The Search For Identity In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

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Hamlet by William Shakespeare was written during a time of transition from the Middle Ages towards the Early Modern Period. This transition implanted new ideas such as the existence of subjectivity and identity, which went against the conservative sociopolitical system of belief from the England of the 17th C, Providentialism. The search for identity which Hamlet undergoes throughout the play has been argued to remain unfulfilled together with his death.

To begin with, the character of Hamlet is seen as a threat towards the Body Politic as he experiments with subjectivity. Hamlet’s quest for finding a new definition of identity starts as Jardine expresses with the "“unlawful” marriage (which) has strengthened the line in Claudius’s favour, and to Hamlet detriment”. Therefore, it is Hamlet’s outrage against his uncle 's complot to kill Old Hamlet, in order to become the new king and achieve the higher position in the leader of Providentialism, which turns Hamlet into a threat. Hamlet’s attitude of defiance against the new king, and thus to the Body politic, creates a subversive figure whose challenging posture entails the possible loss of power, and the beginning of a new system of government based on democracy. As Barker says, “Hamlet asserts against the devices of the world an essential interiority. If the “forms, modes, shapes” fail to denote him truly is because in him a separation has already opened up between the inner reality of the subject (…) and an inauthentic
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