To bring death within his control and to avoid the conscientious claim which the death of the Other would have upon him, Hamlet must turn the Other into something at least theoretically capable of appropriation (166). But Hamlets struggles against conscience only end in his becoming a sort of tyrant (163). Like Hamlet, critics try to shake the hold which the past as Other has upon us, but new historicists should avoid repeating Hamlets mistakes (169). [ Top ] Levy, Eric P. Nor th exterior nor the inward man: The Problematics of Personal Identity in Hamlet. University of Toronto Quarterly 68.3 (Summer 1999): 71127. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL This essay argues that Hamlet profoundly critiques prevailing assumptions regarding this relation [of inner/outer dimensions], and dramatizes an alternate conceptualization of human identity (711). In Hamlet, inwardness is notoriously problematic and in need of outward verification (712). But outward file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (8 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical verification of inwardness is itself notoriously problematized in the world of the play, where characters hide behind false exteriors to probe behind the presumedly false exteriors of another (715). While exemplifying this problem in the play, Claudius and Polonius hiding behind the curtain to spy on Hamlet and Ophelia also epitomizes the notorious discord between inward and outward during the Renaissance (715). The periods emphasis on self-presentation led to suspicions concerning authenticity (715); hence, Hamlet applauds the actors skills at simulating the emotions deemed appropriate (717). This stress on outwardness also created an inconsolable isolation, as individuals had to conform to the moral expectations of their audiences rather than their own inner worlds (716). In the play, death appears as a metaphor for the plight of inwardness, isolated from authentic and intelligible outward expression (717). For example, the Ghosts private suffering cannot be spoken of because the horror is too great (717), and a dying Hamlets assertion that the rest is silence (5.2.363) associates death with the incommunicable privacy of that centre of interiority (718). But, in the closet scene, Hamlet seems to realize that behavior can do more than confirm the inmost part. It can also modify or transform it (722). He directs Gertrude to Assume a virtue (3.4.162), not a false appearance, but a sincere imitation of virtue in order to overcome habits evil (3.4.164) (723). This notion of cathartic action, outward expression becomes the means of effecting inward reform (725). Unfortunately, Hamlet cannot completely reconcile the inner/outer reciprocal estrangement in the world of the play because he does not possess exclusive control (724). The play ends with Horatios and Fortinbras eulogies of the Prince, which transform Hamlets own exterior man (724). [ Top ] Levy, Eric P. Things standing thus unknown: The Epistemology of Ignorance in Hamlet. Studies in Philology 97 (Spring 2000): 192-209. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL This article approaches Hamlet as an epistemological tragedy in which the need to know collides with the need to maintain the security of ignorance which, in turn, intensifies the turmoil caused by unexpected knowledge (193-94). While some of the plays characters (e.g., Claudius) work to maintain ignorance of the truth, those who gain knowledge (e.g., Hamlet) consequentially suffer; hence, the urge to know threatens the safety of ignorance (199). The plays fundamental epitemological problem seems the disruptive effect of acquiring knowledge. Yet in Hamlet, the knowledge most urgently needed but most reluctantly acquired is self-knowledge (198). A review of Platonic notions file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (9 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical suggests that one achieves self-knowledge through the recognition/acceptance of ignorance and the exertion of self-control (201). In this light, Hamlets delay is the means by which he progressively directs the need to know towards its morally obligatory goal: self-knowledge (207). Only when Hamlet masters his own insistent need to know and probes the implications of ignorance can he move successfully to revenge (206). The unexamined irony of Hamlets progress toward revenge is that it foregrounds and sets in tragic opposition contradictory aspects of his character: successful thought maturation, with respect to deepening awareness of ignorance, versus enraged reaction to his own censorious judgement (208). But Hamlet ultimately achieves epistemological self-control through acceptance of the limits of knowledge, an attitude echoed in his last four lines: the rest is silence (5.2.363) (209). [ top ] Levy, Eric. Would it were not so: Hypothetical Alternatives in Hamlet. Literature and Aesthetics 11 (Nov. 2001): 33-46. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL While drawing on Descartes cogito ergo sum philosophy and Whiteheads knowledge of objectivist and subjectivist constructions of reality (33), this article investigates the invocation, in Hamlet, of hypothetical alternatives to circumstances (II.ii.157) as they actually unfolded or currently obtain (33-34). Hamlet himself is intimately associated with hypothetical alternatives, as indicated by his wishes to deny reality (e.g., his fathers death, his own birth) and to die (35). By persistently brooding on hypothetical alternatives, Hamlet defers achievement of the readiness (V.ii.218) to confront circumstance as they areto progress definitively, that is, from the subjunctive to the indicative mood (35). He gradually reduces his reliance on hypothetical alternatives, using various methods: Hamlet verifies ideas through observation and inference in the play scene (36), acknowledges the possibility of purgation or regeneration in the closet scene (36-37), and meditates on death (the epitome of that which cannot be avoided) in the graveyard (37). But the occasion of death involves profound ambiguity (37): while acceptance of mortality allows Hamlet to overcome recourse to hypothetical alternatives and to achieve readiness to accept inevitability, the occasion of death triggers unbearable yearning for what might have been and uncertainty regarding what might be (37-38). For example, Hamlet declares, Let be (V.ii.220), prior to the duel yet suffers a hypothetical-alternatives relapse when he is dying (37)lamenting, Had I but time (V.ii.341). The play similarly presents the complexity of hypothetical alternatives: although recourse to them appears in the play as a file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (10 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical human failing or innate fault (I.v.36) (40), the plot of Hamlet is driven by characters actively striving to implement hypothetical alternatives, as demonstrated by Hamlets and Fortinbras efforts to reverse the wrongs suffered by their fathers (41). Ultimately, Hamlet quells his penchant for hypothetical alternatives, and heroically participates in the unfolding of history designed by Providence (42-43). But, in Hamlet, the individual contributes to his or her own destinysuggesting yet another of the plays conundrums (44). [ top ] Matheson, Mark. Hamlet and A matter tender and dangerous. Shakespeare Quarterly 46 (Winter 1995): 383-97. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PHILOSOPHICAL / THEOLOGICAL This essay asserts that a consideration of Stoicism within a religious context illuminates Hamlets involvement with comprehensive ideological systems and helps to prepare the way for an analysis of his subjective transformation at the end of the play (383). Hamlets awkwardness in the filial role is symptomatic of his ambivalent relationship to the ideological order represented by his father, a culture whose values he consciously embraces but whose established cultural roles he is unable to perform (e.g., revenger, obedient son, devout Catholic) (385). Unfortunately, Stoicism does not appear as a viable ideological alternative for Hamlet (387). Its discourse proves useless to him as a way of ordering his mind or of assisting him in carrying out the will of his father (388). The contradictions between Hamlets advice to the players and his behavior during The Mousetrap confirm that in the world of the play the ideologies of Stoicism and humanism are failing (389). Caught in the throes of an ideological unhousing from both the residual and dominant cultural systems of Danish society, Hamlet cannot find a secure identity or an ideological basis for action in either the feudal Catholic world nor the humanist Renaissance court (389). Through an examination of early modern ideology, this essay argues that the impasse in which Hamlet finds himself is broken in the final act by the emergence of a specifically Protestant discourse of conscience and of Gods predestinating will (390). Evidence suggests that the history of Protestantism functions as a kind of subtext in Hamlet (391). For example, Hamlets discussion on a special providence in the fall of a sparrow (5.2.165-68) seems a moment in the play when the radical Protestant subtext surfaces quite clearly (394). That predestination and its worldly consequences were tender political matters may be an important reason for Shakespeares rather oblique and suggestive handling of Hamlets transformation (397). file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (11 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical [ top ] Mousley, Andrew. Hamlet and the Politics of Individualism. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 67-82. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL This article proposes that there is no singular form of individualism to be extracted from the play, as different answers to the question of what it means or might mean to be an individual are presented (75). Hamlets struggle in the revenger role exemplifies the complexity of individualism: his character and actions can be understood in different ways because the political and social orientation of his individualism is open-ended, extended beyond a traditional heroism but not yet determined by an essentializing liberal humanism (79). While the concept of the self as free-floating paradoxically deprives the individual of any meaningful social and political agency, agency in Hamlet is defined in terms of the range of possible responses to a concrete social and political situation which thereby constitutes but which does not wholly determine the self (80). For the Elizabethan and Jacobean audience, witnessing a princely agency within the orbit of other less exalted individuals/audience members encourages a complex sense of their own differentiated potentialities as social and political actors (80). [ top ] Usher, Peter. Advances in the Hamlet Cosmic Allegory. Oxfordian 4 (Fall 2001): 25-49. HISTORY OF IDEAS / PHILOSOPHICAL By asserting that Hamlet contains a cosmic allegory, this article suggests that Shakespeare was well aware of the astronomical revolutions of his time, and by dramatizing the triumph of heliocentricism and the infinite universe as a subtext of his great play, he celebrated what is in essence the basis for the modern world view (27). The play appears imbued with allusions to the astronomical debate based on linguistic references to the contemporary scientific terms (e.g., retrograde [1.2.114], infinite space [2.2.259]) and character names borrowed from actual scientists (e.g., Claudius Ptolemy, Marcellus Palingenius Stellatus). Even the plot seems charged, as Shakespeare departs from Historia Danica in file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (12 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical the final scene to recognize that the English cosmological contribution is an outgrowth of the Polish contribution: Fortinbras goes first to Poland, to pay homage to the grave of Copernicus, and then upon his return to salute the English ambassadors. Thus the two models favored by Shakespeare, the Polish and the English, are triumphant following the demise of geocentricism, which Claudius and his followers represent (33-34). Aside from discerning meaning in the opaque dialogue between Hamlet, Horatio, and Osric in act five, scene two (42), this cosmological interpretation of Hamlet also uncovers the scientific basis for Hamlets nutshell (2.2.258). [ top ] Wagner, Valeria. The Unbearable Lightness of Acts. The Ethics in Literature. Ed. Andrew Hadfield, Dominic Rainsford, Tim Woods. New York: St. Martins, 1999. 73-85. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL Relying heavily on Baktins philosophy of action, this essay asserts that the lightness whereby acts appear as too abstract to be enacted is intimately related to that whereby acts appear too easily enacted with respect to their ethical import (75). In Hamlet, the Prince initially hesitates in his act of revenge because he strongly believes in a continuity between motive and act (76). As his reaction to the players Hecuba speech demonstrates, Hamlet believes that his cause would give effect to action, were he only impregnated with itwere he bearing it properly (76). But his understanding of cause/action alters when he encounters Fortinbras army. In going to war without a cause, Fortinbras demonstrates that reasons are neither compellent nor determinant, suggesting, moreover, that actions are fundamentally ungrounded in anything other than themselves (77). Hamlets focus shifts imperceptibly from the question of how (or whether) to accomplish this, to that of how to accomplish anythinghow to act? (80). Although Hamlet concludes his contemplation of Fortinbras and Fortinbras war with the declaration of his own bloody thoughts, he does not follow Fortinbrass example because he perceives action as abstract/unqualified (80). Hamlet concludes that there is no possible unity between content and enactment, motive and product, and hence that there is no relationship between the ethical import of an act and its actual enactment, but his continued inaction suggests that a certain unity between the phenomenological and ethical dimensions is needed for action (81). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (13 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical Weitz, Morris. Hamlet: Philosophy the Intruder. Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Literature: Essays. Ed. Morris Weitz and Margaret Collins. New Studies in Aesthetics 10. New York: Lang, 1995. 17-33. PHILOSOPHICAL This monograph chapter argues against the reduction of the play to some one philosophical theme that is abstracted from either the character of Hamlet, the soliloquies, the dialogue, the plot, the imagery, or the general atmosphere of the play and is then proclaimed the meaning of the play (17). A sampling of Hamlets soliloquies and dialogue suggests the diverse philosophical material throughout the play and how easily critics can find/construe proof for generalizations. A review of critics who have fallen into such traps (e.g., Campbell, Spurgeon, Clemen, Fergusson, Stoll, Coleridge, Bradley) provides examples of errors. But the essay recommends attention to tone, as this aspect implies a kind of irreducible complexity of human experience: sheer love of life, woe, wonder, mystery, etc. (32). It is in this aspect of the tonethe irreducible complexity of human experience as it mirrors mans conditionthat I find the philosophy of Hamlet (33). [ top ] Wright, Eugene P. Hamlet: From Physics to Metaphysics. Hamlet Studies 4 (1992): 19-31. HAMLET / METAPHYSICS / PHILOSOPHICAL This article analyzes Hamlets struggle with the spiritual mystery of the nature of the cosmos, the nature of mankind, and mankinds relationship with the cosmos (20). Hamlet initially views the cosmos as a chaotic garden, but he discovers evidence of moral order in the grave yard (23). The unearthed skulls provide tangible evidence, showing clearly that emphasis upon things physical [e.g., material gains, heroic deeds, death] is useless and insignificant (24). His shift to metaphysical contemplation is based upon his understanding of the physical (25). Although not a product of distinct logic, the conclusion Hamlet comes to is that indeed a moral order of the universe does exist and that he, and by implication all humans, must act in accordance with that order (22). Ultimately, Hamlet uses the best that mankind has, reason, to get at the answers of challenging questions (28). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (14 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Philosophical This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/philosophical.html (15 of 15) [11/19/2002 11:39:22 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Adair, Vance. Rewriting the (S)crypt: Gazing on Hamlets Interiors. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (1996): 5-15.n Adelman, Janet. Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeares Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37.n Bergoffen, Debra B. Mourning, Woman, and the Phallus: Lacans Hamlet. Cultural Semiosis: Tracing the Signifier. Ed. Hugh J. Silverman. Continental Philosophy VI. New York: Routledge, 1998. 140-53.n Byles, Joanna Montgomery. Tragic Alternatives: Eros and Superego Revenge in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 117-34.n de Grazia, Margreta. Weeping For Hecuba. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 350-75.n Daz de Chumaceiro, Cora L. Hamlet in Freuds Thoughts: Reinterpretations in the Psychoanalytic Literature. Journal of Poetry Therapy 11.3 (1998): 139-53.n Engle, Lars. Discourse, Agency, and Therapy in Hamlet. Exemplaria 4 (1992): 441-53.n Faber, M. D. Hamlet and the Inner World of Objects. The Undiscovered Country: New Essays on Psychoanalysis and Shakespeare. Ed. B. J. Sokol. London: Free Assn., 1993. 57-90.n Finkelstein, Richard. Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity. Renaissance and Reformation 21.2 (Spring 1997): 5-22.n Hillman, David. The Inside Story. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 299-324.n Lupton, Julia Reinhard and Kenneth Reinhard. After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis. Ithaca: Cornell U P, 1993. n Morin, Gertrude. Depression and Negative Thinking: A Cognitive Approach to Hamlet. Mosaic 25.1 (1992): 1-12.n Oakes, Elizabeth. Polonius, the Man Behind the Arras: A Jungian Study. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 103-16.n Porterfield, Sally F. "Oh Dad, Poor Dad: The Universal Disappointment of Imperfect Parents in Hamlet." Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays. Drama and Theatre Studies 57. Westport: Greenwood P, 1994. 72-98. file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (1 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological n Ronk, Martha C. Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 2143.n Russell, John. Hamlet and Narcissus. