Hamlet

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Hamlet

 

the hero of the tragedy of the same name by Shakespeare (1601; published, 1603).

Shakespeare portrayed Hamlet as a reflective person who doubted traditional attitudes. J. W. von Goethe saw in Hamlet a man of thought, not action, who lacked the strength to meet the task of revenge forced upon him. In the interpretation of the German romantics (A. Schlegel), the image of Hamlet became a negative designation (Hamletism) for such characteristics as disillusionment, pessimism, and bitter reflections on the contradictory nature of existence. V. G. Belinskii, on the other hand, viewed Hamlet as a passionate exposer of evil, strong even in his ruin. In the speech “Hamlet and Don Quixote” (1860) I. S. Turgenev emphasized Hamlet’s inclination to self-analysis and his skepticism. In Hamlet, Soviet Shakespearean scholars and the Soviet theater have discovered the tragedy of a humanist’s lost illusions in the face of victorious evil. The image of Hamlet has often attracted artists (Delacroix), composers (Tchaikovsky), and poets (A. A. Blok and B. L. Pasternak).

REFERENCES

Fisher, K. “Gamlet” Shekspira. Moscow, 1905.
Vertsman, I. “Gamlet” Shekspira. Moscow, 1964.
Weitz, M. Hamlet and the Philosophy of Literary Criticism. Chicago-London, 1965.

M. A. GOL’DMAN

Hamlet

Tragic hero who tarries and broods over revenge and suicide. [Br. Lit.: Hamlet]

Hamlet

introspective, vacillating Prince of Denmark. [Br. Lit.: Hamlet]

Hamlet

black mood dominates his consciousness. [Brit. Lit.: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Hamlet

spurred on by his father’s ghost, avenges murder of his father. [Br. Lit.: Hamlet]