Hamlet's Objective Mode and Early Modern Materialist Philosophy

Rachel Lacy
Hamlet's tragedy is constructed as a perspective of matter that is destined for decay, and this "objective," or "object-focused," mode of viewing the material world enhances theatrical and theological understandings of the play's props, figurative language, and characters. Hamlet's "objective mode" evokes early modern materialist philosophies of vanitas and memento mori, and it is communicated in theatre through semiotic means, whereby material items stand for moral ideas according to an established sign-signified relation. Extending an...
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