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Textual Integrity in Hamlet

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Introduction

Textual Integrity in Hamlet In order to decide if the textual integrity is essential to the play, one would examine whether the character motivations remain constant with the rest of the other characters present within the play. Their imagery, motives, word choice, and whether the speech seems to fit with Hamlet's overall character. Due to the different contexts of the play (one being the Elizabethan era whilst the other being the present) it is easily arguable from a Elizabethan era viewpoint that the character of Hamlet has done the morally correct thing to society as he has waited to the right moment (when he is aware of Claudius' true actions) to act upon his vengeance for his father. Hamlet has maintained his duty to family and God by not killing himself due to loathing but evening the scores in order to regain his father's worth. On the other hand from a modern day approach the audience feels as though Hamlet should react straight away and kill Claudius. ...read more.

Middle

In his third soliloquy he states: "For who would bear... the pangs of despised love... when he himself might his quietus make/with a bare bodkin?" The word "despised" is put as "unrequited" - and thus we are led to believe that Ophelia is the reason behind his suicidal thoughts, not the late King. The mourning of his father is a pseudo veil because he feels as though he cannot sink so low as to kill himself due to a woman. Textual integrity is the notion that the text can stand alone as a piece of work, regardless of the texts paradigms, it's social and theoretical practice and it's ability to be understood without reference. It exists and is understood and although other texts may add meaning to it, they themselves do not make the text. As to whether it means it's ability to be received in a variety of contexts - if you can say it's great because it's a 'whole thing' that would work but it seems pretty vacuous. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Not allowing for different perspectives or interpretations. E.g., a feminist viewpoint, a Marxian viewpoint... a Freudian psychoanalytical reading etc.) A text is not produced by an author, but by readers, who themselves are 'produced' by social and political forces. New perspectives frequently attempt to establish their authority by specialized vocabulary (remember this term!) and extensive appeal to theory. As with all literature we are unable to separate ourselves from our personal interpretation and that of the writers. Works of literature usually lead to various interpretations differing from era to context to experience. Each interpretation of 'Hamlet' brings different elements to the forefront. Without these interpretations of 'Hamlet' one may not be able to feel as though they receive a full understanding of the play and a lack of connection may become a dislike of the play rather than a love for the tragic tale. Shakespeare possibly has his own interpretation of the play. The writer merely sets words to the page; it is our job to make them our own. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is a very well written response but it lacks substance as a piece of analysis. The play isn't considered in enough detail and there are too many general points made about the concept of textual integrity.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 26/06/2013

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