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995.n Schiffer, James. Mnemonic Cues to Passion in Hamlet. Renaissance Papers, 1995. Ed. George Walton Williams and Barbara J. Baines. Raleigh: Southeastern Renaissance Conference, 1996. 65-79.n Simon, Bennett. Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation. American Imago 58.3 (Fall 2001): 707-22.n Takahashi, Yasunari. Speech, Deceit, and Catharsis: A Reading of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 3-19.n Thatcher, David. Sullied Flesh, Sullied Mind: Refiguring Hamlets Imaginations. Studia Neophilologica 68 (1996): 29-38.n Watterson, William Collins. Hamlets Lost Father. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 10-23.n Wheale, Nigel. "'Vnfolde your selfe': Jacques Lacan and the Psychoanalytic Reading of Hamlet." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 108-32.n Whitehead, Cintra. Construing Hamlet. Constructive Criticism 1.1 (Mar. 1991): 33-100. Adair, Vance. Rewriting the (S)crypt: Gazing on Hamlets Interiors. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 6 (1996): 5-15. PSYCHOANALYTIC While arguing that Hamlet regularly solicits the gaze of its audience with sites of secret interior (e.g., closet, confessional, bed chamber, veiled recess, gravesite), this article begins with a discussion of the closets versatile, and deeply contradictory, epistemology (6). It then offers an analysis of how the text variously seeks to negotiate the problems of authority and interiority and of how psychoanalysis and Hamlet engage with the issue of epistemology at irresistible points of rupture which indicate a much more complex kind of savoir: the unconscious (6). But Hamlets interiors yield only a cryptic accessibility. If they elude capture by the gaze, it is precisely because vision itself is implicated in the catachrestic spacing of the signifier, where every interior can only ever be contradictory (6-7). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (2 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Adelman, Janet. Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeares Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This monograph chapter argues that Hamlet redefines the sons position between two fathers by relocating it in relation to an indiscriminately sexual maternal body that threatens to annihilate the distinction between the fathers and hence problematizes the sons paternal identification (14-15). Hamlet rewrites the story of Cain and Abel as the story of Adam and Eve, relocating masculine identity in the presence of the adulterating female (30). Gertrude plays out the role of the missing Eve: her body is the garden in which her husband dies, her sexuality the poisonous weeds that kill him, and poison the worldand the selffor her son (30). The absence of the father combined with the presence of the engulfing mother awakens all the fears incident to the primary mother-child bond (30). The solution is for Hamlet to remake his mother in the image of Virgin Mother who could guarantee his fathers purity, and his own, repairing the boundaries of his selfhood (31). In the closet scene, Hamlet attempts to remake his mother pure by divorcing her from her sexuality (32-33). Although Gertrude remains relatively opaque, more a screen for Hamlets fantasies about her than a fully developed character in her own right, the son at least believes that she has returned to him as the mother he can call good lady (3.4.182) (34). As a result, Hamlet achieves a new calm and self-possession but at a high price: for the parents lost to him at the beginning of the play can be restored only insofar as they are entirely separated from their sexual bodies. This is a pyrrhic solution to the problems of embodiedness and familial identity . . (35). [ top ] Bergoffen, Debra B. Mourning, Woman, and the Phallus: Lacans Hamlet. Cultural Semiosis: Tracing the Signifier. Ed. Hugh J. Silverman. Continental Philosophy VI. New York: Routledge, 1998. 140-53. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / PSYCHOANALYTIC Concurring with Lacans notions of the phallus, jouissance, the symbolic, the imaginary, and the signifying chain (140), this article suggests that Gertrude demonstrates the way womans complicity is essential to the patriarchal order as she provides a glimpse of a woman who steps outside its parameters (141). file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (3 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic In the role of mourning, woman represents the invisible medium through whom the phallus passes (144). But Gertrude substitutes marriage nuptials for mourning rituals; her marriage to Claudius violates the father who has not been properly remembered, and it violates the son who is denied his legacy (146). Gertrudes refusal to mourn brings back the ghost and fuels its impossible request: that the son do what the mother will not, legitimize the father (146). But Hamlet, a male bound by patriarchal laws, cannot perform the social act of mourning, as he and Laertes prove at Ophelias burial (141). And, as long as Gertrude confers legitimacy on Claudius, Hamlets action is barred (149). The son begins the process of re-inserting his mother into the patriarchal phallic order in the closet scene by accusing her of being too old to love, by de-legitimizing her mode of otherness (149). Gertrude, in death, finally frees Hamlet to act by being unable to mourn Claudius, but her absence means no mourning and, hence, no mediation for the transference of power: in the absence of women, Denmark comes under the rule of its enemy, Fortinbras (151-52). Rejecting the role of passive mediator Gertrude plays the game of jouissance (153). Yes, Gertrude is destroyed as a result, but she succeeds in exposing the myth of the male phallus and provides us with a glimpse of a signifier placed outside the patriarchal structure of silenced mourning women (153). [ top ] Byles, Joanna Montgomery. Tragic Alternatives: Eros and Superego Revenge in Hamlet. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 117-34. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC While exploring and defining Freuds principles of the superego aggression and Eros, this essay contends that, in Hamlet, the playwright subverts the essential logic of the revenge form by representing revenge as an inward tragic event, reinforced by destructive family relationships whose psychic energies violate and destroy the protagonists psychic wholeness, fragmenting and ultimately dissolving the personality (118). The tragic process, instead of strengthening the ego in its task of regulating Eros and aggression so that they do not clash with reality and defuse (separate), is one in which the ego is destroyed by the undermining of its total organization (123). The Ghost appears as a piece of theatrical aggression for it stops Hamlets initial fierce self-restraint; allows him to express his deeply conflicted feelings about Claudius (127), and affirms his intense feelings about his mother (128). But as a key producer of guilt, the selftorturing superego is dramatized as delay (121). Hamlet attempts to gain file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (4 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic control over the destructiveness of the superego by projecting his guilt onto others and finds periods of relief when channeling his vengeful aggression, primarily through verbal cruelty and hostility (129). Unfortunately, his failure to achieve revenge and his blunders that lead to the untimely deaths of Polonius and Ophelia create acute mental agony (130). Hamlets ego yields to his superego and takes the suffering the self-abusive superego produces, leading the tragic hero to exact revenge upon himself: Hamlet returns from sea resigned to his own death (130). This conflict between ego and superego constitutes the dynamic action of Hamlet (131). [ top ] de Grazia, Margreta. Weeping For Hecuba. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 350-75. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / PSYCHOANALYTIC While Freud argued that the loss of the father greatly influenced Shakespeare during the writing of Hamlet, this article uses Freuds source (Brandes William Shakespeare: A Critical Study) to stress an overlooked historical fact of equal importance: Shakespeare bought land around this time because his fatherlike Hamletsdid not leave an inheritance for the son. This article suggests that Hamlet dramatizes the difficulty of mourning a father who did not make good the promise of the patronymic (360-61). The grave yard scene, the only instance when Hamlet truly expresses grief, focuses on property. For example, who does the grave belong to, the gravedigger or the dead? In his musings over the gravediggers handling of the dead, Hamlet mentions extinct world conquerors, emperors, landlords, and lawyersall who once held land, but who are now held by the land (357). While Hamlet derides the thirst for, quest after, and transience of property, he eagerly jumps into Ophelias grave to compete with Laertes for the property. But, in this all-consuming and passionate grief, Hamlet never mentions his father. Old Hamlet left his son none of the patrinomial properties that secure lineal continuityland, title, arms, signet, royal bed (364). Without these inheritances, Hamlets memory is insufficiently impressed to remember his father, causing the son to forget the date of his Old Hamlets death, for instance (365). In comparison, Shakespeare had to cope with the absence of an inheritance from his father and the lack of an heir to pass his own estate onto. Freuds father also could not leave an inheritance to his son because, at the time, laws restricted Jews from owning and transmitting property (369). These three sons share the meager legacy of guilt upon their fathers deaths: According to Freud, Freud experienced it while writing about file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (5 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Shakespeare, Shakespeare experienced it while writing Hamlet, and Hamlet experienced it in the play that has continued since the onset of the modern period to bear so tellingly on the ever-changing here and now (369). [ top ] Daz de Chumaceiro, Cora L. Hamlet in Freuds Thoughts: Reinterpretations in the Psychoanalytic Literature. Journal of Poetry Therapy 11.3 (1998): 139-53. PSYCHOANALYTIC This article presents a vista of the psychoanalytic literature that has focused on this masterpiece, beginning with Freuds use of it (139-40). Although Freuds interest in Hamlet began at a young age, letters to Wilhelm Fliess reveal that Shakespeares drama played a key role in helping Freud to overcome his personal misgivings about neuroses theory. The correspondences also show the preliminary association between Hamlet and Oedipus Rex, a premise that was further developed in Freuds The Interpretation of Dreams. Whether arguing against or expanding on Freuds reading of Hamlet, critics continue to produce material in response. This article surveys the work of some contributors (e.g., Jones, Steiner, Winnicott, Lacan, Green, Barzilai, Jacobson, Goldberg, Celidonio, Bayard, Paris, Frattaroli, Rand) and provides a lengthy list of additional readings. The quantity of diverse interpretations supports Freuds theory that interpretation is a self-revelation because we cannot but project ourselves into the literature we read (149). [ top ] Engle, Lars. Discourse, Agency, and Therapy in Hamlet. Exemplaria 4 (1992): 441-53. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC / RHETORICAL Synthesizing the ideas of Foucault, Bakhtin, and Freud, this article offers a compressed reading of Hamlet as a meditation on the balance between the power of circumambient discourses and the capacity of an exemplary (and privileged) human subject to find his way among them toward a therapeutic and pragmatic kind of agency (444). Shakespeares play is dense with explorations of mental interiors through discourse, raising questions of agency. As Hamlet struggles to discover and accept a personal mode of agency, he shows other people what they are doing by demonstrating to them what discursive fields file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (6 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic they have entered (446). For example, Hamlet parodies Laertes anger by Ophelias grave. He also considers the discursive control which preempts agency, as evident in the nunnery scene (448), and contemplates the philosophical complexity of the compromise between agency and discourse, as revealed after his meeting with the players (451). In all of these examples, Hamlet dramatizes/reenacts his horror, allowing him therapeutically to exorcise or destroy or understand or forgive it (452); hence, his calm attitude in the final act of the play. Hamlet learns to accept a personal mode of agency, the boundary condition of selfhood, and the allowance for meaningful action amid constitutive discourses (453). [ top ] Faber, M. D. Hamlet and the Inner World of Objects. The Undiscovered Country: New Essays on Psychoanalysis and Shakespeare. Ed. B. J. Sokol. London: Free Assn., 1993. 57-90. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This article advances the complex proposition that Western tragedy invariably presents us with characters who undergo a traumatic reactivation of infantile feelings (57). In Hamlet, the hero possesses idealized conceptions of his parents and of their marriage (which influence his self-perception)until Gertrude marries Claudius. This marring of the good mother forces Hamlet into a double-bind: he cannot maintain the illusions, but he cannot give up what his identity hinges upon (61). In addition, the reactivation of the heros unconscious aims manifests desires to overcome separation; Hamlets craving to take in and to be taken in by the bad object creates self-revulsion and desire for death (62-63). But the players offer Hamlet hope: The actor takes in the part or the character and then brings forth from within himself a version of the character that is bound up with an inner object to which the newly internalized character more or less corresponds (67). Also, the Hecuba performance, complete with good father and loyal mother-wife, allows Hamlet to reaffirm and reinforce the good objects that he is losing touch with in his ambivalence and confusion toward the bad objects (68). But the exercise with the good objects only succeeds in increasing feelings of guilt, self-revulsion, and confusion, leading Hamlet to examine the reality of the bad object through The Mousetrap (69). Unfortunately, this tactic also fails. Desperate to act, Hamlet goes to Gertrudes closet to gain control of his mother, to change her back into the good object (73). While the transformation of the mother allows Hamlet to regain some self-control, he does not achieve a genuine resolution of deep, long-standing conflict (77). Because, as Hamlet file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (7 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic sees it, Claudius possesses Gertrude, Hamlet must incorporate the rival . in order to get at the mother whom the rival possesses (79). An alternative method to merge with the maternal object is death, Hamlets primary topic in the graveyard scene. Not surprisingly, Hamlet accepts the challenge to a duel, seizing upon the opportunity to lose his life, passively surrendering to the part of himself that longs to be dead (87). Hamlet dies by a lethal poison that destroys him from within, like the bad object (89), proving that tragedy, at least as we know it in the Western world, results when the unconscious inner world of the hero is stirred to life (90). [ top ] Finkelstein, Richard. Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity. Renaissance and Reformation 21.2 (Spring 1997): 5-22. FEMINISM / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay explores how Shakespeare uses Ophelia to expose an interplay between culture, epistemology, and psychology which constructs Hamlets heroic subjectivity, itself understood through his logic, development, and actions informed by agency (6). Hamlet and Ophelia are similar in various ways, including their fashioning a sense of interiority (6). But they also differ. For example, Hamlet goes out of its way to disassociate her [Ophelias] epistemological habits from the empirical exactitude Hamlet seeks (11). Ophelia signifies knowledge which cannot be known with certainty (10). According to contemporary French feminism, the opposition of Claudius, Horatio, Fortinbras, and Hamlet (prior to his fifth act embrace of providence) to Ophelias manner of signifying cannot be separated from challenges female bodies pose to gendered concepts of fixed subjectivity (13). Yet Ophelias disjointed speeches do not define a feminine language so much as they interrogate the related economies of object relations and a readiness to act which mark Hamlets developed subjectivity in the play (14). The uncertainties of Ophelias death also raise questions about whether agency itself can define subjectivity (15). While agency and intention do not function efficiently for either Hamlet or Ophelia, the play allows more than one means of defining subjectivity (17). Through Ophelia, the play interrogates its own longings, and its participation in defining subjectivity (18). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (8 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Hillman, David. The Inside Story. Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Ed. Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor. Culture Work. New York: Routledge, 2000. 299-324. NEW HISTORICISM / PSYCHOANALYTIC Hoping to illuminate aspects of the early modern period (299), this essay traces uses of the spatial metaphor of inner and outer and some of the ways in which it has profound ties to questions of faith and doubt (300). It begins by briefly examining the role of this [inner/outer] binary in the constitution of the subject as it is understood by psychoanalysis and, then, outlines some ways in which the figure can be seen to be pervasive in early modern English culture (300). Lastly, this essay explores how Hamlet engages the question of inward and outward through its protagonists obsessive attention to the bodys innards and a concomitant attachment to an idea of the truth as something specifically and exclusively interior (300). The strident insistence on an absolute separation of inner and outer collapses in upon itself, as the external world and its inhabitants are found to be always already within, and the private, internal world is revealed to be expressible, after all, in the forms, moods, shapes of the body and the words that emerge from its interior (317). [ top ] Lupton, Julia Reinhard and Kenneth Reinhard. After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis. Ithaca: Cornell U P, 1993. PSYCHOANALYTIC This monograph "stage[s] the knotting of the object and the thing in the formations of psychoanalysis and tragedy" (6). The Introduction discusses "the shifting conceptualization of the object in Lacanian discourse: the object of desire, the object in desire, and the object as cause of desire" (3). Treating Hamlet as "the literary object in psychoanalysis--its topic, thematic, and selfimage--" (5), the first half of this text focuses "on the melancholic passage of Hamlet into psychoanalysis, and more broadly, of tragedy into theory" (6). It emphasizes "the psychoanalytic work of interpretation and mourning" as well as an intertextuality that encompasses "Hamlet in Freud and Lacan" and "Seneca in Hamlet" (6). Approaching King Lear, the second half of this monograph turns "from psychoanalytic interpretations to psychoanalytic construction" (6). