Presentation on theme: "Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Critical Theory Research"— Presentation transcript:
1 Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Critical Theory Research English 4, honorsHamlet by William Shakespeare: Critical Theory Research
2 “Mourning and Misogyny” by Steven Mullaney Types of Criticism:Historical/BiographicalFeministFreudian Psychological Criticism
3 Mourning and Misogyny Major Arguments What is misogyny?Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.
4 Mourning and Misogyny Major Arguments cont. What is the reason for the misogyny in Hamlet?End of Elizabeth’s reign – ushering in a king (patriarchal universe)Political misogyny prevalent at the time periodAmbivalent, ambiguous portrayals of Elizabeth (both of the queen and of women)
5 Misogyny and Mourning cont. Misogyny is part of the mourning process.Have to vilify to grieve, especially when the woman is such an important figureMisogyny is a vehicle for mourning.Emotions have a history.Popular theater considered quasi-illicit and was geared toward a highly diverse culture that was not all literate nor refined.Drama a catharsis of mourning
6 Mourning and Misogyny cont. Queen portrayed in paintings as highly sexualized (“inch thick paintings”)Symbolic of a “healthy” body politicPortrayals of Elizabeth incongruous and violating alsoElizabethan audience might connect Gertrude to Elizabeth.Play could be an attempt to resolve or stage contradictions associated with portrayals of Elizabeth.Hamlet unable to properly mourn because he is so distracted and disgusted by his mother’s sexuality and illicit desireViolation of Elizabeth – violation of women
7 “Hamlet on the Couch” by W.F. Bynum Types of Criticism:Psychological CriticismHistorical/Contextual CriticismBiographical CriticismFormalism
8 “Hamlet on the Couch” cont. Major Arguments:Must judge, evaluate a work in its proper contextHamlet studied psychoanalytically for centuries – part of its historyMultiple practitioners analyzing Hamlet as a subjectPlethora of psychological diagnoses, but Hamlet confounds them all.
9 “Hamlet on the Couch” cont. 18th Century – Hamlet reasoned figure – madness pretendedRomantics – Hamlet all-human – full range of human emotion, except the ability to act – Everyman19th Century – viewed Hamlet as insane based on several factors (suicidal tendencies, warnings of feigned madness, inaction, moral madness)Coming of Freud – Oedipal complexHamlet now come full circle – represents all of us in some wayAfter all, maybe it’s all just an act (“A recorder is brought on, and Hamlet challenges Guildenstern to play upon it:”
10 Types of Criticism: Historical Criticism Formalism “Old King, New King, Eclipsed Sons, and Abandoned Altars in Hamlet by Elizabeth S. WatsonTypes of Criticism:Historical CriticismFormalism
11 Old King, New King cont. Major Arguments: Wordplay in Hamlet mimics changes, transformations in historyWordplay = unresolved issues, particularly changes in churchReligion (Catholicism) – altars fadingWhat is the religious backdrop for Hamlet?Uncertainty = slippery wordplay
12 Old King, New King cont. Emerging English Church of Reformation Hamlet’s family antithesis of Holy FamilyDoubling, splitting, mirroring = break off of Catholic ChurchTwo fathers could represent two fathers of different churchesHamlet – play of reversals – maimed rights and altered customs = fading of altarsDecline in belief in Purgatory – Ghost – “Remember me!”Fall – murder of brother – Cain and AbelThe Pun – finally amalgamation of old and new – bridge words
13 Popular Cultural Criticism “Shakespeare after Columbine: Teen Violence in Tim Blake Nelson’s ‘O’” by Gregory M. Colon SemenzaType of Criticism:Popular Cultural Criticism
14 Shakespeare after Columbine cont. Major Arguments:Does art reflect life or vice versa?What is the role of popular culture on literature? On humanity?Writer/producer drew from what he saw in epidemic of teen violenceCan young viewers understand well enough to be influenced?Could Shakespeare be a lens through which to study violence and, thereby, help society to understand/ extinguish teen violence?
15 Shakespeare after Columbine cont. Manipulative marketing of Shakespeare to teensE.g. other “teen” Shakespeare filmsNot all children behave the sameAge is not necessarily a predictor of human behavior“O” supposedly presents complicated, “real” portrayals“O” ultimately is about simplistic and self-serving readings of teen behaviorTeens are smarter and more complicated than these “teen” portrayals of Shakespeare present.