Eliot concludes this section by agreeing with Robertson's assertion that the hero of Hamlet is driven more by his mother's guilt than revenge for the father, and Shakespeare fell short in combining this altered motive with his source material.
He urges her as well not to reveal to Claudius that his madness has been an act. For example, a writer who presents the audience with a thump outside a house, a scratching at the door, and a hideous scream would expect the audience to feel fear when the main character felt fear.
Hamlet the man is dominated by an emotion which is inexpressible, because it is in excess of the facts as they appear. He turns to his mother, declaring that he will wring her heart. Robertson and Professor Stoll of the University of Minnesota, have issued small books which can be praised for moving in the other direction.
When Eliot writes his criticism a difference was drawn between biological and foster parents so he is unable to feel the rage that Hamlet feels. Once a poet is accepted, his reputation is seldom disturbed, for better or worse. We should have, finally, to know something which is by hypothesis unknowable, for we assume it to be an experience which, in the manner indicated, exceeded the facts.
Eliot FEW critics have even admitted that Hamlet the play is the primary problem, and Hamlet the character only secondary. It is a perpetual heresy of English culture to believe that only the first-order mind, the Genius, the Great Man, matters; that he is solitary, and produced best in the least favourable environment, perhaps the Public School; and that it is most likely a sign of inferiority that Paris can show so many minds of the second order.
It is not merely the "guilt of a mother" that cannot be handled as Shakespeare handled the suspicion of Othello, the infatuation of Antony, or the pride of Coriolanus.
From these three sources it is clear that in the earlier play the motive was a revenge-motive simply; that the action or delay is caused, as in the Spanish Tragedy, solely by the difficulty of assassinating a monarch surrounded by guards; and that the "madness" of Hamlet was feigned in order to escape suspicion, and successfully.
And he concludes, with very strong show of reason, that the original play of Kyd was, like certain other revenge plays, in two parts of five acts each. These minds often find in Hamlet a vicarious existence for their own artistic realization.
Robertson points out, very pertinently, how critics have failed in their "interpretation" of Hamlet by ignoring what ought to be very obvious: And Hamlet the character has had an especial temptation for that most dangerous type of critic: In the character Hamlet it is the buffoonery of an emotion which can find no outlet in action; in the dramatist it is the buffoonery of an emotion which he cannot express in art.
Robertson and Professor Stoll of the University of Minnesota, have issued small books which can be praised for moving in the other direction. And probably more people have thought Hamlet a work of art because they found it interesting, than have found it interesting because it is a work of art.
Return to the T. The Hamlet of Laforgue is an adolescent; the Hamlet of Shakespeare is not, he has not that explanation and excuse. He interrupts her and says that she has offended his father, meaning the dead King Hamlet, by marrying Claudius.
Polonius urges the queen to be harsh with Hamlet when he arrives, saying that she should chastise him for his recent behavior. The criticism proper betrays such poverty of ideas and such atrophy of sensibility that men who Hamlet and his problems to preserve their critical ability for the improvement of their own creative work are tempted into criticism.
Next, Eliot names three sources on which Shakespeare is believed to have based his play: To have heightened the criminality of Gertrude would have been to provide the formula for a totally different emotion in Hamlet; it is just because her character is so negative and insignificant that she arouses in Hamlet the feeling which she is incapable of representing.
The artistic "inevitability" lies in this complete adequacy of the external to the emotion; and this is precisely what is deficient in Hamlet. Noting that Gertrude is amazed and unable to see him, the ghost asks Hamlet to intercede with her. The kind of criticism that Goethe and Coleridge produced, in writing of Hamlet, is the most misleading kind possible.
The intense feeling, ecstatic or terrible, without an object or exceeding its object, is something which every person of sensibility has known; it is doubtless a study to pathologists.
The latter portion of the essay is dedicated to Eliot's criticism of Hamlet based on his concept of the objective correlative. Robertson is undoubtedly correct in concluding that the essential emotion of the play is the feeling of a son towards a guilty mother:Jun 18, · The Sacred Wood/Hamlet and His Problems.
The levity of Hamlet, his repetition of phrase, his puns, are not part of a deliberate plan of dissimulation, but a form of emotional relief. In the character Hamlet it is the buffoonery of an emotion which can find no outlet in action; in the dramatist it is the buffoonery of an emotion.
Few critics have even admitted that Hamlet the play is the primary problem, and Hamlet the character only secondary.
And Hamlet the character has had an especial temptation for. A summary of an influential essay ‘Hamlet and his Problems’ is one of T. S. Eliot’s most important and influential essays.
It was first published in In ‘Hamlet and his Problems’, Eliot makes the bold claim that Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, far from being a triumph, is an artistic failure. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern finally meet with Hamlet and he discovers they were sent for by the King.
How does Hamlet describe his personal problems to them? he tells them he used to think the world was wonderful, but now he finds differently, and he had so delight in man or woman.
to identify his feeling than the case with Hamlet would have been different and Shakespeare could have avoid the artistic failure. This is just an overlook to how Eliot has criticized Hamlet for its artistic failure.
Act III, scene iv Summary: Act III, scene iv. In Gertrude’s chamber, the queen and Polonius wait for Hamlet’s arrival.
Polonius plans to hide in order to eavesdrop on Gertrude’s confrontation with her son, in the hope that doing so will enable him to determine the cause of Hamlet’s bizarre and threatening behavior.Download