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Book Review: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

"Hamlet" is a representative work in Shakespeare's tragedy, which was created in 1602. The ideological content has reached an unprecedented depth and breadth, and profoundly reveals the evil and essential characteristics of the society at the end of feudalism. 

Plots such as the father and the king being killed by the evil uncle, the throne being usurped, the mother's queen and the murderer marrying incestuously, and the crown prince trying to get revenge and pretending to be mad and stupid can be seen in ancient Nordic legends. 

Shakespeare belongs not only to one era but to all centuries. His plays are like the Big Dipper in the brilliant starry sky, guiding people the way. "Survival or destruction, this is a question worth considering" He put forward this question is the basic proposition of philosophy.
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Each edition includes Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play Scene-by-scene plot summaries a key to famous lines and phrases. An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language. 

An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books Essay by Michael Neill The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. 

In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. 

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About the Author

"William Shakespeare" (1564-1616), a great playwright and poet of the British Renaissance, a master of humanistic literature in the European Renaissance, and one of the most outstanding writers in the world. 

The British dramatist Ben Jonson called him "the soul of the times", and Marx called him and Aeschylus of ancient Greece "the greatest drama genius of mankind." His handed-down works include 38 scripts, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and other poems. 

His scripts have been translated into all major languages, and his performances far exceed those of other playwrights. To this day, his works are still very popular. 


Excerpts from the original text

Hamlet: Survival or destruction, this is a question worth considering; silently endure the tyrannical poisonous arrow of fate, or stand up against the boundless suffering of the world, sweep them away through struggle, these two behaviors, which one Kind of nobler? Dead, asleep, everything is over; if in this kind of sleep, our heart hurts, as well as countless other unavoidable blows of flesh and blood, can disappear from now on, that is the end we can't hope for. Dead, asleep; maybe still dreaming when asleep; well, the obstacle is here: because when we get rid of this rotten skin, what dreams will we have in that dead sleep, 

That must make us hesitate. People are willing to be in trouble for a long time, that is, for one reason; who wants to endure the flogging and ridicule of the world, the humiliation of the oppressor, the cold eye of the arrogant, the pain of contemptuous love, the delay of the law, the abuse and expense of officials 

The contempt of the villain, who has earned his hard work, would he be able to reckon his own life with just a small knife? Who wants to bear such a heavy burden, moaning and sweating under the oppression of the tiresome life, if it is not because of fear of the unknowable death, fear of the mysterious country that never has a traveler back, it deceives our will, So that we would rather endure the present torture than dare to fly to the pain we don't know? 

In this way, a lot of worries have turned us all into cowards. The red-hot brilliance of determination is covered with a layer of gray by prudent thinking. Under this kind of consideration, great careers will also retreat against the current and be lost. The meaning of action. Wait a minute! Beautiful Ophelia! -Goddess, in your prayers, don't forget to confess my sins for me.—— Quoted from page 93


Hamlet Book Summary and Analysis 

Short Comment

I only finished reading the first Shakespeare at the age of 25. I like it, and I love it so much. Matt Hager said: "Listen to what Hamlet, the most famous depression patient in literary works, said to Rosenkranz and Gildenstedt:'There is no good and evil in the world, but thoughts.

I have been copying while reading, I was overwhelmed by Shakespeare's Three Views, and I also love Hamlet's purity and faith. It turns out that the classics are that no matter how many years have passed, you can read the truth between people and the world in the real world. 

The classics always keep you from being alone. There is also the abandonment of the country, the imperial power, how many tragedies are caused by the family, and how many tragedies are caused by the parents of ineffective people. 

Hamlet's Book Review

's plot of "Hamlet" seems to be summed up in one word: people are stifled by excessive thinking and actions that should be done. Hamlet, the proud man of the world's attention, wandered between the vigor of action and the delayed reason from beginning to end, and finally ended his life due to sudden changes. 

As the loser of this world action, Hamlet's meditation is undoubtedly out of date. However, this "untimely meditation" is precisely related to the immutable existence and meaning of mankind. First of all, to survive or to destroy? 

Secondly, if it exists, it means taking action. What is the meaning of action? The mystery of Hamlet's unsuccessful pursuit of existence is also the key to the interpretation of the dramatic text of "Hamlet".

