Hamlet critics

More will be added later in the year as I find them

A.C Bradley

Hamlet: -"in the depths of his nature, and unknown to himself, there was a moral repulsion to the deed"
-Hamlet has a “habitual excess of reflectiveness"
-“One would judge that by temperament he was inclined to nervous instability, too rapid and perhaps extreme changes of feeling and mood, and that he was disposed to be, for the time, absorbed in the feeling or mood that possessed him, whether it was joyous or depressed.” 
-“disgust at life and everything in it, himself included – a disgust which varies in intensity, rising at times into a longing for death, sinking often into weary apathy"

Claudius: -“On the one hand, he is not without respectable qualities. As a king he is courteous and never undignified; he performs his ceremonial duties efficiently; and he takes good care of the national interests
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“He had the inclination of natures physically weak and morally small towards intrigue and crooked dealing. His instinctive predilection was for poison: this was the means he used in his first murder” 

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A.C Bradley 2

Claudius: -“His conscience, though ineffective, is far from being dead.”

 Ophelia: -A large number of readers feel a kind of personal irritation against her. They seem unable to forgive her for not having been a heroine, and they fancy her much weaker than she was. They think she ought to have been able to help Hamlet to fulfil his task. And they betray, it appears to me, the strangest misconceptions as to what she actually did.” 

General: -“It’s not that Hamlet is Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy or most perfect work, it was that Hamlet most brings home to us… the sense of the soul’s infinity.” 

Hamlet: -"his moral sensibility and his genius, become his enemies"
-"his adoption of the pretence of madness may well have been due in part fear of the reality"
-"Melancholy is something very different from insanity... no doubt it might develop into insanity"
-"longing for death might become an irresistible impulse to self destruction"

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Edward G. Andrew

"Perhaps a machiavellian Hamlet would act differently from a Lutherian Hamlet"

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Harold Bloom

"Shakespeare invented humanity"

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Friedrich Nietzsche (a German philosopher)

"No action of theirs can work any change in the eternal condition of things"

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S.T Coleridge

"Hamlet is brave and careless of death; but he vacillates from sensibility, and procrastinates from thought, and loses the power of action in the energy of resolve"

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Ernest Jones

(Jones analysed Hamlet using Freud)

-"his devotion to his mother made him so jealous for her affection that he found it hard enough to share this even with his father and could not endure to share it with still another man"
-"Hamlet is being deprived by Claudius" (of his mother's affection and attention)

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Wilson Knight

(Hamlet as a man who is supernaturally shrewd)

-(Claudius) "in short he is very human. Now these are the qualities Hamlet lacks. Hamlet is inhuman."
-"Creatures of earth... league themselves with Claudius... sever themselves from Hamlet"
-"Hamlet is not of flesh and blood, he is a spirit of penetratingintellect and cynicism and misery"
-(Hamlet) takes "delight in cruelty, torturing Claudius, wringing his mother's heart"
-"he has seen the truth, not alone of Denmark, but of humanity, of the universe: and the truth is evil"
-"Hamlet is an element of evil in the state of Denmark"

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