Hamlet and Mourning

The Big Think on Shakespeare's most discussed play

The Big Think suggests Shakespeare's Hamlet as a work of mourning, an idea familiar to readers of Jacques Derrida (Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International):
[...] So perhaps Hamlet is less about madness and more about mourning. And if this is true, perhaps we take solace in the idea that mourning is a place where we all become a little bit mad. It is a place of mild terror (O’Rourke quotes C.S. Lewis’s "A Grief Observed:" “no one ever told me that grief felt so like fear”), perhaps because it is a place of unique helplessness.

An inability to bring back someone we have lost: this is inaction defined. Like a child’s rage, the furor of grief is disproportionate to the rational interpretation of the wish. Still, we rage on. Eventually we concede our lack control even over the process and progress of our own mourning. It is idiosyncratic, messy, and slow. The Stages are elegant guideposts but they are also largely illusory. [Read the article]

See also: