Tragic Hesitancy: Hamlet as the Modern Man Book Review by Colby

An analysis of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" with a focus on the nature of modernity as explored in the play.
# 150798 | 1,079 words | 0 sources | 2012 | US
Published on Apr 23, 2012 in English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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This paper discusses how Shakespeare's "Hamlet", Prince of Denmark is in many ways a play about modernity; the rise of modernity, its opposition to pre-modernity and its inadequacies. It looks at how Prince Hamlet is the modern man and how he is the precursor to an era conflicted between rationality and emotion, idealism and realism, fragmented across multiple rolls, haunted by the aural philosophies of the past and striving towards the more rational, modern standard of ocular-positivism.

From the Paper:

"Hamlet is, undoubtedly an ocular-positivist. He is a man concerned with truth as an extension of reason and sight rather than passion and faith. We can tell by his dealings with the ghost of his father that it is impossible for Hamlet to believe something he hasn't seen. He will not accept the guardsmen's tales without affirming them by his own sight. Throughout the play there are numerous other examples of Hamlet's need to see a thing before he calls it true. In act III, scene i, Hamlet must set his usurping uncle up to view a play mirroring the murder he committed in order to judge his reaction and quench his thirst for ocular verification. He claims that it has been the case that some criminals have, "by the cunning of the scene" been convinced to admit their "malefactions" (II.ii.590-3). "

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