Chapter

There Is Nothing Either Good or Bad But Thinking Makes It So: Postmodern <i>Hamlet</i>

David Bevington

in Murder Most Foul

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599103
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731501 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599103.003.0008
There Is Nothing Either Good or Bad But Thinking Makes It So: Postmodern Hamlet

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In the years after 1980, with rapid social change in sexual and political mores, Hamlet came more and more to be a text reflecting the new age of anxiety and social conflict. The poststructural method in criticism of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault found the play a fertile territory for exploration of virtually infinite flexibility in language. The New Historicism of Stephen Greenblatt and others focused on such matters as Elizabethan attitudes toward Purgatory. Feminist study by Coppélia Kahn, Marjorie Garber, and others studied the play in terms feminist anthropology. Productions on stage and in film followed suit with revisionist interpretations by Mark Rylance, Mel Gibson, Jude Law, Kenneth Branagh, David Tennant, and others. The impact of Hamlet on the modern world continues to grow.

Keywords: Jacques Derrida; Michel Foucault; Stephen Greenblatt; Coppélia Kahn; Marjorie Garber; Mark Rylance; Mel Gibson; Jude Law; Kenneth Branagh; David Tennant

Chapter.  11302 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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