Shakespeare’s hamlet: Philosophical perspectives

Tzachi Zamir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Hamlet has long been recognized as concerned with fundamental philosophical issues about identity, responsibility, intimacy, mourning, and agency. How is the play’s address to these issues structured by its distinctively powerful literary-dramatic form and language? What might philosophy have to learn from its mode of address? Is such learning affected by Hamlet being not merely literature, but literature designed to be embodied and voiced on a stage? And what light, in turn, might attention to philosophical themes cast on the play’s development and interest, in other words, does literary criticism gain or lose when tempted to employ literary works as gateways enabling abstract reflection? This book brings together a team of leading literary scholars and philosophers who were invited to probe philosophical dimensions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Authors diverge in what they focus on: what is shown by Hamlet’s words, what is shown by Hamlet (despite his words), what is shown by Hamlet, what is shown by Hamlet’s interpreters. “Philosophy in literature” does not, accordingly, possess a consistent meaning throughout this volume. Some essays inquire into Hamlet’s own insights. Others assess the significance of philosophy’s literary-dramatic framing by this play. Still others trace the philosophically relevant underpinnings exposed by historical transformations in Hamlet’s reception. Subjectivity, knowledge, sex, grief, self-theatricalization-these are but some of the topics examined in overlapping ways in the emerging symposium.

Original languageAmerican English
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages278
ISBN (Electronic)9780190698515
ISBN (Print)9780190698522
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2018. All rights reserved.


  • Authenticity
  • Grief
  • Hamlet
  • Knowledge
  • Literature
  • Love
  • Philosophy
  • Self
  • Shakespeare
  • Temporality


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