The Genesis of Hamlet
by Charlton Miner Lewis (9780217084710)

The Genesis of Hamlet
Charlton Miner Lewis
Release Date: 10 December 0140
Format: Paperback
Pages: 24
Category: Shakespeare
ISBN: 9780217084710
ISBN-10: 0217084710

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV and JSelleforeet I Have suggested two possible explanations of the inconsistencies in Hamlet, first, the fact that Shakespeare wrote parts of the play at different times, and second, the possibility that as he was only rewriting an old play he may have retained from his original some materials" that failed to harmonize with his own conception. The preceding chapter has proved the first explanation sound as far as it goes; but it does not go far. In the remaining chapters I shall examine the sources of the play, and by comparing Shakespeare's tragedy with the work of his predecessors attempt to sift out those ideas which were peculiarly his own. An entry in the diary of the theatrical manager, Philip Henslowe, shows that he received eight shillings for a performance of Hamlet on June 9th, 1594; and in a pamphlet published by Lodge in 1596, a certain character is compared to "the ghost which cried so miserally szc] at the theatre, like an oyster-wife, 'Hamlet, revenge " These allusions prove the quondam existence of a pre-Shakespearean Hamlet, though no such play is now extant; and the following from Nash's prefatory epistle to Greene's Menaphon, printed in 1589, shows that the author of the play was Thomas Kyd. It is a common practice now-a-days, amongst a sort of shifting companions that run through every art and thrive by none, to leave the trade of Noverint whereto they were born and busy themselves with the endeavors of art, that could scarcely latinize their neck-verse if they should have need. Yet English Seneca read by candle-light yields many good sentences, as "Blood is a beggar," and so forth; and if you entreat him fair in a frosty morning he will afford you whole Hamlets, I should say handfuls, of tragical speeches. But O grief Tempua edax rerum...

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