Essay on Hidden Spirituality in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Essay on Hidden Spirituality in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Length: 2182 words (6.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


    Most literary critics readily acknowledge, like the author of this essay, the obvious presence of considerable spirituality within the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet. The purpose of this paper is to identify and elaborate on selected spiritual elements in the play.

Not all critics appreciate the spirituality in Hamlet. A.C. Bradley’s Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth presents a different interpretation regarding the presence of spirituality within the play:

For although this or that dramatis persona may speak of gods or of God, of evil spirits or of Satan, of heaven and of hell, and although the poet may show us ghosts from another world, these ideas do not materially influence his representation of life, nor are they used to throw light on the mystery of its tragedy. The Elizabethan drama was almost wholly secular; and while Shakespeare was writing he practically confined his view to the world of non-theological observation and thought, so that he represents it substantially in one and the same way whether the period of the story is pre-Christian or Christian. (40)

 

In his Introduction to Modern Critical Interpretations: Hamlet, Harold Bloom finds the Bible in this drama:

 

Horatio, then, represents by way of our positive association with him; it is a commonplace, but not less true for that, to say that Hamlet represents by negation. I think this negation is Biblical in origin, which is why it seems so Freudian to us, because Freudian negation is Biblical and not Hegelian, as it were. Hamlet is Biblical rather than Homeric or Sophoclean. Like the Hebrew hero confronting Yahweh, Hamlet needs to be everything in himself yet knows the sense in which he is nothing ...


... middle of paper ...


...Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Rpt. from Shakespeare’s Women. N.p.: n.p., 1981.

 

Rosenberg, Marvin. “Laertes: An Impulsive but Earnest Young Aristocrat.” Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Masks of Hamlet. Newark, NJ: University of Delaware Press, 1992.

 

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995. http://www.chemicool.com/Shakespeare/hamlet/full.html

 

West, Rebecca. “A Court and World Infected by the Disease of Corruption.” Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from The Court and the Castle. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1957.

 

Wilson, John Dover. What happens in Hamlet. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1959.

 

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Spirituality in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

-       Can anyone possibly deny the spirituality within the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet. Yes, some literary critics do. But most critics agree with the contention of this paper – that there is considerable spirituality present in the play. In his essay “Hamlet: His Own Falstaff,” Harold Goddard sees that Hamlet was made for “religion” and several other purposes: He [Hamlet] was made, that is, for religion and philosophy, for love and art, for liberty to “grow unto himself” – five forces that are the elemental enemies of Force....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
2383 words (6.8 pages)

Topics Deeply Hidden in Hamlet by Williams Shakespeare Essay

- There are many topics deeply hidden in the works of William Shakespeare. One of his greatest pieces of works is the story of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Not only are the words of Shakespeare meaningful, but there are also many follow up pieces of literature that contain important interpretations of the events in this play. These works about Hamlet are extremely beneficial to the reader. I have found four of these works and will use them as sources throughout this essay. The first source is “The Case of Hamlet’s Conscience,” by Catherine Belsey, and it focuses on the topic of Hamlet’s revenge in the play....   [tags: foils to hamlet, hamlet´s conscience]

Powerful Essays
2200 words (6.3 pages)

Essay about Hamlet -- Spirituality

- Hamlet -- Spirituality         Does the Shakespearean drama Hamlet represent a strictly secular writing, or does it veer into the spiritual dimension from time to time. This essay will delve into the spiritual side of the play.   In  “Judgment in Hamlet” Gunnar Boklund discusses the spiritual dimension of the ghost of King Hamlet:    It is a commonplace to refer to Hamlet’s “dilemma” and a critical problem to explain in what this dilemma consists. A natural way to come to terms with the problem is obviously through the character that forces the dilemma upon Hamlet, that is to say, the Ghost....   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1878 words (5.4 pages)

Ambivalence and Death in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- In act IV, scene III, Shakespeare addresses the play’s themes and messages; those being ambivalence and how people are one and the same in the end of life. Hamlet speaks in an eccentric riddle form but there are underlying messages communicated through Hamlet’s craziness and Claudius’ confusion. The ideas are conversed through Claudius and Hamlet and convey the morals of the drama, Hamlet. Shakespeare also takes the liberty in this section to show how diverse and opposite the characters of Claudius and Hamlet are by differentiating their literary devices....   [tags: Death, Shakespeare, Hamlet, ]

Powerful Essays
1213 words (3.5 pages)

Hamlet, By William Shakespeare Essay examples

- In the original play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Hamlet is funneled into a situation where he feels obligated to avenge his murdered father. Disease imagery is evident all throughout the play ranging from the beginning with the King’s ghost, to the end with Hamlet’s confrontation with his mother. Through disease imagery, William Shakespeare illustrates the human nature of corruption that drives an individual to benefit his own greed at the expense of others. Through the usage of vivid imagery, King Hamlet’s ghost describes the awful method that Claudius used in order to satisfy his selfish desires....   [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Characters in Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1208 words (3.5 pages)

The Hidden Side of Hamlet by Shakespeare Essay

- The Hidden Side of Hamlet by Shakespeare Hidden information in a novel or play is common. The secrets and unknown are what keep a work interesting. But sometimes an author does not reveal his/her true motive or the actual meaning to a hidden article. In Hamlet, Shakespeare conceals ideas and actions to the naked eye. In my paper I will talk about what Hamlet hides. Among other things, Hamlet hides behind his title, his words and feeling, and also he is hidden in some of his actions. I found him to be the shadowed character in this tragedy....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
506 words (1.4 pages)

Character of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Character of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet Hamlet is a man of many discoveries. The tragic hero in Shakespeare's Hamlet undergoes many changes throughout the play. His mindset is set deep and far away from the physical world that both helps him and hinders him in his plight for revenge against his uncle, Claudius, and his mother. When Hamlet is first introduced in Act I, Scene II, the reader is shown the depths of his sorrow. The King asks Hamlet "How is it that the clouds still hang on you" and the Queen tells him to "Cast thy nighted color off." By these comments one can envision Hamlet as someone who appears and radiates out his sorrow over his father's death....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1339 words (3.8 pages)

Appearance vs. Reality in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Appearance vs. Reality in Shakespeare's Hamlet In Hamlet deceiving illusions are frequently used to protect truth from being a destructive force. Situations within acts one and two that appear to be true and honest are really contaminated with evil. Various characters within the first two acts hide behind masks of corruption. In the first two acts most characters presented seem to be good and honest making it a complex task for Hamlet to discover all the lies that have hidden objectives within them....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
513 words (1.5 pages)

Jungian Perspectives of Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Hamlet:  Jungian Perspectives     The term consciousness refers to "one’s awareness of internal and external stimuli. The unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior."(Weiten)  In the view of the Jungian analyst, there are two forces that drive Hamlet. One is his anima, which is the "personification of the feminine nature of a man’s unconscious"(Platania). The second is Hamlet’s desire to reach individuation, which will be discussed later....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Free Essays
1593 words (4.6 pages)

William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- William Shakespeare's Hamlet Hamlet has been praised and revered for centuries as one of William Shakespeare's best known and most popular tragedies. Based on its popularity, critics alike have taken various viewpoints and theories in order to explain Hamlet's actions throughout the play. The psychoanalytic point of view is one of the most famous positions taken on Hamlet.            Psychoanalytic criticism is a type of literary criticism that analyzes and classifies many of the forms of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literature....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Powerful Essays
1274 words (3.6 pages)