윌리엄 셰익스피어의 대표 비극 <햄릿>의 주요 테마들을 햄릿의 신비, 광기, 극중극, 현실과 이상 등의 주제로 분류하여 논하였다.
Death Consciousness in Hamlet
The argument of this essay is that Hamlet is a play about humanity viewed through the typical Renaissance theme of reality and appearance, and that the so-called Hamlet mystery lies in Hamlet`s death consciousness in the corrupted and fallen world. The theme of reality and appearance is juxtaposed with that of life and death, and, through the theatrical blurring of reality and illusion, Shakespeare questions what life and death are: "To be, or not to be" (III. i, 56). I will briefly discuss the Hamlet mystery evoked around the revenge motif, the ghost scene, madness, the play-within-the-play, and the themes of mortality and sense of loss, in the thematic context of reality and appearance.
If there is any mystery or difficulty in reading the play Hamlet and in comprehending the character Hamlet, one of the reasons will be shown in Hamlet`s following meta-dramatic comment on Guildenstern`s reading of himself, which betrays in a sense what Hamlet is:
You would play upon me, you would
seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the
heart of my mystery, you would sound me from my
lowest note to the top of my compass.