Hamlet in His Modern Guises
By (author) Alexander Welsh
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Hamlet in His Modern Guises by Alexander Welsh
Book DescriptionFocusing on Shakespeare's Hamlet as foremost a study of grief, Alexander Welsh offers a powerful analysis of its protagonist as the archetype of the modern hero. For over two centuries writers and critics have viewed Hamlet's persona as a fascinating blend of self-consciousness, guilt, and wit. Yet in order to understand more deeply the modernity of this Shakespearean hero, Welsh first situates Hamlet within the context of family and mourning as it was presented in other revenge tragedies of Shakespeare's time. Revenge, he maintains, appears as a function of mourning rather than an end in itself. Welsh also reminds us that the mourning of a son for his father may not always be sincere. This book relates the problem of dubious mourning to Hamlet's ascendancy as an icon of Western culture, which began late in the eighteenth century, a time when the thinking of past generations--or fathers--represented to many an obstacle to human progress. Welsh reveals how Hamlet inspired some of the greatest practitioners of modernity's quintessential literary form, the novel. Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, Scott's Redgauntlet, Dickens's Great Expectations, Melville's Pierre, and Joyce's Ulysses all enhance our understanding of the play while illustrating a trend in which Hamlet ultimately becomes a model of intense consciousness. Arguing that modern consciousness mourns for the past, even as it pretends to be free of it, Welsh offers a compelling explanation of why Hamlet remains marvelously attractive to this day.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691050935
(229mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 3-Jan-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Alexander Welsh
Humanist Comedy, Paperback (July 2014)
From the ancient Greek comedies of Aristophanes, the famous poem by Lucretius and dialogues of Cicero to early modern and Enlightenment essays and philosophical texts, the author analyzes the prevalence of openness of mind and relieving good humour in Western thought. He also examines a postmodern novel by the Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago.
Dickens Redressed, Hardback (July 2000)» View all books by Alexander Welsh
An examination of Charles Dickens's "Bleak House" and "Hard Times", the two novels written after "David Copperfield". Alexander Welsh offers a reassessment of this important stage in the author's career and provides discussions of and insights into each novel.
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Author Biography - Alexander Welsh
Alexander Welsh is the Emily Sanfard Professor of English at Yale University. He is the author of Freud's Wishful Dream Book. The Hero of the Waveriey Novels: With New Essays on Scott. and Reflections on the Hero as Quixote (all Princeton), as well as books on Dickens and George Eliot.
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