Hamlet and New Historicism

Decent Essays

New Historicism is a modern literary theory that focuses on how events, culture, and places within a society influence a written work. New Historicists analyze allusions to characteristics of the time period in which the work was written. By definition, new historicism seeks to discover the significance in a text by taking into account the work within the construction of the established ideas and assumptions of its historical era. Literary texts are entrenched with historical context and the author is seen as subject to the forces of the culture that he or she works within. New Historicists reject the New Critical principle that texts are autonomous and should be read without any comparison to history, and instead argue that texts are …show more content…

In a New Historic analyzation, it is important to note Hamlet’s madness that leads him to paranoia, revenge, and murder. In Shakespeare’s Elizabethan era, madness was defined as “internalization of disobedience”. Using this definition, it can be interpreted that Shakespeare derives Hamlet’s lunacy from the plea for vengeance made by his father’s spirit. Hamlet feels blameworthy and that

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