It was later reprinted by in 1932 in. Moreover the Polonius-Laertes and Polonius-Reynaldo scenes are not explained satisfactorily. For Shakespeare it is less than madness and more than feigned. This is lacking in Hamlet. He argues that a creative work cannot be interpreted, only criticized according to a standard or in comparison to another work.
As an example, he references a scene in in which is sleepwalking and the imagined sensory impressions Shakespeare provides allow the audience to understand her mental state. The king realises the danger of the situation and decides to send Hamlet to England and to have him killed on his way there. The madness of Hamlet lay to Shakespeares hand; in the earlier play a simple ruse, and to the end, we may presume, understood as a ruse by the audience. Few critics have even admitted that Hamlet the play is the primary problem, and Hamlet the character only secondary. I remember appreciating its sense of loss and the emptiness of modern life, but being a bit irritated by its inclusion of so many quotations from other poems that it needed pages of notes.
Why he attempted it at all is an insoluble puzzle; under compulsion of what experience he attempted to express the inexpressibly horrible, we cannot ever know. This fact, if nothing else, places him firmly in the school of Formalism with which he is most commonly associated. Hamlet is up against the difficulty that his disgust is occasioned by his mother, but that his mother is not an adequate equivalent for it; his disgust envelops and exceeds her. The yoke is undoubtedly a burden for the bullocks. None of the possible actions can satisfy it; and nothing that Shakespeare can do with the plot can express Hamlet for him.
Eliot writes that Hamlet's state of mind is a direct result of his confused emotions and the lack of external representation for these emotions in an objective correlative. Fireflies flare against the faint sheet lightning What shall I cry? The alteration is not complete enough, however, to be convincing. Eliot questions the amount of emotion in the play. 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. Furthermore, there are verbal parallels so close to the Spanish Tragedy as to leave no doubt that in places Shakespeare was merely revising the text of Kyd.
The play centers around a dark topic, and therefore Prince Hamlet's reaction is full of emotion to the events. Eliot credits Robertson in particular for his historical interpretation of Hamlet. Hamlet, like the sonnets, is full of some stuff that the writer could not drag to light, contemplate, or manipulate into art. The alteration is not complete enough, however, to be convincing. A son who sees the world only in terms of winners and losers, simply does not have the emotional range to be able to embrace the concept of peacemaking. We should have to understand things which Shakespeare did not understand himself.
When Volumnia was pleading with him verbally, it did not work. The Hamlet of the earlier play also uses his perceived madness as a guise to escape suspicion. Having escaped his murderers, Hamlet returns to court. Hamlet also fails as a work of art due to the obvious lack of objective correlative which is the only way of expressing emotion with the help of a set of objects, situations, and a chain of events which will be the formula of that particular emotion. Shakespeare, inevitably, is one of the poets that Eliot quotes in The Waste Land, as well as many others. Of course, all this is kind of ironic.
Meanwhile the guards shake dice on the marches And the frogs O Mantuan croak in the marshes. None of the possible actions can satisfy it; and nothing that Shakespeare can do with the plot can express Hamlet for him. We must simply admit that here Shakespeare tackled a problem which proved too much for him. Such a mind had Goethe, who made of Hamlet a Werther; and such had Coleridge, who made of Hamlet a Coleridge; and probably neither of these men in writing about Hamlet remembered that his first business was to study a work of art. And it must be noticed that the very nature of the données of the problem precludes objective equivalence. There is a little excuse for it.
The madness of Shakespeare's character, according to Eliot, is a result of the inexpressible things that Hamlet feels and the playwright cannot convey. Eliot doesn't feel the emotions in the play are relevent and that the emotion needed for the play is lacking. There is a gulf between the emotion felt by the character and the way this is worked up into drama in the play. And finally there are unexplained scenesthe Polonius-Laertes and the Polonius-Reynaldo scenesfor which there is little excuse; these scenes are not in the verse style of Kyd, and not beyond doubt in the style of Shakespeare. Of all the plays it is the longest and is possibly the one on which Shakespeare spent most pains; and yet he has left in it superfluous and inconsistent scenes which even hasty revision should have noticed.
By attempting to create an objective way of evoking an emotional response, Eliot came close to describing, or at least theorizing, a science of poetry. In Hamlet it is the buffoonery of an emotion which he cannot express in art. 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. And finally there are unexplained scenes—the Polonius-Laertes and the Polonius-Reynaldo scenes—for which there is little excuse; these scenes are not in the verse style of Kyd, and not beyond doubt in the style of Shakespeare. And :Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet all die in the end! And when we search for this feeling, we find it, as in the sonnets, very difficult to localize. The grounds of Hamlets failure are not immediately obvious. The lines in Act v.