There have always been controversies as to whether "Hamlet" lacks the "thymos" (Thymos) in the classical sense. Obviously, Hamlet's tragedy stems from his lack of action, and his blood is the basis on which the action of "revenge" relies. It is worth noting that one-sided accusations often lack a detailed understanding of the whole play of "Hamlet", thus ignoring Hamlet's complex character traits. 

The blood of the Greek heroes relies fully on their resolute disregard for their own destiny, while the problem that Hamlet faces is much more difficult: on the sensitive human issue of "revenge", humanistic self-confidence has encountered the ghostly Christian culture. Deterrence, the impulse of blood, and the contemplation of the meaning of life compete with each other. 

The tragedy that the Danish prince has fallen into is by no means easy: behind the patriarchal and social responsibility of reorganizing the universe, a certain nihilism and pessimism brought about by insight into everything invades Hamlet, making him in the meaning and limits of his existence. The entanglement between them eventually runs counter to the actions of the world.

Let us ask: Is Hamlet, who is indecisive in the process of revenge, really lacks blood?

If we follow a more pertinent opinion and understand the blood energy as a "container of the soul", or as "a person's spiritual feeling for what is right and what brings dignity and honor", then the blood component in Hamlet's traits It is obvious. 

Throughout the play, Hamlet’s blood is not only manifested as impulsive emotion or violent temperament but also as the contract and friendship concluded on this basis. The following are examples of several different scenes in "Hamlet".

In the fourth scene of the third act, Hamlet drew his sword and stabbed Polonius to death after the curtain. After discovering that he had killed Ophelia's father by mistake, the tender bond did not arouse him at all. Regretful, he continued to pour out his anger towards his mother. 

This Hercules-like "brute force" of bloody courage makes readers suddenly feel a trace of courage from Hamlet's melancholic image, and the spirit of reading is refreshed, and the sense of pleasure is awe-inspiring.

Hamlet (drawing sword) what! Which rat thief is it? It must be fatal, I will kill you. (Piercing the curtain with a sword)
Polonius (behind) Ah! I'm dead!
Ouch, queen! What have you done?
I don't know Hamlet; isn't that the king?
Queen, what reckless and cruel behavior!
Hamlet's cruel behavior! Good mother, it's as bad as killing a king and marrying his brother.
The queen killed a king!
Hamlet Well, mother, that's exactly what I said. (See Polonius on the drape) Goodbye, you unlucky, careless, nosy fool! ……
—— "Hamlet" Act 3, Act 4, Act 5, Act 1 

when Ophelia was buried, Hamlet was bloody because he couldn't stand Leotis and showed more grief than his own. Upsurge, expressing his love for Ophelia in the strongest words, even fighting Leotis forcefully. Here, love seems to Hamlet to be a masculine honor, and this honor cannot be shared by another man (even if he is a brother).
Hamlet (coming forward) Which person's heart is loaded with such a heavy sadness? Which person's mourning words can stop the planets in the sky in surprise? That's me, Prince Hamlet of Denmark! (Jumps off the tomb) The devil Leotis has grabbed your soul! (Grabbing Hamlet)

Hamlet, you prayed wrongly. Please don't pinch my head and neck; because although I am not an irritable person, it is very dangerous for my fire to break out, so don't annoy me. Let go of your hand!
...
Hamlet, hey, I'm willing to fight him over this subject until my eyelids stop blinking.
...
Hamlet, I love Ophelia; the love of forty thousand brothers, combined, is not worth my love for her. What are you willing to do for her?
——As the first scene of the fifth act of "Hamlet"

draws to a close, the power of poison erodes Hamlet, and the philosopher-like friend Hora Xu is determined to go with him. At this time, Hamlet, who was in his dying season, issued a bloody remark, asking Hora Xu to stay in the world and make the truth of the incident known to the world. It is worth noting that the focus of this passage is not to exhort friends not to commit suicide, but to attach importance to one's own honor and honor. This plot can also further confirm the Roman-style friendship between Hamlet and Horsch.

