"Hamlet:" Succession Anxieties and Loss of Self
An psychological analysis of William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet," focusing on the theme of anxiety over succession and its effect on identity.
# 114379 | 2,096 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2009 |
Published on Jun 08, 2009 in Drama and Theater (English) , Literature (English) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)
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This paper discusses the anxiety and uncertainty of Hamlet and Claudius regarding their own sense of identity in Shakespeare's play, "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." The writer explains that this anxiety is directly linked to the political world, and to the questions of succession that surround the Danish throne. Shakespeare presents these anxieties both explicitly and implicitly. The writer analyzes Act 1.1-1.2, describing the anxieties of legitimacy, succession, and personal identity in both Hamlet and Claudius, and arguing that the play works toward its tragic outcome through personal anxieties and confusions over self-hood, as instigated by illegitimate political manoeuvrings. The paper concludes that one of its purposes is to open dialogue on the notion of political instability as a means for undermining the self.
From the Paper:"A topic of central concern to Hamlet is the notion of succession in the political world. In 1.1 the audience learns that succession in the Danish throne, and its necessarily related anxieties, are mirrored in the Norwegian throne with the death of Fortinbras. Thus, Shakespeare makes it clear that issues of both succession and patriarchy are at the heart of this tragedy. In such a world of shifting power models, it is easy to lose one's sense of self, especially since one's relation to power centres mediates that sense of self."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Leverenz, David. The Woman in Hamlet: An Interpersonal View. Signs 4.2 (Winter, 1978): pp. 291-308.
- McDonald, David J. Hamlet and the Mimesis of Absense: A Post-Structuralist Analysis. Educational Theatre Journal 30.1 (March, 1978): pp. 36-53.
- Rosenblatt, Jason P. Aspects of the Incest Problem in Hamlet. Shakespeare Quarterly 29.3 (Summer, 1978): pp. 349-364.
- Shakespeare, William. William Shakespeare: The Complete Works. USA: Gramercy Books., 1975.
Cite this Term Paper:
"Hamlet:" Succession Anxieties and Loss of Self (2009, June 08) Retrieved August 20, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/hamlet-succession-anxieties-and-loss-of-self-114379/
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