Hamlet/Hamnet : haunted by "the poison of deep grief"

Title: Hamlet/Hamnet : haunted by "the poison of deep grief"
Author: DePrado, Jarrod
Source document: Theory and Practice in English Studies. 2022, vol. 11, iss. 1, pp. 61-75
  • ISSN
    1805-0859 (online)
Type: Article

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

William Shakespeare's Hamlet remains a cultural touchstone after over 400 years, inspiring readers, scholars, and artists. Shakespeare himself occupies a unique place in the Western canon: both a creator of inspired art and a pop culture icon. The scant biographical details about Shakespeare have garnered an equal amount of attention and speculation. A particular focus is given to Shakespeare's relationship to grief, given the death of his son Hamnet at age eleven, and whether it is reflected in his written work, especially Hamlet. Comparing the fictional depictions of a grieving Shakespeare in Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet (2020), Kenneth Branagh's All Is True (2018), and Dead Centre's Hamnet (2017), a consensus arises of Shakespeare as a grieving father who looks to reconcile his relationship to his deceased son through art in various ways. Ultimately, the fictional Shakespeare serves as a cultural figure of mourning that transcends the limits of biographical accuracy.
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