Friday, May 19, 2006

Hamlet or . . .

Is it simply because I'm thinking about Hamlet that I feel indecisive about studying it this term in our literature class? I had a very insightful, mantic (not manic) professor once who said Hamlet was not indecisive; he just wanted to do the right thing. Anyhow, to read Hamlet or not to read Hamlet. If I had to give a one-line reason why we should read Hamlet this term, it would be "because it's good for you." My other choices would be Ibsen's Doll House along with Miller's Death of a Salesman. They seem like easier reads and seem immediately needful. I don't know if nourishing is the right word; maybe touchstoney would be it. Both of these plays seem like ones people can identify with at some level, perhaps easier than Hamlet. On the other hand, maybe we don't want to identify with Hamlet. Anyhow, anyhow. We could write some great papers about Ibsen and Miller and the family dynamic (enter Tolstoy on unhappy families). If we wrote on Hamlet it would be a really obvious and difficult question: Why is reading Hamlet good for me?

I just can't decide.


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