'Hamlet' and the Paralysis of the Will
Analysis of the play 'Hamlet' by William Shakespeare, highlighting the theme of epistemological uncertainty.
# 146704 | 791 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2010 |
Published by Shaad on Jan 13, 2011 in Drama and Theater (English) , Literature (English) , Philosophy (Epistemology) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)
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In this essay, it is argued that the underlying theme of Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet' is epistemological uncertainty. In order to reveal this theme the context of the Renaissance and the rise of humanism is first presented. Following this, the content of the play is analyzed in order to highlight the theme. Among the clues presented are direct references to humanism, the nature of Hamlet's soliloquies, and specifically the influence of Montaigne. The views of a number of commentators are also presented in this regard, including those of Freud and Lacan.
From the Paper:"On the surface Shakespeare's play Hamlet appears to be a conventional tale of revenge. However, a closer analysis reveals that epistemology is a predominant concern too. To uncover this theme we need to play closer attention to the climate of humanism that prevailed in the Elizabethan era, and the associated epistemology which dictates that certainty in knowledge is possible. Hamlet is searching for the truth regarding his father's death, and his insistence on certainty leaves him paralyzed with indecision. Through this character Shakespeare seems to be exploring the limits to the humanist endeavor."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Hopkins, Lisa. Beginning Shakespeare. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2005.
- Jones, Ernest. Hamlet and OEdipus. London: Doubleday, 1954.
- Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York: Signet Classic, 1998.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
'Hamlet' and the Paralysis of the Will (2011, January 13) Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/hamlet-and-the-paralysis-of-the-will-146704/
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