Deadly Thought

Deadly Thought : Hamlet and the Human Soul

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The human soul is for pre-modern philosophers the cause of both thinking and life. This double aspect of the soul, which makes man a rational animal, expresses itself above all in human action. Deadly Thought: 'Hamlet' and the Human Soul traces Hamlet's famous inability to act to his inability to hold together these twin aspects of the soul. Combining careful attention to detail and interpretive breadth, noted scholar Jan H. Blits deftly illustrates how Hamlet collapses life into thought, and moral action into stage acting, and ultimately comes to see his own life as a stage play. Hamlet, the book demonstrates, epitomizes the intellectualism of the Renaissance and the modern age it began, and so becomes tragedy's first self-conscious protagonist, signaling the end of ancient tragedy. Erudite, innovative, and lively, Deadly Thought is a ground-breaking contribution that will appeal to Shakespeare scholars, political theorists, historians of philosophy, literary theorists and anyone interested in a truly fresh interpretation of this classic work.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 157.5 x 228.6 x 27.9mm | 635.04g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 0739102141
  • 9780739102145

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Act One Chapter 4 Act Two Chapter 5 Act Three Chapter 6 Act Four Chapter 7 Act Five Chapter 8 Index Chapter 9 About the Author
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Review quote

Blits is that rare critic of "Hamlet" who convinces his reader that, in commenting on the play line by line, he has connected every line with every other of the play's more than four thousand lines. -- John Alvis, professor and director, American Studies Program, University of Dallas It is a rare reader who combines successfully audacity with great care. Jan Blits is one of our shrewdest interpreters of Shakespeare. -- Michael Davis, philosopher, Sarah Lawrence College Deadly Thought will be an invaluable resource for any student who wishes to study [Hamlet] intensely or investigate avenues for further research. Ben Jonson Journal This accessible account is a good choice for high school and college students and is recommended for all public libraries. -- Karl Helicher Library Journal Deadly Thought is the closest reading I know of this much-written-about work. The particulars are always related to general discussions of philosophic issues, political questions, diction, and rhetoric... A study well worth the serious attention it requires of its reader. -- Mera J. Flaumenhaft, St. John's College, Annapolis
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About Jan H. Blits

Jan H. Blits is Professor, Honors Faculty, at the University of Delaware. He is the author of The Insufficiency of Virtue: 'Macbeth' and the Natural Order (1996), and The End of the Ancient Republic: Essays on 'Julius Caesar'(1993).
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3 ratings
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