Hamlet, you are a man, give me the glass! (Compete with Horasch for the glass) Let go! God, give it to me! (Overturning the wine glass in Horasch's hand) God, if no one can expose the truth of this matter, then how much my name will be harmed! If you ever loved me, Then please sacrifice the happiness of heaven for the time being, and stay in this cold world to bear the pain and tell the world my story.
—— "Hamlet" Act 5, Scene 4,

Hamlet's concept of the world is constantly changing. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet appeared cynical and emotionally sad in the face of the sudden and dramatic changes; while in the middle part, his thoughts and actions gradually fell into a trough of contradictions, his speech was delirium, and full of madness; compared to the last scene of the play ( Act 5), marked by his dialogue with the skeleton skull, Hamlet gradually turned to pessimistic and vain fatalism, almost giving up the responsibility of action, and instead of letting it go to the indispensable destiny. 

Even so, the outpouring of Hamlet’s blood has not decayed over time, which seems to be enough to show that blood, as the container of the soul and the foundation of personality, did not die out due to the change in Hamlet’s concept of the world. It bursts out under unexpected occasional circumstances.

What’s interesting is that Hamlet was still unable to implement his revenge in a state of thoughtfulness, but the final revenge was actually when he realized that he was in Claudius’s poisonous plan, only relying on the courage of blood to make the final blow. 

Circumstances are completed. From this point of view, the success of revenge seems to be the product of a series of hasty and chaotic changes and has nothing to do with all the deliberate meditations that Hamlet had done before. As the ending of "Hamlet", I have to say Has a certain absurd meaning. 

Here, is Shakespeare offering a hint? Although political intent is inseparable from prudent strategy and thinking, its final implementation must rely on blood. On the contrary, excessive contemplation will only destroy the meaning and value of the action.

What Hamlet lacks is definitely not the ability to plan, and judging from the conclusions drawn above, he does not lack "blood spirit" as the basis for revenge. What really restrained Hamlet was actually the habit of contemplation that was infinitely alluring for him. 

Obviously, Hamlet was not a typical king in the medieval sense (the old Hamlet was in contrast), and he was not even a qualified new king (the contrast was Fording Blas), he was overly addicted to The contemplative nature makes him often suppress his own blood, so that he can not impose his will on the entire country or political community. 

Through Hamlet’s thoughts and words, it is not difficult for us to understand his spiritual characteristics as a humanist with extraordinary intelligence in that enthusiastic and chaotic era; at the same time, he has never been able to escape from Christianity. 

The spiritual precepts are difficult to be autonomous on the question of the soul’s belonging. The vigorous vitality, the contemplative nature, and the underlying Christian complex together constitute Hamlet's multiple character worlds.

Hamlet’s mission is not only the patriarchal responsibility of killing enemies and regaining the throne but also not only the social responsibility of restoring order and reorganizing the world but also the individual facing the loss of various meanings in the world, disillusionment, and disillusionment. 

The profound problem of choosing between actions. Claudius killed his brother and married his sister-in-law and usurped the throne. Hamlet’s vision of the entire ethical world collapsed, and his original humanistic ideals suffered a devastating blow. 

When he saw the truth of the world’s deteriorating world and the abolition of human relations, he could not help but be deeply surprised and sorrowful of the sins brought about by greed and lust in human nature, which triggered his reflection on the issue of human righteousness and made him feel right. 

This "desert garden" and "prison" in the world felt completely disgusted and sad. Therefore, in this void where the meaning of life is all disillusioned, even though Hamlet knew his duty of revenge, he lost the power to act. Instead, he fell into thinking about the ultimate bioethical issues of survival and death, meaning and nihility. 

In the long monologue of "To be or not to be", Hamlet, as a meditator, wanders between survival and destruction so-"It is the poisonous arrow that silently endures the tyranny of fate, or stands up against the world. Ya’s sufferings are cleared through struggle. Which of these two behaviors is nobler?" 
Classical tragic heroes often choose the latter path, resisting the rebellious nature of their own power, and unleashing majesty and euphoria. The brilliance of life. However, Hamlet is not a traditional tragic hero, and the brilliance of his actions has never given him enough temptation. If existence means action, then what is the meaning of action? 

