Which Line Would Most Likely Be Written By A Reader Analyzing Hamlet Through A Formalist Lens?

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The recurring images of corruption, revenge, and madness aid in the understanding of the villains’ tragic ends. This study is based on a formalist approach to Hamlet.

The early part of the 20th century was a time of tremendous formalism. It was a change in perspective, with content taking precedence over form. Formalists argued that literature is susceptible to modification as a result of historical events.

Simultaneously, the kinds of art are defined by high stability. For many centuries, the genres of novels and dramas may not undergo significant modifications.

Formalism has nothing to do with human interactions. The idea is that the reader should be aware of the structure in order to comprehend it. It’s critical to understand what it is composed of, how it functions, and what it signifies.

Identifying feelings and emotions that are consistent with the work is unimportant. Formalist critics concentrate on visual patterns, figurative language, and irony in particular.

The play makes frequent references to death and decomposition. Hamlet informs his mother that Claudius is infested with a worm. The infection of a healthy plant, he says, resembles a fungus that attacks a susceptible one next door:

Confess yourself to heaven;

Repent what’s past; avoid what is to come;

And do not spread the compost on the weeds,

To make them ranker.


This was your husband. Look you now, what follows:

Here is your husband; like a mildew’d ear,

Blasting his wholesome brother.

(Act 3 Scene 4)

In the following lines, Claudius’ evil nature is demonstrated. He may bring disaster to a nation as an evil and incompetent king. Even in Act 1, when Marcellus says that he would have been a great emperor if he had been able to be more educated, it becomes apparent:

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

(Act 1, Scene 4)

The essential characteristics of Shakespeare’s Hamlet are not deeds but rather speeches, especially Hamlet’s soliloquies. His words create tragedy as well as his actions. In this work, language plays a vital part.

Aki Kaurismäki’s Hamlet Goes Business depicts the play’s most free and complete reading. Despite the literal repetition of conversations, the tale was transplanted to modern Finland. The natural shift in value-oriented accents does not hamper the narrative’s themes, making them somewhat distinct from each other.

The study of the constant references to death and decay in Hamlet would be part of a Formalist analysis. Formalism is a type of literary criticism that holds that the study of a text can be scientific and objective. The form of the text is at the forefront, with little regard for context or content.

Understanding the form of text, literary devices, and identifying recurring patterns and components are all part of this literary theory’s approach to analyzing a text.