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Download Looking for Hamlet fb2, epub

by Marvin W. Hunt

Download Looking for Hamlet fb2, epub

ISBN: 140397036X
Author: Marvin W. Hunt
Language: English
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (December 10, 2007)
Pages: 256
Category: History & Criticism
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 388
Size Fb2: 1294 kb
Size ePub: 1570 kb
Size Djvu: 1842 kb
Other formats: rtf txt azw doc


Hundreds of books have been published about Shakespeare's Hamlet. Hunt (Shakespeare, North Carolina State Univ.

Hunt presents Hamlet as a sort of missing person, the idealized being inside oneself. Hundreds of books have been published about Shakespeare's Hamlet. who has twice been a fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, here.

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Hunt's history of the play starts well

Hunt's history of the play starts well. I thoroughly enjoyed his discussion of the source material for Hamlet, the differences between the published versions and issues with how the play was actually performed relative to the printed texts we have.

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Marvin Hunt's LOOKING FOR HAMLET vigorously engages his readers in a quest to explore what HAMLET the . Here is a book worthy of its hallowed subject

Marvin Hunt's LOOKING FOR HAMLET vigorously engages his readers in a quest to explore what HAMLET the play and Hamlet the character have meant to people. For Hunt, the quest is a personal one, and some of the most thoughtful discussions in the book (such as a connection between Hamlet and Hunt's passionate interest in the Duke University football team) are those informed by his personal experiences. Here is a book worthy of its hallowed subject. Displaying enthusiasm and erudition, Professor Hunt offers fresh insight into why "Hamlet" has mesmerized the world for four centuries and how the play has shaped us.

A mysterious, melancholic, brooding Hamlet has gripped and fascinated four hundred years' of readers, trying to "find" and know him as he searches for and avenges his father's name. Setting itself apart from the usual discussions about Hamlet, Hunt here demonstrates that Hamlet is much more than we take him to be. Much more than the sum of his parts--more than just tragic, sexy youth and more than just vain cruelty--Hamlet is a reflection of our own aspirations and neuroses. Looking for Hamlet investigates our many searches for Hamlet, from their origins in Danish mythology through the complex problems of early printed texts, through the centuries of shifting interpretations of the young prince to our own time when Hamlet is more compelling and perplexing than ever before. Hunt presents Hamlet as a sort of missing person, the idealized being inside oneself. This search for the missing Hamlet, Hunt argues, reveals a present absence readers pursue as a means of finding and identifying ourselves.

Comments:

Nahelm
Review by Malcolm South

Marvin Hunt's LOOKING FOR HAMLET vigorously engages his readers in a quest to explore what HAMLET the play and Hamlet the character have meant to people. For Hunt, the quest is a personal one, and some of the most thoughtful discussions in the book (such as a connection between Hamlet and Hunt's passionate interest in the Duke University football team) are those informed by his personal experiences. In chapter three Hunt really understands what Hamlet is talking about in 5.1 as Hamlet discourses on skulls and the rot and the decay of the human body. Chapters five through nine cover critical reactions to the play during different periods. I especially like chapter six, "Hamlet among the Romantics." I also like the two "galleries" that comprise the sections called "The Man in Black," which through illustrations and commentaries highlight celebrated actors who have played the role of Hamlet. At the end of his last chapter Hunt expresses the fear that we may be in some danger of "forgetting" HAMLET in a "postliterate age." Hunt sadly points out that English majors in most American colleges and universities are now not required to take a course in Shakespeare. We fervently hope that such "forgetting' does not occur. Certainly, Hunt's admirable book will help keep us from "forgetting" the play.
ARE
Here is a book worthy of its hallowed subject. Displaying enthusiasm and erudition, Professor Hunt offers fresh insight into why "Hamlet" has mesmerized the world for four centuries and how the play has shaped us. He describes the many sources Shakespeare drew from to write the play, the debate over the authenticity of the various versions of the script (e.g. Q1 and Q2) and the different ways critics have interpreted Hamlet and "Hamlet" through the ages.
Hunt shows a particular penchant for the riotous and ribald -- his book is filled with hilarious stories of the debaucherous folks who graced the Bard's world. Hunt is that rarest of birds - a scholar who writes like a human being! Best of all, he inspired me to return to Shakespeare's masterpiece, which I read with greater appreciation thanks to "Looking for Hamlet."
Nafyn
I have to start by saying I was expecting a lot more from my very first "Hamlet Book" - ordered after being transfixed by Nicole Williamson's performance in the Tony Richardson Roundhouse production (recently aired on PBS).

Together with the other 4 reviewers I've no complaints about the first 2 very informative chapters explaining the differences between the three versions of Hamlet printed in Shakespeare's lifetime. Wherein one discovers that most of today's productions are based on the actors' memories of shorter performances by Elizabethan touring companies who of necessity had to hold the interest of less sophisticated audiences who were not prepared to sit or stand for the full 4 hour version.

But after this the author proceeds to list every contemporary critic's attitude as to what made Hamlet tick during the next 4 centuries. My overall complaint being I cannot see how any of this gathering confusion can make the slightest difference to the enjoyment of present-day performances. The most irritating discussions being as to whether the ghost was a figment of Hamlet's imagination or a malevolent influence whose orders were predestined to end in mincemeat. Surely the ghost is a ghost is a ghost? Simply the ideal "theatrical device" to set the tone for all the tragic events that follow.

Obviously the only latter-day theory which holds water is the Freudian explanation that his "madness" was an overt expression of a textbook Oedipus complex. But nowhere did I find a separate section dealing specifically with his relationship with Ophelia and why it deteriorated so rapidly. For some reason she is always coupled with his mother as the joint reasons for his misogamy. Gertrude though was his sexually active mother who subconsciously he could have wished to marry - after killing his uncle. Whereas the innocent Ophelia (as played by Marion Faithful in their first love scene) would have been the ideal mate to ground Hamlet had not Shakespeare, out of convenience, decided to add her demise to that of her father to give Laertes an even stronger cause for revenge.

Nevertheless one persevered through 6 chapters hoping to get the present century dealing with the merits of recent productions and performances - especially those committed to film. But instead, in the penultimate chapter entitled "Postmodern Hamlet" Mr. Hunt introduces his own personal involvement in disputes between various ambitious American academics. Many of whom have come up with some incredible crackpot theories about Hamlet's lack of motivation. From which one deduces nothing more than these papers are written solely to stir up controversy amongst other American academics - with the side benefit of justifying their well paid sinecure desk jobs.

Ironically what I was actually hoping for is to be found in many of the 5-star Amazon reviews of modern Hamlet movies written by lucid enthusiasts who unequivocally accept this play as a great work of art needing minimal analysis. One which continues to offer wonderful solo opportunities for leading actors of every decade.

One wonders what harm it would have done (except in snobby academics' eyes) had the author inserted some of his own personal opinions as to which productions and actors he considered have got closest to fulfilling Shakespeare's original intentions - whilst writing 3 other plays in the same year.
Kagalkree
The book provides good insight to a much researched topic. It is apparent that the author loves his subject. The book is readable and would be a good source for the serious student of Shakespeare. I recommend the book to anyone who is looking for an understanding and competency in this subject.

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