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (9 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Morin, Gertrude. Depression and Negative Thinking: A Cognitive Approach to Hamlet. Mosaic 25.1 (1992): 1-12. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC Using the cognitive-behavior approach, this essay hopes to demonstrate that Hamlet is, essentially, a portrayal of a tortured, depressed young man who loses his way in the labyrinth of his negative thoughts (2). Rather than agree with Freuds assessment of Hamlet as a victim of the unconscious, this article presents the protagonist as the responsible party of a common occurrencedepression (2). Hamlet reacts to the loss of his father and his mothers hasty remarriage by employing negative schematic processeslearned responses (3). His soliloquies reveal examples of cognitive logic error that leads to and reinforces the depressives negative view (4): Hamlets fascination with death reflects selective abstraction, in which the positive aspects of life are overlooked (5-6), in favor of absolutist, dichotomous thinking, which views death as the principal reality (6); he suffers from the cognitive error of overgeneralization when he concludes that Gertrudes flaws extend to all women (7-8); his poor prediction for the marriage of Claudius and Gertrude (and thus the creation of a self-fulfilling prophesy) demonstrates arbitrary inference (8); Hamlets various methods of self-criticism include magnification and minimization (9), inexact labeling (9-10), as well as selfcoercive thoughts (10). According to this approach, the depressed person thinks him/herself into an impaired mood (11). While literary studies may benefit from the new insights of cognitive-behavioral research, the simultaneous hope is that psychologists, researchers, and patients may benefit from reading Hamlet (11). [ top ] Oakes, Elizabeth. Polonius, the Man Behind the Arras: A Jungian Study. New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 103-16. HAMLET / JUNGIAN / POLONIUS / PSYCHOANALYTIC This reading of Hamlet argues that Polonius represents the archetypal figures of wise old man, fool and scapegoat and that his truncated sacrifice, the climax of the action, contrasts with the transcendent one of Hamlet, the climax of the symbolic level (103). Through Hamlets and Ophelias various references to and descriptions of Polonius, he is linked with the wise old man figure. But unlike the file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (10 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic figure responsible for guiding and instructing the hero, Polonius inverts the figure by being overly concerned with his own social/political position (105). Aside from linguistic allusions, the lethal closet scene confirms Polonius status as scapegoat. Polonius is mistaken for the King, suggesting the role of the fool. While Polonius incorporates the fathers in the play into one figure whom Hamlet can confront, the Prince similarly plays the roles of fool and scapegoat (107): His adoption of an antic disposition with a conscious purpose suggests the first, and his sacrifice in the final scene exemplifies the latter (108). But the deaths of the two scapegoats differ: Through symbols connected with the mother archetype, Hamlets sacrifice is, both individually and in its effect on the community, consummate, while Polonius is void (108). For example, Hamlets rebirth occurs at sea, water being a symbolic element of the mother archetype (110), but Polonius does not have such an experience. Also, Hamlets return to Denmark marks a shift in his priorities, from the personal to the communal (111)something Polonius never achieves. In death, Hamlet moves beyond the communal to the spiritual, existing as a realized ideal in Horatios narration, while the dead Polonius is only noted for the details concerning his corpse (11112). Perhaps Shakespeares true source is not an Ur-Hamlet but the archetypes that in this play vibrate beneath the surface (112). [ top ] Porterfield, Sally F. "Oh Dad, Poor Dad: The Universal Disappointment of Imperfect Parents in Hamlet." Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays. Drama and Theatre Studies 57. Westport: Greenwood P, 1994. 72-98. HAMLET / JUNGIAN / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay presents a Jungian reading of Hamlet's "universal experience of parental discovery" (74). The death of the "good father" and the remarriage that transforms the "good mother" into a sexual being force "the ideal, archetypal parents of imagination to die a violent death" (75). Hamlet copes with the psychological upheaval by regressing "to an earlier stage of his development": he becomes the "trickster" (75). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern represent "another manifestation of the trickster" (76); hence, the pair must die to mark Hamlet's "integration of the trickster figure" (77) and his ability to leave childhood behind (94). The Gravediggers also appear as the trickster figure to show that "he is not within Hamlet" and that "he has been integrated" (94). In this scene, Laertes functions as the "shadow" and Ophelia as the "rejected anima"; Hamlet "becomes one with both" when he leaps into the grave (94). Horatio is the "self" for Hamlet, "the ideal man he would become" (88), and file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (11 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Fortinbras offers another form of the "self," "the man of action" (97); "these two symbols of the self" merge in the final scene (96-97). But Hamlet's progression towards integration proves difficult, alternating between depression and mania. Only the presence of art (symbolized by the players) causes Hamlet to be "taken out of himself by interest in the world around him," demonstrating his "dependence upon art as salvation" (86). Hamlet's use of The Mousetrap drama suggests a hope "not simply to kill but to redeem" Claudius and "to rediscover the goodness he seeks so desperately in those around him" (87). Ultimately, Hamlet cannot avoid violence, "but he gives us courage, generation after generation, to attempt the ideal while existing with the sometimes nearly unbearable realities that life imposes" (97). [ top ] Ronk, Martha C. Representations of Ophelia. Criticism 36 (1994): 21-43. ART / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC Perceiving Ophelia as a mix of emblem and the projection of others, this dense article sets out to discover what Ophelias representation represents by focusing on the report of her drowning (23). Emblematic and allegorical characteristics of the speech reveal some insight into Opheliathe means particular to a historical period when the emblematic was a received mode of perceiving the world (27). But like emblem books of the period, the combination of the visual and verbal still leaves much unarticulated. Another component in the speech is the speaker, Queen Gertrude, who becomes an appropriate substitute for Ophelia based on their shared gender and roles within the patriarchy. While Gertrude offers a dispassionate description of the drowning (29), she also becomes linked to Ophelias passive volition. The questioning of Gertrudes involvement in Ophelias death (and Hamlet Sr.s) provides reiteration of an insistent question within the play: what it means not to know what is going on (31). As Gertrude leisurely relates Ophelias demise, this ekphrastic moment presents a brief stillness within the play before the plot rushes to tragic fulfillment (32). The resulting ramifications elicit contemplation from the audience and move Ophelia out of narrative and into some cosmic order (34). As emblem (and myth) Ophelia possesses the capacity to arouse fear, referring to Freuds The Uncanny. Her ekphrastic presence implies the impossibility of more than seeing what the viewer could not have seen . to an audience intent on viewing what is not there (38). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (12 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Russell, John. Hamlet and Narcissus. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. HAMLET / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC In the introduction, this monograph presents comprehensive descriptions of Freuds psychoanalytic premises (e.g., Oedipus Complex, Pleasure Principle), of Margaret Mahlers advancements in the study of infant development, and of Heinz Kohuts explorations of the self and its development. The primary arguments are that distinctions seperate the Freudian and psychoanalytic projects, that the conflicts that inform and structure Shakespearean tragedy are precisely those elucidated by contemporary psychoanalysis (16), and that Hamlets commitment finally is not to reality but to the distortions of narcissistic fantasy (23). After this laying of groundwork, the first chapter focuses on the distortions in Hamlets behavior that are the result of that most characteristic pre-Oedipal strategy of defense, splitting; the next chapter examines Hamlets mother/son relationship with Gertrude; chapter three draws on Kohuts understanding of the Oedipal period in order to explore the Princes father/son relationship with the Ghost/Hamlet, Sr.; chapter four explains the puzzling and controversial delay in Hamlet; and the final chapter treats Hamlets surrender to one of the deepest and most powerful of narcissistic fantasies, the fantasy of death (38). Similar to psychoanalysis, the great theme of Shakespearean tragedy is the death of fathers and the complex of narcissistic conflicts that congregate around the passage of authority from one generation to the next (180-81). [ top ] Schiffer, James. Mnemonic Cues to Passion in Hamlet. Renaissance Papers, 1995. Ed. George Walton Williams and Barbara J. Baines. Raleigh: Southeastern Renaissance Conference, 1996. 65-79. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This investigation examines [v]icissitude of passion as an issue of critical importance in Hamlet (65). While Hamlet accuses Gertrude of amorous forgetfulness (65), the son too cannot remain emotionally constant, nor can he keep his word (66). His fluctuating love for Ophelia provides but one example; his delay in revenge also suggests an inability to sustain initial emotions long enough to take action (68). Hamlet, the Player King, and Claudius all speak of the relationship between time and the forgetting of feeling, which seems difficult to prevent (68). But memory (and, hence, the passions) can be revived file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (13 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic through the sensesespecially the visual sense (69). Aside from Hamlets use of pictures in the closet scene and his persistent mourning garb (1.2), Hamlets The Mousetrap demonstrates the conscious strategy of using external stimuli to work upon the memory to arouse passion (70). Intended to stir Claudiuss memory of the crime, the play-within-the-play also should re-ignite Hamlets passionate drive for revenge and should provide a model of action for Hamlet to follow (71). Instead, it delays the revenge by arousing Oedipal guilt (73). As The Mousetrap does succeed in upsetting Claudius, the mnemonic power of theater is valorized, suggesting the idea of theater as memory (76). Perhaps historical representations in art are oblique, distorted, imperfect (77), but they also possess the capacity to strengthen our limited capacity to retain and recall (78). [ top ] Simon, Bennett. Hamlet and the Trauma Doctors: An Essay at Interpretation. American Imago 58.3 (Fall 2001): 707-22. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / HAMLET / OPHELIA / PSYCHOANALYTIC After reviewing several broad trends in the history of interpretation of the play and locating within those trends some dominant themes in psychoanalytic interpretation, this essay offers a late-twentieth-century psychoanalytic interpretationboth of Hamlet and Hamletbased on trauma theory (707). Trauma research provides insights pertinent to Hamlet: trauma victims often experience oscillations between numbness and overwhelming emotions, difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy, a sense of unreality, a sense that the self and the world become loathsome, a thirsting for revenge or scapegoat, and a profound mistrust of the future as well as of other people (e.g., family members, friends) (712). But secrecy associated with a trauma is especially devastating because secrets combined with confusion about fact and fantasy often lead to incomplete or fragmented narratives; a story that cannot be told directly in narrative discourse finds expression through displacement, symbolization, and action (713). In Hamlet, the protagonists trauma derives from his first encounter with the Ghost, which leaves Hamlet both certain and uncertain of his fathers death, his uncles responsibility, and his mothers involvement (714). Following this meeting, Hamlet mutely expresses his story in Ophelias closet (717). His madness (perhaps more real than even Hamlet realizes) is a symptom of the feigning and deceit around him, such as Claudius secrecy and Ophelias seeming betrayal (715). In comparison, Ophelia experiences various traumas, including a web of half-truths, paternal attempts to deny her perceptions, the loss of male protection (716), the secrecy file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (14 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic surrounding her fathers murder (and her lovers responsibility), as well as the impossibility of any kind of open grieving or raginglet alone discussion (71516). While her feelings are consistently ignored and she is silenced, Ophelias madness is focused on her speaking in such a way that she cannot be ignored (715). In this aura of a traumatized environment, the theater audience must live with a discomforting set of ambiguities that Horatios promised narrative cannot entirely clarify (717). [ top ] Takahashi, Yasunari. Speech, Deceit, and Catharsis: A Reading of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 3-19. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC / RHETORICAL Drawing heavily on the linguistic theories of J. L. Austin, J. R. Searle, and Keir Elam, this article approaches Hamlet as a remarkably complex and rich essay into the possible modes of speech and narrative (6). Analysis of the plays first five lines initiates a study of expressionistic possibilities of language (3). For example, Barnardos Whos there? (1.1.1) suggests the settings dark lighting, the speakers anxiety, and the plays central theme of uncertain identity (3-4). The protagonists psychological complexity provides particularly intriguing examples of language. In act one, scene two, Hamlet attempts to speak of something within that cannot be adequately expressed and at the same time to hide that within which cannot be adequately hidden, meaning that his speaking is indistinguishable from counterfeiting (9). After meeting the Ghost, he appropriates as his own style the pretended forms of speech by donning the guise of madness (11). Hamlet leaps out of the bounds of his antic disposition to discover the role of playwright / director, as a result of the players Hecuba speech (14). Unfortunately, Hamlets theory of acting seems at odds with what he practices; the sons overacting in the closet scene presents but one example of the gap between the representor and the represented (15). During his voyage at sea, Hamlet takes an important step towards recovering his identity by using his fathers seal as his own (16). Upon his return to Denmark, he speaks without counterfeiting, and his speech on the fall of a sparrow provides ultimate proof of his transformation (16). When Hamlet unwittingly plays the role that providence has allotted to him, in the final scene, the gap between role and actor disappears (17). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (15 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic Thatcher, David. Sullied Flesh, Sullied Mind: Refiguring Hamlets Imaginations. Studia Neophilologica 68 (1996): 29-38. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay hopes to ascertain what specific imaginations (=mental pictures, imaginings, figures) were in Hamlets mind, to ask whether they were transitory, and to pose this crucial question: which they do gravitate towards morehis fathers murder or his mothers behavior? (29). While his imaginations are visual, the Prince does not imagine the Ghost, nor does his melancholy create the mental projection. However, an awareness of his emotional vulnerability motivates Hamlet to seek confirmation of the Ghosts report. Hamlet doubts his source immediately prior to the testing of Claudius guilt: imaginations are as foul / As Vulcans stithy. His reference to Vulcan, both the Roman cuckold and the black lord of hell, metaphorically reflects on Hamlet, Sr., the Ghost, and Gertrudes adulterous relationship with Claudius (33). Aside from the fact that Hamlet actually fails to confirm the Ghosts report and Claudius guilt, this article doubts that Hamlets imaginations would cease if the King were found innocent because the Oedipal fixation on Gertrudes sexual abandonment would remain, as it actually does, uneradicated, a proliferating and contaminating source of foul imaginations (36). [ top ] Watterson, William Collins. Hamlets Lost Father. