The English classicist H. D. F. Kitto opens his essay on Hamlet – the best ever written about the play – with this sly remark:
Surely the real problem of Hamlet lies in certain facts briefly reported by Waldock, that up to the year 1736 no critic seems to have found any great difficulty in the play, but since that date one interpretation after another has been proposed and rejected.
Kitto appears to be sliding into his subject conversationally, from left field so to speak, and we may find ourselves awaiting the statement of his own thesis, but in fact we already have it: there is no problem; if we read the play straight through without preconceptions, allowing Shakespeare’s words alone to determine our response, the alleged mysteries that have generated almost all Hamlet criticism never arise in the first place.Open PDF
For several years I have taught a course titled The Anthropology of Evil. I chose the term “anthropology,” not to indicate a restriction to the study of evil among primitive tribes, but rather to widen the lens to take in every relevant discipline: history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and current events.