Literary Criticisms of Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay

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This essay will discuss several literary criticisms of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. After skimming through several articles, I ended up with four peer-reviewed journal articles, each a different critical perspectives of the play: feminist, psychoanalytical/freudian, moral, and new historicism. My previous studies of Hamlet, as well as my rereading of the play this semester, has collectively given me a general knowledge of the text. My familiarity of the play made it easier for me to decipher the academic journals and see the connections each critic made with the play. I found it interesting, that after reading Hamlet so many times, that there were connections I never made on my own. For instance, the character Francisco only…show more content…
I enjoyed this moral critique, and, assuming Shakespeare intended for his audience to make the connection, gives me a better understanding of the playwright's own morality. Looking at the play through this moralistic perspective, Claudius’s actions would be defined as immoral: he violates a general moral principle by killing his brother and then again by taking what belonged to the King and made it his without permission. The murdered king does reappear, however, as a a ghost. The ghost in Hamlet is the subject of many literary critiques; in my research I came across two articles in particular about this topic that caught my interest. In particular, Zimmerman’s article explores Kristeva theory of abjection. The reaction from a threatening breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of the ability to distinguish between subject/self and object/other. The human corpse is one of the most common causes of this reaction because it reminds the living of their own materiality. Upon reading this I was able to relate it to Hamlet as Zimmerman did, “When the ghost first appears, he comes encased in armor, a "portentous figure," a "fair and warlike form" (1.1.112, 50). What lies behind the armor is of course a corpse: if what makes Hamlet Sr. seem alive is his battle-ready fierceness, then what makes him an "illusion" is the mystery within. "no/thing," an apprehensible outside enclosing and
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