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 10-23. HAMLET / PARENTHOOD / PSYCHOANALYTIC / YORICK This article asserts that Yoricks abstract presence and Hamlets memories of the court jester constitute a benign inscription of paternity in the play, one which actively challenges the masculine ideals of emotional repression and military virtus otherwise featured so prominently in Shakespeares drama of revenge (10). Unlike the other father figures in Hamlet who represent patriarchal authority (e.g., the Ghost, Claudius, Polonius), Yorick is the absent surrogate parent who showed a young Hamlet alternatives to phallocentric oppression and who remains a central figure in Hamlets psyche precisely because he has been lost (11). By prematurely dying (possibly due to syphilis), Yorick abandoned a seven-year-old Hamlet in the pre-genital stage; hence, Hamlet identifies him as the cause of his sexual deficiency and associates him permanently with his own anality (18). Yet Yorick also endowed Hamlet with the skills of jesting and file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (16 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic merrymaking, which are so evident in the exchange between Hamlet and the gravediggers. All play is set aside during Hamlets interaction with Yoricks skull, as the residual child in Hamlet articulates the pain of loss over his childhood mentor (16). Perhaps the mournful sentiments were shared by Shakespeare, who lost his father around the time that Hamlet was being written (17). While Yorick contradicts paternal cliches, he also raises questions regarding maternal stereotypes and the femininity of death. Even the origin of Yoricks name suggests an obscure conflation of gender, [which] actually encodes the idea of feminine fatherhood (18). Ultimately, Yorick instills in Hamlet values and emotions fundamentally at odds with the patriarchal codes of masculine behavior (19). [ top ] Wheale, Nigel. "'Vnfolde your selfe': Jacques Lacan and the Psychoanalytic Reading of Hamlet." Hamlet. Ed. Peter J. Smith and Nigel Wood. Theory in Practice. Buckingham: Open UP, 1996. 108-32. PSYCHOANALYTIC This essay offers a summary of Lacan's arguments regarding Hamlet, Hamlet Sr., Gertrude, Ophelia, and Laertes, as well as definitions of Lacan's key terms (108). While Lacanian analysis contributes to performance theory and an audience's responses to productions (108), it also "appears to be seriously compromised by at least four major misreadings": the absence of "the political dimension" (127); the denied "opportunity of analyzing how theology is intimately at work in the Renaissance psyche and ethical value"; the focus on "the phallus as signifier," which disallows the "construction of Virtue as a gendered type"; and the emphasis on the unconscious that prevents "the possibility of a consciously chosen heroism as a primary motive for the Prince" in the play's last act (129). Even with its flaws, Lacan's "emphasis on the rhetorical structure of psychical experience does seem to contribute to new ways of thinking about early modern literature, and about Hamlet in particular" (130). Ideally, the Lacanian perspective can "heighten the sense of emotive, affective materials obscurely at work in the enigmatic forms of early modern culture" (130-31). [ top ] Whitehead, Cintra. Construing Hamlet. Constructive Criticism 1.1 (Mar. 1991): 33-100. file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (17 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic PERFORMANCE / PSYCHOANALYTIC This article begins with sketch reviews of Freuds, Jones, and Lacans psychoanalytic readings of Hamlet as well as Mairets Adleian interpretation. Although the psychoanalytic and Alderian theories are diametrically opposed in many ways, they both might be called content theories in that they look at the content of the mind rather than the operation of the mind as construct theory does (39-40). This article outlines the basic tenets of the Kellyan construct theory before following the action of the plot chronologically, construing character through events (41) and entertaining the hypothesis that Hamlet is man-the-scientist who experiences the universal need to predict and control (40). It also offers suggestions for performance techniques, such as methods to emphasize the poignancy of the final scene, when the British ambassadors have come too late (97). This article concludes that Hamlet is a tragedy of knowing vs. not knowing, but of knowing with the emotions and the will as well as with the intellect. The personal construct theorist will suspect that the plays unrivaled position in English drama results from its dramatization of the human need for all of us, like Hamlet, to be man-the-scientist who must decide when to trust intuition and emotion . and when and how to state and test hypotheses about life and the universe in order to predict and control life events (99). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/psychoanalytic.html (18 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Queer Theory Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Antitheatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63. Reschke, Mark. Historicizing Homophobia: Hamlet and the Anti-theatrical Tracts. Hamlet Studies 19 (1997): 47-63. FEMINISM / HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / QUEER THEORY After acknowledging the complications of studying sexuality before the late eighteen hundreds and the feminist efforts to historicize misogyny, this article examines Hamlet to demonstrate how misogyny intersects with a nascent form of homophobia, a cultural fear of male-male sexual bonding articulated in the anti-theatrical tracts (49). A survey of anti-theatrical propaganda reveals cultural anxieties about effeminacy, sexual promiscuity (e.g., sodomy), and any behavior that undermines social/patriarchal institutions (53). Hamlet seems to embody the specific juncture of misogyny and fear of male-male sexual desire that the anti-theatrical tracts begin to coordinate (55): he clearly shows misogynistic tendencies with Gertrude and Ophelia; he also voices his attraction to dead or distant men (e.g., Old Hamlet, Yorick, Fortinbras) because his fears of the sodomy stigma restrict the expression of such sentiments to men only in relationships in which physical contact is impossible (56); with Horatio, Hamlet disrupts every moment of potential intimacy by interrupting himself, trivializing his own thoughts, pausing, and then changing the discussion topic to theatrical plays (57). Hamlets behavior demonstrates the power of anti-theatrical homophobia to regulate male behavior and expresses the anti-theatrical complex that . anticipates modern homophobia (57). While the playwright comes close to overtly acknowledging the cultural/anti-theatrical association of sodomy with the male homosociality of theatre life, A metaphoric treatment of anti-theatrical concerns, including homophobia, corresponds toand possibly follows fromthe meta-theatrical concerns that structure form and character in Hamlet (58). [ top ] file:///S|/bev/loberg/queertheory.html (1 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Queer Theory Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/queertheory.html (2 of 2) [11/19/2002 11:39:26 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Britzolakis, Christina. "Speaking Daggers: T. S. Eliot, James Joyce and Hamlet." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 227-47.n Dawson, Anthony B. Hamlet. Shakespeare in Performance. New York: Manchester UP, 1995. n de Grazia, Margreta. Hamlet Before Its Time. Modern Language Quarterly 62.4 (Dec. 2001): 355-75. n Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 1: 1600-1790. Hamlet Collection 3. AMS P: New York, 1996.n Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 2: 1790-1838. Hamlet Collection 4. AMS P: New York, 1996. n Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 3: 1839-1854. Hamlet Collection 5 AMS P: New York, 1996.n Floyd-Wilson, Mary. Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: 'Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.' Womens Studies 21 (1992): 397-409.n Foakes, R. A. The Reception of Hamlet. Shakespeare Survey 45 (1993): 1-13.n Hapgood, Robert. Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Shakespeare in Production. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999.n Holbrook, Peter. Nietzsches Hamlet. Shakespeare Survey 50 (1997): 171-86.n Izubuchi, Hiroshi. A Hamlet of Our Own: Some Japanese Adaptations. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 187-203.n Matsuoka, Kazuko. Metamorphosis of Hamlet in Tokyo. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 22737.n Murakami, Takeshi. Shakespeare and Hamlet in Japan: A Chronological Overview. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 239-303.n Pfister, Manfred. "Hamlet Made in Germany, East and West." International Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Ed. Patricia Kennan and Mariangela Tempera. Renaissance Revisited 2. Bologna: CLUEB, 1996. 7593.n Siegel, Paul N. Hamlet, revenge!: The Uses and Abuses of Historical Criticism. Shakespeare Survey 45 (1993): 15-26.n Takahashi, Yasunari. Hamlet and the Anxiety of Modern Japan. Shakespeare Survey 48 (1995): 99-11. file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (1 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological n Wiggins, Martin. "Hamlet Within the Prince." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 209-26.n Wiszniowska, Marta. "Hamlet in Poland-Poland in Hamlet." International Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Ed. Patricia Kennan and Mariangela Tempera. Renaissance Revisited 2. Bologna: CLUEB, 1996. 113-25.n Zimmermann, Heiner O. "Is Hamlet Germany? On the Political Reception of Hamlet." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 293-318. Britzolakis, Christina. Speaking Daggers: T. S. Eliot, James Joyce and Hamlet." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 227-47. RECEPTION THEORY This article uses "the readings of Hamlet by Eliot and Joyce as a starting-point for an exploration of the Modernist reassessment of the creative subject" (228). The modernist appropriation of Hamlet occurs during a period "in which the myth of the author comes under the strain of global imperialist crisis and the consequent dispersal and fragmentation of pre-war Europe" (229). Simultaneously, the Modernist author, like Hamlet, "is faced with a crisis of patriarchal authority" (231). Shakespeare's Prince, "tottering on the brink between 'order and disorder', becomes a talisman of civilizing culture against the dreaded spectre of a continent plunged into revolutionary chaos" (232). The contrasting "examples of Eliot and Joyce show that the European Hamlet's dilemma could be articulated in widely divergent ways, not only as a threat but also as a promise" (232). "Hamlet enables Eliot to legitimate, in terms of a certain reading of literary history, a reaction against the emotions, women and nature as a threat and a source of disgust" (237). In comparison, Joyce "is intent on exposing the fictional nature of paternity, and its dependence on the female body as the source of all life" (243). Hence, "the horror of female sexuality that Eliot derives from Hamlet is largely absent" in Joyce's Ulysses (244). In appropriating Hamlet, "the Modernism of Eliot and Joyce testifies to the breakdown of older, organic unities--of the subjective, of narrative, and of community--into fragments" (245). [ top ] Dawson, Anthony B. Hamlet. Shakespeare in Performance. New York: file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (2 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory Manchester UP, 1995. PERFORMANCE / RECEPTION THEORY This monograph provides some sense of the performance history of Hamlet, differences among interpretations, and the multiplicity of possible ways of reading and enacting this most famous and slippery of plays (3). Chapters are divided into periods of importance (e.g., post-WWII), transitions in theatrical styles (e.g., 1920s), and innovations with performance mediums (e.g., film). A primary goal is to suggest, however tentatively, some of the links that may exist between how the theatre gives Hamlet meaning and produces Hamlets subjectivity and how the culture generally approaches problems of meaning, value, and selfhood (22). Although primarily confined to the Anglo-American tradition of Hamlet performance, concentrating on those canonized performers who have a legendary relationship to Shakespeares most famous role, this monograph utilizes its last chapter, Translations, to explore Hamlets on foreign stages (224). [ top ] de Grazia, Margreta. Hamlet Before Its Time. Modern Language Quarterly 62.4 (Dec. 2001): 355-75. HAMLET / RECEPTION THEORY Focusing precisely on the period between 1600 and 1800, this article suggests that what appears modern in Hamlet seems not to have been acquired at a later point in history [the modern period] but to have been present from the start (356). From its initial performance on an Elizabethan stage, Hamlet was behind the times, a recycling of an earlier play (356) that retained the most archaic feature of all: the ghost of Old Hamlet (357). Hamlet continued to appear old after 1660, when Shakespeares plays were considered more oldfashioned than those of Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and Shirley (358). But, rather than fade away, Shakespeares works provided the perfect objects for the new art of criticism (361). While critics blamed the playwrights neglect of the classics (and his use of the wrong sources) for plot violations of the classical unities, they also maintained that his shoddy plots were offset by his excellent characters (362). When Romantic critics broke with the classical models, critical emphasis shifted from plot to character. An indirect result of this change included the newfound autonomy of Hamlets character (364). But the nagging question of Hamlets delay persisted, becoming now a psychological rather than a dramaturgical problem (365). One must wonder to what degree file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (3 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory his problematic interiority depends on the shift of delay from plot to character (365). Without being grounded in his own plot, he [Hamlet] accommodates whatever theory of mind, consciousness, or the unconscious can explain his inaction (367). For example, Freud, Lacan, Abraham and Torok, and Derrida have all offered new theories to answer a question framed two centuries ago (373)why does Hamlet delay? The question keeps the play modern, for the modern by definition must always look new, up-to-date, or, better yet, a bit ahead of its time, and Hamletonce abstracted from plot and absorbed in himselfremains open indefinitely to modernization (374). [ top ] Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 1: 16001790. Hamlet Collection 3. AMS P: New York, 1996. BIBLIOGRAPHIC / RECEPTION THEORY This collection of references to Hamlet includes manuscript notes, private epistolaries, literary allusions, unpublished scholarship (e.g., Ph. D. thesis), performance reviews, anonymous materials, diary entries, etc. Items are chronologically organized, and each is headed with an individual description of context and/or explanation of meaning. The volume's introduction refers to individual entries but also looks at the broad picture produced by this collage of Hamlet references. It discusses the history of criticism, which shifted from the study of the play on stage to the "neo-classical theory" of "application and adaptation of classical literary theory to contemporary conditions" (xix). This introduction charts the shifting attitudes of Hamlet audiences and of literary scholars. [ top ] Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 2: 17901838. Hamlet Collection 4. AMS P: New York, 1996. BIBLIOGRAPHIC / RECEPTION THEORY This volume spans a broad spectrum of sources between 1790-1838. The collage of insights and opinions from "major critics of the day" and "lesser commentators" allows the volume "to show what is characteristic of the age and, among other things, throw light on the attitudes of the audiences and readers" (xiii). Because the goal is "to show how Hamlet was received by the file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (4 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory English-speaking public during the period in question," the selection is composed of "texts that were widely available in the nineteenth century" (ix). But the inclusion of French and German interpretations of Hamlet represent the intricacies of Shakespearean criticism becoming "truly international" (xiv). [NOTE: see detailed description of format under listing of Vol. 1] [ top ] Farley-Hills, David. Critical Responses to Hamlet, 1600-1900: Vol. 3: 18391854. Hamlet Collection 5. AMS P: New York, 1996. BIBLIOGRAPHIC / RECEPTION THEORY Spanning the years between 1839 and 1854, this volume is the first "in the series where foreign contributions in English outnumber the native British": "interest in Shakespeare was moving outwards from its British centre in ever widening circles" (ix). While French and American contributions are represented, German interpretations come "to be widely recognised during this period, and it is no exaggeration to say that in the second half of the nineteenth century British criticism of Shakespeare cannot be fully appreciated without taking the German influence into account" (xii). Rising conflicts over interpretations and the diversifying of critical styles also emerge during these years. [NOTE: see detailed description of format under listing of Vol. 1] [ top ] Floyd-Wilson, Mary. Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds. Womens Studies 21 (1992): 397409. FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / RECEPTION THEORY This article contends that by the late eighteenth century, the eras evolving notions of gender and the paradoxical effects of censorship actually infused representations of Ophelia with erotic and discordant elements (397). Performance reviews and the script from William Davenants revival of Hamlet present the Prince as the ideal and honorable hero, Ophelia as the ideal woman, and their relationship as (the ideal) romance. Such changes from the original source are made possible through the deletion of dialogue: Laertes cautioning of Ophelia about Hamlets intentions, Polonius directing of Ophelia to withdraw from Hamlets suit, Ophelias replies to Hamlets sexual innuendoes, and file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (5 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory Ophelias most bawdy lines in the mad scene. The final product is a sexually unaware and innocent Ophelia, but this shadow of Shakespeares character combines the residual (though censored) sexual awareness of the Renaissance with an emerging ideal of the inherently pure and moral female (402). Almost a century later, David Garrick introduced large production changes, including modifications to endow Ophelia with the natural feminine qualities valued in his own period: passivity and emotionalism (403). His Ophelia actor, Susannah Cibber, initiated the femininity in Ophelia. The contrasts between the two productions of Hamlet and the social periods suggest that the eighteenth centurys censorship helped turn sex into a secret synonymous with truthresulting in the modern desire to release it from its repressive constraints (407). [ top ] Foakes, R. A. The Reception of Hamlet. Shakespeare Survey 45 (1993): 1-13. HAMLET / RECEPTION THEORY After identifying the negative connotations of Hamletism (e.g., melancholy, inaction), as a far cry from the heroic Hamlet portrayed on the eighteenthcentury stage, and from Ophelias and Horatios complimentary descriptions of the Prince, this article traces how and why this shift took place, and comment[s] in a preliminary way on its significance for interpreting Hamlet now (2). The idea of Hamletism as an attitude to life, a philosophy as we casually put it, developed after the Romantics freed Hamlet the character from the play into an independent existence as a figure embodying nobility, or at least good intentions, but disabled from action by a sense of inadequacy, of failure, or a diseased consciousness capable only of seeing the world as possessed utterly by things rank and gross in nature (12). Hamletism entered the public arena through its use by poets like Freiligrath, Valry or Yeats, novelists like Joseph Conrad, D. H. Lawrence, and James Joyce, and directors like Peter Hall, to characterize the condition of Germany, or Europe, or the world, or the decline of the aristocracy in the face of democracy, and above all to symbolize modern man (12). But, once set free from the play, Hamlet was not easily put back into itHamletism was (8). The prosperous idea of Hamletism came to affect the way the play was regarded, and the most widely accepted critical readings of it have for a long time presented us with a version of Shakespeares drama reinfected, so to speak, with the virus of Hamletism, and seen in its totality as a vision of failure in Man (12). But failure and success are narrow and inadequate terms . and to recover a fuller sense of the play, we need to put Hamlet back into it as fully as we can (12). file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (6 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory [ top ] Hapgood, Robert. Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Shakespeare in Production. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. PERFORMANCE / RECEPTION THEORY Cross-referencing eye-witness accounts, performance reviews, promptbooks, rehearsal logs, as well as memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies of major actors and directors, the introduction to this Hamlet edition provides a chronological survey of the main productions of Hamlet from Burbage to Branagh (ix). Productions are examined in a cultural context that includes developments in theatre history and literary analysis (ix). Although the survey reflects the contemporary emphasis on the role of Hamlet, the historical record is full enough to give as well a sense of whole productions and the people involved (e.g., supporting actors, directors, designers) (ix). This seeminglyextensive study of Hamlets performance history introduces the play text, footnoted with staged theatrical variations of productions (e.g., cuts, additions, verbal annunciation, directions of directors). [ top ] Holbrook, Peter. Nietzsches Hamlet. Shakespeare Survey 50 (1997): 171-86. HAMLET / PHILOSOPHICAL / RECEPTION THEORY While exploring some of the ways Hamlet mattered to Nietzsche, this essay suggests that he seems to have used Hamlet to interpret his own life and that his views on revenge . illuminate a central issue on the play (171). In Hamlet, Nietzsche discovers a hero who finally achieves the active forgetfulness essential for psychic order, and who helps explain his own life, which has meant the progressive detachment of himself from those people and places and tasks that took him away from himself, and yet which were, in the end, justified in so far as they made him what he is (185). Hamlet also provides Nietzsche with his most desired self-image: the modern affirming tragic philosopher, he who has seen through the fictions of the world to the bitter truth of its chaos and meaninglessness yet who in spite of that does not succumb to nihilism (185). Nietzsche admires Hamlets reluctance to have his task given him, for his life to lack its signature and become anothers (his fathers in his case): It had been by not reacting to a great stimulus that he has achieved a file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (7 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory self (185). Seen from the point of view of self-affirmation, the lives of both Hamlet and Nietzsche are meaningful because highly individualized (186). [ top ] Izubuchi, Hiroshi. A Hamlet of Our Own: Some Japanese Adaptations. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 187203. RECEPTION THEORY This chapter studies Japanese versions of Hamlet (187): Naoya Shigas The Diary of Claudius, Osamu Dazais The New Hamlet, Shhei okas Hamlets Diary, Hideo Kobayashis The Testament of Ophelia, Sei Itos Causerie on Shakespeare, Mushitaro Oguris The Murder of Ophelia, and Juran Hisaos Hamlet. Each literary work is discussed individually, with a plot summary that highlights similarities to and differences from Shakespeares Hamlet as well as with a brief literary biography on the authors. This study finds a repetitive emphasis on the father/son relationship that may be attributed to inherited qualities of the Elizabethan drama, or to the residual influence of a unique watershed between feudal and modern Japan, when tyrannical patriarchy began to totter and when relations between fathers and sons became extremely tense; the relative absence of discussion of the problem of legitimate succession to the throne may be due to a Japanese taboo on discussion of the Court and statecraft (187). The emphasis on the domestic and familial explains the aptness of the preferred genre for Japanese Hamlets, the Japanese I-Novel, with the protagonist as narrator (188). The shift towards the novel genre suggests that the novel is the dominant literary genre for Japanese readers, that Japanese readers have become accustomed to the meditative and romantic Hamlet of the nineteenth century, and that such a Hamlet fits well into the novel formor at least into the form of the Japanese I-Novel (202). [ top ] Matsuoka, Kazuko. Metamorphosis of Hamlet in Tokyo. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 227-37. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / RECEPTION THEORY Initially discussing Bergmans Hamlet in Tokyo and other daring, new interpretations of the play, this essay attempts to explain why Japan has had a file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (8 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory long love-affair with Hamlet (229). One explanation is that this tragedy possesses the most references to foreign countries closely related to the plot and the life situations of the characters in the Shakespearean canon, creating an open basis that fosters adoption/adaptation (232). Also, Hamlets peculiarly modern sense of powerlessness (232) may draw Japanese audiences because they feel powerless due to the bombardment of the worlds troubles through information networks (233). Also, the increasing life-span in Japan allows the older generation to retain (and to withhold) power from the younger generation (233). The modern Japanese people may see themselves in Shakespeares image of a thirty-year-old eternal prince (233). [ top ] Murakami, Takeshi. Shakespeare and Hamlet in Japan: A Chronological Overview. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 239-303. RECEPTION THEORY Because the work of Shakespeare had a decisive influence on the development of Japanese drama, this anthology chapter traces the history of the reception of Shakespeare (and especially Hamlet) in modern Japan (239). The chronological frame is based on the Gregorian calendar and the five periods of Japans modern history: Meiji Era, Taish Era, Shwa Era I, Shwa Era II, Heisei Era. Although a complete, comprehensive listing would be almost impossible, this chapter records as many performances of Hamlet as possible, including revivals, adaptations, ballet and modern dance versions, operas, etc. (240). [ top ] Pfister, Manfred. "Hamlet Made in Germany, East and West." International Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Ed. Patricia Kennan and Mariangela Tempera. Renaissance Revisited 2. Bologna: CLUEB, 1996. 75-93. RECEPTION THEORY This essay contends that Germany's Hamlet provides "a screen on which to project the changing constructions of German national identity" (78). After World War II, the literal and figurative construction of a wall in Germany created a rift within this identity: "to the extent that the two German cultures began to distinguish themselves one from the other, they also began to stake rival claims file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (9 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory upon Shakespeare and Hamlet" (79). This article charts the divergences of the GDRand FRG-Hamlets during this period of division but concludes that "the new All-German Hamlet" "exists already, at least to the degree that the East and West German Hamlets of the eighties have begun to converge" (89). [ top ] Siegel, Paul N. Hamlet, revenge!: The Uses and Abuses of Historical Criticism. Shakespeare Survey 45 (1993): 15-26. NEW HISTORICISM / RECEPTION THEORY This article surveys the major historical criticism on the subject of Hamlets revenge and on such ancillary matters as the reasons for Hamlets delay, the nature of the ghost, and the significance of the plays conclusion (15). The works of Stoll, Bowers, Campbell, Prosser, Babb, Bradley, Dover Wilson, Mercer, Frye, McGee, and others represent the fray on the critical battlefield and show interpretations advanced and disputed, errors made and refuted (15). Although abused at times, the use of historicism in literary studies has contributed to a growing weight of opinion . that has corrected opinions of the past (25). [ top ] Takahashi, Yasunari. Hamlet and the Anxiety of Modern Japan. Shakespeare Survey 48 (1995): 99-11. NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RECEPTION THEORY This essay traces the history of Hamlets reception in Japan: the whole labour of assimilating Hamlet, from the beginning down to the present day, could be seen as the mirror up to the nature of Japans modernization since 1868 (101). With a grand rationale of modernization-as-westernization, Japan was eager to appropriate works like Hamlet (100-01). But such a transplanting required acclimatization of the play and kabuki, the traditional Japanese theater (100). For example, in the first Tokyo production of Hamlet (1903), all soliloquies were cut because the expression-of-inner-thought style was something unknown to kabuki, and the tradition of onnagata (only male actors on stage) was challenged by a females playing the role of Ophelia (104). In 1907, Shoyo Tsubouchi attempted a more accurate production (e.g., Western costumes, original character names, To be soliloquy), using a translated (not adapted) file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (10 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory text, but his sensibility had been nurtured too deeply by the old kabuki tradition to allow him to be absolutely modern (106). His second attempt in 1911 similarly failed. While his later production marked the end of adaptation and the beginning of an age of faithful translation, it also confirmed the impression that Shakespeare was old-fashioned (107). Shakespeare was replaced by Ibsen and other European avant garde playwrights, while shingeki, or new drama (in Western-style) was displacing forms of traditional drama (107). Between 1913-1926, the play ceased to be the battleground of creative experiment in theatre (107). Part of this stalling resulted from the perception of Hamlet as the safest play to avoid being targeted by the secret service police (107-08). After the war, Hamlet made a comeback to the forefront of the theatrical scene: Tsuneari Fukudas 1955 production was a two-fold critique of the limitation of shingeki and, more broadly, of the modernity of Japanese culture (107). Currently, Japanese dramatists (e.g., Ninagawa, Suzuki) liberally strive to make Shakespeare feel contemporary (109). Until the anxiety of modernity has been overcome by the ludic spirit of post-modernity, new Hamlets must and will keep emerging, embodying the perennial and specific anxieties of contemporary self (111). [ top ] Wiggins, Martin. "Hamlet Within the Prince." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 209-26. HAMLET / RECEPTION THEORY After identifying the weaknesses in readings of Hamlet by psychoanalysts (e.g., Freud, Jones) and distinguishing dramatic characters from actual human beings, this article charges that "if there are mysterious depths to be sounded in Hamlet, the text itself must refer us to them"-not a knowledge of the Oedipus complex (215). For example, psychoanalytic critics devote a great deal of energy to accounting for Hamlet's delay; but Hamlet directly states his motive when he finds Claudius at prayer: the villain deserves to go to hell (3.3.93-95). Dating back to the 1750's, critics have struggled with a hero voicing plans for a person's damnation. The speech has been censored, denied, and omitted, but disbelieving Hamlet's own words "lies at the root of the internalizing urge in critical readings of the character" (218). Those "who internalize the action of Hamlet are not in fact discussing Shakespeare's play at all, but a palimpsest created through repression in the middle of the eighteenth century, a palimpsest that was subsequently digested and transmitted into the folklore of the play" (220). file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (11 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory [ top ] Wiszniowska, Marta. "Hamlet in Poland-Poland in Hamlet." International Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Ed. Patricia Kennan and Mariangela Tempera. Renaissance Revisited 2. Bologna: CLUEB, 1996. 113-25. RECEPTION THEORY This essay aims "to present some of the extraordinary developments in the ways in which Hamlet had been appropriated in post war Poland" (113). The study begins with the performance critic Jan Kott's "assessment of Hamlet as a political play" after the XXth Congress (115). The process of appropriation continues when Witold Chwalewik links Hamlet with Poland's national history (115) and excavates "Polish traits in Hamlet" (116). For example, Chwalewik posits a Polish Ur-Hamlet. With the "upheavals" in Europe and bans of 1968 (117), Bohdan Drozdowski's Hamlet 70 seems a "retaliation," a rewriting of Shakespeare's play "to suit topical issues" (118). Ivo Brean uses a different approach in his adaptation: "The play's topic remains unchanged and is merely embedded in contemporary burlesque" (121); but the play is set in socialist Crotia and the "ending is even more pessimistic" than the Shakespearean original's (122). In viewing "post-war Hamlets in Poland, one realizes how the circumstances of reception have contributed to their turning political or aesthetic" (123). [ top ] Zimmermann, Heiner O. "Is Hamlet Germany? On the Political Reception of Hamlet." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 293-318. HAMLET / RECEPTION THEORY This essay examines the "appropriation or, rather, the national German 'expropriation' of Hamlet . as an example to show how thoroughly the recipient's historical position and interests can predetermine the meaning distilled from a text, and how far the history of the reception of a text in another culture can acquire an autonomous momentum" (293). When Germans discovered Hamlet in the 1790's, they identified with its protagonist and established the play's mythic importance (293). Since then, the German audiences have alternated between love and hate of the Danish Prince. But by file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (12 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Reception Theory "finding ever new ways of recognizing themselves in Hamlet, the Germans made their understanding of him a pattern of their national comprehension of themselves in crucial historical situations over the last two centuries" (293). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/reception.html (13 of 13) [11/19/2002 11:39:28 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Andreas, James R. The Vulgar and the Polite: Dialogue in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 9-23.n Arnett, David B. What Makes Hamlet Run? Framing Cognition Discursively. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 24-41.n Baldo, Jonahan. Ophelias Rhetoric, or the Partial to Synecdoche. Criticism 37.1 (1995): 1-35.n Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33.n Campbell, Dowling G. The Double Dichotomy and Paradox of Honor in Hamlet: With Possible Imagery and Rhetorical Sources for the Soliloquies. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 13-49.n Champion, Larry S. A springe to catch woodcocks: Proverbs, Characterization, and Political Ideology in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 24-39.n Engle, Lars. Discourse, Agency, and Therapy in Hamlet. Exemplaria 4 (1992): 441-53.n Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43.n Gorfain, Phyllis. When Nothing Really Matters: Body Puns in Hamlet. Bodylore. Ed. Katherine Young. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1993. 5987.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. ShakespeareJahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792.n Hopkins, Lisa. "Parison and the Impossible Comparison." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 153-64.n Kerrigan, William. Hamlets Perfection. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994.n Nameri, Dorothy E. "The Dramatic Value of Hamlet's Verbal Expressions: A Linguistic-Literary Analysis." The Nineteenth LACUS Forum 1992. Lake Bluff: Linguistic Assoc., 1993. 409-21.n Newell, Alex. The Soliloquies in Hamlet: The Structural Design. Rutherford: Associated UP, 1991.n Oshio, Toshiko. Ophelia: Experience into Song. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 131-42.n Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Ghosts Speech. Modern Language Studies 28.3 (1998): 125-50.n Sohmer, Steve. Real Time in Hamlet. Shakespeares Mystery Play: The file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (1 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Opening fo the Globe Theatre 1599. By Sohmer. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1999. 217-47.n Takahashi, Yasunari. Speech, Deceit, and Catharsis: A Reading of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 3-19.n Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996.n Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. n Voss, Paul J. To Prey or Not To Prey: Prayer and Punning in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 59-74. n Wagner, Joseph B. Hamlet Rewriting Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 75-92.n Wood, Robert E. Some Necessary Questions of the Play: A StageCentered Analysis of Shakespeares Hamlet. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1994. Andreas, James R. The Vulgar and the Polite: Dialogue in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 9-23. