William Kerrigan Hamlet's Perfection

ISBN 13: 9780801854682

Hamlet's Perfection

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9780801854682: Hamlet's Perfection

How does the rash yet serene Hamlet of act 5 arise from the passive and grief-stricken Hamlet of act 1? What path leads him from sickened thoughts of birth and incest to the certainty that thoughtfulness itself must be escaped through bold action? The roles of Senecan avenger and patient Christian may seem worlds apart, observes William Kerrigan, but Shakespeare fused them in a character that has fascinated the world for centuries.

In this lively study, Kerrigan celebrates both Hamlet's perfectionthe character's creation of new ideals out of an inheritance of disillusionment―and Hamlet 's perfection―the play's brilliance as Shakespeare's greatest tragedy. Kerrigan's approach reflects his interests in literary formalism, historical scholarship, intellectual history, and psychoanalysis.

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Book Description:

In this lively study, Kerrigan celebrates both Hamlet's perfection—the character's creation of new ideals out of an inheritance of disillusionment—and Hamlet's perfection—the play's brilliance as Shakespeare's greatest tragedy. Kerrigan's approach reflects his interests in literary formalism, historical scholarship, intellectual history, and psychoanalysis.

From the Back Cover:

How does the rash yet serene Hamlet of act 5 arise from the passive and grief-stricken Hamlet of act 1? What path leads him from sickened thoughts of birth and incest to the certainty that thoughtfulness itself must be escaped through bold action?

In this lively study, Kerrigan celebrates both Hamlet's perfection, the character's creation of new ideals out of an inheritance of disillusionment, and Hamlet's perfection, the play's brilliance as Shakespeare's greatest tragedy. Kerrigan's approach reflects his interests in literary formalism, historical scholarship, intellectual history, and psychoanalysis. In an overview of the history of Hamlet criticism, Kerrigan argues that recent critics have done little or nothing to elucidate the play, and he suggests ways in which the abandoned tradition of Hamlet commentary might still inspire fruitful approaches to the play.

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