Hamlet | Critical Essay by Brent M. Cohen

This literature criticism consists of approximately 38 pages of analysis & critique of Hamlet.
This section contains 11,390 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Brent M. Cohen

Critical Essay by Brent M. Cohen

SOURCE: Cohen, Brent M. “‘What Is It You Would See?’: Hamlet and the Conscience of the Theatre.” ELH 44, no. 2 (summer 1977): 222-47.

In the following essay, Cohen demonstrates that the physical conditions and structure of the Elizabethan theater allowed Shakespeare to challenge his audience in unique ways, for example, by giving audience members a conflicted understanding of their role within the action of the play. Cohen emphasizes that in Hamlet, Shakespeare used the theater, theatricality, artifice, and performance to develop the audience's sense of self-consciousness; he did not use the theater, Cohen stresses, for the purposes of encouraging audience identification with the characters in the play.

My title, which quotes Horatio's question to Fortinbras near the end of Hamlet (5.2.364),1 might stand for the kind of question the play frequently asks its audience. Critics...

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This section contains 11,390 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Brent M. Cohen
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