In the face of enthusiasm and chaos, can a small individual really wipe out the haze and reorganize the world? Later generations of nihilists may agree with this view-improving human nature and the appearance of the world is fundamentally lacking in hope. And this pessimistic tone seems to be looming in Hamlet's words.

Another issue that made Hamlet deliberately consider the legality of his own revenge (of course, this issue still involves basic soul and existence issues in the final analysis. When thinking about this issue, Hamlet clearly accepted Christianity. Teachings about the soul). 

In Shakespeare's writings, Hamlet, who had accepted the humanistic trend, was originally a charming flower that attracted worldwide attention. However, the greed, ugliness, and the abolition of human relationships in the world before him just reflect the indulgence and excessive human righteousness in the development of humanism. crisis. 

Therefore, when he reflected on the contradiction between human righteousness and ethics and fell into thinking about the ultimate issues of life and death, existence and nihility, he inevitably slipped into the Christian outlook on life and ethics to a certain extent. 

First of all, there is a prohibition against revenge in the "Bible", and people cannot act as "the weapon and messenger of God" without authorization; a well-known plot also reflects the influence of religion on Hamlet from another side: when Claudius When confessing alone, Hamlet wanted to take the opportunity, but suddenly thought of the Christian concept of the soul, so he gave up this close revenge (according to the Christian principle, if a person dies in repentance, the soul will get Save and ascend to heaven). 

With Hamlet's attention to the soul, he is undoubtedly deeply troubled by this issue. It can be said that Hamlet's temperance of blood is largely based on his cautious attitude on religious issues. Because he was too concerned about the situation and destination of the soul, and at the same time could not find true and reliable support for existence outside of God, he had to suppress the impulse and passion for revenge and missed the opportunity to act again and again.

We call Hamlet an anachronistic meditator, or "a man who is indecisive and incapable of action". This is not because of his physical flaws, but because he is indeed far away from the world on the road to explore the meaning of life. It's too far. 

Hamlet used his own tragedy to raise a number of questions worth pondering-how do people resolve the contradiction between their actions and thinking? Is there an eternal gap between the philosopher and the king? The problem lies not only in the regulation of blood and rationality in the general sense, but also involves the questioning of the essence of existence in the modern sense.

The image of Hamlet often reminds me of a person of his time. In my mind, they constitute two wonderful extremes of the same world. When Don Quixote was like a black cloud chased by the wind, whizzing and attacking sheep and windmills, Hamlet was standing alone in the corner of the tower, sending out eternal interrogations about existence and nothingness-this is probably in the history of literature. 

The two most symbolic pictures of the world. Do you choose to enter the world bravely and move forward with no regrets, or do you want to go your own way and explore the deepest meaning of life? These two choices seem to cost each other, just as Hamlet missed the action and won the reputation of a man of contemplation; Don Quixote never thought, but his feat never made the world shed tears. And the situation of human beings, isn't it precisely between these two noble choices that linger forever?

Reading Notes

Polonius: It's still here, Leotis! It's so embarrassing to get on the boat, get on the boat! The wind is on the top of the sail, and everyone is waiting for you. Well, I bless you! There are also a few lessons that I hope you will engrave in your memory: Don't say what you think, think twice about everything. Be kind to people, but don't be overly amiable. 

A well-known friend should use a steel ring to hoop your soul, but don't abuse your friendship with every general new knowledge. Be careful to avoid quarreling with others; but if a dispute has arisen, you should let the other person know that you are not to be insulted lightly. Listen to everyone's opinion, but only express your opinion to a very small number of people; accept everyone's criticism, but retain your own judgment. 

Do your best to buy expensive clothes, but don't show off new and innovative, you must be splendid and not flashy because clothes can often express personality; French celebrities and dignitaries appear to be the noblest and unique in this regard. Don't tell people for loans, and don't lend money to others; because when the debt is released, you will not only lose capital but also lose your friends. 

As a result of telling people for loans, it is easy to develop a habit of laziness. Especially important, you must be faithful to yourself; just as there is the night when there is the day, be faithful to yourself so that you will not deceive others. Goodbye; may my blessing make these words work in your actions!—— Quoted from the words of the father to his son



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