Stoicism in hamlet

Introduction to Horatio in Hamlet Horatio's role in the play is minor and most critics agree that he is not developed beyond a character foil for the great Prince. However, Horatio serves two purposes central to the drama, and it is through these purposes that we can best discuss those qualities that make Horatio memorable. Horatio is our harbinger of truth. It is through Horatio that the actions taken by Hamlet and other characters gain credibility.

Stoicism in hamlet

Because they were there. Scholars Stoicism in hamlet study the Renaissance have too often focused more on what the Renaissance produced than on what it was, on those ideas that led to our modern presuppositions about the nature of things rather than on what it was like to live in those far-off times.

Fixing our sights on the discoveries of Copernicus, who paved the way to our view of a sun-centered planetary system, we forget that while he saw the planets spinning around the sun, the man on the street still saw the sun rising Stoicism in hamlet the East and setting in the West as it circled the earth.

We have here the difference between a Romantic poet and a soldier. Shakespeare the poet responds to the Ficino thread of Renaissance discourse in words he assigns to Hamlet: What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god!

Recently, two scholars produced a book called The Idea of the Renaissance Kerrigan and Braden that pursues the Ficino thread until it reaches modern autonomous individualism and Kantian idealism. A bit earlier one of these authors wrote a chapter actually entitled "Stoicism in the Renaissance," which altogether missed the fact that an overwhelming tide of Stoicism actually dominated Renaissance ethics.

Braden, Renaissance Tragedy and the Senecan Tradition, Students of the Renaissance had been warned against making this mistake by no less an authority on Ficino et al. The famous "humanists" who populated the Renaissance universities, he noted, actually made their livings by teaching grammar, rhetoric, history, and moral philosophy 22; see also 25,Since both rhetoric and history were given strong moral emphasis, it could be said that the universities were to a great extent schools of virtue.

In fact, although Ficino occupied the inaccessible mountain peaks, Stoicism in hamlet Roman stoics occupied the solid ground. If you want to know what people were thinking you must find out what people are reading. Years ago, Professor Ruth Kelso took the trouble to find out just that and succeeded in amassing two monumental bibliographies pertaining to The Doctrine of the English Gentleman in the Sixteenth Centuryreprinted and The Doctrine for the Ladyin which she lists some early modern vernacular titles, published in Europe, bearing on proper conduct.

Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Seneca Lady, History has also produced a shift in the meaning of Stoicism. On this site "Stoicism" means a consensus of the opinions of philosophers who identify themselves as Stoics, as Cicero and Seneca do.

By "Renaissance Stoicism" I mean the presence of these opinions in writers of the Renaissance. Because proficiency in Greek was rare in the Renaissance and because Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus wrote in Greek, Cicero and Seneca, who wrote in Latin, to all intents and purposes, dictated the contents of Renaissance Stoicism.

In the 19th century, to judge by the number of editions and copies of their books in the British Library Catalog www. As a result of it, modern scholars tend to see Stoicism as an ascetic suppression of emotion in order to reach a state of calm of soul, almost Buddhist in nature.

On the other hand, Cicero and Seneca devote themselves to the welfare of their families, friends, neighbors, and nation, shunning enslavement to the appetites, not to find peace, but to more effectively fulfill their obligations to their fellow men.

Again in words of Hamlet, they chose not to let "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" force them into a cowardly retreat from active life but with Cicero and Seneca to "take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them. Furthermore, they say, no approach to literature can be morally neutral, so why should ours be?

Consequently the postmodern critic assumes an agenda at the start which impels him to search the work in hand for deplorable forms of oppression, such as sexism, racism, classism, chauvinism, homophobia, colonialism, or capitalism, thus disabling himself from any chance of reading Shakespeare on his own terms.

The postmodern prejudice against the past prevents him from even trying to understand the society that produced the work, a task as difficult for him as sitting down to dinner with a cannibal. Using postmodern agendas to understand an Elizabethan Shakespeare constitutes a logical fallacy.

Another says, "She did just right to warn her father not to make a big mistake. I have compiled this web site in order to expedite the task of describing the extratextual moral ground.

Their answers have fluctuated with time and place, for they have no anchor in the only time and place that really matter: To illustrate the point, I submit three of my essays: King Lear in Its Own Time: The Difference That Death Makes.

Because the Renaissance books on this site are Stoic in content and it is very likely Shakespeare read them. It was clear that my study would require electronic texts, making it possible to search for any keyword or phrase that became important during the course of the survey.

Stoicism in hamlet

Optical Character Recognition OCRwhich digitizes the characters used in printed texts so that the computer can recognize each one as a number is a fallible process, and therefore each text must be carefully proofread. When the text itself supplied the keyword for the idea while discussing it, I simply marked the keyword.

I also tagged passages in which the behavior praised or blamed resembled that of one or another Shakespeare character, thus linking Shakespeare to the text.

So that no one would have to proofread and tag these books again, I decided to mount the 22 texts on a web site, along with an index to each of the topics I had tagged.

My hypothesis is that the ethical contents of any Renaissance book will reflect the thinking of Cicero and Seneca. The books were chosen because of the high probability that Shakespeare would have been acquainted with them. Since the incidence of Stoicism in the Renaissance is not documented anywhere that I know of, I had no way of knowing in advance that any of these books would have Stoic content.

I have been conducting a "blind" test.Essays - largest database of quality sample essays and research papers on Stoicism In Hamlet. STOICISM IN SHAKESPEARE GORDON HARTFORD acts ofthe play, for Hamlet’s great need is Stoic tranquillity ofmind Stoicism depends on H von Arnim’s Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, whose very title implies with its intimations of mortality that the collec-.

But Stoicism is a philosophy, not a therapy, and it is in the works of philosophers such as William Irvine (), John Sellars (), and Lawrence Becker () that we find articulations of 21st century Stoicism, though the more self-help oriented contribution by CBT therapist Donald Robertson () is also worthy of note.

In Hamlet, the philosophy and ideas of Stoicism make their appearance onstage and shape the themes and dialogue of the play.

Stoicism, which praises the superiority of reason and civilization over the more base element of emotion, is the backbone of much of the conflict in Hamlet.

Why Stoics? 1. Because they were there. Shakespeare the poet responds to the Ficino thread of Renaissance discourse in words he assigns to Hamlet: What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god!

the. Hamlet was well liked by the people, for reasons we are not aware of, and his punishment could lead the people to rally around him and rise up against the King. Claudius’ plans fall apart when Hamlet alters the letters himself, having Rosencrantz and Guildenstern executed in his place.

Nobler in the Mind: The Dialect in Hamlet - Essay -