This edition: Shakespeare: Hamlet, Pt. 1
Discussion centers on Hamlet's unique prestige in Western culture as the Mt. Everest of plays, so much so that it is often referred to simply as "The Play". What accounts for this unique prestige? How modern a play is Hamlet? What political issues does it raise? The class considers a feminist and an existential reading of the play, discussing Hamlet’s attitudes toward the sexualized maternal body and the universal fear and disgust it can evoke. "The Play" also poses the question of how to act in the world when one cannot know anything with certainty.
Featured interview: Professor Mick Hattaway (University of Sheffield), author of a critical text on Shakespeare's Hamlet