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / MARXISM / RHETORICAL Drawing on the ideas of Erving Goffman, Geoffrey Bateson, and Mikhail Bakhtin, this article examines the tension generated by the dialogic interaction of Hamlets rhetoric of the vulgus (the folk, villein, vulgar, the plain, the proverbial, and the parodically double) and Claudius rhetoric of the polis (the polity, policy, polite, police and politically duplicit) in Hamlet (10). The King (and his representatives, e.g., Polonius) attempts to control context, speaks in a fairly straightforward authoritarian voice (15), and restricts and restrains the vulgar (17); in comparison, the Prince fluctuates between multiple contexts, exercises verbal play and parody (15), and introduces the dialogically deviant (17). This dialogical clash of two verbal styles generates Hamlets energy (10). The literary styles and devices seem derived respectivelyand disrespectfullyfrom the master genres of the vulgar and the polite that can still be heard clashing in the streets and courts of today (20). [ top ] Arnett, David B. What Makes Hamlet Run? Framing Cognition Discursively. Hamlet Studies 16 (1994): 24-41. file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (2 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical HAMLET / RHETORICAL Drawing strongly on William G. Perrys cognitive research, this essay discusses the conclusions we can come to about Hamlets vacillation by seeing them in a Perrian context (25). Perry studied students cognitive structures as those structures developed from Simple [linguistic] Dualism to Commitment with [linguistic] Relativism (27), leading to a linguistic or rhetorical theory, even if he characterizes it as a cognitive one (28). In Hamlet, the Princes language of politics evolves, based on the foundations laid by the already evolved language of study at Wittenberg (31). While his return to Elsinore for Old Hamlets funeral causes deflections from growth, the moralistic rage of Retreat into a dualism (32), the comforting presence of Horatio enables Hamlet to relinquish any hint of a moral polarity between himself and his opponent (33). With his classmate, Hamlet does not need to hide behind a corruption of words (34). He only adopts antic discourses in the company of those who manipulate language solely for their personal gain (e.g., Claudius) because the pose allows Perrys authentically Committed person to maintain a necessary presence where his or her Commitments lie without unduly jeopardizing his or her position (34). After learning of his fathers murder from the Ghost, Hamlet becomes committed to gaining sufficient knowledge for authentic action (35). The Mousetrap confirms Claudius guilt but leaves several uncertainties, such as the security of Gertrude and Denmark. Ultimately, Hamlet reaches a new Commitment with Relativism: he knows enough to act, he knows enough to die, and he is ready for whatever Providence may provide (37). To ask why Hamlet does not avenge his fathers murder sooner is not only to deny the very human process of growth but also to deny the validity of a liberal educationthe ultimate in revolutionary reconstructions (38). [ top ] Baldo, Jonahan. Ophelias Rhetoric, or the Partial to Synecdoche. Criticism 37.1 (1995): 1-35. NEW HISTORICISM / RHETORICAL This article contends that Renaissance plays, like Renaissance monarchs, owed a great deal of their power and claims to legitimacy to the trope of synecdoche or part/whole substitutions (1). The writings of King James and Locke provide two contending opinions of an impartial monarch who symbolically unites a kingdom. Monarchs in the Shakespearean canon also provide various models of impartiality (e.g., Lear, Richard II). In Hamlet, the impartiality ideal in a king file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (3 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical makes a subject (e.g., Horatio) appear limited, partial, fragmented and suggests trouble at the heart of the dramatic (and monarchical) value of impartiality (10). Hamlets malfunctioning synecdoche suggests why critics struggle with the play as if it were incomplete. Ophelia possesses an interest in the union of parts, and her eventual madness may be a sign of a dis-integration deep within that trope of integration (27). Confidence in the trope explains Shakespeares departure from the classical unities, but synecdochic discourses are already being dismantled in the most celebrated of Renaissance texts, the tragedies of Shakespeare (30). [ top ] Brown, John Russell. Multiplicity of Meaning in the Last Moments of Hamlet. Connotations 2 (1992): 16-33. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / FINAL SCENE / HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL Given that a tragedy excites an audiences interest in the heros private consciousness, this article asks, Has Shakespeare provided the means, in words or action, whereby this hero [Hamlet] comes, at last, to be denoted truly? (18). Throughout Hamlet, the protagonist speaks ambiguously. His linguistic trickery only heightens the audiences anticipation of resolution (and revelation of Hamlets inner thoughts). Yet the last line of the dying Princethe rest is silence (5.2.363)proves particularly problematic, with a minimum of five possible readings. For example, Shakespeare perhaps speaks through Hamlet, telling the audience and the actor that he, the dramatist, would not, or could not, go a word further in the presentation of this, his most verbally brilliant and baffling hero (27); the last lines of Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Loves Labors Lost suggest a pattern of this authorial style. While all five readings are plausible, they are also valuable, allowing audience and actor to choose an interpretation. This final act of multiplicity seems fitting for a protagonist whose mind is unconfined by any single issue (31). [ top ] Campbell, Dowling G. The Double Dichotomy and Paradox of Honor in Hamlet: With Possible Imagery and Rhetorical Sources for the Soliloquies. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 13-49. HAMLET / HISTORY OF IDEAS / RHETORICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (4 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical In addition to proposing some important source considerations of publications on honor (19) and exploring how some critics (e.g., Watson, Desai) have come so close (but failed) to identifying the key dichotomy in Hamlet, this essay suggests that Shakespeare uses the vengeance convention to dramatize a paradox, one that is difficult to decipher because of language limitations: the inherently and tragically violent virtue/vengeance dichotomy within the honor code (13). To avoid linguistic confusion with a single English word that signals diverse/conflicting meanings, this article utilizes the Spanish terms honor and honra: honor refers to humility and forgiveness and expanded, private, internal goodness, whereas honra signifies pride and vengeance, public satisfaction or retribution (22). Honra seems the primary tenet of everyone in Denmarkexcept the Prince: honor is instinctive and implicit in Hamlets nature (13-14). But he also wants to believe that he shares the same principles, assumptions, and beliefs (and social constructs) as everyone else (24). It is Hamlets simultaneous and continuos struggle with both sides of the dichotomy that constitutes his superlative characterization . ., his depth of feeling, his passion (24). The devastating tug of war between private and public behaviors and values occurs in Hamlets soul, as the soliloquies confirm, and explains the hesitance or delay or dilemma (14). Shakespeare infuses Hamlets soliloquies with the dichotomy, starting with no blame, working into self-blame, and ending with a futile pledge of bloody vengeance. It is the failure of vengeance to uproot Hamlets sense of virtue which causes the underlying intensity (37). Nothing can shake an innate virtuous sensibility and spur Hamlet into killing, not the disgusting elemental considerations in the graveyard (36-37), and not the shock of Ophelias death (35). Claudius has to trick Hamlet into so much as drawing his sword (35). But even then, Virtue rules (35): Hamlet is apologetic to Laertes, causing the conspirator to feel sorry and to lament the lethal plan in an aside (35). The split within the honor code, complete with devastating paradox, is what troubles Hamlet and Shakespeare (23). Shakespeare seems to be striving to articulate the hypocrisy of the honor code itself throughout his canon (43-44). In Hamlet (and Hamlet), he creates a major theme with the honor/honra paradox, even if he lacks those two little terms (46). [ top ] Champion, Larry S. A springe to catch woodcocks: Proverbs, Characterization, and Political Ideology in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 15 (1993): 24-39. HISTORY OF IDEAS / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (5 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical This article analyzes Shakespeares conscious use of proverbs to develop and enhance characterization and also to lend emotional and intellectual credibility to an ideological leitmotif that foregrounds political issues of concern to the Elizabethan spectator (26). The proverbs spoken by Polonius, Laertes, and Ophelia reflect an intellectual shallowness; Claudius proverbs suggest something sinister and Machiavellian about his character; and Hamlets proverbs (as well as the ones others use to describe the Prince) reveal something of the complexity of the man (28). Aside from helping to develop characters, Shakespeares application of proverbs also forces the spectators attention to political issues that underlie the major action (32), such as the struggle for power and concern for legitimacy. Given the political climate of the Elizabethan period, Shakespeares audience was interested in these political matters. The playwright uses proverbs to generate a high degree of interest in oppositional politics by depicting diverse ideologies that compete on stage in recreated Denmark and in the minds of the English spectators (34). [ top ] Engle, Lars. Discourse, Agency, and Therapy in Hamlet. Exemplaria 4 (1992): 441-53. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC / RHETORICAL Synthesizing the ideas of Foucault, Bakhtin, and Freud, this article offers a compressed reading of Hamlet as a meditation on the balance between the power of circumambient discourses and the capacity of an exemplary (and privileged) human subject to find his way among them toward a therapeutic and pragmatic kind of agency (444). Shakespeares play is dense with explorations of mental interiors through discourse, raising questions of agency. As Hamlet struggles to discover and accept a personal mode of agency, he shows other people what they are doing by demonstrating to them what discursive fields they have entered (446). For example, Hamlet parodies Laertes anger by Ophelias grave. He also considers the discursive control which preempts agency, as evident in the nunnery scene (448), and contemplates the philosophical complexity of the compromise between agency and discourse, as revealed after his meeting with the players (451). In all of these examples, Hamlet dramatizes/reenacts his horror, allowing him therapeutically to exorcise or destroy or understand or forgive it (452); hence, his calm attitude in the final act of the play. Hamlet learns to accept a personal mode of agency, the boundary condition of selfhood, and the allowance for meaningful action amid constitutive discourses (453). file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (6 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical [ top ] Findlay, Alison. "Hamlet: A Document in Madness." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 189-205. FEMINISM / HAMLET / OPHELIA / RHETORICAL By focusing on Hamlet and Ophelia, this essay examines "how gender dictates access to a language with which to cope with mental breakdown" and considers "how madness produces and is produced by a fragmentation of discourse" (189). The death of Old Hamlet marks the unraveling of language's "network of close knit meanings and signs" in Denmark (191). In this atmosphere, Hamlet and Ophelia "are threatened with mental breakdowns, rendering their need to define their experiences and re-define themselves particularly acute" (192). Hamlet attempts a "self-cure" to deal with his mental instability (192): he "uses his control over the written word to empower himself in emotionally disturbing situations"; examples include Hamlet's letters to Ophelia, Horatio, and Claudius, his forged orders to England, and his rewriting of The Murder of Gonzago (193). Hamlet discovers "a verbal and theatrical metalanguage with which to construct and contain the experience of insanity" (196), but Ophelia "does not have the same means for elaborating a delirium as a man" (197). She possesses "very limited access to any verbal communication with which to unpack her heart" before her father's death (199). After his passing, Ophelia is confronted "with an unprecedented access to language which is both liberating and frightening" (200). Her songs "are in the same mode as Hamlet's adaptation, The Mousetrap, and his use of ballad (III.ii.265-78); but, unlike Hamlet, she will not act as a chorus" (201). Also, she "cannot analyze her trauma" the way that he does (200). In the context of other Renaissance women dealing with insanity (e.g., Dionys Fitzherbert, Margaret Muschamp, Mary, Moore), Ophelia's experience of "trying to find a voice in the play" seems "a model for the difficulties facing Renaissance women writers" (202). [ top ] Gorfain, Phyllis. When Nothing Really Matters: Body Puns in Hamlet. Bodylore. Ed. Katherine Young. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1993. 59-87. HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / REHTORICAL By calling attention to the astonishing energy of reflexive puns, this article file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (7 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical focuses on how they reflect on the problematic relationship between the intellectual production of meaning and the physical body through which ideas must be expressed in precise social situations in the world of Hamlet (60). While puns in general are probed within the article, puns voiced during social greetings and farewells merit attention because these encounters are occasions for formulaic performances (e.g., handshake, bow, embrace) (60). For example, at the beginning of The Mousetrap, Hamlet responds to Claudius greeting with puns in order to disrupt the social relationship and social form. Like every pun in Hamlet, the actors physical performance (e.g., posture, gesture) and body become factors, possibilities for meaning. Hamlet also uses puns to undo, through language, the finality of death, as his response to Polonius accidental murder demonstrates (76). The transport of Polonius dead body places the real gravity of the body centrally next to the consoling rites and puns that would reinterpret death for cultural recuperation (77). By the final scene, the question of how to take up the bodyphysically and morally, verbally and symbolicallyhas been so thoroughly complicated by the puns on bodies and how and where to take them, that no stage, just as no political realm, whatever its embodied metaphors may be, can fully contain the bodys dispositions (80-81). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Mouse and Mousetrap in Hamlet. Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 135 (1999): 7792. CLAUDIUS / GERTRUDE / HAMLET / MOUSETRAP / NEW HISTORICISM / PROVERBS / RHETORICAL Expanding on John Doeblers work, this essay explores the plethora of connotations of mouse and mousetrap. In relation to Gertrude, the mouse reference in the closet scene could be a term of endearment or a pejorative reference to a lustful person (79). Historically, mouse is also connected with the devils entrapment of human lust with the mousetrap (80); hence, Hamlets diction suggests that he perceives Gertrude at once as the snare that catches the devil Claudius (and the son Hamlet?) in lust, and snared herself in the same devils mousetrap (82). With Claudius, the mouse implies destructive and lascivious impulses (84). Hamlet also is associated with the mouse in his role as mouser or metaphorical cat. For example, the cat-like, teasing method in Hamlets madness appears in his dialogue with Claudius immediately prior to the start of The Mousetrap (88). The mousetrap trope becomes part of a pattern of images in Hamlet that poises the clarity of poetic justice against a universe of dark of unknowing, as the trapper must himself die to purify a file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (8 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical diseased kingdom (91). [ top ] Hopkins, Lisa. "Parison and the Impossible Comparison." New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New York: AMS, 1994. 153-64. CLAUDIUS / HAMLET / RHETORICAL This article argues that Hamlet's length and enigmatic nature are two interrelated characteristics because the play "doubles and redoubles its situations, its characters, its events and, ultimately, its meaning" (153). The play abounds with "the rhetorical trope of parison," a repetition of "the same grammatical construction in successive clauses or sentences," but Claudius is particularly "fond of the parison" (155). For example, in his first speech (1.2.114), Claudius speaks in a "constant generation of twinned structures: by offering two possible locations of meaning, they cancel out the possibility of any ultimate, single, authoritative interpretation or label" (156). The Prince "no less than his uncle is caught in the trap of doubled language and of doubled rhetorical structures, and most particularly in that of parison" (158). From his initial pun to his "To be, or not to be" soliloquy, Hamlet's "obsessive use of parison" presents oppositional terms as "yoked together and forced into a position of syntactic and rhetorical similarity which militates considerably against the fact of their semantic difference" (160). An audience's every encounter with the play "becomes a complex negotiation between a series of incompatible choices where meaning is first offered and then shifted or denied, and where its production is always a delicate balancing act" (163). [ top ] Kerrigan, William. Hamlets Perfection. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. DECONSTRUCTION / RHETORICAL Self-described as a love affair with Hamlet, this monograph begins with a historical review of Hamlet interpretations that reveals a finite number of frameworks within which specific interpretations unwind (2). The second chapter traces the journey of a single phrase, good night, through the text of Hamlet, as the statement presupposes two divisions, those of day from night and good from evil (xiii). Chapters three and four continue the theme of file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (9 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical division by concentrating on Hamlets split apprehension of women and his attempt to salvage purity from an initial conviction of general debasement (xiii). The final chapter treats the self-revised Hamlet of Act 5 (xiii). [ top ] Nameri, Dorothy E. "The Dramatic Value of Hamlet's Verbal Expressions: A Linguistic-Literary Analysis." The Nineteenth LACUS Forum 1992. Lake Bluff: Linguistic Assoc., 1993. 409-21. HAMLET / RHETORICAL Utilizing "a linguistic-stylistic approach as an enlightening aid in literary analysis," this scientific study examines the playwright's "application of the dramatic value of the verb in depicting the character of his most diverse, controversial hero-Hamlet" (409). The linguistic methodology of Dorothy Nameri mathematically measures Hamlet's "semantic role that of an agentive ('active') or a non-agentive participant in the action described by the verb in the proposition" (410). Validating this thesis, charts, graphs, and percentages show "the compatibility between Hamlet's A [Agentive]/NA [Non-Agentive] verbal expressions and his corresponding semantic role" (417). For example, the closet scene marks a "rise in the percentage of his AVE [Agentive verbal expressions] here-71%-the highest in the play" (415). His lowest percentage of AVE-31%appears in act four, scene four, when Hamlet is departing Denmark and encounters Fortinbras' forces (417). This study's results "illustrate an additional aspect of Shakespeare's artistry where he merges linguistics and stylistics in the creation of character" (418). [ top ] Newell, Alex. The Soliloquies in Hamlet: The Structural Design. Rutherford: Associated UP, 1991. HAMLET / RHETORICAL / TO BE, OR NOT TO BE SOLILOQUY This monograph locates the soliloquies primarily in their dramatic contexts (e.g., dramatic, poetic, verbal, structural/formal) to determine their roleindividually, in groups, and collectivelyin portraying Hamlet and in clarifying the larger structure and meaning of the play (24). It blends discussion of the soliloquies as a collective whole with detailed attention to many of them individually (23) in six theme-based chapters (e.g., Images of file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (10 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical the Mind, Discourse of Reason, Wills and Fates: Intimations of Providence). It also refers sparingly rather than abundantly to critical scholarship on the play (23-24) and refrains from unnecessary forays into textual matters concerning the Quartos/Folio debates (25). As attention to each soliloquys context enables one to see the speech as a part of the action, not apart from it (23), findings are presented as they arise simultaneously from the poetics of language and action, which often have various kinds of contextual significance that need to be recognized and understood (24). [ top ] Oshio, Toshiko. Ophelia: Experience into Song. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 131-42. MUSIC / OPHELIA / RHETORICAL This essay contrasts Ophelias inability to express herself by means of words (131) with her expressiveness and impressiveness in her singing (132). Ophelia first appears to possess a degree of wit, not unlike Hamlets opening puns (132) and an earnest truthfulness in her exchanges with Laertes and Polonius (133). Her description of Hamlets madness to Polonius reveals dashing eloquence, attention to detail, and a compulsion to tell all, even though she may be extremely frightened (133). As a mere puppet in the nunnery scene, Ophelias words do not sound like her own, and Hamlets vicious attack leaves her split in twain or, even three (134). But her soliloquy at the end of the scene reasserts her straightforwardness, as she disregards the audience behind the arras (135). Unfortunately, Ophelia fails to act, to fully express herself, or to defend her relation with Hamlet in the first scene: By internalizing her grief, she breaks into madness (135). She now finds release in songs that present a range of different images, sharply contrasted one to another, from innocent or sacrificial victim to experienced whore (136). During these alternate tones of joy and despair Ophelia pours out her inner thoughts and feelings (139). Fittingly, Ophelia dies singing, expressing herself in a powerful mode. The sheer profusion of her songs is unrivaled in Shakespeares tragedies and contrasts keenly with the sparingness of her speech, suggesting that this character is represented fully in songs. Shakespeare made her entire being lyrical (141). [ top ] Ratcliffe, Stephen. What Doesnt Happen in Hamlet: The Ghosts Speech. file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (11 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical Modern Language Studies 28.3 (1998): 125-50. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / CLAUDIUS / GHOST / RHETORICAL This article argues that Claudius did not murder his brother and explores the Ghosts account of its poisoning as the imaginings of a world beyond the world of stage, a world of words in which the eye sees only what the ear hears, thereby sounding the limits of perception itself (126). The death of Old Hamlet is performed by means of words whose effect is to show us what cannot be shown (130). A detailed linguistic analysis of the Ghosts account highlights how the Ghosts words enter (as the poison entered the Ghosts body) not just Hamlets ears but ours as well (143). The experience of a multitude of casual, seemingly insignificant patterns of interaction among words in this speech invites the audience/reader to imagine and believe in something that doesnt happen in the playexcept in words (147). While The Mousetraps dumbshow echoes visually the Ghosts acoustic representation of that same event (133), Claudius response to it does not prove his guiltnor does his supposed confession. Claudius private words provide no details that would place him at the scene of the crime that afternoon and use a syntactic construction whose hypothetical logic casts more shadow of doubt than light of certainty over what he is actually saying (135). And the confession comes from an unreliable source, a figure whose every action in the play has everything to do with subterfuge and deception (137). Perhaps, Claudius is not speaking from the bottom of his heart, as one who prays presumably does, but rather in this stage performance of a prayer means to deceive God (137). Besides, the confession from this master of deception (138) is for a purely imaginary, hypothetical event that takes place outside of the play, beyond the physical boundaries of the stage (139). [ top ] Sohmer, Steve. Real Time in Hamlet. Shakespeares Mystery Play: The Opening fo the Globe Theatre 1599. By Sohmer. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1999. 217-47. HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / RHETORICAL This essay explores calendrical clues within Hamlet to gain insight into the play. References in the first scene to time, as well as reports of the multiple ghostly appearances, suggest that the plays plot begins between October 30th and November 10th (223). The date of Hamlets first encounter with the Ghost is narrowed to November 2nd, implying a striking reference to Martin Luther: file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (12 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical Elizabethan sources inaccurately listed that on this day in 1517, Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses. Such evidence implies an intimate negotiation between Shakespeares knowledge of Luther and his creation of Prince Hamlet (228). Similarities between Hamlet and Luther include a religious conversion and interaction with a king married to a dead brothers wife (Claudius and Henry VIII, respectively). To validate the theory that Shakespeare did not carelessly refer to times/dates, a test is performed to ascertain the duration of the Old Hamlet-Gertrude marriage. Dialogue from The Mousetrap suggests that the husband dies before the thirtieth wedding anniversarymeaning that the son must have been born at least 53 days before the Old Hamlet-Gertrude wedding (236). Hence, the mystery of why Hamlet does not immediately succeed to the throne is finally resolved. Statements from various scenes (e.g., the graveyard) further support the argument and reveal the sons awareness of his own bastard status. Interestingly, Luthers legitimacy is also questionable, suggesting a final connection between Luther and Hamlet. [ top ] Takahashi, Yasunari. Speech, Deceit, and Catharsis: A Reading of Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 3-19. HAMLET / PSYCHOANALYTIC / RHETORICAL Drawing heavily on the linguistic theories of J. L. Austin, J. R. Searle, and Keir Elam, this article approaches Hamlet as a remarkably complex and rich essay into the possible modes of speech and narrative (6). Analysis of the plays first five lines initiates a study of expressionistic possibilities of language (3). For example, Barnardos Whos there? (1.1.1) suggests the settings dark lighting, the speakers anxiety, and the plays central theme of uncertain identity (3-4). The protagonists psychological complexity provides particularly intriguing examples of language. In act one, scene two, Hamlet attempts to speak of something within that cannot be adequately expressed and at the same time to hide that within which cannot be adequately hidden, meaning that his speaking is indistinguishable from counterfeiting (9). After meeting the Ghost, he appropriates as his own style the pretended forms of speech by donning the guise of madness (11). Hamlet leaps out of the bounds of his antic disposition to discover the role of playwright / director, as a result of the players Hecuba speech (14). Unfortunately, Hamlets theory of acting seems at odds with what he practices; the sons overacting in the closet scene presents but one example of the gap between the representor and the represented (15). During his voyage at sea, Hamlet takes an important step towards file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (13 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical recovering his identity by using his fathers seal as his own (16). Upon his return to Denmark, he speaks without counterfeiting, and his speech on the fall of a sparrow provides ultimate proof of his transformation (16). When Hamlet unwittingly plays the role that providence has allotted to him, in the final scene, the gap between role and actor disappears (17). [ top ] Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor. William Shakespeare: Hamlet. Writers and Their Works. Plymouth: Northcote House, 1996. AUDIENCE RESPONSE / BIBLIOGRAPHIC / FEMINISM / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL This text begins with a questioning of Hamlet's status within the canon. Although other Shakespearean tragedies (e.g., King Lear) have threatened to displace Hamlet in the past, its position currently seems secure. The section titled "Which Hamlet?" discusses the Folio/Quartos debate, as well as how understanding of the play's meanings and values vary "according to the reader, the actor or the audience" (17). The third chapter examines Hamlet "as a selfcontained fiction which takes history and politics as part of its subject matter" and "as a late-Elizabethan play which can be seen in relation to the history and politics of its own time" (23). The next section explores rhetoric in the play, such as how all of the characters seem to speak in the same linguistic style and how some quotes from the play "have passed into common usage," creating challenges for performers (33). The chapter on gender examines the history of female Hamlets, questions of Hamlet's sex/gender, the play's female characters, and feminism's influence on the study of this tragedy. "The Afterlife of Hamlet" discusses how editors, actors, and directors "have added to the multiplicity of Hamlets by cutting and rearranging that text" (52), how the drama has been adapted to popular mediums, and how it has been appropriated for political purposes in various countries. The conclusion foresees an optimistic future for Hamlet, and assortment of illustrations and a select bibliography round out the monograph. [ top ] Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. HAMLET / METADRAMA / NEW HISTORICISM / RHETORICAL / THEOLOGICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (14 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical This essay contends that Hamlets use of the tropes of performance to combat illicit performance parallels a paradoxical strategy which . proved useful in the published pamphlets of Puritan reformers of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries; it also discloses the structural centrality of these prophetic anti-theatrical discourses to the great anti-play of Hamlet (63). As the writings of Puritan reformers (e.g., Munday, Gosson, Rainolds, Prynne) show, Puritanisms anti-theatricalism consisted of three discursive elements: social disgust framed in anti-theatrical terms, explicit longing for withdrawal into an as yet unrealized world, and a call for authentic military action to purge the present rotten state (65). In act one, scene two, Hamlet displays several of these characteristics: his unique dark clothing signals his puritanist refusal to don the ceremonial garb worn by Gertrude, Claudius, and the rest of the court (65); in soliloquy, he rejects all the worlds uses (ceremonies) (I. ii. 134) (6566); and his frustrated desire to return to Wittenberg (symbolically important to Elizabethans as the originating site of Reformation discourse) is replaced by a vaguer desire to be taken out of this world (recalling Prynnes phrase) (66). His resistance to illicit social theater ultimately taints Hamlets response to the traveling players, as his soliloquy upon their exit runs curiously parallel to two passages in Saint Augustines Confessions, oft quoted by Puritans in condemnation of playhouses (66-67). Paradoxically, like the puritanist pamphlets that used the language of play-acting to damn play-acting (69), Hamlets Mousetrap constitutes anti-theatrical theater, employing role-play to blast role-play (69-70). The-play-within-the-play also provides an example of Hamlets resistance to traditional tragic plot structures (68): its obviousness makes clear Hamlets awareness of Claudius guilt and his plan to punish it (70). Hamlet rejects the conventional revenge behaviors of plotting, feigning, and backstabbing and embraces overt military action: authentic performance in the genuine theater of war (71). In the plays final scene, Hamlet kills Claudius openly, non-theaterically, and spontaneously . he completes the total extermination of a corrupted order (71). Like Renaissance puritanist discourse, Hamlets rhetoric and action bespeak a mood of the age: an unwillingness to negotiate with a culture whose institutions were perceived as fundamentally corrupt, and an increasing preference for the alternatives of flight or purgative destruction (72). [ top ] Voss, Paul J. To Prey or Not To Prey: Prayer and Punning in Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 59-74. HAMLET / RHETORICAL file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (15 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical This article promotes a punning between prey and pray because such a pun captures a central ethical debate surrounding the revenge tragedy (to avenge or to wait for Gods justice?), makes the reader aware of Hamlets primary dilemma shortly after the appearance of the ghost, and helps, finally, to concentrate the distinction between mercy and vengeance, meditation and action, reflection and instinct (59). As evidence of Conspicuous punning in Elizabethan English (60), the prey/pray pun appears in Marlowes Hero and Leander, Spensers Amoretti, Sidneys Astrophil and Stella, as well as several of Shakespeares plays and poems (e.g., 1 Henry IV, Sonnet 143). In Hamlet, punning, the guarded expression, the enigmatic reply, becomes Hamlets modus operandi, with examples spanning from the opening scene to the last (61). When he tells Horatio, I will go pray (1.5.132), his rebuttal disseminates and dissembles, promulgates and withholds: Although Hamlet conceals a truth, he also utters one (63). Given his fresh promise of action, not contemplation to the Ghost (63) and Horatios immediate alliterative response and apparent surprise (These are but wild and whirling words, my lord [1.5.133]), the text supports the prey/pray pun (64). In addition to illuminating elements of the prayer and closet scenes, recognition of this pun throws into relief two of Hamlets primary concerns in the O what a rogue and peasant slave am I soliloquy (2.2.560-617): he berates himself for a lack of action, the inability to prey and voices the theological consideration that the Ghost may be a devil in disguise, supporting the notion that Hamlets earlier intention to pray may not have been idle or feigned (67). Interestingly, the preyer, like the prayer, required both internal and external action: thoughts alone, without execution, make for an ineffectual revenger. In this way the distinction between revenge and meditation, or between action and thoughts, become rather more pronounced (69). The recognition of a single pun between pray and prey allows for a more complex and yet coherent understanding of the events in Hamlet (69). [ top ] Wagner, Joseph B. Hamlet Rewriting Hamlet. Hamlet Studies 23 (2001): 7592. GHOST / HAMLET / METADRAMA / RHETORICAL This article posits two intertwined arguments: Hamlet identifies with his dead parent by reiterating language that honors the older character as a model of morality; and Hamlets need to adapt his own personality to be sufficiently compatible with his fathers motivates him to change or rewrite his play (76). Although the Ghost seems a rather limited character (rarely appearing or file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (16 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical speaking on stage), Shakespeare establishesand maintainsthe audiences sharp awareness of the Ghosts controlling personality by taking the imagery, diction, and values that are present in the Ghosts brief speeches of 1.5 . and by re-using them in the thoughts and speeches of Prince Hamlet. Hamlet and the Ghost think alike, and they use almost exactly parallel diction: thus, as he describes his fathers virtues and imitates his fathers speech patterns, Hamlet continually invoked the fathers ethos, and in this way the Ghosts dynamic presence is maintained when it is not on stage at the same time that the son is going through the process of identification (78-79). The identification process culminates (66) when, in the dual persona of both son and father, he [Hamlet] appropriates the very image and seal of the father (77-78). Although it is an offstage decision that takes him for reaction to action (76), Hamlet describes an experience that might be called meta-theater in that he is director and observer, as well as actor: he writes the new commission and steers the play into its final course of confrontation with Claudius (77). But this is not Hamlets only attempt to transform the play (85). Aside from his addition of some dozen or sixteen lines (2.2.535) to the text of The Murder of Gonzago (86), his changes to the appropriated play during its performance, and his rewriting of Gertrude in the closet scene, a demonstrative example of Hamlet rewriting Hamlet includes his considering, like a writer, some alternative ways of rewriting the script so that he can more closely realize his fathers behavior and personality in the prayer scene (87). With every rewriting (and identification with the father), Hamlet slowly develops the power to choose action rather than delay or reaction (88). In the final scene, Hamlet performs one last rewrite: he gives his dying voice to Fortinbras and, thereby, corrects the forged process that Claudius used to claim the throne (89-90). [ top ] Wood, Robert E. Some Necessary Questions of the Play: A Stage-Centered Analysis of Shakespeares Hamlet. