William Shakespeare | Critical Essay by Ronald G. Shafer

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 6,865 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ronald G. Shafer

Critical Essay by Ronald G. Shafer

SOURCE: Shafer, Ronald G. “Hamlet: Christian or Humanist?” Studies in the Humanities 17, no. 1 (June 1990): 21-35.

In the essay below, Shafer charts what he sees as Hamlet's temporary abandonment of Christian principles for the precepts of humanism—and his ultimate reversion to orthodox religious values. In his humanistic phase, the critic proposes, Hamlet is arrogant and egotistical, elevating his own volition above God's sovereignty, but after he acknowledges the righteousness of Christian morality, he humbly submits himself to God's will and becomes an agent of divine retribution.

A good starting point for understanding the moral dimension of Shakespeare's Hamlet is with Irving Ribner's Patterns in Shakespearean Tragedy (1960). Ribner maintains that Shakespeare fashioned all of the elements of the play in such a way as to produce “the emotional equivalent of a Christian...

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This section contains 6,865 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ronald G. Shafer
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