Hamlet’s Problem – Mind Body Dualism and Hamlet’s Disconnect | Nara

In his seminal philosophical treatise, Meditations, Renee Descartes asserted that man is comprised of two entities, thoughts and physique, spirit and matter. The chief idea underlying Descartes’ thoughts physique dualism is that the bodily/ sensory world is a poor reflection of the true non secular world. Though Descartes is credited with the primary systematic account of this relationship, first in De homine and subsequently in his Meditations, the underlying concept of thoughts physique dualism will be traced again a lot additional. An rising fifth century Greek philosophy seen the soul as distinctly separate from its bodily counterpart. The soul was deemed the supply of ethical qualities comparable to temperance and justice (Lorenz).

Plato, like Descartes, was thought-about a Dualist in that he believed man was comprised of two uniquely separate entities, the physique and the soul. To this present day Dualism stays one of many recurring themes in trendy philosophy and, though pre-dating Descartes’ Meditations by roughly forty years, is considerably evident inside Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Shakespeare, nonetheless, takes these proto-philosophical ideas one step additional. Shakespeare’s protagonist will expertise a “disconnect” between these entities leading to a stalemate of bodily will and ethical justice. This thoughts physique disconnect will change into the supply of Hamlet’s inside battle in addition to his inaction within the play.

Peter Cennamo believes that Shakespeare’s Hamlet undergoes a catharsis all through the textual content. He’s remodeled from a grieving son to an agent of Heaven’s supreme justice, as one who exists and capabilities above the realm of human morality with the intention to cleanse Denmark and produce it right into a state of purity and perfection. The purity that Hamlet aspires to is gained by his acts of hubris and eventually achieved upon his loss of life, for the time being when he sheds the “mortal coil.” Shakespeare attracts upon the Hellenistic and Cartesian dualist philosophies, but additionally weaves a powerful battle between the thoughts and physique into Hamlet. Hamlet should usurp the bodily and fallible a part of himself to realize the purity, the perfection which he in the end seeks. Subsequently, Hamlet, who was as soon as incapable of motion, transforms all through the textual content turning into a self-proclaimed agent of Heaven’s justice.



Source by Peter Cennamo

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