Focusing on Shakespeare's "Hamlet" as foremost a study of grief, this book offers an analysis of its protagonist as the archetype of the modern hero. It situates "Hamlet" within the context of family and mourning as it was presented in other revenge tragedies of Shakespeare's time.
Focusing on Shakespeare's Hamlet as foremost a study of grief, Alexander Welsh offers a powerful analysis of its protagonist as the archetype of the modern hero. For over two centuries writers and critics have viewed Hamlet's persona as a fascinating blend of self-consciousness, guilt, and wit. Yet in order to understand more deeply the modernity of this Shakespearean hero, Welsh first situates Hamlet within the context of family and mourning as it was presented in other revenge tragedies of Shakespeare's time. Revenge, he maintains, appears as a function of mourning rather than an end in itself. Welsh also reminds us that the mourning of a son for his father may not always be sincere. This book relates the problem of dubious mourning to Hamlet's ascendancy as an icon of Western culture, which began late in the eighteenth century, a time when the thinking of past generations--or fathers--represented to many an obstacle to human progress. Welsh reveals how Hamlet inspired some of the greatest practitioners of modernity's quintessential literary form, the novel. Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, Scott's Redgauntlet, Dickens's Great Expectations, Melville's Pierre, and Joyce's Ulysses all enhance our understanding of the play while illustrating a trend in which Hamlet ultimately becomes a model of intense consciousness. Arguing that modern consciousness mourns for the past, even as it pretends to be free of it, Welsh offers a compelling explanation of why Hamlet remains marvelously attractive to this day.
Why buy from World of Books
Our excellent value books literally don't cost the earth
"Alexander Welsh brings such depth and focus to his investigation of Hamlet, particularly to his analyses of the hero's influence on some major novels, that this book is well worth reading. Like all Welsh's works, this one is written with acumen and style."--Jonathan Bate, University of Liverpool
About Alexander Welsh
Alexander Welsh is the Emily Sanfard Professor of English at Yale University. He is the author of Freud's Wishful Dream Book. The Hero of the Waveriey Novels: With New Essays on Scott. and Reflections on the Hero as Quixote (all Princeton), as well as books on Dickens and George Eliot.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments ix CHAPTER ONE Medieval Hamlet Gains a Family 3 CHAPTER TWO Hamlet's Mourning and Revenge Tragedy 26 CHAPTER THREE History, as between Goethe's Hamlet and Scott's 71 CHAPTER FOUR Hamlet's Expectations, Pip's Great Guilt 102 CHAPTER FIVE Hamlet Decides to Be a Modernist 140 Index 175
Hamlet in His Modern Guises by Alexander Welsh
Used - Very Good
Princeton University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.