It is reasonable to wonder what Shakespeare had in mind while writing Hamlet. After all, Shakespeare wasn't a philosopher or historian, or even a literary critic. He was a playwright. He didn't leave critical essays examining his work. It is left to us to examine his work and decide for ourselves, if we care to, what Shakespeare was thinking. Did he know that he was writing a drama of deep psychological significance, a play which
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showed last 75 words of 1259 total
uncle's ribs will not bring Hamlet's father back. We are willing spectators to the unfolding of this tragedy. And between the anticipation and the act fall some of the most beautiful lines in all of dramatic literature. Shakespeare achieves his goal. Hamlet has run a year, several hundred times over.
*A. C. Bradley, "The Substance of Shakespearean Tragedy" Shakespearean Tragedy, MacMillan and Company Limited, 1904, pp. 1-29
**David Daiches, A Critical History of English Literature, Vol. 2.