Through Hamlet’s Subversive Character


Over the centuries when people are faced with the deaths of their beloved ones in the family and suffer from grief over them, William Shakespeare in Hamlet offers his ideas of how a son faces his father's death and his mother's remarriage, ideas of whether the purgatory exists and ideas of which eschatology is correct in the Reformation, either Catholic or Protestant. In this essay, I examine two traces and one reversal in the play and ask many what-if questions through the perspective of Jacques Derrida's deconstruction. In my argument, Shakespeare misspeaks to his readers in the atmosphere of Protestant Elizabethan England the meanings of death in Prince Hamlet's perspective in order to reverse his readers way of seeing and to make them experience Hamlet's Catholicism as the form of the opposite, by which they can become theologians themselves and meet God in His mask. In employment of Derrida's center-freeplay structurality, through Prince Hamlet's subversive character to life, Christianity, kingship, filial piety and moral laws, there is a structurality of father and son, where Ghost King Hamlet comes as center into which Prince Hamlet comes as freeplay in a structurality of the religion where Lutheranism comes as center into which Catholicism comes as freeplay and in a structurality of the court where Prince Hamlet comes as center into which the other characters come as freeplay by the structurality of authorship where the author Shakespeare comes as center into which the play comes as freeplay.

Author Information
Yu-Min Huang, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ECERP2015
Stream: Philosophy - Philosophy and Religion

This paper is part of the ECERP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon