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Glaz, A.A. (1961). HAMLET, Or the Tragedy of Shakespeare. Am. Imago, 18(2):129-158.

(1961). American Imago, 18(2):129-158

HAMLET, Or the Tragedy of Shakespeare

A. Andre Glaz

In spite of all the critical acumen that has been brought to bear on Hamlet, in spite of all the interpretations and explanations, it still remains as mysterious as ever. Why is this so? I am convinced that commentators have found Hamlet so elusive largely because they wrote of it, naturally enough, in the belief that cause produced effect. But, in Hamlet this conviction is misleading. What is important in Hamlet is the fallacy of cause and effect.

“Qua work of art, the work of art cannot be interpreted; there is nothing to interpret …” says T. S. Eliot. (1) With this statement I agree. My intention is not to interpret Hamlet as a work of art. My intention is to explain the construction of Hamlet by breaking it apart, and as a corollary to propose some new biographical facts concerning Shakespeare's life. I shall not proceed step by step in a logical order from Act One to Act Five. It is impossible to understand Hamlet in this orderly fashion. Instead, I shall treat all five acts as a single unit, disregarding their superficial and arbitrary time sequence, and I shall draw now from Act Five, now from Act One, as the case may be, so that the play's basic structure may be revealed.

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