Hamlet Bibliographic Essay
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“Hamlet” Bibliographic Essay
Hamlet is undoubtedly considered one of the greatest works of William Shakespeare. A play with all the Murder, revenge, treachery, madness and moral corruption of any great tragedy; Hamlet is a play as timely today as it was when first performed at the Globe theater, London in 1600. This essay is a summary of reviews by scholars and experts in the field of Shakespearean Literature.
In his review of Hamlet “Hamlet by D J Snider” in “The Journal of Speculative Philosophy”, D.J Snider proposes that Hamlet is a play centralized around a great crime; from which two counter points take their origin. D.J Snider concludes that the play is a battle of internal collisions due to a series of external influences on the new King and Hamlet, the son of the murdered King. The play depicts the struggle of ones will, as both characters exhibit negative phases of the ethical deed, hence refusing to perform the ethical deed. For the King this would be to repent and for Hamlet this would be to not avenge. D.J Snider evaluates Hamlet as Shakespeare’s most profound work, touching the modern spirit by depicting conflict of various kinds foremost the Theoretical and Practical, Intelligence and Will all in their one-sidedness. Finally D.J Snider presents a most favorable review of Hamlet, concluding that through this play Shakespeare exhibits the true range of his genius.
In his book “Understanding Hamlet: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents” Richard Corum starts by praising and crediting Hamlet as Shakespeare’s greatest work; a superlative piece of literature in every respect. Being the most famous and influential literary text in history. He further exalts Hamlet in how complex and demanding the play is. In his review Corum describes Tudor London and what was popular among the people and culture of the time, in particular what was popular among adolescents of that era. Corum continues to illustrate life for adolescents during this period, and the influence and message of Hamlet at the time on its young audience. A play composed of several young characters, including the lead and namesake of the play itself. Corum proposes that the play is about the struggles and pressures young adults have to face due to poor choices made by their parents and in some cases the burdens of their culture, “in the morn the liquid dew of (their) youth” (1:3:34). Several characters in the play are dealing with the loss of a father, Hamlet, Ophelia, Laertes. Hamlet himself follows this path of tragedy after being misguided by the ‘ghost’ of his dead father and told to avenge his death. However Corum believes the culture today is very different from that of London in the 16th Century. He suggests that most people since have failed to understand Hamlet in this respect, noting that since its time in the Globe theater the many renditions of the play have cut the dialogue between the characters Polonius and Reynaldo (2:1) he writes that we shouldn’t ask why it is not included in versions of the play today but instead understand why Shakespeare considered it important to include it in his original work.
Leslie Croxfords critical analysis “Use of interpretations within Hamlet” in the journal “Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics” considers the frustratingly ingenious use of ambiguity in the play. Croxford quotes T.S Eliots comments of hamlet being “the most problematic play ever written by Shakespeare or any other playwright” (Croxford). Hamlet does not ever answer any of the psychological or thematic issues it raises throughout the play, the reader never discovers ‘what the reasons are for the princes delays in revenging his fathers murder, or if his madness is genuine or feigned’; thus demanding the audience to come to their own conclusions for Hamlet’s manner of working. This technique used by Shakespeare allows the audience to have a glimpse into the conflict that hamlet faces. Hamlet himself is struggling to come to terms with the murder of his father and his mothers indifferent, if not dismissive, attitude towards the death. As he undergoes an emotional turmoil in order to come to terms with what is happening around him, the audience is essentially also required to experience this state of confusion as they attempt to fathom Hamlet’s behavior. Croxford points out that Hamlet admires his companion Horatio, “saying what a well balanced man he is” (Croxford). Horatio’s ability to balance passion and judgment inspires Hamlet. Although Hamlet is making a comment on Horatio’s character, the audience can interpret this as hamlet pointing out his own weakness. Croxfords analysis highlights that even through simple dialogue; Shakespeare has created a deeper secondary perspective for the audience to consider.
In his review Horatio’s Hamlet, J. Duncan Spaeth advocates that of all the Hamlets the audience perceive throughout the discourse of the play, the true Hamlet and the Hamlet the great playwright himself wants the audience to remember is the Hamlet of Horatio. Duncan notes that with Horatio we recognize Hamlet a as