Hamlet and His Problems ⇒ Free Book Summary
Nice analysis, spot-on about the poetry. Perhaps as a dramatic character, Horatio's diction is supposed to be less mature than Hamlet's.
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- A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘Hamlet and his Problems’ - Interesting Literature.
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Eliot's plays, "The Cocktail Party," "Murder in the Cathedral," etc are intellectually brilliant but not really dramas in the usual sense. His characters declaim their lines at one another in verse, and they all sound pretty much the same. Here is more inadvertent praise:. The levity of Hamlet, his repetition of phrase, his puns, are not part of a deliberate plan of dissimulation, but a form of emotional relief. The intense feeling, ecstatic or terrible, without an object or exceeding its object, is something which every person of sensibility has known It often occurs in adolescence: the ordinary person puts these feelings to sleep, or trims down his feeling to fit the business world; the artist keeps it alive by his ability to intensify the world to his emotions.
The Hamlet of Laforgue is an adolescent; the Hamlet of Shakespeare is not The sacred wood: essays on poetry and criticism. Shakespeare Reads Freud. Search this site.
Hamlet and His Problems
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Hamlet Study Center
Key passages. Transference: a start. Shakespeare's Laws. And when we search for this feeling, we find it, as in the sonnets, very difficult to localize. Hamlet the man is dominated by an emotion which is inexpressible, because it is in excess of the facts as they appear. Hamlet is up against the difficulty that his disgust is occasioned by his mother, but that his mother is not an adequate equivalent for it; his disgust envelops and exceeds her.
It is thus a feeling which he cannot understand; he cannot objectify it, and it therefore remains to poison life and obstruct action. None of the possible actions can satisfy it; and nothing that Shakespeare can do with the plot can express Hamlet for him. To have heightened the criminality of Gertrude would have been to provide the formula for a totally different emotion in Hamlet; it is just because her character is so negative and insignificant that she arouses in Hamlet the feeling which she is incapable of representing.
For Shakespeare it is less than madness and more than feigned. The levity of Hamlet, his repetition of phrase, his puns, are not part of a deliberate plan of dissimulation, but a form of emotional relief. In the character Hamlet it is the buffoonery of an emotion which can find no outlet in action; in the dramatist it is the buffoonery of an emotion which he cannot express in art.
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The intense feeling, ecstatic or terrible, without an object or exceeding its object, is something which every person of sensibility has known; it is doubtless a subject of study for pathologists. It often occurs in adolescence: the ordinary person puts these feelings to sleep, or trims down his feelings to fit the business world; the artist keeps them alive by his ability to intensify the world to his emotions.
The Hamlet of Laforgue is an adolescent; the Hamlet of Shakespeare is not, he has not that explanation and excuse. We must simply admit that here Shakespeare tackled a problem which proved too much for him. Why he attempted it at all is an insoluble puzzle; under compulsion of what experience he attempted to express the inexpressibly horrible, we cannot ever know. We need a great many facts in his biography; and we should like to know whether, and when, and after or at the same time as what personal experience, he read Montaigne, II, xii, Apologie de Raimond Sebond.
We should have, finally, to know something which is by hypothesis unknowable, for we assume it to be an experience which, in the manner indicated, exceeded the facts. We should have to understand things which Shakespeare did not understand himself. Eliot, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, is one of the giants of modern literature, highly distinguished as a poet, literary critic, dramatist, and editor and publisher.