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“Stay, Illusion!”: “Hamlet” rebooted

Theories about Shakespeare are numberless, ranging from the idealistic to the admittedly speculative to the daft. What is it about this multifarious artist -- celebrated by Keats as "capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason" -- that makes his admirers want to nail him to the wall, reducing his genius to some primary cause or motivation or identity?

"Hamlet" is the play that really brings out this urge, given that its title character is mysteriously inhibited from doing the thing that he regards as his greatest responsibility. Why doesn't the prince kill his uncle, when he believes (or does he?) that Claudius has killed his father? Why does he instead dither and rave and philosophize and brood and berate both his (innocent) girlfriend and his (culpable?) mother? How does he manage to kill someone else's father and engineer the deaths of two of his uncle's hirelings without getting around to the main event until the very last minute, when his own life is forfeit?

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