Hamlet | Literature Criticism Grinning Death's-Head: Hamlet and the Vision of the Grotesque

This literature criticism consists of approximately 46 pages of analysis & critique of Hamlet.
This section contains 13,712 words
(approx. 46 pages at 300 words per page)
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Yasuhiro Ogawa, Hokkaido University

In its perennial phase tragedy is a metaphysics of death, death seen preeminently as eternity, silence, that is to say, as mystery. The individual "pass[es] through nature to eternity" (1.2.73) and "the rest is silence" (5.2.358). These memorable phrases from Hamlet sound like a resigned acceptance of the common human condition of death, which makes us realize that the concern of tragedy is coming to terms with death—the final mystery. Yet the philosophical acquiescence will come only after Todesschmerz—if we may be permitted to appropriate the term coined by a famous thanatologist in analogy with Weltschmerz1—is experienced to the utmost in its most agonizing fear and trembling and is made, figuratively speaking, analgesic.

The way Hamlet dramatizes this Schmerz is impressive; "the subject of Hamlet is death...

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This section contains 13,712 words
(approx. 46 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Grinning Death's-Head: Hamlet and the Vision of the Grotesque