Hamlet, Will he ever get old?

Topics: American middle class, Joke, Middle class Pages: 4 (1383 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Hamlet! Will that play ever get old?

There is much to be taken from the play Hamlet. As history shown us this play has been scrutinize a million times over and yet even today we can still find a new prospective in which to look at the play. That in part is due to the fact that the play’s complexity that has left it opened to many interpretations. Nevertheless we also tend to view other’s interpretation of the play and critique their works.

Can Hamlet be compared to today’s society? A Ms. Linda Charnes tackles this idea in her writing “The Hamlet formerly known as Prince“, Charnes compares Hamlet to middle-class Americans. Charnes asks the question, “But what can middle-class Americans possibly have in common with this Prince”? Is it the question of what Hamlet has in common with middle-class American or the question of what’s difference between the two! “Thus we might say that Hamlet’s simultaneous lack of political interest and self-righteous aggrievements have created a cultural Wormhole, whisking him out of Shakespeare’s era and dropping him squarely into our own.” (Charnes 190). I can agree with her and say that Hamlet indeed does seem to parallel the middle-class American culture in what he personified. Hamlet was ready, willing, and driven to oppose that which he didn’t condone. That is also true today amongst the middle-class Americans which are willing and ready “stand up for their rights”. But is this truly a just statement. What makes a person middle-class? Is it his financial status? Being middle class has emerged as a vital part of the 20th-century American psyche. “The majority of Americans define themselves as middle class, regardless of their actual income level. This perception is obviously off-base, but with no official definition, it's hard to pin down how much Americans overestimate their middle-class status” (Crispell, Diane, Peter Francese, and Elia Kacapyr). So I find myself could this be an overstatement claiming Hamlet as a...

Cited: Ghose, Indira. "Jesting With Death: Hamlet In The Graveyard." Textual Practice 24.6 (2010): 1003-1018. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.
de Grazia, Margreta. "When Did Hamlet Become Modern?." Textual Practice 17.3 (2003): 485-503. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Feb. 2012
Charnes, Linda. Hamlet 's Heirs : Shakespeare And The Politics Of A New Millennium. Taylor & Francis Routledge, 2006. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 16 Feb. 2012. Crispell, Diane, Peter Francese, and
Crispell, Diane, Peter Francese, and Elia Kacapyr. "Are you middle class?" American Demographics Oct. 1996: 30+. Academic OneFile. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.
Watson, Katie. "Gallows humor in medicine: medical professionals regularly joke about their patients ' problems. Some of these jokes are clearly wrong, but are all jokes wrong?" The Hastings Center Report Sept.-Oct. 2011: 37+. Academic OneFile. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.
McCarter, Jeremy. "Today 's Man." Newsweek 154.15 (2009): 55-56. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.
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