All for Nothing: Hamlet's Negativity by Andrew Cutrofello

By Andrew Cutrofello

A specter is haunting philosophy -- the threat of Hamlet. Why is that this? Wherefore? What should still we do?Entering from degree left: the philosopher's Hamlet. The philosopher's Hamlet is a conceptual personality, performed via philosophers instead of actors. He plays no longer within the theater yet in the house of philosophical positions. In desirous about not anything, Andrew Cutrofello significantly examines the functionality background of this targeted function. The philosopher's Hamlet personifies negativity. In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet's speech and motion are routinely damaging; he's the depression Dane. so much could agree that he has not anything to be joyful approximately. Philosophers have taken Hamlet to include particular types of negativity that first got here into view in modernity. What the determine of the Sophist represented for Plato, Hamlet has represented for contemporary philosophers. Cutrofello analyzes 5 elements of Hamlet's negativity: his depression, unfavourable religion, nihilism, tarrying (which Cutrofello distinguishes from "delaying"), and nonexistence. alongside the best way, we meet Hamlet within the texts of Kant, Coleridge, Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, Russell, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Benjamin, Arendt, Schmitt, Lacan, Deleuze, Foucault, Derrida, Badiou, Žižek, and different philosophers. Whirling throughout a state of endless house, the philosopher's Hamlet is not anything if now not thought-provoking.

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I argue that this construct, despite having recognisable roots in early modern culture, would have been incomprehensible to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. And I argue that the subjectivist premise of ‘late Shakespeare’ – the assumption that the development of the work derives from and maps the development of the personality – fundamentally misrepresents the processes of production of early modern theatre. Developing these three fundamental points, I wish to argue that the particular understanding of late Shakespeare sustained by several generations of Shakespeareans, while somewhat belated in the general Introduction 23 history of the discourse of lateness, has in fact been instrumental in the construction and development of that discourse – that late Shakespeare has, in other words, both been constructed by and contributed to the construction of the idea of late writing – and, finally, that late Shakespeare has provided and continues to provide opportunities for creative artists, critics and theatre professionals self-consciously to construct their own careers by way of the idea of late writing.

105) 34 Shakespeare and the idea of late writing Late work thus attests to a freedom from material realities and restrictions that is possible only towards the end of the artist’s life. Context is entirely secondary, is in a sense simply left behind. For Neumann, the great artist’s life comprises three phases, the first two of which are shared by all artists: ‘He begins by responding to a creative impulse within him, which [. ] strives to find form of whatever kind. Then, maturing, he grows into the contingency of his epoch; through study, he becomes the heir and son of his cultural tradition’ (Neumann, 102).

To be sure’, he continues, ‘it perceives the disruptive force of subjectivity in the late 38 Shakespeare and the idea of late writing work of art. ). ). Thus, for Adorno, [t]he force of subjectivity in late works is the irascible gesture with which it leaves them. It bursts them asunder, not in order to express itself but, expressionlessly, to cast off the illusion of art. Of the works it leaves only fragments behind, communicating itself, as if in ciphers, only through the spaces it has violently vacated.

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