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1994. HAMLET / PERFORMANCE / RHETORICAL Using a stage-centered approach, this monograph represents if not a unified theory of theatrical expression at least a series of necessary questions about the structural considerations that make possible the multiplicity of contemporary approaches to Hamlet (21). It begins with an examination of Hamlets use of real space and time as elements of a narration which is in part about a protagonists perception of space and time (17). Its second section deals with how Hamlets use of wit and soliloquy disrupt the normal language of drama and of Hamlet, but the plays final act marks the end of this dislocation and, file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (17 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Rhetorical significantly, the end of Hamlets distorted perception of space and time as well (18). The last section examines expectations we bring to the theater: our focus on the body as the locus of our attention, and our understanding of the generic framework which orders our experience (18). [ top ] This website is for educational purposes. All information Copyright 2002 Harmonie Loberg Contact the author at hahloberg@Xyahoo.com (remove the X to send email) Site design by sjenkins@Xavidity.net (remove the X to send email) file:///S|/bev/loberg/rhetorical.html (18 of 18) [11/19/2002 11:39:31 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Theological Claudius Gertrude The Ghost Hamlet Horatio Laertes Ophelia Polonius Yorick Art Carnival Duel Eye & Ear Final Scene Friendship Law The Mousetrap Music Ophelia's Murder(er) Parenthood Proverbs Texts "To be" Soliloquy Audience Response Bibliographic Deconstruction Feminism Genre History of Ideas Jungian Marxism Metadrama n Fendt, Gene. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama? An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard. Marquette Studies in Philosophy 21. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1999.n Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43.n Greenblatt, Stephen. The Mousetrap. Shakespeare Studies 35 (1997): 1-32. [Reprinted in Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatts Practicing New Historicism (2000).]n Greenblatt, Stephen. Remember Me. Hamlet in Purgatory. By Greenblatt. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. 205-57.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Hamlets Too, too solid flesh.' Sixteenth Century Journal 25 (1994): 609-22.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. How infinite in faculties: Hamlets Confusion of God and Man. Literature and Theology 8 (1994): 127-39.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84.n Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Wormwood, Wormwood. Deutsche ShakespeareGesellschaft West: Jahrbuch [no vol. #] (1993): 150-62.n Landau, Aaron. Let me not burst in ignorance: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet. English Studies 82.3 (June 2001): 218-30.n Low, Anthony. Hamlet and the Ghost of Purgatory: Intimations of Killing the Father. English Literary Renaissance 29.3 (Autumn 1999): 443-67.n Mallette, Richard. From Gyves to Graces: Hamlet and Free Will. Journal of English and German Philology 93 (1994): 336-55.n Matheson, Mark. Hamlet and A matter tender and dangerous. Shakespeare Quarterly 46 (Winter 1995): 383-97.n Milne, Joseph. Hamlet: The Conflict Between Fate and Grace. Hamlet Studies 18.1-2 (Summer/Winter 1996): 29-48.n Ozawa, Hiroshi. I must be cruel only to be kind: Apocalyptic Repercussions in Hamlet. Hamlet and Japan. Ed. Yoshiko Uno. Hamlet Collection 2. New York: AMS, 1995. 73-85.n Shafer, Ronald G. Hamlet: Christian or Humanist? Studies in the Humanities 17 (1991): 21-35.n Tiffany, Grace. Anti-Theatricalism and Revolutionary Desire in Hamlet (Or, the Play Without the Play). Upstart Crow 15 (1995): 61-74. file:///S|/bev/loberg/theological.html (1 of 14) [11/19/2002 11:39:33 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Theological Metaphysics Mythic Criticism New Historicism Performance Philosophical Psychoanalytic Queer Theory Reception Theory Rhetorical Theological Fendt, Gene. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama? An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard. Marquette Studies in Philosophy 21. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1999. HAMLET / MARXISM / METAPHYSICS / THEOLOGICAL This monograph begins by surveying the different definitions of religious drama. Chapters two and three discuss the "scholarly cruxes" of Hamlet (e.g., Hamlet's delay) and evokes Aristotle and Aquinas to assist in comprehending "what a religious understanding of Hamlet might be" (16). Chapters four and five explore the contrast between Hamlet and Kierkegaard's and Taciturnus' writings on religious art, "examine the metaphysical and philosophical presuppositions of the ordinary understanding of religious drama as representations bearing on dogmatic truths," and "show how Kierkegaard's indirect communication seeks to avoid that philosophical problematic" (16). The last chapter uses Bataille's theories of religious economies to argue Hamlet's status as a religious drama. [ top ] Fienberg, Nona. "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays." Old Testament Women in Western Literature. Ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcit. Conway: UCA, 1991. 128-43. FEMINISM / GERTRUDE / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL This essay explores "cultural resonances between the politically unstable time of Judges in Israel's history, the political confusion in Hamlet's Denmark, and the anxiety over succession in late-Elizabethan England" (133). While Jephthah's daughter and Ophelia share similarities, they also differ in an important way: the unnamed daughter is an obedient sacrifice, and Ophelia "develops from her status as a victim" to "an author of a potentially different story, a woman's story" (133-34). Ophelia comes to realize her subversive potential and, in a commanding oration about the weakening of Hamlet's "noble mind," laments the lose of her own political ambitions (135). But her madness empowers her with liberties, such as demanding a meeting with Gertrude. Once granted entrance, "she, like a wandering player, comes to hold a mirror up to the court" (136). Gone is her submissive voice, replaced by "a range of voices" (137). Ophelia now "commands attention" (137). Interestingly, her invasion of the court parallels Laertes' rebellious entrance: they have "competing political claims, his assertive and explicit, hers subversive and encoded in mad woman's language" (137). Because her songs "introduce the protesting voice of oppressed women in society" through the veils of a ballad culture, Ophelia is not understood by her file:///S|/bev/loberg/theological.html (2 of 14) [11/19/2002 11:39:33 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Theological male audience; but her "rebellion against the double standard and its oppression of women arouses fear in Gertrude, who understands" (138). When the Queen reports Ophelia's drowning, she insists "on her time and the attention of the plotting men" (138). Her description portrays "a woman who draws her understanding of her world from women's culture" (139). The Queen, "perhaps like Jephthah's daughter's maiden friends, returned from temporary exile to interpret the meaning of the sacrificed daughter's life" (140). [ top ] Greenblatt, Stephen. The Mousetrap. Shakespeare Studies 35 (1997): 1-32. [Reprinted in Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatts Practicing New Historicism (2000).] NEW HISTORICISM / THEOLOGICAL This article begins by exploring the observation that most of the significant and sustained thinking in the early modern period about the nature of linguistic signs centered on or was deeply influenced by Eucharistic controversies (8), such as theatricality, idolatry, and vulnerability of matter. This article then proposes that the literature of the period was written in the shadow of these controversies and that apparently secularly works are charged with the language of Eucharistic anxiety (20). In Hamlet, the protagonist reports that the dead Polonius may be found at supper: the supper where the host does not eat but is eaten is the supper of the Lord (21). He also comments on worms, an allusion to the Diet of Worms where Luthers doctrines were officially condemned by the Holy Roman Emperor (21). The allusion functions to echo and reinforce the theological and, specifically, the Eucharistic subtext (21). Hamlet explains his meaning as Nothing but to show you how a king may / go a progress through the guts of a beggar (4.3.30-31). While half-buried here is a death threat against the usurper-king, the rage in Hamlets words reaches beyond his immediate enemy to touch his fathers body, rotting in the grave (21). The father charges Hamlet to revenge his murder, but the task becomes mired in the flesh that will not melt away, that cannot free itself from longings for mother and lover (23). And the task is further complicated by the fathers own entanglements in the flesh because he died with sins on his head (23). Furthermore, the communion of ghostly father and carnal son is more complex, troubled not only by the sons madness and suicidal despair but by the persistent, ineradicable materialism figured in the progress of a king through the guts of a beggar (25). In the graveyard scene, when Hamlet follows the noble dust of Alexander until he finds it stopping a bung-hole, he does not go on to meditate on the immortality of Alexanders incorporeal name or spirit. The file:///S|/bev/loberg/theological.html (3 of 14) [11/19/2002 11:39:33 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Theological progress he sketches is the progress of a world that is all matter (26). The significance of the Eucharistic controversies for English literature in particular lies less in the problem of the sign than in . the problem of the leftover, that is, the status of the material reminder (8). [ top ] Greenblatt, Stephen. Remember Me. Hamlet in Purgatory. By Greenblatt. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001. 205-57. GHOST / NEW HISTORICISM / PERFORMANCE / THEOLOGICAL While continuing the monographs historical exploration of the afterlife of Purgatory and of remembrance of the dead in England (3), this chapter begins by examining Hamlets shift of spectral obligation from vengeance to remembrance (207) and by analyzing how Shakespeare weirdly and unexpectedly conjoins memory as haunting with its opposite, the fading of remembrance (218). It then approaches the core argument of the monograph: the psychological in Shakespeares tragedy is constructed almost entirely out of the theological, and specifically out of the issue of remembrance that . lay at the heart of the crucial early-sixteenth-century debate about Purgatory (229). Although the Church of England had explicitly rejected the Roman Catholic conception of Purgatory and the practices that had been developed around it in 1563 (235), the Elizabethan theater circumvented the resulting censorship by representing Purgatory as a sly jest, a confidence trick, a mistake . But it could not be represented as a frightening reality. Hamlet comes closer to doing so than any other play of this period (236). Through a network of allusions to Purgatory (e.g., for a certain term [1.5.10], burned and purged [1.5.13], Yes, by Saint Patrick [1.5.136], hic et ubique [1.5.156]), as well as Hamlets attention to (and brooding upon) the Ghosts residence/source (236-37), the play presents a frightening-yet-absolving alternative to Hell. The play also seems a deliberate forcing together of radically incompatible accounts of almost everything that matters in Hamlet, such as Catholic versus Protestant tenets regarding the body and rituals (240). The prevalent distribution of printed religious arguments heightens the possibility that these works are sources for Shakespeares play: they stage an ontological argument about spectrality and remembrance, a momentous public debate, that unsettled the institutional moorings of a crucial body of imaginative materials and therefore made them available for theatrical appropriation (249). For example, Foxes comedic derision of Mores theological stance helped make Shakespeares tragedy possible. It did so by participating in a violent ideological struggle that turned negotiations with the dead from an institutional process governed by the church file:///S|/bev/loberg/theological.html (4 of 14) [11/19/2002 11:39:33 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Theological to a poetic process governed by guilt, projection, and imagination (252). The Protestant attack on the middle state of souls . did not destroy the longings and fears that Catholic doctrine had focused and exploited; instead, the space of Purgatory becomes the space of the stage where old Hamlets Ghost is doomed for a certain term to walk the night (256-57). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Hamlets Too, too solid flesh.' Sixteenth Century Journal 25 (1994): 60922. HAMLET / THEOLOGICAL This article suggests that while Hamlet pays lip service to Luthers doctrine of salvation by grace rather than merit, he insists in complete contradiction to that doctrine on doing and knowing perfectly (612). A symptom of Hamlets enslaving prudence of the flesh is his fear of death, as his excessive mourning for his dead father demonstrates; another symptom is his fear of judgement, which his first encounter with the Ghost manifests (612). In rejecting the traditional Christian scheme of fall and redemption, Hamlet is also uneasy with human imperfection (614). He mistakenly idealizes reason, wrongly values external goods of family and honor (616), and egotistically focuses on himself, primarily in his self-indulgent use of another person (e.g., Ophelia, Gertrude) (617). Fortunately, something mysterious happens to Hamlet after his rough-hewn encounters on the ships and in the graveyard (619). In reconciling himself to a new reality which dismisses his mind, his thinking, his judgement, in favor of the inscrutable will of God, Hamlet briefly rises towards the top of Luthers stern ladder of imperfection (621). But Hamlet is not completely cured, persistently idolizing perfect knowing and perfect doing (622). In the final scene, the conflict of flesh and spirit persists through Hamlets last words and deeds but ceases by grace and by death (622). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. How infinite in faculties: Hamlets Confusion of God and Man. Literature and Theology 8 (1994): 127-39. HAMLET / THEOLOGICAL Aside from debunking R. M. Fryes reading of Hamlet, this article argues that Hamlet is frustrated throughout most of the play precisely because he does not file:///S|/bev/loberg/theological.html (5 of 14) [11/19/2002 11:39:33 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Theological balance thought and action, or understand the proper relationship between his faculties of memory, reason, and will and those of his maker (127). Hamlets comment: Sure he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not That capability and godlike reason To fust in us unused. (4.4.36-39) marks his confusion about his own moral faculties of reason and memory and their role in the relationship between God the maker and man the made (128). Donne, Andrews, Luther, and Calvin describe the creation of man as a discourse among the Holy Trinity, but because Hamlet holds himself up as author and finisher of his own salvation, not God, not Christ, he will remain outside the discourse of faith (131). Rather than heed Donnes sermon on the subject, he also mistakenly assumes that his understanding, will, and memory do not require grace. Hamlet complains about the malfunctioning of his moral faculties and criticizes the place of original sin in Gods providential plan (135). He does not comprehend that these natural faculties can only be serviceable to God, as Donne cautions (134); nor does his self-absorption allow him to appreciate fully the traditional competing vision of faith in providence, which is the paradox of our remembering both where we have come [creation] and where we are going [redemption] (136). The accidental killing of Polonius allows Hamlet a glimpse of his personal imperfection and initiates the concession that grace is needed (134). Hamlet returns from sea trusting providence, seeming to have escaped at last from the augury of his mind (137). This essay concludes by studying the conflicting religious implications of Hamlets last spoken words to show that closure is out of the question, whether our visions are Christian or otherwise (138). [ top ] Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet. Comparative Drama 32 (1998): 47-84. ART / HAMLET / NEW HISTORICISM / OPHELIA / THEOLOGICAL After exploring the representations of Annunciation in art and religion, this essay argues that Hamlets parodies and distortions of a rich array of traditional Annunciation motifs are set ironically but not didactically against his tendency to trust his own reason and to assert his own will against the inscrutable will of God (58). The nunnery scene, with Ophelia manipulated into the posturing of a file:///S|/bev/loberg/theological.html (6 of 14) [11/19/2002 11:39:33 AM]

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Hamlet Haven: Theological pseudo Mary, merits intense focus. For example, the curtains that Claudius and Polonius hide behind are, by the late sixteenth century, quite commonly a part of Annunciation iconography (63). Such distorted and parodied Annunciation motifs inform the impossible miracles that Hamlet demands of Oph