Critics Interpretations – Hamlet

Andrew Brown – on Hamlet “Hamlet’s dissociation from the society into which he was born.”
Andrew Brown – on Fortinbras “is more fully an heir to Old Hamlet than Hamlet is.”
Stephen Siddal – one Claudius “Claudius is again the entrepreneur”
Stephen Siddall – on hamlet and the players “He envies the Players’ freedom both in physical travel and mobile identity.”
Claire Johnstone – on Ophelia “a final attempt on the part of the court to reassert control over the heroine’s hysterical body and speech.”
Claire Johnstone – on Gertrude “Gertrude suggests death is a women’s only means of escaping Denmark’s repressive court.”
Emma Smith – on Hamlet “Hamlet seems preoccupied with women’s deception and the notion that they are ultimately not what they seem.”
Elaine Showalter – on Ophelia “There is no ‘true’ Ophelia (…) but perhaps only a Cubist Ophelia with multiple perspectives.”
Niccolo Machiavelli – on Claudius “argued that what a country needed was a ruler who could ensure the safety and prosperity of his people, and if secret crimes were the means of securing those ends, so be it.”
Dr Sean McEvoy – on Claudius “Claudius displays a measured rationality here and an acceptance of his situation which might even be read as tragic.”
Sue Hemming – on Fortinbras “whose name suggests ‘strong arm’ seems to be upholding that older world of honour and duty”
Richard Vardy – on Polonius “Polonius has no qualms about (ab)using his own daughter to serve the new King.”
Richard Vardy – on Polonius and Hamlet “confrontations of a tragic hero against a representative of a flawed political and social fabric.”
Glyn Austen – on Hamlet “Hamlet’s ultimate ‘victory’ – his final act of violence – is more orchestrated by his enemies than by himself.”
Alan Gardiner – on Elsinore “The society depicted in the play is oppressively narrow and claustrophobic;”
Samuel Coelridge – on Hamlet “I have a smack of Hamlet myself, if I may say so.”

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