Shapes of grief: Hamlet's grammar school passions

Knecht, Ross (2015) Shapes of grief: Hamlet's grammar school passions. ELH: English Literary History, 82 1: 35-58. doi:10.1353/elh.2015.0002

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Author Knecht, Ross
Title Shapes of grief: Hamlet's grammar school passions
Journal name ELH: English Literary History   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0013-8304
Publication date 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1353/elh.2015.0002
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 82
Issue 1
Start page 35
End page 58
Total pages 24
Place of publication Baltimore, MD, United States
Publisher The Johns Hopkins University Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Shakespeare’s Hamlet is famous for its attempt to adumbrate an inward passion that transcends outward expression, best seen in Hamlet’s insistence that he has “that within which passes show” and lacks the necessary “art to reckon [his] groans.” This essay argues that the text’s subtle and widely overlooked echoes of grammar school pedagogy demonstrate the harmony of inward states and outward expressions in the play, contrary to Hamlet’s own protestations. By tracing the passions of its characters in the terms of the grammar school (as in Polonius’s discussion of the “declension” of Hamlet’s melancholy), the play reveals that passions are not ineffable inward states, but instead expressive practices that abide by social rules and conventions. In advancing this argument, the essay draws on recent Wittgensteinian approaches to Hamlet and the new historiography of the grammar school.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
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Created: Wed, 19 Mar 2014, 12:12:47 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts